The power goes out. I look around the darkness, not knowing what happened. There’s no storm outside. I look out the window, there are lights nearby.
I stand up, or do I sit down? I don’t know my placement in this blackish landscape. I begin to breathe shallowly. The air feels thick and dusty. My throat is swelling, but it’s just fine. My eyes begin to throb, struggling to make out shapes in my home. My feet are numb. It’s as if there is no floor to stand on.
I take a step forward, but I don’t feel like I moved anywhere. Somewhere, I hear a footstep. It came from above, no below. Maybe the walls. I can’t see any walls. Are the walls still there? A footstep--there it is again! I shout, but my voice isn’t heard. I yell for someone to turn the lights on and there’s no response from the dense, empty space.
I start to move rapidly. Placing what I believe to be my feet in front of one another in succession. I don’t feel movement. Then, I can’t move. Something is blocking my feet. Or where my feet are supposed to be. I think it’s my desk. I don’t know if I’m in my study. I don’t know where I am.
I hear more footsteps. This time, they’re close. They may be right behind me. I can’t tell for sure. I spin around to face what I cannot see. I wave my arms.
Red. Red everywhere. Red sky with red air with red ground. But I can still see. Muddy structures ooze with dark liquid. A figure stands before me.
Then it is blackness once more. I feel the space around me closing in, but only on one side. I am on the opposite side of a funnel of sorts. I feel the vertigo effect while staring at the void funnel. I fall back. My fall is cushioned by the air or the ground. It is all the same now.
The figure walks up to me and looks down. It is black. It is red. It is white. It is every color. It can be seen and it can’t be seen. My mind spins in circles all while it remains still. Past the figure is a tall pillar. I can see the top as if I am looking down at it while I am laying on the ground. The world is upside down and right-side up.
Then I am staring straight through the tunnel once more. Flashes of a woman. Flashes of me as my house. Flashes of my family as my house. Flashes of my house as my house. A little voice tells me: “Relate to the circumstance.”
This all makes sense. I feel my way down the funnel of a tunnel. I cannot actually feel the walls, as they are not there, but I know they will guide me. The figure is getting further away. My head blurs and becomes fuzzy. I am floating. I am flying towards the figure.
Now the figure stops. A loud noise plays. I am reminded of an organ. There is a train going around the organ. Each train car is a little racecar. I cannot see these things, but I know they are there.
I see the organ train. I know that I must travel back. The organ is getting louder and louder. There is a room with a small, black ball that pulsates with every note. The ball gets bigger. When it pushes up against the walls of the room, I’ll disappear. I must leave. I open my eyes and stare at the ceiling. Little glow in the dark stars illuminate my imagination. I am in my bed, in my room. My sheets are damp. My head throbs. I am dizzy, despite laying still. I get up to go to the bathroom. I walk towards my door. It opens for me. There is a black, hooded figure standing next to the door. I hear him say: “I’m gonna getcha!”
He drags me. He gently takes me by the hand. I am clawing at the carpet to get away as he pulls my feet. I am walking next to him down the hall. The stairs are arriving. I begin to tumble with him down the stairs. I am being dragged down the stairs. My head throbs. I am going to throw up. I open my eyes and stare at the bannister. I am laying in the middle of the staircase to the main level of my house. I feel a dog watching me from the corner of my room. I know it is a dog simply because I know. It is there. It is black, soaked in slime. The dog walks over to the armchair in the corner of my room. A voice behind the chair whispers: “Hi.”
I walk back into my room. I crawl towards my bed. I pull the covers over my head.
I know they’re not there, I tell myself. It’s because you are simply five years old. You watched too many scary books and read too many scary movies. The world throbs. I just want to be healthy again.
Written by Zach Zeman
aka The Hooded Werewolf