I was twenty one at the time.

I had just finished college and was drifting about. I am not going to give you an auto-biography on my life but only the situation that I would have never wanted to get into. My grandfather had just died soon after moving into his dream house. They couldn't find his corpse and guessed he fell into a ditch and died.

My father made me stay there, and I agreed because my grandfather would want life in his new house since it was barely lived in; it was a short journey from Dublin to Westmeath. The house was renovated recently but still had its rustic appeal. I had one neighbour who was an old widow named Anna who seemed polite enough. There was three bedrooms, bathroom and a kitchen/living area. I slept there for a week and all was fine, strangely, since I have very bad insomnia which I need medication for.

I read through my book quietly on my bed to settle my mind before sleeping which was routine. I switched off the lamp and tried to go to sleep. It was pitch black in my room except for the window which the moon lit dimly. After a few minutes I heard a continuous chorus of clicks. It caught my attention. It was coming from down the hall. I ignored it and waved it off as mice chewing on the wood.

It continued for an hour and at this stage it became annoying but eventually stopped. It began again but with footsteps. This is when I got scared. The footsteps began running and then kicked down the door of the bedroom nearest the kitchen. I leaped out of bed with a whimpering cry. I grabbed my golf club that was near my bed with shaking hands. I opened the door slowly and peeked my head around the corner. It was silent. I walked down the hall gingerly.

I walked to the second bedroom's door and pressed my back against it with my eyes glued to the third room's entrance. I saw It. It peered around the door frame and looked at me with sunken eyes. Its smile was long and crooked with five rows of chiseled like teeth and its eyes were decomposed, small and round. It smiled at me with malice and said, "I chose wrong tonight, sleep well for now." I stood frozen in utter fear and horror. It slid back into the room and closed the door.

I took that opportunity and bolted down into the kitchen and outside in a flash. I ran down the drive with my breath catching in my throat. I stood there and watched the house until I calmed down. I took my time walking back up to the house after twenty minutes had passed. I made sure to switch on all the lights in the house so I knew "it" wasn't hiding in the shadows and ready to grab me. I crept up the hall and opened the third room door. Everything was normal and it was not there. I was still in shock and thinking of the experience made me nauseous. I did not sleep well after that.

I was awake at dawn but not by wish. I got up and packed my bags with the intent of getting the fuck out of this place. I took my medication to make sure I did not forget before I left the house. I took two and thought to myself as I was swallowing back the pills, "Maybe I am taking too much of my medication and it's giving me delusions?"

I thought about it and realised no one was in the third room when I checked after seeing the thing. I laughed lightly after contemplating these thoughts and unpacked my stuff. Sure, I could even use my grandfather's old gun that was on the mantlepiece to give me a sense of security. I grabbed the gun and put it at my bedside and just spent my day smoking and reading.

I hopped into bed exhausted, not bothered to read since I did enough that day. I unloaded the rifle since I thought I won't be needing it. I drifted off to sleep. I woke up in an instant for some strange reason. Just as if I was forced to do so. I looked around groggily but nothing was there. I put it down to my medication since Ambien causes me to wake up during the night. I started to lie down when I heard clicking.

It was happening again. I panicked and shot out of my bed. I went fumbling around for the gun when I remembered that it was a simple 50:50 chance now of being chosen. The clicking stopped and then the footsteps started. They were in the kitchen. They started running until they stopped outside both my door and the opposite bedroom. A huge bang as a door was kicked in. I grabbed the gun and faced the doorway. It picked the wrong one.

The door shot open and I was staring into the next room. I could only see a disfigured Silhouette. I just stared at it with the rifle at my hip. I fired off a shot which whizzed past its head. It smiled at me with the corners of its mouth reaching its small round eyes unnaturally from what I could see from the moonlight shining through the window. Its skin was moving and pulsating which released spurts of a liquid on every beat.

It let out a dark, rough chuckle that resonated from the house. It stopped laughing abruptly, bent its back backwards at an inhuman angle and put its hands on the floor like a crab. Its bones snapped and liquid shot in every direction. It crawled up the bed, onto the wall and shot out the window in a flash. I became dizzy and heard screams. My legs gave way and fell to the floor. I fainted and the screams stopped.

I woke up sprawled on my bedroom floor a few hours after the incident. I instantly sat up and checked the room. It was covered in stale blood. I got up and went to close the door of the blood soaked room but saw a small scrap of paper. I picked it up slowly and opened it. In scrawled writing it said "Found you, Ted". I threw the note down and slammed the door shut. I ran down to the kitchen and out the door with intentions of to get fucking as far away as possible.

I got into my micra and sped down the drive and onto the country road. I got about two hundred metres until I stopped in front of a massive flood on the road. It was at least a metre and a half deep and my car is shit so that is out of the question and civilization was at least a five mile walk. I cursed and drove back up to the house reluctantly. I had to defend myself and work out a plan to survive "Ted". I got all the ammunition from the mantlepiece and got my gun from my bedroom. I boarded up the windows and the door and waited for the night to approach and Ted to come with it.

It fell dark. I am in the room nearest the door to the house, the first one Ted burst into. I was not planning on staying in my bedroom for it. I planned to shoot him in the back when he is looking for me in my room. I sat in the chair in by the window for hours, the wait killing me which led me to smoke most of my John Player Blue. I had my grandfather's rifle resting on my lap fully loaded. I now waited for the clicking.

I kept my ears tuned in on all the noises around me. It was quiet except for a few sounds from nocturnal animals outside. I heard the clicking. I lept up out of my chair and pointed the barrel of the rifle in every direction of the room. It came from everywhere. I put my back up against the wall facing the door. I was shaking continuously and sweating profusely. The clicking stopped and there was darkness.

I woke up being dragged by the neck through a forest unknown to me. It was thick and looked old. I could not move any part of my body, but I could feel everything strangely. The trees twisted in different directions, and the angles became more unimaginable the further I went in. I could not see who was dragging me, but I knew it was Ted. I knew fear I had never known before. I tried screaming but only a wheeze came out. I could only hear the clicking, the horrible clicking. We started descending and eventually I felt steps.

It was an old farmhouse cellar which was damp and cold. It picked me up and showed me the interior. There were bodies hanging from hooks stripped of their skin and chunks ripped from them in random locations; they were all alive and moaning with pain. I started to cry silently. One of the bodies looked up with all its strength. It looked up at me with terror and regret in its blue eyes as if feeling sympathy and anger for me. I said hello to grandfather.

Written by Barry McMahon
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