In the year of 2013, I lived by myself in a lonely little house close to the beach. I had always felt very safe, I lived in a gated community in which only the people who lived there were permitted to enter. Then, around the month of April, I began to get very paranoid.
I began to have realistic nightmares in which people would break into my house, armed with wicked knives and guns. I would always try to run in these dreams, but it felt like I was going through syrup and I could only move in slow motion. I told myself that I was getting worked up over nothing, and that I was actually safer than most other people. But trying to persuade myself did nothing to help.
Eventually I started having trouble sleeping. I would toss and turn in the middle of the night before exhaustion would overcome me. The next morning I would go to work drained of energy and hardly able to do my job properly.
I finally decided to do something about it, knowing how it was affecting my life as a whole. I never was a really big fan of drugs, so I chose not to get any medicine and instead I got a little radio. It wasn't an advanced kind or anything like that. It just played any disks that you put in it and tuned into the AM and FM stations. Every night I would turn on to classical music and let the sweet melody soothe me until I fell asleep.
This method proved very effective, and before I knew it, my life was back on track. I never felt tired anymore and I was running smoothly again.
Then there came a night when I had too much work to do in my office. I decided to bring all of it home and finish it overnight.
At twelve O’ clock I was still typing away at my computer, occasionally glancing down at a sheet of paper, before returning my heavy eyes to the screen and copying something onto my report. At twelve thirty, I finally finished. I closed my laptop and put it back in my briefcase before turning my radio on, turning off the lights and snuggling deep under the covers.
At first, everything started out normally. A gentle orchestra was playing that slowed my thoughts, and I was about to fall asleep when static unexpectedly clouded over the music I was so used to. Then I heard the steady and unmistakable voice of a radio broadcaster.
Annoyance came over me then and I distinctly remember wondering. How did the radio signals get mixed up like that?
I decided to just listen to whatever the broadcaster was saying. He was speaking in a very monotonous and boring tone, and I knew that I could very easily fall asleep to his voice.
The first words I heard him say were, “The monster slipped by the guards of the gate unnoticed. Darkness was his ally.”
That’s when I realized that what I was listening to was a horror story. I groaned a little on the inside. A story like this in the middle of the night was the last thing I needed to hear. I groped for the radio in the darkness as the broadcaster continued talking… “The beast crawled on all fours through the deserted streets, knowing its prey was inside the houses all around him…”
I finally found the radio on my dresser and twisted the tuning knob. To my dismay, it didn't work. The radio was broken. I shrank back into the warmth of my covers. I probably should have known the radio would break soon; it was, after all, cheap.
I decided to just listen to the story the broadcaster was reading. It was probably an article that had won a local contest or something along those lines. From what I could make out, so far in the story, some sort of monster was lurking in the streets of a town, looking for a way to get inside one of the houses. The broadcaster continued.
“… The beast finally stopped at a redbrick house with an American flag hung on the front porch. It pondered this for a moment before creeping up the walkway and climbing the steps. The beast lingered there for a moment before using a single clawed finger to push open a window next to the door…”
I felt a shiver pass down my spine at the news of the broadcaster as I realized my house was redbrick and had an American Flag hanging on my porch. But there were probably thousands of houses like that, no need to freak out right?
Another shiver passed through me then that had nothing to do with what the broadcaster was saying. The air around me was cold, as if there was a draft coming in, I would take a closer look at it tomorrow. The broadcaster droned on.
“The monster could smell the scent of flesh. It prowled down the hallway and stopped near the end, where a single goldfish swam in a circular glass container. The monster reached in and drew the wriggling fish out with its wrinkly hands before throwing back its head and letting the fish slide down its throat.”
By now I was getting legitimately scared. I owned a goldfish that I kept in a small bowl near the end of the hall, but how was this even possible? Could there be something in my house? I began to tremble, and I broke out into a cold sweat, but I dared not turn the radio off. The broadcaster went on.
“…the monster turned before loping off into a separate hallway, and fixating its yellow, narrow eyes on the door at the far end. It could smell the blood of the man on the other side, who was, perhaps, sleeping.”
I felt close to tears, I was praying, my eyes were open in the darkness, smarting around my room, I screwed them shut, trying to block out the image of what might be on the other side of that door. I began to whisper to myself, “it’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real,” as if this would somehow help my situation. The broadcaster continued…
“The monster crawled down the hall, before stopping at the door opening it.”
I heard the door to my room squeak open, and my heart almost stopped. Then it started beating so fast that I was sure that whatever was in my room with me right now would hear it and pounce on me. I didn't hear what the broadcaster said next, I only heard the thud of a footstep, then another. No matter how much I wanted to, Iwould not look to the foot of my bed, where I knew something stood, observing me. My eyes were shut tight, I was seeing many different colors, and I was blotting out the broadcaster's words. I didn't want to hear them, didn't want to know what would happen next…
Then I heard the footsteps that came into my room retreating, and going back into the hall.
The broadcaster was saying “The beast ambled out of the man’s bedroom and back into the night, disappointedthat the man had been awake and alert to the fact of his presence. The monster preferred to take out victims in their sleep…”
I lay there, listening with mounting fear, knowing what was to happen next in the story. At once, I got up and turned the radio off before reaching in my drawer for my cell phone.
But it was too late.
From next door, I heard a piercing female scream, and then silence.
The next day the police were all over the scene, and the story was in the newspaper, how a woman had been attacked by some kind of animal overnight.
I know the truth.
I destroyed the radio, and never brought a new one.
I never brought any drugs either. I don’t want to fall asleep.
Written by SnakeTongue237