Things That Go Bump in the Dryer

March 16, 2017

Nothing was funny about this. I looked at the blanket on the ground at my feet. The rising and lowering of the sheet grew slower as time passed. I swear I didn’t mean for any of this to go that far. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. Time seemed to stop. How long was I standing there looking at the red stained sheet? An hour? A day? It all seemed unclear to me. All of a sudden I felt an uneasiness within myself. The walls of the house began to turn and look like fresh sheets swaying in the wind. My stomach felt as though whatever inside wanted to come out, like a volcano preparing to spew liquid all over the terrain around it. Out of nowhere came this high pitched ringing and my eyesight began to narrow as things started to fade to black. I ran to the bathroom just as the remains of a previous meal began to make a reappearance. After kneeling, hunched over the toilet trying to collect the shattered remains of who I was and who I was becoming, I stumbled over to the sink to wash my face. I went to the sink to wash up and found myself staring into the eyes of someone I did not know. Their green eyes had a sinister look in them and their cheek was smeared with blood. Their once neat hear fell upon their forehead in blonde strands, and the scratches on their forehead were just beginning to clot, stopping the flow of blood that had been dripping lower and lower on their face.
I immediately turned the water on and washed my face, watching the water turn red as it flowed down the drain. I pushed my hair back out of my face and scrubbed the blood out of my grey sweatshirt. I raised my head and this time saw someone who was familiar to me. I dried my hands and walked out of the bathroom, making my way back down the hall into the kitchen where the sheet was. I stood over the mass once again, but this time the sheet didn’t rise. I rolled up the sleeves of my sweatshirt and began to think of ways to get rid of the evidence. Get rid of who was under that sheet. I paced the kitchen for what seemed like an eternity. It must have been about 6 o’clock when I finally got an idea because the sky was turning a grey blue.
I dragged the body into the basement and put it in the dryer. As I closed the door, I realized a lock of red hair was sticking out of it. I pushed the hair back in and slammed the door, making sure no one could tell from the outside that there was anything suspicious to be seen. I made my way back upstairs and realized I had left the knife on the island, sitting there as the blade dripped red. I threw it away and wiped the countertop down, throwing away the paper towels as well. Everything seemed in check and I made my way to the back door, the pockets of my jeans filled with cash. I opened the door and the cold fall air fell upon my face. I  walked out of the house and to the street just as the morning doves began to coo in the trees up above.  
I needed to get home before anyone saw me. If a cop drove by I would definitely be questioned. What business did a sixteen year old have to be walking in the street this early on a Saturday morning? My town was very quant. Most of the houses looked the same and everyone kept their yards in order. The white facade of one house matched the facade of another that was three blocks away. My house was six blocks away and I was making good time. I looked to my right and my eyes came into contact with those of Mrs. Albright, a close friend of my mother. I could feel the blood leaving my face as I realized who I was looking at. Sweat beads began to form at the top of my forehead and my hands became cold and clammy. Thoughts raced frantically through my mind. I saw myself in jail, afraid of becoming someone’s b****. That was a life I had no intention of living anytime soon. What I did was done, but I still had a small shred of hope. I looked straight ahead of me and quickly flipped my hood over my head so the scratches weren't visible, and as calmly as I could given how high my nerves were, walked past Mrs. Albright’s house. I got away lucky; she just sat there drinking her tea and reading the morning paper in her oak rocking chair. Maybe she didn’t recognize me… I could only hope at this point.
I got home and saw that both of my parents were at work. They had just recently started working weekends because money had been a little tight lately. What I had once been skeptical about a few days ago became a gift from God today. I used my key and opened the front door, closing it behind me as I got into the house. I took my shoes off and set them by the door. I went upstairs to my room and locked the door behind me. I emptied my jeans and counted up the money I had stolen... $2300. I couldn’t believe it. I always knew Ms. Romero had money, but I never knew she was this loaded.
I put the money under my mattress and went to the bathroom to take a shower. I locked the bathroom door and turned on the hot water. I don’t know why I always locked the door of the room I was in. I guess at my age privacy was something I came to enjoy. I took of my sweatshirt and the Phillies shirt that was underneath it. I undid the belt of my jeans and stripped down until only my bare skin was showing. I looked down at my body and realized that my chest had been bruised and my leg had been slightly cut. I pulled the curtain to the side and stepped in the hot water. The water flowed on my face and down the rest of my body. I put some shampoo in my hand and began washing my hair. I closed my eyes to wash out the shampoo and when I opened them the shower was covered in red.
