Monster - Monster
Jim Carnicelli
4/20/2021   |   6/23/2021   |   7/12/2024   |   854

854 words
FNASR offered
Kira Carnicelli


by Kira Carnicelli

4/20/2021    6/23/21    854    3:47
Chapters in this section:
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My brother always played tricks on me. Mom worked late into the evenings, so it was just me and him. He did the usual things big brothers do: pick on me, push me, tell me to go away. Or about the monsters in the house. How you never knew from one moment to the next if they were under the bed, in the closet, the basement, or right around the corner.

Needless to say, I was terrified. They’d get me, he said, and there was no way to stop them.

It got worse the night I woke up to use the bathroom. It was almost pitch black and totally silent. I pushed the covers off and swung my legs over, placing them on the floor. My feet landed on the rug beside the bed and –

Something grabbed my ankle!

I shrieked and jerked away. My brother emerged, whinnying hysterically.

Mom was home sleeping by then and woke from the noise. She was furious at my brother and tried afterwards to break my fear of the unknown. But there was only so much she could do. He never shut up about the monsters, so my fear remained.

One evening, I came home from school to find a note on the kitchen table informing me my brother would be home late as well. I had the house to myself. I went about the evening, settling down near bedtime to watch TV in the living room. I found it strange my brother wasn’t home yet but stifled my worry. Surely he was okay. Surely I was safe, too. The monsters weren’t real.

The monsters weren’t real.

Soon, I would be sleepy enough for the worry to fade. I focused on the TV until I heard a noise behind me, coming from one of the bedrooms.

I turned off the TV and spun around, hoping it was just my imagination. But I heard it again – a distinct bumping sound, like something knocking against the wall. I probably should have left. Taken the phone and called the police. But I was young. I thought I had to make sure there was danger before calling for help so I didn’t bother them for nothing. And if I was going to do that, I had to prepare to protect myself. So I went to the kitchen and grabbed the chef’s knife. Slowly, I made my way down the dark hall. Our hall light had burnt out, and we hadn’t replaced it yet.

I crept past each room, checking inside each one, turning on the lights and leaving them on. So far, all empty. I trembled. Adrenaline coursed through me. I thought I would pee my pants, I was so anxious. Sweat greased my palms and forehead. I worried I’d lose my grip on the knife.

Finally, I reached the last room. I felt, deep in my bones, that someone was there. I’d heard noise – a sound that couldn’t happen without a person making it. And if that person wasn’t in any other room ... this was the only one left.

The hand not holding the knife trembled hard. I began to reach inside for the light. And that’s when it happened. The wild scream. The figure leaping out of the dark, ready to overpower me.

With a cry, I thrust the knife out. It sunk into him. I defied the force of his body that tried to block the weapon. I didn’t know I was that strong.

His wild scream turned to one of agony. Once I realized, I tore the knife out, frozen.

Clutching his chest, he cried, “Call 911!”

I reached for him, as if by holding him up, I could fix everything. He pushed me away. “Call 911!” he persisted. “Go!”

I ran to the living room, where our corded landline sat on the receiver. I’d dropped the knife. Now, I held one shaking finger above the buttons. I knew I should call, but ...

“Hurry!” His shout was accompanied by a thud as he dropped to one knee.

“I’ll get in trouble.” I said it softly, mostly to myself. But he heard me.

“I don’t care. Call them. I’m bleeding!”

I obeyed. The line rang once, followed by the operator’s voice, asking my address and my emergency.

I responded, “My brother got stabbed.”

I don’t know if they could have saved him if they’d come sooner. If I had called sooner.

They took him away. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. They called my mom. They asked me so many questions. My brother never came back. I didn’t go to jail, but it didn’t matter. Nothing was ever the same again.

I waited for my brother to return. I waited for his hand to grip my foot under the bed. I waited and waited. Especially when it was dark. In my bedroom, in the hallway. Where was he? Because you never know when they’re going to jump out and grab you.

You never know.

And I still don’t.