Chapter 4

Chapter 4

A Chapter by Louis McKraker

How foolish did I feel when I turned to find my old Grandma standing behind me, as startled by my reaction as I was by her hand creeping along my shoulder?

Well, we can leave it at I felt foolish, my friends. Very, very foolish.

For a moment, she may have crept up on me like cold death, but now she was just a sixty year old woman. And, these days, she barely stood taller than I.

Very, very foolish, indeed.

“Sorry, Lori,” Grandma apologized, as I sighed a big relief. “I never meant to frighten you like that. I just wanted to know if you wanted to come down for tea before bed. I always have a cup or two before I cash in for the night. I sleep a lot better afterward, ya know?”

My eye was locked on a key she was wearing on the chain around her neck.

Then my attention went from her neck charm to the question she’d just ask me. A cup of tea before bed did sound good, but I knew I was too tired to need it, or to have late-night conversation with the woman.

“I think I’ll pass on it tonight, Gramma,” I answered.

Just then, a deep yawn came across me. I covered my mouth with the back of my hand and gave the monster its due. When the yawn-beast had at last escaped, I drew my hand from my mouth.

“I’d love to,” I confessed. “But it doesn’t seem like I need it tonight.

Grandma made a little smile, before she turned to walk away.

Was that all she had left of a smile? I asked myself. Just a ghostly woman? Did she not have the energy left to go full-facial for the camera these days?

Then a bittersweet feeling fell on me.

“How about tomorrow night?” I asked her, as she came to the bedroom door.

She turned back to me, the same little smile on her weathered face.

“Tomorrow will be fine,” she affirmed. “Goodnight, Sweetie. I hope you kids sleep well tonight.”

Then she was gone from my room and downstairs in the kitchen. She sure does move lightly, quickly and quietly for an older woman.

For a brief moment, as I got dressed for bed in my sleeper pants and a t-shirt,

I began to wonder-worry myself, as I’m known to do from time.

It was a term my mom coined just for me.

I wonder-worry sometimes. And sometimes I worry-wonder.

I’m not sure which of the two I was doing at that very moment, as I threw myself lifelessly on the soft bed, but I could only wonder why I had been frightened by Grandma just moments before.

I know, as well as any sane girl my age that monsters like that are just make-believe. Zombies don’t crawl out of their graves and come at your throat with their dirty, bloody fingernails outstretched, to strangle the life out of you.

I also know that a mummy’s severed hand, cursed or not, would never crawl its way like an inchworm across my skin when I’m alone at night; coming to me, demanding horrible deeds from me, until the end of my own life…

And that’s why I was wonder-worrying right then and there. Something strange had put those ideas in my head. And worse, something made me believe long enough to be frightened that they might actually do that.

Sprawled out across a bed less slept in than my own, and much more comfortable, I asked myself: What made me rattle so easily? Me. Of all the “almost-adults” out there, I would say I probably scare less than any of them.

It was like the thought itself was unnatural. Not of my own making.

It was as if something else--some kind of outside force, Grandpa would likely call it�"put thoughts of fear and panic in my mind. And for that moment, at least, it worked. Whatever it was.

Then, with what energy my face could muster, I commanded inside my own mind a voice of my own. A voice that spoke clearly: All things foreign, friend or foe, stay out of my head.

Not that it worked at all.

 

I lay restlessly under my bedcovers, staring out the window next to my bed. That sometimes happens on the first night I sleep in a new place. I know their house was not a new place to me at all, but it felt like it. It seemed it had been that long.

At that moment, though, a fat moon was growing over Aurora. I had watched it go from deep orange to light yellow earlier. Now it was bright and white. It almost looked like daylight outside.

I knew that I could lie in bed and watch the moon all night. I have done it so many times. I was too tired to watch it any longer, though. I yawned one last time, and then I pulled and string and drew the blind down.

Now that my bedroom was dark, I rolled over on one side, facing the doorway. When my eyes adjusted to the darkness a little more, I saw something that scared me like I hadn’t known in years.

A dark and shadowy figure stood in my doorway.

Lying on my side, I couldn’t see how tall it might be; but I could see it was a slender human figure.

Grandma is a heavier woman, so I knew the figure could not be her. And Grandpa was even heavier.

My skin crawled, and I wanted to hide under the cover like a small child.

When the shadowy figure began whispering to me, I thought I might actually scream.

Screaming, though, I considered, might wake David and Grandma. They would likely show up just in time for this phantom figure to have scared the life out of me and disappear.

Lori, the low, crackling voice whispered through the darkness.

Even as it whispered across the room to me, I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t real. The whispering was different from the chattering whisper I followed up the stairs earlier. This one came from a single voice. A voice that was slow and crackly. Low and eerie.

Lori…

I closed my eyes, most of my body shivering under the covers. I told myself when I opened them again; the shadowy figure would be gone from my doorway. I told myself that something was changing in me, and now my imagination was simply playing with me.

I told myself that my imagination running away with me was just another tumble of youth I was going through. One last big fling before my mind became an adult’s, and was too bogged down with reality to be frightened by nonsense.

I told myself all of this. But none of it worked.

Lori, the low, crackling voice whispered again.

I opened my eyes again, my pulse racing, and saw that the figure still lurked in my bedroom doorway.

Then it began to move.

The dark shadowy figure was still there!

And it was coming for me!



© 2019 Louis McKraker


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Featured Review

Now THIS chp does NOT let me forget this is a suspenseful thriller. You've got foreshadowing & mood enhancers all along. I am definitely starting to feel the way suspense is building, really, for the first time in the chp's I've read so far. To a large degree, the suspense-building is happening in the narrator's mind, as she goes along thinking this & noticing that. It would be fun to also inject some action-oriented details or mini-scenes, to show her surroundings are reverberating with her spooky thoughts. Things that bump & grind in the dark. This reads a little less dynamic than it could be, without having some stuff that happens OUTSIDE of her mind & her imaginings. (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

I'll finish your book in another sitting . . . this is enuf for now . . . all in all, definitely shaping up to be a compelling read.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Now THIS chp does NOT let me forget this is a suspenseful thriller. You've got foreshadowing & mood enhancers all along. I am definitely starting to feel the way suspense is building, really, for the first time in the chp's I've read so far. To a large degree, the suspense-building is happening in the narrator's mind, as she goes along thinking this & noticing that. It would be fun to also inject some action-oriented details or mini-scenes, to show her surroundings are reverberating with her spooky thoughts. Things that bump & grind in the dark. This reads a little less dynamic than it could be, without having some stuff that happens OUTSIDE of her mind & her imaginings. (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

I'll finish your book in another sitting . . . this is enuf for now . . . all in all, definitely shaping up to be a compelling read.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 10, 2019
Last Updated on December 6, 2019


Author

Louis McKraker
Louis McKraker

NC



About
My name is Louis McKraker. I was born in Central Alabama and began writing at age nine. I don't have much to say about myself, except I'm a Piscean. I prefer poetry over prose. I love storytelling... more..

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A Chapter by Louis McKraker


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A Chapter by Louis McKraker