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Unlocked

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
The night holds strange mysteries even within the confines of a suburban apartment.

Submitted: February 26, 2019

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Submitted: February 26, 2019

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Unlocked

 

I woke in a state of brain fog.  My throat was coated in grogginess.  Sweat pooled at my back.  The only bit of light in the bedroom came from my alarm clock sitting atop my night stand.

My wife lied still; breathing easy.  The alarm clock read 2:32 a.m.  The neon green pierced my tired retinas.

Before going back to sleep I thought I’d relieve myself.

I threw off the covers but was stopped by fear.  The silhouette of a small boy stood still in the doorway right next to the bathroom.

I didn’t get out of bed.  I just stared.  The boy was silent.  I knew he was looking at me because his eyes were a shiny pearlescent white in the darkness.

I lightly shook my wife.

“Babe.  Hey. Wake up.  Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” I asked quietly.

My wife woke and placed her hand over her mouth in fright.

“Who is that?  How did he get in our apartment?”  She asked quietly.

Before I could respond to her question, the boy turned and walked out the bedroom door.

I sat staring for a moment then I slowly got out of bed onto my feet, grabbed a baseball bat from under the bed and crept toward the door.

My wife joined me.  She slowly tip-toed at my heels with her hands on my hips.

Everything was dark.  Shadows flittered on the walls.  The only light came from a street light outside.

I approached the living room with bat in hand; my wife encroached my steps.  I slowly reached for the kitchen light and flipped the switch which made a sharp echo throughout the silence of the night.

The kitchen light shone on a small boy lying on our couch.  His eyes cracked slightly but the piercing light caused them to close.

My wife and I didn’t move.  We just stared at the strange boy.

“Son, who are you?  And, how did you get in our apartment?”  I asked.

The boy curled into a ball on the couch.  His eyes cracked opened.  There was no color in his eyes, just a black spot where his pupils and irises should have been.

“It’s so cold.  Just wanted to come inside.”  The boy said.

The boy wore a tattered red sweater and frayed jeans.  A stocking cap and dirt-smudged cheeks completed his persona.

I just stared at the boy’s black eyes; entranced.

“How did you get in here?”  I asked once more.

The boy spoke in a cracked whimper.

“You always leave the door unlocked when you take the trash out.”  The boy said.

My wife looked at me with an expression of judgement.

“Is there someone we can call for you?  Do you have parents?”  I asked concernedly.

“No.  We just wanted to warm up.  So cold.”

“Who’s we?”  I asked hesitantly.

“Me and my friends.”  The boy said.

“Friends?”

“Yes.  They’re in the other bedroom.  We’re all so cold.”

My wife and I slowly stole a glance at the doorway of the second bedroom. 

We turned and crept toward the room.  We loomed in the doorway.  Only a faint glint from the street light outside shone through the blinds onto the walls.

Before I could reach for the light switch, several pairs of white eyes illuminated in the darkness of the room.


© Copyright 2019 Ryan K. Mallegni. All rights reserved.

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