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Safe in a cradle, and eyes began to close. The hum of the radio eased sleep into place, and bright light faded into
darkness. But somewhere in the dark, they waited for her.
Eyes snapped open, and a little girl sat up in her seat. She glanced outside her window, and all she saw were
trees. A dirt road stretched out ahead of the car, and a knot turned in her stomach. Where was she being taken?
Was it too late to turn back? Should she warn them?
“We’re here.” Her father pulled into a long driveway. “Everyone out.”
The sunlight continued to shine, but she could feel no warmth. Her feet crunched along the gravel driveway, and
her eyes scanned the woods nearby. She knew she was being watched, and they were waiting. But her parents
and siblings seemed oblivious to the danger around them, and then she turned toward the house.
Supposedly, they would be the first family to reside here. The house was believed to have been built over a year
ago, and now, it was all theirs. But it was located somewhere in the boondocks, far from where she called home,
and there was no going back. And something told her that this place had history, history that was better left
“Abby.” She looked at her mother. “Come inside, honey. Don’t you want to see your new room?”
All Abby wanted was to get in the car and drive as far away as she could, but she was only eight. And she was at
her parents’ mercy, and they looked around their new home in pride. Didn’t they realize that something was
wrong? Didn’t they sense it?
Reluctantly, she walked up the steps to the porch. A cool breeze started to blow through the trees, and it drove
chills down her spine. She could feel eyes on her, but they were hiding from sight. And the door slammed closed
The house seemed ordinary. Most of the rooms needed furnishing, but they were very spacious. The bedrooms
upstairs were already awaiting their new occupants, and the old furniture from back home filled up the space
nicely. But no matter how hard she tried to tell herself that it was merely paranoia setting in, she knew this was
different. She knew sleep would not find her here tonight.
The day went by too quickly. Boxes were ripped open and then discarded. Items were placed in drawers and
along the shelf. Dinner came from a fast food restaurant a few miles away, and the cable was still not hooked up.
So, by the end of the night, there was nothing left to do but to adjourn to the bedrooms.
Hesitatingly, Abby closed the bedroom door behind her. The walls were white, bare, and she occupied herself
with hanging up her favorite posters. But that only took half an hour, and it was now pitch black outside. And
there was no shade yet on her window, which greatly disturbed her, but she made sure that the latch was locked
“I should go to sleep.” She looked around the small room. “Sleep would be good.” Her eyes fell on the closet.
She cautiously approached the closet door. Her hand shook as she reached out toward the doorknob. Cold metal
touched her skin, and she nearly withdrew her hand. But with a deep breath, she swung the door open instead.
An empty space met her gaze. She could kill more time by opening her suitcase and hanging up her clothes. She
just didn’t like standing there before all that darkness, but it wasn’t like she was going to be pulled inside. But
that thought was enough for her to slam the door closed, and then she pushed the heavy suitcase up against it.
A soft tap was heard against the door. A muffled “come in” broke through the wood. A moment later, a small
head popped into the room, and a pair of eyes searched the darkness. And then small feet moved toward the bed.
“Mom? Dad? Can I sleep in here tonight?”
“Abby?” Her mother sat up in the bed. “You’re a big girl now. Why don’t you want to sleep in your room?”
“You have to learn not to be scared.” Her father shifted his head against the pillow.
“You can’t sleep in our bed anymore. Like your mother said, you are a big girl now.”
“But I’m scared.”
“No. She has to learn.” Her father stared at her. “I’m sorry, but it’s time to grow up.” He pointed at the door.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of. You’ll see.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.” She started to leave the room. “Good-night.”
Her bedroom door stood open, waiting for her return, and as she stepped in, she could almost have sworn that
the door was pulled shut behind her. But the suitcase remained where it was, up against the closet door, so she
wasn’t worried too much about that. But then she turned toward the window.
The outside world appeared alien. Darkness clung to a sea of trees that stretched out for miles. A small light
shined from a house that was a few feet away, and a shadow passed by one of its windows. And she missed her
old home, which stood next to a series of houses, and when she looked outside her window, she saw life not
wilderness. And every bone in her body begged her to go back, but her parents made their choice. And now she
had to pay for it.
It was a race against time to turn out the light and dive under the covers, but she managed to do it quickly. Her
head found the pillow, and she curled up into a ball. Her eyes closed tight, but her mind was buzzing. And her
ears listened for anything out of the ordinary.
Just as sleep arrived, a scratching was heard. It sounded like something clawing against the glass of her window.
