Three Knocks | Teen Ink

Three Knocks

April 4, 2019
By ève_verte BRONZE, Dry Fork, Virginia
ève_verte BRONZE, Dry Fork, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

“Oh! I think I have it!” 

     The screen of the small handheld device lit up, almost as if happy to see her after so many years. She sat on the rough carpet, her knees tucked beneath her, and popped in the cartridge of her favorite childhood games with a comforting click. She tapped on the game icon with her finger; that stylus was long gone. Nostalgia washed over her as she chose her character and started the race. “Three…Two.(button ‘A’)..One…Start!”  The character started with a boost, speeding ahead of the other AI racers. She wore a faint smile as she toggled the arrow pad, navigating her character throughout the familiar map; the race car drifting around the bends in the track. She reminisced on how much she played this in her adolescent years. As the racer sped around the racetrack, memories flooded her subconscious. All of the races won against her little brother, the thirst for entertainment on long car trips quenched by the satisfaction of first place… she missed him desperately. Some things are never forgotten, they haunt our minds until our departure from this world. This flashed through her mind as she directed her character to the finish line…first place. She powered down the device. Though a tear was making its path down her cheek, she let a soft laugh escape her chapped lips as she examined the small indentation button had left on her thumb. She pushed a lock of wispy, auburn hair behind her ear, arising from her knees to return the device to the box of her things that had followed her here. The building had no doubt fallen into a seemingly endless unconsciousness at this hour; her footsteps seemed deafening in the silence. She ventured across the carpet towards the restroom. As she flicked the switch and the room flooded with light. She paused, blinking a few times to allow her eyes to adjust; the tile was frigid against her bare feet. Her fingers brushed against the drawer handle, but stopped abruptly… What was that? A faint bumping, hardly admissible, even in the silence. Her ears perked, her eyes darting around the room, endeavoring to pinpoint the source of the noise. Perhaps it was someone in the neighboring room… A haunting image flashed in the back of her mind before she dismissed it, trying to remain rational. In an attempt to calm the suffocating thoughts surrounding her mind, she closed her eyes and took a breath. The in-taken air was released in a puff of white, eventually disappearing within the air. It was always too cold here during the winter. After deciding it was most likely another patient, she opened the door; her fingers stretching for the light switch before something made her hair stand on end. There it is again! She took a few paces back into the room and focused her hearing. The sound was different that time; it was concise, more distinct…almost resembling a knock. She stared into the mirror; her emerald eyes glinted with fear stared back at her. She attempted to muffle her breathing with her hoodie sleeve; chills rippled across her skin as her ears pricked at a faint sound…That wasn’t her breath. It was harsh, ragged…but it sounded so close. Her muscles tensed as her eyes widened in realization. “No…please no.”  The words escaped her lips as a hoarse whisper.

                                                                       ~

“Jarret?”

     He heard a hushed tone call out to him from the far room. She’s always so naggy.  He chose to ignore it, rolling his eyes as he continued down the dimly lit hallway. His small fingers ran along the wall, guiding his step. “What the frig is that banging?” His mummer seemed to linger in the quiet. Jarret paused, shallowing his breaths as he listened once more…Three sharp bangs seemed to come from the restroom. His eyes sparked with curiosity as he followed the noise. He took a step into the room and turned on the light. Jarret took a moment to look around the room for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing’s here-oh my gosh. His blood ran cold. As he stared into the mirror, Jarret noticed a faint figure, hardly visible behind his left shoulder. Its empty eye sockets chilled him to the bone; skin like ashes was wasting away along its body, revealing crumbling bones. The figure’s arms were long, veins peeking out of the missing skin. Though, what scared Jarret the most, was the figure’s hideous smile. It was unnaturally wide, crooked; as if someone was drawing it and had gone over a speed bump. The teeth were pointy, unevenly stretching from ear to ear. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief, but the figure remained in its place. Its head twitched slightly, quickly moving from side to side. The only thing he could hear over the sound of his racing heart was its breathing. It was heavy…uneven. Jarret felt like he was going to be sick. The figure raised a bony, beckoning fist to the mirror. Knock…knock…kno- This time was different. Instead of going against the mirror, the closed hand powered its way through. It looked as if it went through water, sending the mirror’s surface rippling. His voice failed him as he tried to scream for help. The creature’s long nails forcefully grabbed his wrist and started to pull him forward…into its home. Jarret broke from his daze, struggling to be released from the creature’s grip. It was too late. He hopelessly staggered forward. His screams were stuck in his chest. Panicked tears of frustration streamed down his face. I don’t want to go! Before it yanked him into the mirror, the creature jerked its head to the right and uttered something that Jarret could hardly make out. “Some things are never forgotten, they will haunt our minds until-

                                                                    ~

     -our departure from this world.” The guttural rasp was hardly audible. Maru, paralyzed with fear, could only stare into the infernal, soulless eye sockets of the thing that just took him. The creature’s image regressed into the mirror, listlessly fading into a silhouette before disappearing completely. She crumpled to the ground in gasping sobs, shivering uncontrollably as she staggered to catch her breath. That unearthly smile.  It was as if someone had slit the edges of its mouth upwards, leaving it a permanent, horrifying grin. A bloodcurdling scream emanated from her chest. Thundering footsteps echoed through the hallway, lights flicking on as her parents hurried to her side. In their slumbersome daze, they didn’t even notice the fourth family member hadn’t accompanied them… Their concerned inquiries were met with tears and tremulous stuttering. Maru’s teeth clenched, her consciousness fading as the scene played over and over again in her mind. “He’s gone...”  

                                                                    ~

        She held back a shriek as she bolted out of the restroom, switching off the light and slamming to door in nearly the same motion. Her thoughts became more frantic; anxiety clouded her thoughts as she backed up against the wall. Her nails made indentations in her palms. She shrunk to her knees and kept her eyes locked on the door. The strained exhalation was too familiar. She noticed the light flicker on from beneath the door crack, a shadow occasionally eclipsing it. She bit the inside of her cheek. -haunt our minds until our departure from this world… The doorknob turned slowly. No, not this time. A creak filled the stillness. She inhaled sharply then breathlessly cursed herself for possibly identifying her presence. One shadow evolved into two. That smile. It faltered forward. The creature towered before her, its gruesome physique disproportionately decaying and veiny hands nearly at her wrists. Knock...knock...knock… Her brow furrowed. She glanced to the corner to her right...the second shadow. Maru’s eyes welled with tears as she made out the small, sickly figure.

                                                              “Jarret?”



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