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We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

By
The rain pattered lightly on the tin roof disturbing the owner of the house, Henry Sesh. A farmer by profession, he owned several acres of cornfields surrounding his house. Henry was a lanky man with the trimmings of a beard. The sort of man you would expect to be in a farm cartoon. He wore a pair of blue suspenders and his lucky straw hat was draped over his eyes.
It was well into the night and he had been trying to sleep for hours. He stood to get himself another beer; it always helped him get some shut eye. He strode down the hall and opened the sputtering fridge. He popped the beer’s cap off and had a swig as he collapsed onto his red armchair. It reclined with a click and he laid back to be met with his father’s portrait.
His father, James Sesh, had died a lonely and crazed man. He had said that God had given him a vision. That one day, the world was to be attacked by flesh devouring aliens. The man had neglected his son in his quest to ‘warn the world of the invasion.’ “Crazy loon,” muttered Henry under his breath. He sat up in the chair and, realizing his beer was empty lumbered back up the stairs to his bed.
The springs squeaked under his weight and he pulled a wool blanket over himself. He felt himself slowly slip into a deep sleep. He was jolted awake by a thick sturdy hand grasping the bed poles and shaking it. He stirred drowsily and stumbled out of his bed. He looked up at the man who had awoken him and leaped back in surprise.
It was his father, James! His father slowly approached him, eyes cold and angry. “You didn’t listen to me,” said his father, voice echoing eerily. “Father, I didn’t-” Henry began stuttering but was silenced by his father. “No one listened, and they shall all pay. But I will give you another chance, for you are my son. The aliens are coming to earth tonight, prepare or perish!” James gnashed his teeth at his son and lightning flashed.
Suddenly, Henry woke in his room, beads of sweat running down his face. He sighed and wiped his face with a dirty handkerchief from his night stand. It was all a dream, he told himself. Or was it… His thoughts trailed off and he walked back downstairs. He slumped onto the couch, deep in thought. Suddenly a bolt of lightning illuminated the room, revealing his father’s portrait glaring at him.
He buried his head in his hands and sighed. He stood, and decided to trust his father. Henry strode over to a large cabinet and swung the doors open. He grasped a cold steel rifle in his hands and marched outside onto his porch. He sat back in his wooden chair and watched the surrounding landscape, waiting.
Several hours passed and not one flying saucer appeared. The sun had begun to peak over the horizon. Still determined though, Henry was prepared to sit there all day. Suddenly, Henry heard a scratching sound from inside the house. He stealthily ducked into the house, scanning for movement. For a moment all was silent, then a scurrying noise from his right. He fired but nothing was there. The noise came again, above him this time. There in the walls, he thought breathing heavily.
He fired round after round into the walls around him but to no avail. The wood of his wall splintered and cracked, but he was so frightened he didn’t notice. He listened as the sound made its way out of the room and towards the stairs. Henry fired at the wall next to the stairs and heard the noise scramble up along the stair way. He ran up the stairs and scanned the area. The upstairs consisted only of his bedroom and a few windows.

There was nowhere for it to hide. He breathed laboriously, and his hair was matted to his scalp by sweat. He reloaded and watched the walls in silence, waiting for the noise. Suddenly he heard it, approaching him. He fired at the wall at the ceiling, but it was getting closer. He backed up in fright and smashed through the window, falling a good twenty feet, neck snapping as he hit the ground.
Henry’s lucky hat slowly floated down after him, some of his blood staining the frayed yellow straw. His maimed and broken body lay lifelessly on the grass, broken neck oozing blood. Henry’s body laid under the stained purple sky as the sun rose over the cornfield. Back on the upper level of his house, his murderer stepped out of hiding. It was a small field mouse who had found a hole in the walls.



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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

78kk89kool said...
Dec. 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm
Rock on Dean! I never thought i, being your friend, would inspire you to write something as good as that. From, the King of clubs
 
megss78 said...
Dec. 11, 2008 at 8:06 pm
Woa Dean! That was soo good. Much description and everything! Keep going and stride for your dream!
 
mfs said...
Dec. 10, 2008 at 1:02 pm
Your description of Henry told me a great deal about the damage his father had done to him and the loneliness and isolation he felt because of it. Great character development in a short space!
 
hillford said...
Dec. 7, 2008 at 3:51 pm
As I read your story, I kept finding myself wondering what the next sentences were going to bring for poor Henry. You included fantastic and vivid descriptions, truly developing the character and setting. That's not an easy task for a fairly short piece of writing. Two thumbs up!
 
Russo said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 12:42 am
nice story, I loved the twist....
 
dsal said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 7:50 pm
Your story was filled with rich descriptions. I found myself visualizing the setting and the events as they unfolded. Nice work.
 
MsLibrarian said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm
Dean, you descriptive language created an atmosphere in your story that built tension along with the plot. I really like the twist at the end! You had me thinking and prediction all through this short piece. Well done!
 
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