I closed my eyes once again, but this time when I opened them the water coming out was clear. I finished my shower and wrapped a towel around myself. I went up the the mirror above the sink and wiped the fog from the glass. As my hand slid across the glass I came face to face with Ms. Romero. I was so startled I stumbled backwards and tripped over my clothes that had been lying on the floor. I got back up and looked hesitantly in the mirror, only to see my face. This wasn’t happening. I just imagined it. I was probably daydreaming as I wiped away the fog. No matter what I thought about the situation, I still felt uneasy and honestly quite shaken.
I tightened my towel and opened the bathroom door. I went back down the hall to my room and got changed, deciding to put pajamas on. I thought the best thing for me to do was get some sleep, especially after the things that I had imagined in the bathroom. I pulled my blue curtains shut and all light had left the room. I made my way to my bed and crawled in, pulling the covers up to my chin and eventually dozed off. That’s when I heard it. I shot straight up and was sitting in my bed. I sat there in the dark, silent, listening. What the hell is that? It’s gotta be the air conditioning starting up. Some type of rattling noise was definitely coming from somewhere in the house. I got up and opened my curtains. I looked out the window and saw nothing but the road illuminated by the street light.
How long had I been asleep?... Wait, no it couldn’t’ve been that long. It was only a half hour max. Right?...Oh what the hell. The noise persisted and my thoughts became drowned out by the rattling. The length of my nap became unimportant to me. All I could think of was the rattling noise coming from somewhere in the house. I walked to the door and opened it; The hallway was dark too. I reached to the wall and flicked the light switch, but to no avail. Well isn’t this great. How the hell is the power out!? I walked further down the hall to a closet where we kept flashlights. I gabbed one and pressed the button, shining a beam of light down the rest of the hallway. I walked slowly down the stairs, listening to try and find the source of the noise. As I got downstairs, the noise grew louder and louder. I followed it to the basement door. Honestly this has to be a joke. The power’s out and the noise is coming from the basement… Every horror movie I’ve ever seen has taught me not to go in the basement… but they’re made up… nothing will… I just have to… see what...and then…then… I couldn’t think straight. The noise grew louder and louder with every second. I couldn't handle it anymore.
I slowly opened the door and pointed the flashlight down the stairs. They were old and wooden and the walls were made of stone. I walked down the stairs, shining the flashlight across the room. I swear if my mom is just trying to scare me… I walked to the far side of the basement where my mom had kept the cleaning supplies. The noise grew louder and louder until it became almost unbearable. What the f-.... The dryer was shaking and making the noise. The dryer never sounded like this. What the hell did my mom put in it? Shoes?! But then I remembered something. The dryer wasn’t on when I got home and my mother had been at work ever since?
I shined my flashlight against the glass of the dryer’s window but couldn’t see what was inside due to the glare. I reached for the door. My heart started raising and sweat began to drip down my forehead. My thoughts were jumbled like a bag of Scrabble pieces. I had my hand on the door and opened it just enough to stop the cycle. Before I had a chance to fully open the door, I felt breathing on my neck. I turned around but no one was there. Just an empty basement. I looked around just to make sure I was alone. Probably just a draft. Then I heard the door hit the metal of the washer.
My heart dropped, I hadn’t opened the door all the way, so what had? I turned around and was face to face with Ms. Romero, once again. I froze. I couldn’t move even if I wanted to. Her face had been burnt from the dryer and parts of her forehead began to blister and peel. Her once red hair had been singed and the smell of burning flesh and skin filled the air. I tried to mumble something, but nothing would come out. She put her finger up to my lips to shush me. Thoughts raced frantically through my head. But I thought… this isn't… how could… you were… I thought I… I looked down at her other hand and saw she had a knife. The same knife I had used. My eyes widened and I looked up and met hers. Her eyes showed no sign of emotion, and were dark as night. Before I could do anything she lunged slightly forward and I felt an immense pain in my stomach. It shot up my entire body and it felt as though I was burning in a pit of fire. I looked down at my stomach and saw Ms. Romero’s hand gripping the handle, the blade hidden within me. I watched as her hand slid the knife from one side of my stomach to the other. I looked up at the ceiling and let out a scream for help as she pulled the knife from my body. My throat began to fill with blood and whatever noises I made sounded like an animal being mauled. My hands reached for my stomach and came into contact with something warm and wet. I looked down and saw that I was cradling my guts. They hung out of me like snakes and I fell to my knees. I frantically tried to put them back, but to no avail. I looked back up at Ms. Romero as my eyes began to fill with tears and my throat and lungs with blood. All I could focus on was the black of her eyes. They were dark as night and showed no sign of being human. They were empty and emotionless, as if belonging to a  statue. She looked at me and a cynical, rotten smile stretched across her face. I fell to my side in a puddle of blood. The warm, sticky liquid spread around me. The stone of the basement walls started to fade into eternal darkness. The room began to disappear and the only thing I could see was Ms. Romero. The pain started to fade and breathing got harder with every breath. The only thing I could think of was those eyes. The dark, cold, emotionless eyes of Ms. Romero.

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