Dreams 2: Morbid Fur

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

someone undertakes a mission to discover why an eccentric neighborhood resident has disappeared and why there have been reports of strange animals in the area.

.

First came the reports. In a quiet residential neighborhood in my city, there had been several sightings of unusual animals. There were few details; a stagnant reptilian creature in the forest, a giant rodent running quickly under someone's fence.

But rumors started to spread. In that sense, I had the good fortune to live relatively close by and have a few acquaintances that lived right around the man. The  various rumors painted him as an eccentric, drunkard, scientist and murderer.

I took the bus to the closest stop, about five blocks away. The location of the man's house was not a mystery, but nobody had entered it since he disappeared.

Not yet.

To my right were blocks and blocks of predictable 1950's houses. They were small, painted in quaint and old colors, and in various states of disrepair. To my discomfort, but to the benefit of my plan, there was not a single person around. No lights on, few cars, and the vehicles that were around were much older and duller than what I was used to.

The road meandered mildly back and forth, hugging the boundary of a large park on the left. Its edges were sparsely populated with trees and the occasional path, and the woods got denser further into the park. I could see several picturesque ponds through the trees as well.

It was summer, and the sun shone bright and yellow, but not particularly hot. There was a subliminal haze in the air, and I had a creeping sense of being in an older time as I continued my march towards the house.

A slight chill entered my body as I saw it far ahead. Situated on a tighter curve, it gave the impression of being closer to the park, the wilderness, even though it was on the other side of the road. That twenty feet of pavement felt like the knife blade, the dividing edge between something dark and something light, even though I couldn't consciously grasp how. 

I slowed my pace, intently looking at the other houses to make sure I wasn't being watched. There was utter silence.

The man's house was a bland brown, one-story structure. From the right side, it gave away few secrets. A few small windows and the front door, and further away and at the back of the house, a tall unpainted pine fence. A pine tree towered in the farthest corner of the hidden backyard.

My heart started to race as I entered the property, but my mind stayed cool, helped by the fact that the area was so empty and I would only be conspicuous for a few moments more. Walking up to the front door, I took out my lockpicking gun, which I'd borrowed from a friend who questionably took a home locksmithing course, and started away on the front door. 

I continued inexpertly, feeling nervous, but the lock gave way quite quickly. The creaky door pushed open and I surveyed the inside of the house, feeling a visceral sense of exhilaration. Closing the door behind me, I slowly started to sneak through the living room and investigate the area. 

A smell of ancient cigarette smoke hit me. There was a full ashtray next to the ratty couch in the center of the room. A single empty beer bottle sat next to that, facing a cathode ray television with an antenna perched atop like a parody cartoon rabbit. To the right side was a hallway leading to the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, and at the left was the door leading directly to the large side yard. Something about the yard felt like it intruded into the room; a sense of a subconscious invasion of privacy. The yard-facing window was the same size as the one on the opposite side but was uncovered, making it feel more exposed.

Next to the yard-facing door was a wooden table with scientific equipment perched atop it. I investigated closely and saw vials and test tubes with the remnants of red and green viscous liquid, a few dusty beakers, a pipette, and several torn scraps of biological supplies labels.

It began to dawn on me that an important part of the puzzle had fallen into place. The rumors of him being eccentric and brilliant may well have been true.

I took a cursory peek outside and then headed into the hallway. The kitchen was small and minimalistic, with a yellow fridge, electric stove, and a few cupboards, all on top of a dingy white floor. Somehow I did not want to look any further into the room.

I skipped over the dark bedroom for a moment and looked at the mini bathroom, but it only had a couple old cleaning and personal care supplies. The walls had some small stains of maroon, black, and green.

The bedroom had a shaded window, unmade bed, and drawer set. Perched on the latter was a photograph of him. He was in his forties, dressed with a brown long-sleeve shirt and acid washed jeans. Strong, tough, but having a hint of some mysterious, devious, and secretive quality in his face.

I found only a few clothes in the drawers, and they smelled musty. It was a mystery what happened to him. As nice as it was to not come across anything truly disturbing, I couldn't shake the feeling of there still being loose ends, nor the feeling of being watched.

Anxious, I headed back to the living room, where it felt slightly more comfortable. There was nobody outside. Making up my mind quickly about how to leave, I decided to take a quick look at the yard.

The side door was tinny and squeaky, and the yard was starting to become overgrown. The lone sentinel pine seemed to stare as I stood just outside the house, and I inexplicably could not work up the courage to look behind the house, behind where the kitchen was.

A few feet away, the fence had a latch leading to the sidewalk, and the comfort of the road just beyond that. I unlatched the gate as quickly as I could, having that strange, maybe illusory, but definitely strong feeling of being chased, and found myself on the empty, reliable road. 

Breathing heavy, I continued for a few strides before seeing, or feeling something in the park. Was there something there? 

The first section of it seemed completely normal. I told myself I was probably crazy and probably wouldn't see anything out of the ordinary.

There was a snapping of twigs.

Looking around quickly, there was some shadowy movement behind a tree. I ran quickly in the opposite direction. There was a scurrying sound behind me.

I looked behind, and right there was a hideous, gigantic rat was ferociously jumping after me, blood splattered on its glossy teeth.

I ran as fast as I could, too terrified to scream, knowing no one would hear.

...


Submitted: January 22, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Azure James. All rights reserved.

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Celtic-Scribe63

A good atmospheric read, your descriptions of the house brought it to life, including the smells from old cigarettes; A sense a lot of writers tend to overlook.

Sun, July 5th, 2020 2:35pm

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