Keith Rommel author of The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man is here to share a story that proves the monsters you can’t see are sometimes scarier than the ones you can.
The Thing in the Closet by Keith Rommel
She caught a glimpse of the tall thing with the squared shoulders. It wore a black flowing dress and the menacing image was seared in her mind. The way it seemed to watch her so silent and still, and the way it blended into the inky darkness made this moment so much more terrifying than anything else in her entire young life.
“Mom,” she tried to say but a dry croak came out instead. She tried to speak again but found she was breathless. Remaining as still as possible, the forceful pound of her heart trembled her body and sounded as loud as someone pounding a drum. She placed a hand on her chest and pressed down in an attempt to silence the thump.
“I’ll place it here, on the table next to your bed.” The memory of her mother speaking those words when she placed a flashlight on the nightstand filled her with hope. “You can use this in case you need to get the bathroom at night. Or maybe if you can’t sleep, you can use it to read a book.”
“Thank you, mom,” she whispered, and lifted the blanket just enough to see the flashlight was still there, exactly where her mother had left it only the day before yesterday. Although it was only at arms distance away, she knew if she were to reach her hand out to get it, she would have to breach the protective barrier the soft quilt blanket gave her. And if she did that, the thing in her closet would easily see her.
For ten minutes she debated nerves that kept her apprehensive and worked on calming her breathing. She would need air if she had to make a run for it. Certain that monsters couldn’t survive in the light, she settled on a plan. She would snatch the flashlight and shine it into the closet and chase the ghoul away forever.
Without further contemplation, she braved the beast and reached her hand out, but clumsily knocked the flashlight off of the table. It clattered across the wooden floor and rolled towards the closet.
“Oh no!” she said, and was filled with despair. Her protection was gone and her location was now obvious. The fear that consumed her intensified and kept her still and held her gaze on the thing in the closet that remained perfectly still, watching her with malice. It was creepy and real and there was nothing she could do to escape it!
“Is everything OK?” Jackie’s mother said and the door to her bedroom swung open and the light from the hallway spilled into her bedroom. “What was that sound?”
Jackie tossed the blankets aside and looked at her mother with wide eyes that were filled with relief. She hopped out of bed and hugged her mother’s legs and squeezed them tight.
“What is it baby?” her mother said, and settled on her knees and pulled her young daughter close.
“There was a monster in my closet,” Jackie said, shaking and near tears. “I tried to get the flashlight so I could scare it away, but I knocked it onto the floor.” She whimpered. “Thank you for coming for me, Mommy.”
“You’re welcome honey,” her mother said with a smile and held her tight. “But I want you to look at the closet and tell me what you see.”
Jackie hesitated, but the comfort her mother provided her gave her back some of her bravery. What she saw relaxed her instantly and made her feel silly. She even laughed at it.
“You have a great imagination,” her mother said, and stood. “If you’re not careful, it can get the better of you.” She walked to the closet and took out the item that was responsible for scaring her. It was a long black dress with square shoulders and hints of glitter.
“My witch costume,” Jackie said.
“Used for trick or treating. But tonight, I think it tricked you.”
About the Author
Keith Rommel is a native of Long Island, New York and currently lives with his family in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Rommel is a retail manager and has enjoyed collecting comic books since he was a child (a hobby inspired by a teacher in grade school to help overcome a reading comprehension disability). He enjoys watching the New York Giants and writing how-to articles for other authors.