I have always been a person to collect coins on the street. Even if it was just a single penny. I would look at it and think “Someone thought you weren’t important enough to be picked up. Today is your lucky day.”
Everyone thought it was weird because once I used it in some place, it would more than likely just end up back on the street where I had collected it from. It was a weird thought and kind of upset me to think about. Now, do not get me wrong, I’m aware that coins don’t have emotions, I’m not a crazy person. It was one of my habits. I could be on a leisurely stroll with my wife and see a coin and just feel a strong need to pick it up. Or out on a jog and I have to stop and pick up the glimmering object from the ground.
One day I was at the park with my young daughter when I spotted a shiny penny sitting on the sidewalk at the park. I told her to come with me so I could collect the coin. She obeyed and followed after me with a smile. I picked up the penny and the world disappeared. Everything, including my Sammie. I screamed out for her, but to only get a response of silence. It was so silent you could hear the drop of a feather.
The colors of the world inverted, it was shades of blue, white and black. I looked at my hand and realized I still had the penny I had picked up in my hand. I released it from my grip and it fell to the ground as the world reappeared, back to normal colors and Sammie was standing next to me with her hand in mine, shaking me.
“Daddy? Are you okay?” I looked at her and scooped her up in my arms and hugged her tight, not answering her. I didn’t know how to answer her. I looked back down at the penny and set Sammie down again. I picked it up and as the world started to invert and disappear I shoved it in my pocket. Whatever it was, I didn’t want a child picking it up and getting hurt.
Me and Sammie proceeded to walk home to her mother in the kitchen baking cookies. I know we sound like a picture perfect family. Wife baking cookies, perfect daughter and the stupid quirky father. We tried to give Sammie a good life. She deserved it after all the fighting she endured while she was 3-4. Me and Fiona, my wife, fought a lot after Sammie was born. For awhile I didn’t think she was mine. Fiona used to like to sleep around a lot, but when she got pregnant she knew she had to get herself together and we became a family. Not a perfect family, But a family.
Sammie giggled happily as she scarfed down a chocolate chip cookie. I hugged Fiona and walked to the open living room, sitting down and turning on the TV. It turned on and an episode of “The Simpsons” was on. I sat and watched the mind numbing show. I felt like I lost brain cells from Homer’s stupidity. I lost track of time and next thing I knew it was Sammie’s bed time. I walked upstairs to tuck her in to bed. When I bent over to pull her blankets over her, the penny from the park fell out of my pocket. I had forgotten it was in my pocket when I realized that Sammie was reaching to pick it up.
“No!” I yelled out and dove for the penny. When my finger collided with the penny everything inverted again as I struggled to shove it back into my pocket. When I finally shoved it back and everything returned to normal. Fiona and Sammie where starting at me, concern ridden across their faces. I chuckled a bit, and stood up.
“Sorry Sammie, I didn’t mean to yell. I was scared just of it rolling away, you know how protective Daddy is of his coins.” She nodded slowly and Fiona gave me a very skeptical look. We left the room and let Sammie go to sleep. Fiona turned to me as she shut the door and motioned for me to follow her to our room. I knew I was going to be questioned. She spoke quietly at first but grew to a solid speaking voice after a second.
“What the hell happened to you in there Ken? Are you feeling alright? You zoned out for at least a minute.”
A whole minute passed while I did that? It only felt like a few seconds.
“I just haven’t been feeling well, maybe some sleep will help.”
She gave me one last look of concern before nodding and going to the bathroom to shower. I sighed and went to my office, I had worked from home ever since Sammie had been born. Fiona worked at a boring office job during the day, and I watched after Sammie during the day and worked mainly at night. So most nights, after Sammie went to sleep, it was not unusual for me to lock myself in my office for a few hours. This time it was to test out this coin and what was going on.
I locked my office door so no one could come in and try to interrupt me. I slowly reached into my pocket and pulled the penny out as the colors of my world slowly inverted into almost complete darkness this time. No blues, hardly any whites mainly black. I called out into the world, hoping for some response, but alas nothing in return. I walked aimlessly calling out for anything. It felt I had been in the world for about 2 minutes when I heard what sounded like a coin. It echoed so I had no idea which direction the noise had come from. I heard it again. and again. and again. I started spinning in circles trying to place where the noise was coming from. The coin noises stopped all at once as I tripped over my own feet.
“Oofh!” I fell to the ground with a thud. I heard whispers behind me. It was many voices, as I picked myself up off the ground they stopped and it was just one voice. One lone voice from right behind me. It spoke it spoke in a low, grungy tone.
“I’m your worst fear,” it spoke directly into my ear, so close I could feel its breath. I spun around to see a horrifying creature staring me in the face. His jaw was hanging down out of socket, his tongue was hanging down in his jaw. He used his jaw almost like a pocket for his tongue, his teeth were sharp and pointed. Not like a stereotypical monster pointed, more like a vampires fangs but instead of just two fangs, it was whole rows of them. It’s skin was pale, almost grey. Its eyes hung out of its sockets and I could see the muscle that was supposed to hold it into place hanging out as well.
I was frozen out of fear.
The creature was breathing on me, its breath smelled like rancid milk had been poured into a trashcan and then set outside in the Arizona sun. It breathed in and out, very strained. I was staring this hideous creature in the face, fear obviously ridden across. It was just looking at me, it didn’t say anything else. I stood staring at it, then again remembered that I still was holding the penny. I released it as the horrifying creature disappeared and the world went back to normal.
I started thinking all kinds of thoughts. What the hell was that? How long had I been in that world? It had only felt like 15 minutes at the most. I glanced at the time It is 4 in the morning? I had been in the world for almost 3 hours! I sat down on the ground, just contemplating what had just happened. What was I going to do with this penny? I couldn’t just leave it lying around, Sammie could find it. And I really did not want to see that creature again. What was I going to do?
To be continued…
Author’s Note : Sorry this first part isn’t “Scared of the dark” scary. I hope the next part is more scary to some readers.