Under the Sheets (Part 5)

Posted by [Deleted user] on Friday 31.08.2012 at 09.24

Someone please help me. I’m scared, and I don’t know what to do.

Things have changed. I don’t understand what’s happening, but something’s very wrong.

Yesterday morning I saw Mr Johnstone. Mr Johnstone who’s supposed to be dead. Mr Johnstone who looks and smells dead, but apparently enjoys walking his corpse self around the footpaths behind his house.

I woke up early yesterday. I hadn’t been sleeping well anyway, I was too freaked out by everything that had happened the night before. So I decided to go for a walk, which is something I like to do. I was heading towards the burned laboratory, more out of a morbid fascination that any genuine desire to see it again, and the meandering route I was taking happened to lead past the back of the Johnstones’ house.

I was still quite a way away when I saw movement in the trees behind their garden. I wasn’t bothered, though. What did it matter to me if there was another early morning walker? Sure, snooping around the house where two people had just been murdered was a little strange, but I wasn’t in much of a position to judge.

As I got closer to the figure I began to notice the smell. I’ve never smelled anything like it. It was absolutely repugnant –I honestly had no idea things could smell that bad. The figure itself was behaving strangely too; not really moving, just kind of wobbling from side to side.

I coughed, and it began to turn towards me. It was then that I recognised the silhouette, so I coughed again to get his attention.

He began lumbering towards me, still obscured by the bushes but clearly recognisable. The stench became overpowering, and I was almost sick.

With a crash, he burst out of the bushes in front of me. I… I almost can’t bear to describe him.

His face was grey and swollen. His mouth hung open, and his eyes were milky white. I think he was blind.

There was a huge gash on the left side of his neck. It was no longer bleeding, but it had obviously bled a lot because most of the front of his shirt was stained red.

I think I screamed, but I don’t remember. All I know is that when he started towards me, his arms outstretched and grasping like a greedy child’s, I turned and ran as fast as my legs could carry me.

In my panic, I ended up in the village. It must have been almost ten by then, and the shops were fairly busy. Being surrounded by people calmed me down no end, but I didn’t tell anyone what I’d just seen. I thought they’d think I was crazy, or that I had a really inappropriate sense of humour.

I stopped in the café, and managed to convince myself to tell the police. I hid in the bathroom, so that no one would overhear my story, but I couldn’t get any signal on my phone.

I left, deciding to head back home and use the landline.

The police didn’t seem too interested. It probably didn’t help that my story sounded really stupid (“hey, I just saw my recently murdered neighbour walking around the woods… you might want to check that out”). Basically they just told me that the Johnstones were definitely dead, and that I should try to relax.

Which is probably what I should have expected.

I spent the rest of the day washing trash TV and snacking. Steven knocked on my door late in the afternoon to tell me that there were a lot of bizarre rumours going around the village, but I didn’t invite him in. I… just couldn’t face telling the story again.

I went to bed pretty early. I think I just wanted not to be awake anymore.

I was just about to get into bed when I heard this weird whimpering from my sister’s room, kinda like she was having a bad dream or something. I was going to ignore it, but then I heard it again so I thought I’d go and check on her.

She was just lying in bed, her arms limp and a book fallen by her side. I could have thought she’d just fallen asleep with the light on, but her eyes were open and she was staring at me, and I could see that she was terrified.

I took a step towards her and she whimpered again, and then I saw a shape underneath her duvet, moving towards the head of the bed.

I ran over and pulled the duvet off, and then I really screamed.

On my sister’s stomach, juxtaposed against her pink flowery pyjamas, was some kind of giant spider. Its body can’t have been bigger than my fist, but its legs must have each been a foot and a half long! It didn’t have as many legs as a regular spider, maybe four or six, but they were as thick as chunky marker pens. Its head was about half the size of its body and set on a slim neck. It had two huge mandibles or feelers or something and I think I saw the sickly glint of fangs… I don’t know, it all happened so quickly.

I screamed again, grabbing one of the thing’s back legs and hurling it across the room. It hit the wall with a sound like a piece of soft fruit would have made. I watched as it righted itself and, with a repulsive speed, darted up the wall and out through the open door.

I heard my mother scream from the hallway outside; she’d obviously been drawn by my earlier shout. I rushed out to her and saw the creature scuttle past her and disappear down the stairs.

The story, as my sister told it to my mother and I, went something like this:

My sister had climbed into bed with her favourite book, and begun reading. Almost immediately after she’d pulled the covers up, she’d felt something hairy move against her leg.

She’d been understandably startled, but had been physically unable to move. When pressed about this, she explained that it hadn’t been like the nightmares where you find yourself paralyzed, but a sort of total unresponsiveness that had seemed to radiate from where the creature was touching her. As if it were able to deliberately keep her from moving.

Needless to say, we were horrified. For me, though, it was about to get worse.

I went back to my room to get my phone and saw, slipping quietly from beneath my pillow, one dark spindly leg. Quickly it was joined by another, and in moments the whole disgusting creature slid out and plopped grotesquely onto the floor.

For a moment I was afraid that I too would be paralyzed, that somehow the creature’s strange influence could bridge the metres between us, but I was able to stumble backwards and close the door. Honestly, I don’t believe any door has ever closed as slowly as mine did last night.

We barricaded ourselves in my sister’s room and called the police; mercifully, this time they listened. They showed up within half an hour (the longest half an hour of my life) and had to break down the front door because there was no chance any of us were going to go down there and open it.

They searched the house and found nothing, but we were more than happy to leave anyway. We spent the rest of the night in a hotel in the village, and that’s where I am now, typing away on my laptop.

I have to go now. I’ve left Steven a message. We’re going to look for Mr Johnstone; I need to find out what he’s got to do with all of this.

***

Life’s greatest miracle: that two bodies can become one… under the sheets.

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