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 4
Craig watched each minute click by. He began his vigil at midnight and the clock showed a few minutes before the witching hour. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep or concentrate on his studies. So he opted to count the minutes in slow succession.
Knock, knock, knock.
Craig’s gooseflesh returned. He glanced at the clock. It was a few minutes before three. It was probably just Zingo messing with him. He wouldn’t put it past his friend to go ahead and make light of his fear. He had a history of exploiting Craig’s fears.
He ambled to the window, displeased with his friend’s knack for ribbing him. Craig opened the curtain and then lifted the shade.
Craig realized his bedroom lights were on. The reflection of him in the window and the glaring light behind him made the darkness beyond the glass opaque. He shuffled over to the wall and flicked the switch.
The window looked like an open maw, waiting to chew him in half and swallow him whole. Craig slowly approached the pane and lowered his face to peer outside. The yard was dark and there was nothing outside.
Craig screwed up his face. He knew Zingo was crouched down beneath the window sill or hiding just beyond the corner of the house. Lying in wait for the perfect moment to force Craig to scream like a little girl. He wanted to kill his friend.
He unlatched the window and slid it up. He slowly peered over the edge of the sill to see what waited for him below. Just shadows.
Craig immediately glanced at the corner of the house. So the corner it is, huh, buddy, old pal? He leaned on the sill and shouted in a whispered voice.
“Not funny, dude. Knock it off.”
The silence was deafening. Craig realized that the sound of crickets and other night animals filled the air at this time of night. But tonight, it was completely quiet.
“Dude?” Craig leaned further out.
His heart sank. A chill ran through his limbs and he had the distinct feeling of being watched. Craig scanned the yard, toward the forest. His Adam’s apple bobbed, trying to swallow but his dry mouth had no saliva.
Craig almost fainted. Straight ahead, near the trees, a pair of red glowing eyes watched him. He noticed them blink. Craig tried to scream for his parents but a croak is all that came out of his mouth. He heard a whooshing noise, like the sound of a football sailing through the air. The noise didn’t make sense to him but he couldn’t figure it out as he remained transfixed on the haunting eyes in front of him.
A patter of sound beneath his window. In the grass. Something landed a few feet from his window. Craig strained to tear his eyes away from the being in the forest. He squinted at the object that rested below in the grass. His eyes grew wide when he made out the gory trophy in the scant moonlight.
Zingo’s arm, leaking blood, lay below. He knew it was his friend’s arm because its fist still clutched Black Magic, Zingo’s favorite baseball bat.
Craig dropped to his knees and cried. He still couldn’t make a sound as the fear overrode his ability to speak. Craig tore his eyes off the grisly appendage and found the glowing red eyes in the tree line. He caught the distinct narrowing of the eyes as the creature must have squinted or maybe smiled at him. Then the eyes turned to the side and disappeared.
He flopped on his bedroom floor, gasping for air. Craig felt dizzy and wanted to vomit. But all he could do was cry in silence. His body trembled.
…to be continued next week.