It was approaching ten o'clock at night in the home of Molly and Dean Chaucer. The sun had dissapeared over the horizon hours before, leaving a bright full moon to light the earth in its wake. A slight breeze blew through the pines on either side of the two story house.
\tA light switched on in the back porch, and a man set a white cat out onto the back steps. Then the man turned around and closed the door. The cat looked back at the light shining through the window and mewed pitifully. When the door did not open to recieve it, the cat curled itself into a ball on the welcome mat, its amber eyes watchful.
\tUpstairs Molly sat next to her eight year old son Micheal in his bed. A large book was draped accross their laps, and shown on the cover was a giant pirate ship in the midst of a great battle. Molly had finished reading the latest chapter of "Treasure Island" to Micheal, and was warding off his begging for her to read another chapter.
\t"Just one more mom! Please?" he pleaded, turning his bright blue eyes to her light green ones.
\t"I've already read you THREE chapters tonight! If I read you anymore I'll be too tired to get to bed! I'll end up flopping all over the floor and you'll see me dragging myself down the hallway. Your father wouldnt like to wake up in the morning only to step on a very squashy doormat in the hallway, now would he?" She exclaimed jokingly.
\t"No I guess not... Hey mom?" he enquired.
\t"Yes Micheal?" she said.
\t"Are there really such things as pirates? And things like ghosts?"
\t"Well, unless you count in the carribean or whatever, no, not really"
\t"THere are ghosts in the carribean???"
\t"No, no... not ghosts.. I mean pirates."
\t"You mean they have big wooden ships, and cannons, and... and talking parrots?"
\t"Not quite like that hun. A long time ago there were pirates like that, but nowadays it's just mostly people who hijack tourist boats."
\t"Oh," said Micheal dissapointedly "But... what about ghosts? Do you believe in ghosts?"
\t"Well, no... I dont suppose I do." she said thoughtfully "But if one were ever to appear downstairs one morning, shimmering slighly in the morning sun while cooking bacon on the stove, I might reconsider."
\tMicheal laughed as he pictured a pudgy cartoon ghost in a chef's hat cooking him breakfast.
\t"Are you SURE we couldnt read just one more, teeny tiny chapter?" he pleaded.
\tMolly considered for a moment. He looked so cute in his blue striped pajamas, his light brown hair falling in front of his bright blue eyes that were looking up at her pleadingly.
\t"No honey," she said, and he sagged dejectedly down onto the pillow "but we'll read another couple of chapters tomorrow.... ok?"
\tShe bent over and brushed the hair out of his eyes.
\t"Three chapters?" he implored.
\t"Ok, ok, three chapters."
\tShe bent over once more and kissed him on the forehead, then got out of the bed. She set the book down on the nightstand and tucked him in.
\t"So, are you all tucked in and ready for bed now?" she asked.
\t"Yes mommy!" He said, grinning up at her."
\t"No toes stickign out of the covers?" she questioned.
\t"Nope!" and he wiggled his toes, moving the fabric, to prove it.
\t"What about your nose?"
\tMicheal giggled and pulled the covers up so only his eyes and forehead showed "Covered!" he said in a muffled voice.
\t"Well ok then, there's only one last thing to do!" and she tickled him feircely through the covers.
\tMicheal screamed and giggled and kicked until she stopped, then looked up at her with his face uncovered and his toes sticking out of the blanket.
\tShe kissed him on the forehead once again "Good night Micheal, sweet dreams."
\t"Good night mommy." he replied with a yawn.
\tMolly turned to close the door when Micheal's muffled voice spoke through the blankets.
\tShe opened the door and came back in partway.
\t"Could you leave the door open please?" he asked, wide eyed.
\t"Did the book scare you?" she asked him, concerned.
\t"No." he answered.
\t"Just the dark?" she asked.
\t"Ok sweetie, but you know, you have to get over your fear of the dark sometime."
