“Come to the shed” whispered a voice in the darkness.
My eyes popped open and I sat up in bed. My sheets were damp and sticky in the humid air. My night clothes and hair were soaked through with sweat.
My room was dark, the air was still. “So quiet” I thought. “Was that voice a dream?”
I untangled myself from the damp sheets and climbed out of bed. The floorboards beneath my bare feet creaked as I stepped toward the window.
I peered out into the backyard. It was too dark to see. I looked up toward the sky…bleak, unrelenting darkness starred back. “The moon…where is the moon tonight”, I asked myself silently. “Where are the stars…”
I stepped away from the window and silently padded over to the bathroom. I opened the door and stepped in, onto the cool tile…I closed my eyes and savored the sensation…”It’s so muggy tonight…”
I turned and looked at myself in the mirror…but it was too dark to see my reflection. I fumbled for the faucet handle and turned on the water. Cool relief filled the sink. I cupped in my sweaty hands and leaned over to splash my face. I sunk my head down into the pool of refreshing liquid, immersing my myself in it’s loving embrace.
“Come to the shed” whispered a voice in the darkness.
Startled, I jerked my head up from the sink…cracking the back of my skull on the faucet as I did so. Pain seared through me and I reached for the wound. I could not tell if I was bleeding…all I felt was wet hair and heat…agonizing heat.
I reached for the light-switch above me and pulled the chain. Blinding light filled my eyes momentarily and I squinted hard waiting for my pupils to adjust.
In the mirror, a shadow peered back at me. A hunched over form with a head too big, and arms too long…red eyes glaring back.
Startled, I opened my eyes fully…nothing…just my reflection…gruesome as it was. “A half-drowned rat” I thought to myself..
I looked at my hand, touched my head, and looked at my hand again…”no blood, that’s good” I reassured myself silently. “Where did that voice come from? Did I imagine it?”
I looked at myself one last time in the mirror. “It’s too hot tonight…” I sighed. I checked for blood again…none, which was good…
I pulled the chain to the light and was enveloped in darkness once more. I stood in the bathroom doorway, patiently waiting for my eyes to adjusted. The heat and the quiet of this night was oppressive…and seemed to multiply with the darkness.
I shuffled back toward my bed and reached out in the darkness for the edge of my mattress. I found it and sat down on the edge. “I’m too hot,” I told myself quietly…”this heat is playing tricks on me.”
A noise from the backyard brought me back to my feet. I sprang for the window and peered out into the darkness. I could see nothing but blackness. “Where is the moon tonight..” I asked asked myself again, aggravated.
It was a sudden noise…indecipherable…broken wood maybe… All was quiet and still…nothing in the yard seemed to move. The leaves in the trees…I knew they were there…did not rustle. No breeze, however warm, blew…
I stood there at the window for a long time, just peering out into nothingness. I shifted my weight as I leaned against the window sill…”Just go to bed” I told myself…”you’re hot and the heat is screwing with you…”
Nothing had moved in the yard…no noises to draw my attention. I decided to take my own advice and retreat to my bed.
“Come to the Shed!” The voice, it screamed into my ear, an inch away…deep, booming…angry. I flailed wildly and fell to the floor.
I looked around and there was nothing. My heart was racing, my breath labored. “That was real!” I said aloud. “Whatever that was…it was real!”
In a panicked motion, a lunged for my nightstand, knocking my alarm clock off and tipping over my lamp. I fumbled frantically until I was able to secure my fingers on the knob of the lamp.
Light erupted, filling the room. I was alone…
I stood up, still stricken with panic and adrenaline. I ran to the window and peered out into the yard once more. I could see the shed against what should be the fence line…and nothing else. “This is not right! What is going on?” I asked aloud frantically.
The door to the shed shuttered. Then with a loud crack, the door began to splinter…as though it were being kicked from the inside.
“Jesus Christ!” I yelled. I ran from my room, grabbing my baseball bat as I went. I descended the stairs at a frantic pace. I crossed through the kitchen and stepped into my boots sitting by the back door…not bothering to tie them.
“What are you doing?” I asked myself as I opened the back door… “What the hell are you doing? Don’t go out there…don’t go in the shed!”
I ignored myself…took a deep breath and flung open the back door.
I stepped out into the backyard…it was pitch-black and horrifyingly still. “Where is the moon…where are the stars?” I asked, looking to the sky once more.
Everything was enveloped in darkness. I could not see the sky above…I could not see the house behind me…I could not see the ground beneath me. All I could see was the shed ahead of me…quiet and glowing; a pale yellow.
Shadows bounced around from within…grotesque shapes. Something was inside…
The door, I could see, was still intact. No noise came from the shed; belying the movement of the shadows. “Go back inside…call the police…call SOMEONE” I yelled to myself. “DO NOT GO IN THE SHED!”
Again I ignored my own pleads. I was being drawn to it…I had to know…I had to confront what was in there.
I approached the shed and took the latch in my fingers. The back of my head began to throb and heat seared through me. I took a breath of hot, putrid air…and pulled open the door.
The gates to Hell opened before me. Searing heat rushed forward and enveloped me…but did not burn. Before me stood a creature too large for the small building…long, spindly arms and legs…eyes glowing red…the head that of a dog…jowl broken and bleeding fire, tongue lapping to the side. It stared at me with it’s horrible eyes and in a gravely, torn voice said “Come to the Shed!”
The creature reached out it’s grotesque, clawed hand and took me by the shoulder. The pain and heat were excruciating and I began to fall…I had lost before I had even begun…
As I fell, I looked back to see my house…my window…and myself, frantically yelling from it. “DON”T GO IN THE SHED!” I heard myself scream…”DON’T!”
The creature pulled me in close and the door slammed shut. All I saw was darkness…and all I felt was heat.