Little Fingers

by R.T. Allenson


The cold and stale air lingers; shadows playing in the air as images of terror flash in the darkness like lightning in the sky. I lie patiently in bed, listening attentively to the sounds around me. I know what’s coming, I just need to wait.

And wait…

There’s a crawl space above my bed where once, when I was young, I would climb into without my parent’s knowledge. It was a place where I could escape from our problems for in that crawl space, it was immaculately silent. No one else was there and no one knew of it.

It was my own, my little house inside our rundown house; back then, I didn’t mind the smell smoke and cool fire that permeated the crawl space. I had assumed back then that it was always how the crawl space smelled. I’m 22 years old now and I can still smell the taint of smoke and fire. Had I known back then where the smell came from, I would have thought otherwise to ascend that dreary crawl space above my bed. Even then, the sense of wonder was prevalent. There was a reason that crawl space was above my bed and I’ve always scoured it as best as I can, to find something or anything that would answer my childish motivations. There never was and the age of innocence passed like the seasons, I never looked back at the crawl space or ventured within its claustrophobic bowels. There are things better left lost into the fringes of time, slowly being pressed into oblivion – memories, cruel and painful memories. Better left alone, better left to time..

I’m lying in bed now, thinking what to do and where the rest of my days would take me. It isn’t hard for one to fall into melancholy especially when the age of innocence has passed. Glorious and golden days long gone, now silver with age and lost to time. So many are the careful calculations we make and how amusing as they fail on us when we enact them, perhaps the world is truly against me or I merely live a dreamer’s folly. But there’s no price for dreaming but for remembering, it is often a too steep a price…

I am about to let myself drift into sleep when suddenly, the smell of smoke and fire fills the room. A flash of white pierces the darkness, grinning vehemently as it slowly descends from the crawl space above my head while things like little fingers caress my face. I try to move away but I can’t, I’m paralyzed as I feel the formless chaos enter my skin and writhe inside me. I try to scream but the little fingers cover my mouth. I close my eyes and wait…until I feel something sharp pierce my neck. I scream, hoping I can pierce the overbearing darkness but the silence is too strong. The cold and stale air lingers; shadows playing in the air as images of terror flash in the darkness like lightning in the sky. I start remembering, viewing images of memories flashing within my mind as the creeping darkness slowly overcomes me. The little fingers never stop caressing my face and slowly, taking my hand, they pull me upwards towards that infernal crawl space. I know what’s coming, I know what’s waiting for me…

I wake up the next morning, sweating profusely as I stumble out of my bedroom. I dare not look back where the crawl space looms over me as I might just find what I’m looking for…

…or find what I left behind.

 

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