An Optional Beginning (read for better context)

Things that go bump in the night... What a wonderful cliché. It's common knowledge that the 'things' are just the noises that your house makes when it's settling; but, if you're in the right (or perhaps wrong) state of mind, no matter how many times you tell yourself that, you just can't shake the childish fear that resides in you.

Have you ever wondered what causes those creaking sounds on your landing when there isn't anything in the house with you? Perhaps. In fact, I'm almost sure that everyone has at some point - curiosity is just human nature.

Which reminds me of another cliché: curiosity killed the cat.

But wait! Before you turn off your computer in disgust at what is appearing to be the Creepypasta from 'We-have-seen-this-before avenue', I'd like to just say that this isn't exactly a story - it's a possibility. This little Creepypasta I'm presenting for your amusement (or horror) is about that lovely thing called 'fear'.

Anyway, to the hypothetical anecdote.

The Actual Story (and the said anecdote)

An 16 year-old boy, namely Thomas, was always scared of things that go bump in the night. He knew it was childish, he knew what caused it (the pipes, if you weren't aware), but he just couldn't grow out of it.

Young Thomas always felt he was being watched at night, when the pipes creaked the most. No amount of positive thinking or searching in the wardrobe could persuade him that closing his eyes wouldn't end him up dead; he had suffered from insomnia for years. The teenager blamed it on the amount of creepy things that he read on the Internet.

Unsurprisingly, Thomas wasn't overly keen on staying by himself in his house when his parents went out. The constant onslaught of creaks kept him on the edge of his seat. His parents took no notice of his fear, they believed that he needed to 'man up' (as his father so kindly put it) and grow out of his phobia. He was an only child, he was expected of. Any time that his parents announced a trip out, he protested furiously.

But alas, one night Thomas was left on his own. He sat in his front room and watched the TV half-heartedly, dreading the time that he'd have to go to bed. The walls of house squealed in the upstairs bathroom, Thomas jumped and instinctively looked upwards.

His heart thundered in his chest; thoughts pounded through his mind. I'm going to die! I knew there would be someone here with me... No, no! Ok, if I just go out of the- the house creaked again. He could feel the blood rush through his ears and away from his face.

He walked slowly into the kitchen and pulled out a knife.

I've got to be prepared for whoever's up there.

His sweaty hands griped the cold hilt of the blade tighter and tighter as he climbed higher and higher up the stairs. Thomas stopped on the landing, his breath quickened as he stalked up to the bathroom door. His hand pressed against the wood of the door, he leant his ear against the surface and listened.

Silence. Tentatively, he reached for the brass handle; he closed his eyes tightly, a tear dripped down his face. The joints in the handle squeaked as he pulled down; the hand with the knife resting in its palm pushed on the wood. The bowels of the bathroom slowly uncovered.

The room screeched again.

The sound caught him off guard, Thomas jumped forward, thrusting the knife into the humid air. His attack was in vain, the silver blade cut through nothing but water molecules. The teenager opened his eyes, praying that the killer would be merciful. No one was in the bathroom.

God damn it! Why am I so easily spooked? It was just the house settling... settling for what exactly? Being a noisy arsehole? He smacked his fist into the wall and cried out in anger. He turned around and jogged downstairs, clutching the knife loosely.

He got to the end of his hallway and stood just outside the front room, the landing above him creaked. Thomas took a deep breath and shook his head, repeating the words 'it's nothing' in his head - just like he'd been told to do by his mother. The teenager sat down on his large sofa.

Half an hour passed with no sound but the constant chattering of the TV; Thomas was almost calm with the kitchen knife loyally by his side. The landing creaked again, this time it was followed by a pot (one of the ones that belonged to his mother) falling to the ground.

He stood up abruptly, cold sweat pulsed out of his pores, his vision blurred as his heart buzzed in his chest, his legs felt as weak as wet tissue paper.

Gruesome images danced in his imagination, sending him into a blind panic. Should I hide? Should I run? Should I fight? The knife's slippery gleam caught Thomas' eye, his blind panic turned into boiling anger. His hand shot down, the blade was plucked from the carpet like a rabbit being snatched up by a hawk. His hot gaze worked its way to the direction of the landing as he began to creep out of the room; his footsteps fell on the cream carpet like a rock would fall on sand.

Gradually, his pace quickened until he was running up the stairs at full pelt. He turned his head and roared in the direction that the pot fell over, he roared at nothing.

Thomas' head was spinning, warm vomit rose up in his throat as he saw a shadow dart passed. Apace, he turned around; the shadow wasn't there. In his spinning gaze, the colours of the landing bled into each other - hellish patterns gathered on the corner. They swirled in the corners and leaked from the walls like the tears that seeped from Thomas' eyes. He tried to scream but his throat closed before the sounds could escape his lips.

Another shadow darted passed the teenager, he stood up abruptly and charged for the stairs - the knife still sat firmly in his hand. He got to the bottom step but the world went into a spin, his foot landed on the stair at an obscene angle, his hands instinctively shot out to guard his face. The knife plunged into the gristly flesh of his shoulder.

The shock of pain turned the world black.

Thomas awoke in hospital, stitches lined the gouge in his shoulder; his parents stood over the bed, both expressions looked as if to say 'sorry'. The teenager just closed his eyes and went to sleep.

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