\t"I know mommy, but could you just leave it open for tonight? Please?" he pleaded.
\t"Well... " she hesitated, "Ok Micheal, just for tonight."
\t"Thanks mommy!" he said sleepily.
\t"You're welcome Micheal. Now good night."
\tMicheal snuggled down into his blankets, a slight smile on his face. Molly watched him through the door and waited until his breating became slow and even, and then she shut the door, blocking out all light, except for the moon shining through the window.
\tMolly had second thoughts about closing the door, but shook them off.
\t"If Dean comes up and finds the door open again it will just start an argument. Besides, he's already asleep." She reassured herself, and went downstairs to let the cat back in.
\tWhen she opened the door the cat streaked into the house like a bolt of lightning, and hid underneath the recliner.
\t"What's wrong Chansey Boy?" she crooned to the cat as she crouched down to look at him. "It's ok kitty Kitty!"
\tShe put her hand under the recliner to pet him and perhaps calm him down, but he scooted further back behind the furniture.
\t"Well, fine, be that way." she said to the cat, and gave him one last glance before going up the stairs to join her husband in bed.
\tMeanwhile, Micheal was dreaming peacefully of pirates and treasure. He was Jim on the deserted island, and was in a battle with Black Beard. Black Beard's parrot sat on his shoulder as he fought Micheal. Micheal brought his sword up against the pirate. The weapons clashed against each other with a mighty force. Then Micheal drew back his sword and swung it with all his might. To his pleasure, the sword went right through the pirate.
\t"Ha, ha!" he yelled to himself in his dream, but his laughter slowly turned into a horrified silence.
\tThe pirates eyes opened in fear. He stared at Micheal's sword, which Micheal noticed was dripping in blood. The pirate looked down to see blood pouring from his gut. He leaned forward, and with an unpleasent "shluck," his top half slid off his bottom half, revealing guts and bone and blood. Horrified, Micheal took a step back. The pirate's severed upper torso reached out it's hand and grabbed onto Micheal's ankle.
\t"Micheal......" the pirate rasped. "Micheal......."
\tOnly it wasnt the pirate anymore, it was his mother.
\t"Why Micheal? Why? What did I do to deserve this Micheal? You've killed me! You've killed me you little *******!" she accused.
\tHorrified, Micheal stepped back from his mother.
\t"I... mommy.. I.. I didn't mean.." but his mother and the beach dissapeared before his eyes. Micheal was left in a cold dark room. He looked around desperately.
\t"Mommy?" he cried. "Mommy? Mommy I'm sorry! Where are you?"
\tOut of the shadows a creature apeared. It lumbered slowly towards Micheal, and he shrank back towards the black wall.
\t"Stay away, stay away from me!" he cried desperately.
\tThe thing came closer and closer. Micheal scrabbled ineffectively at the walls, his eyes locked in terror at the shadow approaching. Suddenly the beast stepped out into the light.
\t"Peices of Eight!" squawked the parrot.
\tMicheal breathed a sigh of relief. It was only Black Beards parrot. Terror seized him again. What if Blackbeard was here with his bird? His severed torso dragging itself ever so slowly towards him! He didn't want it to turn into his mother again. He was about to stand up and run when he heard his name called for the third time.
\t"Micheal........" rasped the voice. "Micheal......."
\tMicheal turned looking for the pirate only to see the parrot. It glared up at him with cold, gray eyes.
\t"Micheal......." the parrot said in a deep scratchy voice. "I'm going to get you.... Micheal...." and then the parrot's eyes turned red and it's beak clicked menacingly.
\t"No! No, oh please no!" Micheal pleaded. "No, no! No!"
\tMicheal gasped and sat up in bed. His eyes were closed but he strained his ears at the darkness. He knew what the dream meant. He shivered and lay down again, keeping his eyes closed, and pulled the covers over his head. He hoped the voice would just stay in his dream, that he wouldnt hear the rasping voice outside his window as he had for weeks.