She pulled the covers around her tighter, reminding herself that the window was locked, but then she felt a cold
breeze. And the temperature in the room began to drop.
“Damn it.” She knew not to swear, but whom was she kidding? “The window was locked.”
Peering out into the darkness, she could see that the window was now slightly ajar. A cold breeze continued
flowing into the room. The scratching however stopped, and that bothered her even more. But did she dare step
out of the bed and close the window?
After a long moment, she bounced out of bed and turned on the light. She glanced at the closet door, making sure
that it remained closed, and then she turned toward the window. She knew if she stared long enough through the
darkness that she would see something, something that she did not want to see. She quickly slammed the
window closed and snapped the lock once again in place, and then it was another race against time. She only had
seconds to turn off the light and dive under her covers, which she managed to do.
Sleep crept toward the bed, but a pool of green light reached her first. Her eyes once again peered into the
darkness and found that it was flowing from underneath her closet door. Reluctantly, she moved out from under
the covers and stepped down on the carpeted floor, and she kept her back toward the window. She knew it was
close, but where was the light coming from?
The green light continued to envelop the room. Its essence tingled her skin, and she moved the suitcase away
from the closet door. Her hand reached for the doorknob, and the metal felt warm against her skin. And the
doorknob started to turn in her hand, breaking her out of her daze, and she slammed the suitcase back into
place. And the light disappeared.
Something was playing with her, and it was watching her every single move. And it was anticipating that she
would now return to bed, but instead, she turned on the lamp. She felt safer with the light on, and something told
her that it would keep it away. And then she returned to bed.
Something banged against the window. She nearly jumped out of her skin, but she did not dare peer out
anymore from under the covers. Instead, she waited for sleep, which finally came, and her eyes began to close.
And somewhere in the dark, it waited, and as she fell further into dreams, the light went out.
For years, whatever lurked outside her window tormented her. Nightmares tore at her mind. Her room
remained the coldest out of the house. Her closet was always barricaded, and the light being left on changed into
a television set playing through dawn. And then one day, she finally left home.
A young woman now sat before the window. The room was no longer white but dark with age. The closet door
was open, and the carpeting told the trials of time. And darkness was coming, but she was no longer scared.
She could sense its approach, its anger, but she was not that little girl anymore. And it knew that, but still it
hovered close to her room. And a pane of glass separated them, and only in her moments of weakness did it grow
strong. But those times were now rare, and she would no longer be its pawn.
The light flashed off, and she curled up into bed. She knew if she raised the blinds that she would see it, but she
never did want to see the monster that terrorized her all those years ago. She was stronger now, and it sensed
that. Her nightmares were finally over, and sleep was the blanket that covered her. And all it could do was stay
beside the window, trapped in the wilderness outside, and sometimes, she could still hear a faint scratching
against the glass. But she knew there would come a day soon when this monster would finally be gone, and when
the house was ready to be sold, the next family to live here would be free.
And as she drifted to sleep, she could hear her brother walk the floors. Nobody could sleep in this house, but his
condition was the worst. And her parents doze in oblivion through Ambien, and the rest of her siblings had long
moved out, going as far away from here as they could. But none of them ever knew why except for her, but how
could she explain it to them? It was now history, history that was better off left alone.
©2015 Melissa R. Mendelson [All Rights Reserved]
|REVIEW STORE: Did you enjoy Melissa's short story? Please tell her so. We know she will appreciate your
feedback.feedback. CLICK HERE to write a review of "Glass Window".
NEW REVIEWS: Another real life, real time thriller by Melissa. There are familiar shadows here,
recognizable by all children, invisible to selfish moms and dads. Like Crissa, Abby will find her own answers to
"monsters that creep in the night." A delightful read, Melissa. Thanks for sharing it with us at Literary
Masters,Inc.****__Jean Ann Morgan.
The work of a progressively improving word smith. Nothing waisted here. Nice smooth flow from situation to
situation, like a fine Broadway play. Gave me a few goose bumps and reminders of what lurks behind closed,
closet doors. Better not to open them and let the bad things out. I really enjoyed it, Melissa. ****__Su Chang.
Melissa really knows how to get the adrenalin flowing. Nothing scarier in writing than a scared child and the
monsters that torment her or him. Thanks for another easy-to-read and enjoyable piece, Melissa. ****__
Captain Apple Jack.
By Melissa R. Mendelson
Wednesday, June 12, 2015
Rated "G" by the Author.
And a pane of glass separated them.