It is just another day for anyone but me. Cars zip past on the highway just beyond my house. The sun is shining down and birds are singing the day’s glory just beyond my windowsill. I can see the leaves of an oak tree swaying in the wind outside. The entrancing deep green has my vision captive. Today would be beautiful, for anyone else. I desperately wish it was for me as well.
In my hallway, at my closed bedroom door, I can hear a scratching. It’s slow and meticulous, but ever-so constant and loud. It woke me up and it’s been going on for almost ten minutes now. I heard it yesterday morning and the morning before that. I’ve always been too afraid to check it out. It’s that scratching that keeps me plastered to the foot of my bed, watching out my window, knowing the sound will eventually break. No matter how scared the noise has made me, I can’t bring myself to find the source. I live all alone, there’s no one there but me.
“Elizabeth,” a voice whispers through the cracks of my flimsy barrier. The sound of my name startles me from my hypnotic gaze. I turn towards the door and my eyes latch onto the door handle. It’s just an ordinary door, with plain white paint and a bronze handle. The scratching gets louder and faster as I look on. My heart is racing in my chest. I’m too scared to ask who’s there. I’m too scared to respond at all, but the sound of nails dragging across the wood definitely sounds like it’s heavier than before. Somehow I wonder if it, whoever, whatever it is, knows I’m looking its way.
“Elizabeth,” It whispers a little louder. The voice is grainy but it floats on the air of my room, making it sound like it’s not beyond the door at all. It’s too hard to discern a gender from it. It barely sounds human. My heart jumps up into my throat as it pounds even harder. I’ve never heard my name with such intent, such malice. I don’t have a soul to watch my back, not in my house. My poor cat, Reios, the only friend I had in this hideous town, ran away just a few weeks back. I moved here to start a new life, but now it seems like I’m trapped in a never-ending nightmare.
This problem was escalating. The scratching was bad, but it always went away. Now it was saying my name? I locked all my doors and windows at night. I couldn’t imagine who or what was out there but it is to be too hard to deal with this madness every morning. With chargin, I get up from my bed, ready to face the terror that called out to me.
The scratching slows and my eyes shift downward. I see a shadow under the door, dark and unmoving. I watch it as I take a step and then another, my bare feet moving slowly and silently over the hardwood floor. The anger that prompted this action recedes into the fear that’s boiling in my stomach. I watch with widened eyes as the shadow moves a little to the left, dragging the noise with it. I can feel my night gown brushing the backs of my legs until I stop, right in front of the door. I can’t even reach for the handle. All I can do is stare at the shadow in front of me. The scratching drags on and my body quivers, no matter how hard I try to stop it.
Would this the day I would face this morning demon? Would I open the door and see what was there the entire time? Could I put an end to this mystery and see who had the gull to call my name?
Before I could even find the strength to reach for the knob, I watch as the shadow dances away from view. At my wits end, I yank the door open, and find nothing. The hallway is empty, but for a small table and a lamp. The sunlight from my bedroom window illuminates the area enough for me to see that it is just a normal hallway, the same one I’d left that night when I went to bed. Today is not the day of legends, it’s just another day.
Credit To – Nixie B. Vilda