|Posted by Jerry McKinney on January 22, 2012 at 1:00 AM||comments (0)|
The wind whispered through the long grasses. Frank lay on his belly as car headlights passed. A spotlight lit up the ground near him. The breeze blew harder and the grass hissed a tune as it danced above his head. The car moved on. Frank looked up and saw the light-bar on the vehicle in the distance. Cursing himself for wandering out into a field where there was no cover, no place to hide, he looked skyward. The shadows of the clouds playing off the ebbing sun cast a slight yellowish hue to the grayness of the oncoming night.
He’d been lucky this time.
Only if that old bastard had just given him his money, but he felt the need to be a tough guy and fight. Frank had to stick him with the knife. The only thing his father ever gave him had been a few broken ribs and that knife. Now he used it to get a little bit of cash to wash away his problems with a twelve-pack of beer. It had worked well until this feeble old man decided to become a hero to his wallet and got six inches of steel in his gut for the trouble. Frank could still feel the hot blood spurt out onto his hand. He was still staring at the knife when a lady screamed.
The clouds raced across the sky on a trek carried by the strong winds that had been building. Frank put his back to the breeze and followed the course of Nature’s breath. The squall of air pushed him onward, howling in his ears. Then the wind stopped abruptly. He raised his eyes. A half moon silhouetted a large figure before him.
“Oh my God,” Frank muttered.
The figure chuckled and then spoke. Each word seemed to be carried upon a gust of air. “Pray to your deity if you must. It will be unanswered. There are no gods or demons, although that does not mean evil doesn’t exist.” Its breath blew across Frank’s face with the stench of the grave. “It is scattered on the earth waiting for some luckless bastard to stumble upon it to do its bidding. But there are times when the wind collects the evil from the area, and it howls as it gains form …” The words echoed in the moving air.
Frank drew out his father’s blade once again. With shaking hands he lashed out at the figure. The knife met no resistance.
A small whirlwind began at Frank’s feet. He screamed as he felt it using the grasses to tear away his clothes then his skin. The air howled with him in a horrific chorus. When his ankles gave way, he fell as the figure embraced him.
Standing with knife in hand, Frank’s lips parted in a deep exhale.
“… and becomes pure Hell on earth.” The words trailed off in the night breeze.
|Posted by Jerry McKinney on January 22, 2012 at 12:55 AM||comments (1)|
I can hear them moving in the dark. I close my eyes and try to drift away to the point of unconsciousness, the moment of uncaring. Sleep evades me still.
They are in the walls, you see.
My wife tells me I’m imagining things, that there is nothing moving around in our home except a few ants on the counters and a small spider that continuously builds webs in the corners of the bathroom.
These are no bugs— they whisper. Not loud enough for me to make out what is being said, but voices nonetheless. I am treated to muffled sounds of a quiet conversation amid the insulation and wiring of the master-bedroom wall every night. I bury my head into my pillow until the pounding of my own heartbeat echoes through my skull.
I need to sleep! God, I need to sleep …
How does she not hear? I just want to shake her awake and yell, “ARE YOU DEAF?” But she slumbers beside me, her breathing mixed with light snores. How I envy her. Many nights I watch the swell of her chest slightly illuminated by the outside streetlight filtering in through the curtains and count her breaths. It keeps my mind off the sounds, until the scratching began.
I had to concentrate to hear it at first. No more than a slight scraping on the backside of the wallboard. I sat up at the edge of the bed and listened. My ears have become fine-tuned to even the smallest sound. It was growing. Standing up, I silently crossed the throw rug on the hardwood floor. A misplaced step had my toe bump the molding and the scratching stopped. I held my breath with my ear turned to the wall. Not a single sound did I make. My wife’s breathing seemed so loud from the bed. She turned on her side and the sheets played a symphony of sounds sliding across her skin. She issued a light moan and cleared her throat before falling back into the dream world.
The things on the other side of the wall giggled with glee. My heart pounded in my chest and I stumbled backwards.
“There’s always room for more,” something chortled with a deep gravelly tone. Then, after a hideous round of laughter, it was silent once again. I closed my eyes and screamed. I felt claws grip my arm and putrid breath on my face. “Welcome.”
I know you are awake. I can hear you.
We’re in the wall, you see.