\tHe lay there, silent, straining his ears for a sound, but none came. He sighed with relief and tried to go back to sleep.
\t"Micheal" a raspy voice whispered from the darkness. "Miiiicheaaaalllll......."
\tMicheal's breathing became faster. He gripped his quilt and pulled it down even more over his head, but he kept his eyes closed.
\t"Micheal...... I know you're awake micheal......"
\t"YOu're not real, you're not real!" he whispered desperately into the darkness " There's nothing there, nothing there at all!"
\t"No, no no! Nothing there! Nothing there at all!" Micheal reassured himself.
\tSuddenly Micheal had the feeling of arms sliding up his bed. He gasped and squeezed his eyes even tighter as the hundreds of fingers ran up and over his back, meeting another on the opposite side, and clamping together.
\t"No! No, no no! This isn't happening!" Micheal said hysterically as the arms tightened, cutting off his breath" You cant do this! I haven't opened my eyes! YOu can't do anything to me! You can't, you can't!!!"
The arms binding Micheal vanished, and he sucked in deep gulps of air.
\t"Micheal....." rasped the voice once again. "Such a clever boy..."
\t"I just have to keep my eyes closed, just until seven." he said to himself desperately "Seven is the magic number, after seven the sun comes up, and he cant get me anymore. He can't me"
\t"Such a clever, clever little boy arent you Micheal....." the voice whispered harshly. "Micheal....... Miiiicheaaaal....."
\tSafely under his coveres Micheal shivered. He heard the wind pick up outside. Branches scraped at the windows, and the glass started to rattle. Micheal knew it wasn't the wind. It was The Thing. The Thing that waited outside his window for him every full moon. The rattling, howling, and scraping became louder. Micheal's electronic toys turned on and began moving about the room by themselves. His radio dial moved up and down, making screeching and moaning noises as it passed various stations. His room near the windows started to shake, but his bed remained untouched.
\t"No, no, no! You can't hurt me!" Micheal convinced himself between sobs. " You cant.... you can't..... MOMMY! I want my mommy! Mommy! Mommy! MOMMMY!!!!!!!"
\tThe noise stopped abruptly.
\t"Micheal? Micheal are you ok?" His mom's voice came out of the darkness, from the direction of the doorway."Come out from under the covers Micheal, its ok... just come out of the covers."
\tMichea pulled the coveres down, but kept his eyes shut tight.
\t"That's a good boy. Now open your eyes micheal." his mother's voice crooned.
\tMicheal shook his head back and forth, squeezing his eyes tighter.
\t"Open your eyes Micheal!" his mother's voice demanded, turning cold and harsh. "Mommy is telling you to open your eyes! NOW OPEN YOUR GOD DAMNED EYES MICHEAL! OPEN THEM UP MICHEAL OR MOMMY SHOVE A SCREW DRIVER IN YOU EYES AND PRY THEM OPEN! OPEN THEM UP OR I'LL STRANGLE YOU IN YOUR BED!"
\tMicheal dived back under the covers, his hands over his ears. Hands closed around his throat and he gasped as they started shaking him back and forth.
\t"Mommy! Mommy mommy MOMMY!!! YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!!! YOU'RE HIM!, AND YOU CANT HURT ME BECAUSE MY EYES ARE STILL CLOSED!!!"
\tThe hands released their grip on Micheal. He gave a sob and dived under the covers once more.
\t"Micheal...... Miiiicheaaalll... I'm going to get you Micheal...." the voice rasped, full of malice.
\t"No, no, no! You cant hurt me, not unles I open my eyes! Just go away! Go away, go away go away!!"
\t"I'm not going away Micheal" the voice said coldly, with a laugh that sent chills up Micheal's spine. "Not until you look at me. Just look at me micheal, and I'll go away... I'll go away and I'll leave you alone forever and ever."
\t"No! I know what you'll do! I'll open my eyes and then you'll pull me under the bed, or in the closet, or wherever, and you'll... you'll.. you'll eat me!!!!" Micheal yelled, sobbing into his blankets.
