“You need to clean your room. Do you have any idea how much of a fire hazard this is?”
It was the same thing every time with my mom. Since my parent’s room is right next to mine, she passes by and takes a glance into my room. I’m often laying in bed reading a book, and she gives me this look that I recognize every time she sees it from the hall. It’s a look of contempt, anger, disappointment… and sadness. If I had a dime…
“What if you need to escape this room? You’ll trip! And what if dad or I need to come to get you or help you? I’ll-”
She glared at me. “Excuse-”
“Mom, I know how you feel. But this is my room. You don’t live in here. I do.”
My mom crossed her arms. “That’s beside the point, young lady. You-”
“Mom, for the love of God, just leave it. The more you yell at me the less obligated I feel to actually clean it.”
She glared at me for another second before throwing her hands up and leaving. I sat back and leaned against the wall, closing my eyes. Can’t she just leave me alone for one day?
Opening my eyes, I stared at the closet.
You see, my room does get cleaned sometimes, but it never stays that way. I always just let it get messy again. Why? I’ll tell you why.
It’s because of the clunking big thing. No, not my dad. Not that he helps any. When he sees my room, he just sighs and keeps going on with what he’s doing. It’s a pretty loud sigh too, and he knows what he’s doing when he sighs like that, too. It’s manipulation.
But he’s not the problem. He’s suffering because of the issue. He used to come into my room and say goodnight. But with my room being so messy, he would hurt himself. His knees and back aren’t too good. The sound he makes when he stands up from our couch is almost inhuman. Or if he steps on a thumbtack on the floor, point up, in front of the closet.
They hurt the thing. See, the thing that motivates me to keep my room messy is what lives in my closet.
And no, it’s not that childish “There’s a monster in my closet” scenario. Not quite.
It only comes out a night, when my parents are asleep and they can’t hear my floorboards creaking. The closet is the easiest place to hide, as there is a mattress under my bed and there are other things blocking it from coming through my window at night.
The floorboards in my room are the creakiest floorboards I’ve ever heard. I can hear it when it approaches, stepping on the creaking floor. And it can hear me that way, too. It knows when I come home from school. It knows when I’m having a snack, and it knows when I leave. It has superhuman hearing. But that’s just it.
It’s not human.
If my room is clean and free of obstacles, it can traverse through my room, sit at the foot of my bed, and stare. Unblinking. Not that it has eyes, but that’s not really the point.
The thing is big and black; it was black as night. It may be wide, bulky, and skinny all at once. Like as if a giant person had anorexia. It terrified me. Its mouth stretched all the way to the side of its face, like a violent gash filled with razors. But that’s the only feature on its face. Just smooth, dark skin, as it stared at me. If it comes out, I don’t move.
All I know is that it can’t get through a messy room. It can’t see the items strewn about, and it can’t see the thumbnails that I’ve strategically placed around the room. I have these spots memorized whenever I move the tacks. I must move them, or it will memorize them too.
I don’t forget.
Or else it will sit and stare at me without eyes,
When my alarm goes off in the morning, it slinks quickly and silently into the closet once more, waiting for the next night, and when I go to bed.
I don’t know if it just stares if I am asleep. I don’t know if it will do something to me. Eat me. Kill me. Slaughter me then throw my bloody, broken body onto my parent’s bed, to tell them that they should have listened. Listened to me. Listened to it as it whispers at night sometimes.
If I die, it will go to my brother’s room. It’ll like it there. His closet has a slight leakage problem.
It would love that since its skin is really dry and cracked.
But I don’t think it would help my brother, though. My brother is the kind of paranormal non-believer that would verbally taunt ghosts and make fun of how they died.
Seeing the creature would harm his mental health. I don’t want that to happen, even if he can be a jerk.
I only have one rule in life. This rule is to survive. Once I leave this house, I don’t know if it’ll follow me where I go, like to college, and try to eat my roommate.
I’ve survived 16 years with this thing.
I can survive 2 more.
All I have to do is not clean it to a certain degree.
But… My mom told me she’ll pay me 20 dollars if I clean my room. I want the money.
Maybe if I leave the thumbtacks I’ll be ok.