By D. Andell
Every night, at three past midnight exactly, Douglas Burns is awoken by the light scratching of tiny, clawed hands raking across the inside of his closet door. While his mind begins to clear from the post-sleep fog, he finds himself immobile, as he always is, body stuck to the bed as if glued down to the sheets As the minutes slowly tick by, the scratching will gradually rise from the floor boards and up the closet door to the brass door knob. It will jiggle and jangle, as if little, awkward hands are trying to carefully turn the handle. After sometime, it will turn, and the door will slowly creep open.
The door opens with an audible creek, the darkness inside greets the darkness in the bedroom as silence falls thick throughout the room. The silence is broken by small, clawed hands clicking, like metal spiders, across the floor, crossing the hardwood from the closet to the foot of the bed. Douglas stares at his feet, covered by his thick comforter, then down to the wooden footboard.
Slowly, and with great care, the comforter and single white bed sheet are pulled down from below. As the sheets descend his body, Douglas remains motionless, his body stiff. Soon the bed coverings are gone, resting in an unseen pile at the foot of the bed.
His unmoving palms begin to sweat as he prepares himself for what comes next. From the silence at the foot of the bed, a single, black taloned hand rises up and grasps the wooden footboard. A second hand follows, and with what appears to be a phenomenal effort, the little black body pulls itself up onto the bed.
The thing is only a few feet long, its body little more then a skeleton covered in some sort of thick, oily, black skin that smells like burnt leather. Douglas’s attention, however, is always drawn instinctively to its boney hands. Skeletal fingers that look as if they were manually filed down to sharp points with some demonic nail file.
The black, greasy thing crawls its way over Douglas, hand over hand. It’s featureless face turning from left to right, as if smelling the air around its prey. It drags itself over Douglas, sliding its slick and foul smelling body across him. Once it reaches the top of the bed, its black face parallel to Douglas, it opens its mouth. It was rounded out, like a crooked circle, with rows upon rows of yellowed, triangular teeth. From inside the gapping mess, a long, slender black tongue crept out, dangling inches from Douglas’s face, leaking bubbled saliva onto his face.
The thing retracted its tongue, closing its disgusting mouth behind it. With the same sloppy hand over hand movement, it moved itself back down the bed to sit, cross-legged, on Douglas’s hips. It sat there for several more ticks of the clock, its hands sitting folded in its lap.
As time passed, the thing began to hum. A low slow tune emanating in the back of its throat. As it did this, it raised its hands out of its lap and began to rub Douglas’s pot belly through his white t-shirt. It continued to hum as its left hand began to draw circles around the belly button with its sharp index finger while the other hand was placed firmly on Douglas’s side. The finger circled faster and faster, before it pierced the soft flesh of his stomach.
The thing sat there with its long, rigid finger buried to the third knuckle inside him. It wiggled its finger around in the hole as blood bubbled up around it. As soon as it felt it was wide enough, it slid in another finger and wiggled them together before adding a third, then forth, and finally a fifth. Now the thing was wrist deep inside Douglas’s stomach and still churning inside until it was buried up to its elbow.
It’s arm seemed to fish about inside his stomach for a bit before beginning to slowly recede from inside. First the elbow, then the wrist, then the whole hand came back out, clutching something mushy and coated in dark red blood in its hand.
It leaned back on his hips and extended its hand to him. As it slowly unfolded its fingers, he stared on emotionless, knowing exactly what it was because it was the same thing every night. Sitting on the palm of the things outstretched hand, in all its bloody glory, was his liver.
The thing pulled back its hand, holding the gory prize close to itself. It opened its gapping mouth, saliva collecting in its corners, as it considered the treat. With one horrid maneuver, it shoved the whole thing in the abyss of its mouth, using both hands to shove it back and down its throat.
It consumed his liver like a ravenous dog, blood and saliva flinging away from its mouth. Once it had choked back the last sliver, it sucked the last bits of blood and bile from its fingers, making loud and nauseating slurping sounds as it did so. The liver down, it relaxed itself again, sitting comfortably on his hips.
The things body began to shake and convulse, it now hunched down over Douglas’s stomach. Something was forcing itself up through the things throat. It opened its mouth, all gapping teeth and snakelike tongue, and began to wretch and dry heave onto Douglas’s blood soaked stomach. First came foul smelling bile, followed by blood, ending with the thing vomiting up Douglas’s partially digested liver.
Once the coughing spell subsided, the thing picked up the liver, looked at it, then rammed it back through the bloody hole in Douglas’s stomach. It buried itself back to the elbow, wriggling around inside him. After a bit, it pulled itself out to the wrist, then four fingers, then three, then two, then one. As it pulled the last finger out, the tiny hole left closed on its own, leaving nothing but a mess of blood across Douglas’s white shirt.
The thing licked the last of the blood from its fingers before leaning back down over Douglas’s paralyzed body. They were face to face again and the things featureless head looked down on him as if saying, “Same time tomorrow?”
Done, the thing slithered its way back down Douglas’s body to the foot of the bed. It crawled, backwards, its empty face never turning away from Douglas’s, its claws on either side of the footboard as it lowered itself down. Soon it was off the bed and Douglas could hear it skitter across the hard wood floor back towards the closet. He heard the thing slide into the closet, and the door slam shut behind it.
Douglas lay on the bed, still unmoving and covered in blood and saliva. He lay there, watching the moonlight out of the corners of his eye. The sun would be up in a few hours, at which time he would be able to move again. He would get up, clean himself off, and go to work. After he would eat some dinner, watch some TV, and eventually go back to bed and await his nightly visitor.No tags for this post.