The Creeper

A short horror story for those unafraid of the dark nights.

Two shades of darkness beyond the security glass of the back door. Two shapes emerge, one darker than the darkest night, one a shiver of movement that looked like a shark gliding through deep water. Both moving closer to my house, my sanctuary.

The light switch didn’t have the LED green, it wouldn’t move from the off position. All the new high-tech gadgetry lay dormant and dull. What I had to protect myself was a torch. Not a bright lumen LED fancy-schmancy light, just an ordinary torch with a wind-up generator that needed constant input to create a path through the murk beyond the door.

They’d get me this time. Two failures, two nights in a row, I’d beaten them back with the lights and sensors, but now they’d found a way to break through those defenses. It was me, this dull light, and a night that thrummed with a sense that only the most fearful, the most paranoid, can feel.

Imminent death. Or imminent loss of consciousness to avoid the pain of that death. That’s what happened the first time. The fear too great for the mind to manage, so it shut down and blanked me out. And I forgot the incident for so many years.

So many years living with the bliss of ignorance.

Until I went to the counsellor who wanted to do a sleep test which included a non-problematic sleeper as a base measure. That was me. The non-problematic sleeper. Until I went to sleep in the lab.

The video showed the changes, but the vision blacked out completely after a few seconds, and only the observer saw what happened. He freaked out when the door wouldn’t open, and his hand stuck to the frozen handle. He lives somewhere else now.

And I lived here. Alone. In the dark. With the monsters who escaped into the world through that stupid experiment with sleep disorders.

The head psych said it was my projections, but the next session he blamed the other participants for causing mass hypnosis. Yeah. That’s why they’re all now in a locked ward at the hospital, drugged to the gills.

He can’t do that to me, because I was the non-problematic subject. The standard to test the others against. The base measure.

The last time I saw him, I told him about the time I’d forgotten. It came back in tiny little snippets of a memory. Not quite a dream – nightmares can’t be called dreams – and not quite a full recall. What I did recall was the effect it had on my parents. A heart attack took Dad as he tried to push something away from his body. Mum’s autopsy revealed nothing unusual. They put it down to shock.

And I went to live with my last living relative. Who died on my eighteenth birthday. Sudden unexplained death.

I saw her face, her wide open eyes that looked like they’d been popped out from within. I felt the fear of the moment carved into her last breath of terror.

That’s what’s coming for me now. It’s outside, in the shadows of the night, breathing huffs like smoke, and sidling through the patterned leaf-shapes of unlit trees.

The little light from the torch lit up the creeper. “Fear is false emotions appearing real,” I said aloud, mimicking the psych’s favourite speech, and open the door.

Photo by Lennart Wittstock on

NOTE: If you find a post missing, or a picture missing, it’s because I’ve had to do a clean-up of the media library and posts. I hope I’ve also cleaned up all the places they once lived, but if I’ve missed one, I apologise.

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