Jim opened his eyes. Had he heard a noise, something moving in the room? He kept his breath slow, listened, and waited.


Jim sat up in bed. He’d dozed off, but something had awoken him again. “Is something there?”

“Nope,” said a slow, deep voice.

Jim turned towards the voice.

There was a smacking sound.

“Ow.”

“Shh.”

Two voices! They seemed to be coming from the darkest corner of the room, opposite the door, but he could see no movement. He sat there, trying to decide what to do and waiting for them to do something.

Nothing happened.

Jim swung his legs around over the edge of the bed and started to get up. If he could grab the ceramic owl bank from the dresser, that would be something. Maybe he could hit one of them over the head before…

“Look, there’s nothing here. Nothing. So just go back to sleep.” This voice was quieter, and a little a little squeaky.

“I don’t think so.” Jim reached for the small lamp beside the bed and turned the knob. He rather wished that he hadn’t. There in the corner stood a huge lumbering shape. The creature wasn’t just black, it seemed to be made up of darkness.

“What did you do that for?”, asked the squeaky voice.

Hanging down from the ceiling above the dark shape was a second much smaller creature. This one was a bit easier to see, but seemed to shimmer in and out of sight. Just looking at it made Jim’s stomach turn.

“What the hell are you?”

“Us?”, asked the dark creature.

“Nothing. Just forget you saw us,” suggested the shimmering creature. Was it a lizard, or maybe a rodent?

“That’s going to be difficult. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this.”

“Really?” The darker creature seemed surprised. “You always have before.”

“What?”

“Why can’t you keep quiet?” The lizard rodent thing poked the dark shape, which yelped.

“I’m sorry. I’ve never seen either of you before. I’d remember.”

“How much do you want to bet?” The shimmering creature was moving along the ceiling above him now, getting closer.

The dark shape seemed to tense up. “But if you win, how will you get paid?”

“You’re large friend has a good point.” Jim looked back up, trying to find the smaller creature.

“You think?” Jim turned to see the thing right next to him, standing on his night stand. In one motion the thing tilted the lamp into Jim’s eyes.

Jim threw up his hands, then the room went dark.

“Come on buddy, do your thing,” came the voice from the nightstand.

Jim struggled to find the dark shape in the dark room. He heard something moving, then felt something heavy and oppressive push him down to the bed. The darkness around him grew even darker, if that was at all possible, and his nose filled up with an unfamiliar scent, and his ears with unfamiliar sound.

It was nothing, Jim realized. He was seeing, hearing, and smelling nothing. He reached out with his hands to push back against the creature, but he couldn’t feel anything. He couldn’t tell if he was still in his bed, or somewhere else. He wasn’t sure if his eyes were open or closed, if he was awake or…


Jim awoke to the sound of the alarm clock, hopped out of bed and stopped it’s horrible blaring. He turned on the small lamp on the nightstand and quickly got dressed.

He turned off the lamp and started towards the bedroom door. He paused, looking into the dark corner of the room. He stood there for a minute, just looking, then he shrugged and turned to go. Nothing there.

Categories: 2014

Jason Penney

I'm a software engineer who likes to write. So I should do that more.

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