This previously unreleased short story will be featured in installments over the next few weeks. Follow along and enjoy…the Room with a View.
Room with a View – Part 3
Craig pressed the last number on his phone. He waited impatiently while listening to the soft ringing in the receiver. His brain sent waves across the universe for his friend to answer.
“Hullo?” Zingo sounded as if he were interrupted from an important task.
“Dude, have you been messing with me?”
Silence filled the receiver for a few minutes before Zingo sighed. “What are you talking about?”
Craig bit his lip. “You know. Coming by late at night. Knocking on my window. Sound familiar?”
Zingo laughed. “No, but it sounds like a great idea. I wish I thought of it.”
“I’m serious, man. You better not be messing with me.”
“Take it easy, Craig. I haven’t been messing with you. I’m up to my nads in papers and junk.” He paused and then continued. “You sure it isn’t Gil?”
“Gil’s not smart enough to play this kind of gag. Besides, he’s too…” Craig stopped himself from filling in the blank for fear of how Zingo would take the comment.
“Too what?” The tone was laced with anger.
“Never mind.” Craig thought of hanging up on his friend but he didn’t want to make things worse than he already had by accusing Zingo of pranks.
“You sound funny. What’s going on over there?”
Craig exhaled. He swallowed a thick lump in his throat, nervous to reveal his fears and the bizarre nighttime visits. “I don’t know. Something weird. I woke up this morning on my floor.”
“Ha-ha. Were you drinking alone?” Zingo’s voice hinted at sneaky behavior.
“No. No. I saw something. In my window. And next thing I knew, I woke up on my floor this morning.”
“What did your folks say?”
“Nothing! Are you kidding? They would send me away if they knew what kept happening.”
“Kept happening? How many times? What did you see?”
Craig thought about the best way to tell the story. He didn’t want Zingo to think he was crazy. And he worried that Zingo would laugh at him and tell Gil and the others what he said. “Promise me you won’t laugh. This is serious.”
“Why would I laugh? You sound upset.”
“And you can’t tell anyone what I’m about to tell you either.”
“Tell me the damn story already!” Zingo shouted into the phone. Craig had to move the receiver away from his ear so it didn’t blow out his eardrum.
“Okay. Okay.” Craig waited. “Something huge was outside my window. It just stared at me.”
Silence returned from the other end of the phone.
“Did you hear what I said?”
Zingo replied. “Yeah, I heard you. But how do you know it was huge? What did you see? I need details.”
Craig proceeded to fill in the gaps about how the off-beat knocking awakened him and the first time there had been nothing outside. Then the next night he found a huge shadow with red glowing eyes looking in his window. He explained that the window was too high off the ground for it to be another guy unless they stood on a ladder. But even so, it still didn’t explain the size of the shadow blotting out the ambient moonlight from his room.
“I’m coming over.”
“What? No, I don’t think that’s a good idea, dude. My mom is going to ask questions about why you are over here on a school night…”
Zingo cut him off. “School night? What are you, twelve?”
Craig reddened at the stupid remark.
“I’ll come by after midnight. I won’t ring the bell. I’ll just go around back and look around with Black Magic.”
“Oh, that’s great. A baseball bat? And what happens if my parents decide to look out the window and find you skulking around the yard with a bat?”
Zingo laughed. “You have to get out of that house, man. You sound like such a momma’s boy. Nobody is going to look outside. I’ll be in stealth mode.”
Craig thought about it for a minute. “Okay. Fine. Come by around three, though.”
“Three?” Zingo shouted again.
“That’s what time this thing keeps waking me up.”
Zingo exhaled loudly. “Whatever.” He hung up the phone before Craig could thank him.
Craig stared at the phone and then placed it on his bed. He walked over to the window and scanned the tree line. The woods looked different in daylight. Inviting. Mysterious. Full of adventure. But Craig knew the night brought things out of the woods. Things that should never be seen.