On the Roof

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a quick short story that was very (very) recently inspired to me by some real-life events. I hope this is as scary to you as it was to me when I wrote it.

Submitted: August 08, 2012

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Submitted: August 08, 2012

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Neil Harper sat lethargically on the couch. The noise emanating from the television only provided background noise as the twenty year old cruised the internet for things his mother, sleeping just down the hall, couldn't imagine her baby looking at. He knew he should’ve gone to sleep a few hours ago, but he couldn’t manage to find the energy to pick himself up.
All his sluggishness though was quickly shed away as he suddenly heard a strange noise directly in front of him, coming from right outside the front door. He stopped moving for a moment, not yet muting the TV as he waited to confirm that the noise wasn’t coming from the cat, Whiskers. But the strange rumblings continued. He couldn’t quite determine the source of the noises, but his first thought was insomnia-driven, rowdy neighborhood teens.
Whatever it was, it didn’t cease. Instead, it moved from side to side across the front of the house. But the more the noise sounded, the more Neil was beginning to dismiss his previous assumption. Being a big fan of horror movies, Neil had seen them all, and he now began imagining the worst. It was at the point where his thoughts turned dark that he decided to fetch his mother, Pamela.
He stood up, muting the TV as he did, and began carefully stepping down the now illuminated hallway. As he approached his parents’ room, he saw through the cracked doorway that his mother, lying on her stomach, had her nightgown hiked up just above her waist. Normally the sight would have made him turn away in disgust, but the turning in his stomach forced him to step into the room.
“Mom,” he whispered to her, gaining no answer. “Mom,” he now spoke louder as the strange noises continued. Finally he reached forward and pushed her shoulder, quickly waking her up.
“What?” she asked as her eyes stayed shut from the hall light.
“There’s these weird noises outside.” He tried saying more, but couldn’t think of anything else to say as he waited for the proof to sound out. Pamela, not completely understanding yet, stood up, yanking her nightgown down to fully cover herself as she did. Neil’s dad hadn’t been home as he’d recently gone on vacation with his brother, leaving the son to rely on his five-foot three-inch tall mother for comfort.
The pair walked down the hallway and into the kitchen/dining room, directly adjacent to the living room where the sounds had first been heard. There was only a brief second of silence before the noises again continued. “Do you hear that?” the boy asked, looking to his still heavy-eyed mother. She didn’t answer. Instead she kept her head perfectly still, leaving Neil to wonder if her eyes had really been squinted at her tiredness, or if she was intently listening. Again he asked, “Do you hear it?”
“Yeah,” she answered.
“What do you think it is?” There was no answer again at first. “It’s probably just squirrels running around on the roof.”
“Don’t you think it sounds a bit heavier than a squirrel?” he asked as the rampant noises pressed on. Although his mother’s statement did give him the insight, as he joined her from the hallway, that the sound was coming from up above.
“Well maybe it’s a raccoon running around.”
“But it’s staying in one place and then moving. Like it’s stepping a bunch before moving on.” Pamela didn’t respond to his statements, she only moved to the window and held two blinds open as she looked outside, expecting to see something in the less than luminescent glow of the solar yard lights. “Do you think it’s in the attic?” He was almost hopeful that it was, knowing that the only real entrance to it was in the garage.
As the two stood still in the kitchen, the scampering yet unmoving sounds continued up above. As the mother stepped over to the side door, turning on the garage light, again expecting to see something where there was no noise, Neil quickly searched through the cupboard, finding a flashlight. “Should we, like, step out front and see if we can see anything?”
“No,” Pamela answered as though the mere idea had been completely outlandish. “Yeah, it’s probably just a raccoon.
“But it’s making a lot of noises,” he protested.
“Then maybe it’s a couple baby raccoons.”
Neil moved on, “I’ve never heard sounds like that though.”
“I have,” Pamela confirmed, “They probably just climbed up the arbor.”
His mother silently walked back down the hall, leaving Neil still suspicious. “Okay, sorry for waking you up.” He could tell that she was still listening to the sounds as the creaking of her getting back into bed didn’t come for another few seconds.
The noises continued as Neil sat back down on the couch, again appearing as though they were coming from directly ahead. He chalked that up to being against a wall that bisected the house, making any noise sound as though he could be either coming from right out in front of him to the stairs coming up from the basement.
With the TV unmuted, Neil hadn’t even noticed that the noises stopped suddenly after a few more minutes. He stopped clicking his mouse as he waited, expecting the sounds to just have taken a temporary pause, but a few more seconds of silence proved him wrong. Unknown to him, Neil was about to be interrupted in a very big way.
An abrupt, earsplitting thud slammed into the dining room side roof, instantly making the son’s heart race as his mother snapped back awake. The thud wasn’t natural either. It brought with it an audible sound as the force behind the hit landed it against the rooftop and left the walls with reverberations in the aftershock. “Mom!” Neil shouted as he quickly stood up, tossing his laptop to the adjacent couch cushion.
“Neil!” she shouted in response as she rose from her bed and instantly met him halfway in the hall. Neither one had been as careful as before to keep their voices low as the intensity of the situation had become easily apparent.
Again, the thud rang out as something slammed into the roof. Neither relative dared reach forward for the light switch out of fear, letting only the light from the TV barely illuminate the area behind them. Once more, the fierce power attacked the house, this time letting the sound of paint shavings hit the tabletop and floor in the aftermath of its silence. It only took one more blow to the outer shell of the dwelling for a hand-shaped appendage to shimmer in the dim reflection of light as it frantically gripped from within the ceiling.


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