It was nearing the end of the first week of the Summer vacation. My brother Alex and I were lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. It was very late, and our mother always told us how important it was to get enough sleep.
I heard Alex’s voice coming from the bunk above me.
“Stickbug is back again.”
“Ugh, where is he now?”
“On the window.”
“Well, as long as he doesn’t move.”
“Which he probably will.”
Alex’s comment didn’t make me feel any better.
‘Stickbug’ was the big, long bug that had been coming and going from our room as it pleased, much to our annoyance. We didn’t usually have problems with bugs, but since it was vacation, we had gone to the middle-of-nowhere France for two weeks. It was the first night of our stay in our second apartment, and the day hadn’t exactly gone well: we had been massively delayed by traffic, and when, after nearly seven hours of driving, we finally arrived at our new apartment, we were sadly disappointed: it was small and stuffy, extremely hot, and, worst of all, it was full of bugs. Moths, mosquitoes, ants and even a few grasshoppers. As I was extremely afraid of insects of any kind, this did not make a good first impression.
As much as we hated it, it was too late to cancel our booking, so we had to deal with it.
After much quibbling, Alex and I had decided who would get the top bunk for the first night. Or rather, he, being the younger one, had gotten his way and I had been forced into the tiny bottom bunk by my parents, because I was ‘old and responsible’.
I didn’t appreciate being called ‘old’ by my own parents, but I was too tired to fight the matter, so I decided to just roll with the bottom bunk. After all, how bad could it really be?
Well, I had no idea what was on its way.
Now, let’s jump to three hours later, when I was lying in bed, having just been informed about Stickbug’s presence on the bedroom window.
After much tossing and turning, I decided it wouldn’t work out, so I grabbed my laptop with the idea of killing some time on YouTube.
This, however, only made the problem worse: the light from the screen only drew more bugs in, all fluttering around me, and by the time I gave up on trying to make the non-existent WiFi do something, there must have been over fifty bugs in the room.
I lay there for what felt like forever, hoping that the bugs might just evaporate overnight, and I was just slipping into a not-so-deep sleep, when I was awoken by Alex going to the bathroom. Annoyed, I rolled over and tried to go asleep again.
And then, I heard something. It sounded like the creaking of an opening door. Growling. That was my dog, Bagel. And a soft thud, as though someone was walking in the room next door.
I had always been very scared of things out of the ordinary, so you can imagine how much this frightened me.
I lay there, petrified, for a few minutes. I couldn’t hear anything anymore. Until — the creaking again, and it sounded closer this time. As if the door to my bedroom was being opened. That was it. I ripped the covers off the bed, through them over my head and curled up under them like a little ball. I could hear more footsteps, and a slow, rasping sound, like the sound of somebody gasping for breath.
I was scared to death. I lay there, holding my breath, too scared to move a muscle. I thought of all the things I wanted to do and might never get to. I thought of my family, who I might never see again.
As thoughts raced through my mind, I realised that there was no more noise. Maybe I was just being paranoid, I thought. Maybe I was just hearing Bagel messing around. But that didn’t explain the growling, or the rattling breaths. And, I reminded myself, dogs couldn’t open doors.
Then, maybe, the creature had heard Alex in the bathroom and it had scarpered. And if so, what was ‘it’ even? A human? An animal? An alien?
I decided to wait a few more minutes before taking the covers off. After all, you could never be too sure.
However, after waiting, I decided I was sure enough that the thing, if I hadn’t just imagined it all, was gone. So slowly, very slowly, I started uncurling myself under the covers. I didn’t want to take them off until I was in a good position to attack the thing, if I was wrong and it was still there.
After one last minute I decided I was ready, so in a swoop, I through the covers off of me.
I screamed. I screamed louder than I had ever screamed before. It definitely was no human. And not any animal I had ever heard of. It was standing over me, saliva dripping from it’s gaping mouth onto my face, and two big, eerily glowing, yellow eyes.
I scrambled to get out of bed, but it was too late. The creature was already coming closer and closer…
To Be Continued…