The Thing in the Closet

Posted on 05/26/2010
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The sudden lightning and crashing of the thunder woke little Billy out of a restless sleep. The rain clacking at the window like long wicked finger nails only added to the fright that held him paralyzed in his bed. Again another hit of lightning struck with a sudden crash of thunder following it. He could tell the storm was directly over his house now. The lightning and thunder exploded right outside his bedroom window as the rain poured down. When the lighting would strike Billy could swear that he saw things outside his window; Long, strange evil things with claws the size of daggers. “They’re only the trees. They have to be just the trees”. He said in an effort to console himself. He lay there watching the rain bang at his window as the tree things seemed to move closer. With every step the tree things took, Billy felt his strength to move slip away. “Close my eyes and count to ten. That will make it go away” Billy told himself in childish desperation. So he did. He closed his eyes and counted to ten. When he opened them to his horror the tree thing was now at his window. Its long, branch fingers were scratching at his window.


Thunder roared again, lightning flashed and a sudden screech of laughter shocked Billy into a frozen panic. Where had the laughter come from? Billy’s eyes began to search his room. Fear and dread were soon taking over his every sensation. He squeezed his eyes shut again. After a few moments Billy lay there. Nothing seemed to happen anymore. Was he safe to leave his room and run to the sanctuary of his mommy and daddy’s bedroom? He felt his strength returning. “On the count of three, I’ll just run out. That’s what I’ll do.” The lightning and thunder still poured. The tree thing had seemed to give up its quest to enter Billy’s bedroom swaying away from the window now. Relief began to take over the fear he felt only seconds ago. But then a sudden movement in his closet stole his attention from the rain. There was something in there.

The door to his closet part way opened, hid the image of something that was in there and it was looking at him. He could feel it looking at him. He tried to sit up but his body again became unable to move. To make matters worse, he felt a heavy weight on his chest, one that he was all too familiar with. On his night stand next to his bed lie his inhaler, so close but still too far to reach for. He knew the best thing to do was to just grab it and take in a dose but his arms wouldn’t move. He just laid there, his eyes struggling to make out the figure of the thing in his closet that seemed to be peering out at him. “Go away!” he whispered. Another screeching laugh hit his ears but this time he knew where it had come from. It was in his closet. His breathing became labored as he and the thing in his closet stared at each other. Thoughts began to swim through his mind so quickly he couldn’t get a grasp on a single one. It moved again! Billy lay there sweat beading on his face and head, his chest heaving up and down watching the thing in the closet move around. Another explosion of thunder and lightning pulled a silent scream from poor Billy. He opened his mouth but no sound came out. The thing was smiling. He could see its sharp, jagged teeth through its wicked grin. What the hell was he going to do? He felt an asthma attack might come on but his inhaler there on his night stand seemed to far from reach. He struggled to move his arms but he couldn’t move a damn part of his body. That thing had Billy right where he wanted him and they both knew it. “Mama” he tried to cry out but all he could get out was a slight whisper. The thing grew amused. It’s screeching laughter taunting Billy. Billy watched in horror as it jumped up and down and clapped his hands as Billy struggled to call for his mommy. Suddenly it decided to speak to Billy. The sound of its voice was like nails being dragged across a chalk board. It pierced poor Billy’s eardrums. “Oh Billy” it chuckled. “Trying to call for your mommy?” Billy’s heart raced. “I’m gonna get you Billy”, the thing sang. “I’ve been waiting for you.” Billy’s body lay flat and still. His limbs like stone. He could not move. The lightning and thunder struck again sending Billy into a complete panic. His breathing growing more and more labored.


The thing slowly began to push open the closet door. Billy’s eyes shot from the window back to the thing in his closet. As it moved a wet slimy sound came with it. Billy’s closet door slowly opened further. Billy was losing his air second by second. Billy felt him lose control of his bladder as his pants became soaked with his own urine. Billy watched as the things long, bony fingers with even longer jagged finger nails worm their way out of the closet, pushing the door further open.

Billy closed his eyes. He began to remember back to a time when he played outside in the neighborhood with his friends. He remembered skateboarding through the neighborhood. He remembered riding past old man Slater’s house and being dared to ring the doorbell. “Come on Billy. You’re not a sissy are you?” Came the chanting question from his so called friends. Not wanting to look like a sissy he pulled his inhaler from his pocket took in a dose and began to walk toward the front door. Sliding his inhaler back into his pocket he looked back at his friends, all wild-eyed as they witnessed the bravery that Billy struggled to display. He walked slowly to the door, his finger pointing in front of him, ready to press the door bell. He focused on the button. It was old and dirty, like the rest of old man Slater’s house. He felt worms crawling in his belly as he reached out. Just as he prepared to push the button the door swung open. It was old man Slater staring down at him, a scowl stretched across his old and wrinkled face. Billy fell back as the old man stared down at him. Old man Slater stepped out of the doorway as Billy scrambled backward to run away. As he turned he saw that his friends were already gone. Some friends he thought. Old man Slater reached out to grab Billy but Billy got up just in time to run down the stairs and get away. Looking back now, Billy wondered if old man Slater was simply trying to help him up. He would never know.


The screeching giggle and slithering sound snapped Billy back to the reality that was waiting for him in his room. The thing wasn’t in his closet anymore. It was now in the corner of his room. Standing there grinning at Billy it tormented him. Billy knew he was done for. Whether it was from the panic of the thing staring at him or from the chronic asthma he suffered, Billy’s breathing grew labored and shallow. His face began to tingle; his body became numb as the thing now standing over him held him in his grasp. With horror Billy watched the thing begin to pull the air from Billy. He felt the thing taking and eating away at his life force. Billy had no strength to struggle against the thing that had come for him. He knew he would never win.

The next morning, Billy’s mother walked into his room. Billy lay in bed. He was very still. His mother shook him to wake but he did not move. She screamed for his father. As he ran in they saw Billy’s inhaler on the floor next to his bed. His father cried, “Dear God. He must’ve had an attack in the middle of the night.” His mother and father held each other crying as they look at Billy’s lifeless body.

Author: Roberta Griffin Copyrighted ©