A Stab In The Dark

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A sci-fi, horror, suspense kind of thriller. Warning, though! Prepare for a sad ending!

Submitted: September 10, 2014

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Submitted: September 10, 2014

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I rev the engine of my motorcycle, and I skid off down the crowded hustle and bustle of the Chicago streets.  The cold air off of Lake Michigan tears across my face.  I need a helmet, I think to myself.  It’s always cold here in Chicago, though.  You get used to it.  I pull up into the parking garage for my apartment, and hop off quickly, eager to finally get home after a long day at work.

I hop in an elevator and whoosh up. The apartment is great, and it’s definitely got some y dimension, you know what I’m saying?  Sorry, I’m a computer programmer, that’s my sense of humor.  Oh and eh… In case you didn’t know, y dimension is height.  Anyway, the apartment is really tall.  Like, 60 stories tall.  My girlfriend Ally, my bulldog Bulldozer (I know, very creative), and I live practically  on the very top, lucky for us.  As I walk into the apartment, something feels strange.  All the lights are out, and there’s a strange emptiness to the room.  I walk into the kitchen where I nearly have a heart attack.

“Surprise!”, Ally yells, jumping out from behind the counter.  She has wavy brown hair and big blue eyes, just like mine.  We’ve been dating for two years now.

“Wow, I nearly forgot that it was my birthday!”, I say with a huge cartoonish grin.  Ally jumps up and down, gleefully.  She’s always the type to love excitement like this, as if we don’t get enough excitement out of living in Chicago. Then again, it is my twenty-first birthday, definitely something to celebrate.  Just as I start to hug her, Bulldozer comes barreling into the room, barking with excitement.

“It’s okay Bulldozer, it’s okay,” Ally says, bending down to pick him up, “So, where were you planning on going for your birthday celebration, Link?”

“I don’t know, to be honest, I just want to pick up a pizza and stay here,” I say, leaning up against the fridge, “I’ve been working on designing the new iPhone 6s at work, and it’s been really tiring.”

“Okay, I’ll go pick it up and you can chill here with Bulldozer.  Pick out a movie for us to watch later.  You want pepperoni, right?” She says, grabbing the keys.

“Yeah,  pepperoni.  See you later,” I say, diving onto the couch like superman.  I miss, and slam into the table, smashing it into hunks of wood debris, “It’s okay, that wasn’t as painful as it looked.”

“Yeah, whatever, crazy. I’ll have to get a new table too, I guess,” she says.

I climb back onto the couch, rubbing my bruised leg.  Bulldozer struggles to jump up, but eventually plops himself down beside me.  I look into the window, and see that it’s already dark out, much earlier than usual.  It’s cloudy and windy out too, looking really gloomy.  I’m glad I chose to stay inside.  I grab the remote, flick on the flat screen TV, and watch it come to life in a kaleidoscope of colors.  I start flipping through the channels, images flashing across the screen, when I hear a bump outside our door.  I look over and see the doorknob turn.  Maybe Ally forgot something, I think, but for some reason I don’t feel that it’s true.  I’m genuinely freaked out.  I grab a large piece of wood from the broken coffee table and walk towards the door slowly.  I gingerly grab the handle, and rip it open, only to find that nobody is there.  I must be imagining things, I think, I  am pretty tired.

I close the door and sit back down on the couch, tossing the wood onto the living room carpet.  I start watching some stupid sitcom when I hear scratching outside my window.  Bulldozer jumps off the couch and starts to bark, and just then I see the window creak open.  As much as I want to believe it’s the wind, I know it’s not.  That window was locked, as always.  Something is very wrong here.  I see a dark, misshapen figure slide itself in through the window.  I get up to run away, but after a few steps, my vision fades to black and I fall to the ground.  I hear Bulldozer barking faintly, almost like it’s far away, and suddenly he stops mid-bark.  Please don’t hurt him, I think to myself.  Suddenly my brain snaps back on. Ally!

I whip my head off of the freshly cleaned living room floor, and bolt for my cell phone, which is in the kitchen.  My vision is still very blurry, but I manage to grab my phone and punch her number in contacts.  Her phone begins to ring, and I look back at the dark figure coming towards me.  Pick up, pick up, pick up!  I hold the phone up to my ear with my left hand, and grab a knife from the drawer with my right.  I charge towards the figure and I stab at what I can only imagine is the head multiple times. Each time I do it, a dark tunnel closes around my vision more and more.  After about six stabs, the thing falls in a pile of ash before me, and my vision begins to clear up.  What was that thing?, I ask myself, my head screaming in pain.  Suddenly I hear the ringing stop, and Ally pick up.

“Derrick?” she asks, cars honking in the background, the sound of Chicago.

“Come home now,” I say, my voice trembling.  I would call the police, but they’d never believe me.

“What happened?” She says, sounding scared.

“I don’t know. Come home and I’ll try to explain,” I say, trying to sound less freaked out.  I don’t want to scare Ally.

“Okay, this better not be a joke, Derrick,” She responds, and hangs up.  I stumble over to the pile of black ash and run it through my fingers.  It is smooth, like sand on a beach.

After a little while of tense waiting, Ally walks in through the door.

“What took you so long?” I mumble, staring at her.

“We still needed food, so I got the pizza anyways. You didn’t sound that urgent,” she says sheepishly, “What happened here?”

