by R.T. Allenson

I stood just a few feet away from the door, barred and barricaded by wooden planks and a chair on the handle. I heard the subtle scraping of wood on the other side, a cold shiver ran down my neck as I closed my eyes.

This isn’t happening, I whispered to myself.

I held the shotgun weakly, my finger ready to pull the trigger. Cold sweat ran down my face and my chest. The door downstairs slammed hard, the sound of glass shattering and chairs being overturned. I’m surrounded. I felt a sting from the wound on my leg, testament to an earlier encounter.

I took the last grenade from my father’s cabinet, pulled the pin and threw it downstairs. It was laced with my blood, so they will surely congregate towards it. A few seconds passed and then, a loud explosion that shook the house. The sound of wood crunching and metal meeting the floor followed and then, a piercing cry of pain. Something like the smell of burning tires made its way upwards and I knew then that at least, one of them had been killed.

My hands began sweating profusely.

Slowly, I made my way downstairs. Thick smoke greeted me and the smell of burning tires. I blew the smoke away until I could at least see the room; the shotgun poised in my hand. The creature had crawled away from the looks of it, it’s acidic blood marked where it went. Outside, where the dim light shone. The smell of burning tires was still in the air.

I took this moment to barricade all the doors with whatever I found lying. My heart raced faster as thoughts of death swirled in my head. The pain in my leg intensified, as if spurred by the scent of burning tires. It felt like my leg would just disintegrate there and I fell to the floor, in agonizing pain.

And then, a sound like that of marbles falling to the floor. The candies.

I rushed upstairs limping, shotgun in hand and ready to fire.

But there was nothing. The door was still closed and whatever lay behind it held at bay by the chair and the wooden planks. The wind. It must have been the wind.

And then, from the corner of my eye, a sudden movement. I turned around and saw a glimpse of a large, unblinking eye rested upon a green stalk. It vanished as quickly as it appeared and I stumbled back clumsily, pulling the trigger and shooting repeatedly across the room.

Enter, the rain and tears; born of panic. I sat there clutching the shotgun to my chest whimpering like a child. There was only one bullet left and for a moment, I contemplated suicide. What’s there to do after all? I’m alone; there’s no one else left in this place, in this town or even this world. Everything having been overrun by an unfathomable visitor that laid waste to the cities of earth in one night. I doubt that there’s a few or even one person other than me left in this world.

A few minutes had passed, myself staring at the candy box upon the corner desk. It would be better if I had been killed in my sleep, like the rest. It was just unfair, a snap of the finger and everything’s hell. I felt a swift wind brush past me where the door was and there, right in the middle of its ancient wooden frame was a hole.

My stomach felt sick, uneasy and I felt like vomiting. Now, I was dead. Whatever’s behind the door is sure to get in.

But what if I shot it? My heart started beating fast; my hands slippery by sweat. Euphoria set in and I laughed and wailed at my triumph.

And then, a flash of green from the hole on the door. A scrappy, twitching sound and then silence; I fell to the floor.

Ever foreboding, the door stood there with the hole at its center. I could make out rushed movement from inside, like lightning except faster. I clasped the shotgun to my chest as a slimy liquid escaped from the hole and like a finger, probed and prodded around almost intelligently. It retreated slowly back into the puncture and heard once more, the scraping of wood. It then came out, again like a liquid until it’s bubbling form transformed into the single, stalked eye. It was hawk-like in its cold, unblinking stare.

I felt a sharp pain in my head, almost as if it was being torn by claws from the inside. It was unbearable, but I kept my eyes fixated on the stalked-eyed monster across the hallway.

<…                         …>

The words were unintelligible and resonated in my ear but I understood its malicious intent, the hidden meaning beneath its seductive lies. The scraping of wood grew louder and the door began to tremble. The presence of the eye was unbearable and I felt it loom every closer to me.

I held the shotgun weakly, pointing either to the monster or to my neck. The light outside was fading, fast. Seconds crawled with the weight of eternity – time was slowing down, this is it…

Only one bullet left, Tony. What’s it going to be?

A/N: Originally titled “Open the Door, If You Will” and from my old blog. Slightly edited and fixed some writing lapses.