\t"Such a smart, clever little boy, aren't you Micheal?" The voice hissed. "Well.... we'll see... we'll see...."
\tMicheal drew quick breaths and continued to cry. Hours later his sobs had vanished but he still remained alert, straining for the voice in the darkness. Soon the chirping of the crickets stopped and was replaced by the sound of birds. Morning was approaching.
\t"Micheal......" the voice starts again.
\tMicheal twitched in his bed and pulled the covers closer.
\t"Micheal... open your eyes Micheal.. there's only a few minutes left until seven Micheal..... just open your eyes..."\t"You can't make me!!!" Micheal whispered. "I won't until mommy's alarm goes off! And her alarm never goes off until seven o'clock! Its almost time now! In a few minutes you will go away and you won't be able to get me!!!"
\t"But I'll get you micheal... "The voice said with a cold chuckle."I'll come back, I always come back micheal..... always....."\tThe voice died down and the room was filled with silence once more.
\t"Micheal!" the raspy voice started again, more desperate this time."Open your eyes micheal.... only a few minutes left Micheal! Just open you reyes and look at me Micheal! Look at me and I will go away forever! LOOK AT ME AND IT WILL ALL BE OVER MICHEAL! JUST LOOK AT ME MICHEAL! LOOK AT ME MICHEAL! LOOK AT ME MICHEAL! LOOK AT ME MICHEAL!\tThe voice continued to scream over and over again.
\t"NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!" Micheal screamed back, with his hands over his ears. " I WONT I WONT I WONT I WONT!!! YOU CANT MAKE ME!!! YOU CANT MAKE ME YOU CANT!!! I WONT I WONT I WONT!"
\tAn alarm clock goes off into the distance, its steady beeping barely heard through Micheal's screams. The other voice is silent.
\t" I WONT I WONT I WON't! I.... I.... I wont......HA! HAHA!" he laughed triumphantly "ITS SEVEN OCKOCLK AND YOU DIDN"T GET ME! YOU DIDN"T GET ME!!!!"
\tMicheal threw off the covers and opened his eyes, expecting to meet the welcome sunrise and the smell of the early morning.
\tHis nostrils filled with a putrid odor, and his eyes widened in fear as he looked at the man hovering outside his two story window. Micheal's eyes lock onto the man's in terror. His mouth opened as if to scream, but no sound came out. The man grinned, and his mouth was revealed to be filled with sharp, hideous, yellow teeth. But, Micheal can look at nothing but the man's eyes.
\tThe greyest, coldest, most peircing eyes stared back at him from his window. As Micheal stared into his eyes a dot of black appeared. It slowly started to swirl around in the man's iris. It swirled around and around until it filled the space where the grey and the white once was. Black, unseeing holes stare out at Micheal.
\t"Good morning.... micheal" Says the man, and his mouth turns up into a sneer as blood drips from his fangs.
\tMicheal screamed once more but was silenced.
\tMolly sat up in bed suddenly, feeling terrified. She was breathing heavily. Her husband woke at her movement.
\t"What's wrong Molly?" he asked.
\t"I..... I... don't remember" she stuttered.
\tDean yawned. "Why's the alarm going off" he grumbled sleepily.
\t"Hm?" she said distractedly." Well... it's seven.. it always goes off at seven dear.
\t"But it's not seven o'clock" he said with an air of annoyance. "Don't you remember? Last night was daylight saving's time.... we set all the clocks back an hour... its only six. You must have forgotten to set your clock back."
\t"Oh yes...." Molly dwelled on the nightmare she couldn't remember." Set... set the clocks back."
\tShe turned over and switched off the alarm, then set it for another hour. She settled back down onto the bed under her quilt, and into an uneasy sleep. She was unable to remember what had terrified her, except for a pair of cold, peircing grey eyes, looking at her from the darkness.