“Well,” I begin, with a bit of a slur, “I was sitting here with Bulldozer when- Wait! Where’s Bulldozer?” I yell out.  I run over to our room and find him laying under the bed.  “Thank god that thing didn’t get him,” I say with a sigh of relief.

“What... “thing” are you talking about?” Ally questions sternly, like a parent taking to a child about the “monsters” in the closet.

“Like I was saying, I was sitting on the couch with Bulldozer when I saw the doorknob turn.  I walked over to the door and opened it, but nobody was there.  So, I sat back down and kept watching TV, but then the window opened and this… this… thing appeared.  It was all black, and it didn’t look like a person.  I tried to run away, but I blacked out or something. I got back up and called you, and while it was ringing, I stabbed it with a knife a bunch of times and it turned to ash,” I blurt it all out quickly, still in disbelief.

“You know how crazy this all sounds, right?” She says, shaking her head.  I know she isn’t buying it.  She’s not dumb, and she probably thinks I’m tricking her.  But I have to make her believe it.

“I know. But you believe me, alright, Ally?” I say, staring her straight in her beautiful blue eyes.

“Sure. I believe you. But what are we supposed to do?  The cops are never gonna listen, and we don’t really have any other options.  Should we stay here or leave?” she says, her voice confused. I walk over and put my arm around her, shaking a bit myself.

“It’s okay. Let’s just hope that nothing else is going to happen.  Let’s stay in that new hotel for a few days, hope this all just goes away,” I say, trying to give her some hope.  I grab the keys to my motorcycle and walk out the door with Ally following behind.

“Bulldozer?” she calls, and I can hear him crawl out from under the bed, and see him stumble through the doorway clumsily.  I grab him and hand him over to Ally while we get in the elevator.

“Here, take him in your car.  I’ll take my motorcycle, since we might be gone for a while.  Meet up at the hotel.” She grabs him and starts walking out of the elevator.

“Ally?”

“Yeah?”

“Be careful,” I say, walking towards the left garage, for my motorcycle, her going to the right for her Porsche. I walk up to my motorcycle and see the left side of the body is cracked. Must have been from earlier and I didn’t notice it. I hop on and speed off onto the street.

I pull up towards the hotel and smoothly hop off, hitting the kickstand without even turning around. Nailed it, I think. I’ve been working on that one for a while.  I walk up towards the door when I see a man walking out of the video store.  Ally and I need a good movie to watch tonight.  I walk in and end up picking a comedy, her favorite.  I leave and head into the hotel when I look over to the side and see Ally smiling at me from a chair.

“I beat you,” she says laughing. We like to have these little races around the city. I usually win since my bike can traverse the crowded streets easily.

“I let you win,” I chuckle, knowing that it’s not completely true.  She goes out to the car and gets Bulldozer, and we check in for a room.  Only fourteenth floor.  Not quite what we’re used to, but I can deal with it.  We head up in the elevator, walk towards the door, and I open up the door to our room.  To my surprise, the room is huge, much larger than our apartment.

“Look how huge this room is!” Ally exclaims, taking off her grey sweatshirt and tossing it on the ground. I kick off my squeaky new sneakers and flop down onto the couch.  I reach into my jeans and pull out the movie.

“I picked this up on the way here,” I offer, walking over to the DVD player on the TV.

“Sure, let’s watch it. Is it that new movie your friend Ricky invited us to see? I’m so disappointed we couldn’t make it to that,” Ally asks hopefully.

“You betcha,” I say smiling.  I punch the eject button, put in the movie, flop down on the couch, and flip the TV on with the remote.  Suddenly a thought occurs to me, like lightning striking me on top of the head.

“What if there are more of those things?” I think out loud as the previews start.  As soon as I say it, something feels strange.  As if by saying that, I just sealed the fact that there are more.  I hear the thing before I see it.  Low grumbling, and some bumps from the bedroom.

“What was that?” Ally shrieks, jumping off of the couch and grabbing Bulldozer.  We have to get out of here, and the only way for that to happen is if I hold the thing off and give Ally and Bulldozer an envelope to leave.

“Go! Leave! I’ll keep you safe and give you time! Go!” I scream, jumping over the couch and scrambling around the room for a weapon.  No luck.

“Derrick, I can’t leave you here,” Ally quietly whimpers, squeezing Bulldozer so hard it looks like she’s killing him.  But still, I can tell in her eyes that she knows what she has to do.  She starts walking away, pauses for a moment, then walks out, all without looking back.  What happens next feels like it took hours, but all happens in a few seconds.  I run over to the bedroom, grab the creature, and throw it out the window. Quickly, it grabs my wrist and wrenches me out with it.  Before I know what’s happening, I’m floating in the air.  No.  Not floating.  Falling.  Falling quickly.  In the air, my eyes begin to go dark and blurry, but I must defy this creature.  I can’t let it hurt anyone else, even if it means my death.  I reach for the monster, but suddenly I feel myself smack into the cold hard concrete with a loud crack.  Everything goes black like in the apartment, but this time I don’t wake up.

 

***

 

“Derrick was a good man.  He will be missed by all, especially you, Ally.  Such a shame we lost him like we did, with him taking his own life. We may never understand what caused him to make this decision, but we can assume that he had his reasons,” a man says, everyone around sitting, dabbing their faces with tissues. But they will never understand him as much as I did. They will never understand how he died. I could never tell anyone, or I’d end up in some psych ward. Nobody can understand.

 


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