You Okay?

“You okay?” He said, breath warm on my neck. I must’ve woken him in my stirring not ten minutes ago. My husband worked late most nights and when I was roused I was too concerned with what had awoken me to turn and see if he’d come home yet. It helped knowing he was here.

I felt a cold breeze stroll across my exposed foot. I hesitated for a moment, then slowly, silently slid it back beneath the safety of the covers. But I never looked away from the void in front of me. Nor did I try to fein sleep. It was back, only one this time. I knew it was there and it knew I was awake. The Dark cloaked it but I could feel it’s icy gaze meeting mine in the black of the room.

“M-hmm” I mumbled in response. I felt lips touch my neck and the sensation sent chills down my spine. Ever sense I went for the “short and s**y” cut I no longer had my shoulder-length hair needing to be swept aside, no longer had a warning to such a touch.

“You, sure? You’ve got goose bumps?” He said, his cold hand ran along the back of my arm making it worse.

“I’m fine, go back to sleep.” I said, not moving. I’m afraid, I’ve been afraid for a long time. I’m afraid for myself, I’m afraid for my husband, I’m afraid of sleeping, and mostly I’m afraid of the Dark. You see they’ve been here for a long time, probably longer than I know. I said nothing to my husband because I thought that’s exactly what it was, nothing. Not when I saw a shadow, that had been on the wall for hours, suddenly misplace itself from what I thought was casting it and slide along the perimeter of the room. I said nothing when I heard things, things whispered, unintelligible gibberish in horrible deep tones or the sounds of nails scratching from the insides of the walls. I said nothing on the morning I awoke to the large grey face mostly comprised of two massive black eyes only inches from my own countenance. I didn’t even scream. I just took in a deep breath as I felt my husband’s arm tighten around me, when his still unconscious mind felt my distress. The things eyes left me for a moment to gaze at him, laying next to me, still dreaming. And the unimaginable scowl that followed. I knew it wanted him gone. So it could have me all to itself, its bride. It paused before slowly descending, falling down, passed where the mattress blocked my view of it, sending me one last look of longing before it was gone.

I felt a familiar pressure as an arm slide around my waist, pulling me close, reminding me of my task: keeping guard over him. The one thing keeping what hid in the Dark at bay. Watching it so it couldn’t get close to him. Somewhere in the void I could feel the scowl growing on it’s face and I went cold.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you.” Moistening my neck again as he spoke. I wanted to turn to him, to face him but I was too afraid of what might happen if I did. So I stared on, waiting for the sun.

There was a noise outside, I almost looked toward the window out of instinct but my focus was too strong. I then heard a car door slam. He felt my body tense and tightened his grip on me. I hoped to God that this person wouldn’t ring our doorbell or knock, making him go check. And that on his way there, I would suddenly, no longer feel the icy stare of our intruder. Then only to hear a loud crash in the other room. The torturous silence to follow. Only then to sense it’s presence, once more, in the room as it shut the door behind it. Leaving only myself and it. I hoped and prayed with everything I had.

“You’re right not to look away.” His breath was hot on my ear. I heard the front door open and close down stairs. My blood chilled as the hot, moist breath poured over me. “He’s the jealous type…” The warm voice blanketed my face. Footsteps were coming up the stairs now. “…so am I…” The thing behind me grew cold as it’s arm slithered away and I felt it’s weight leave the mattress. I was frozen as my heart leaped into my chest. “…as is your husband.” The thing’s voice faded away behind me. The bedroom door opened slowly, letting in the light from the hall, before my husband entered the room. What greeted me in the twilight was a pair of massive black eyes, hardly an inch from my nose. The face that held them stared, unblinking, before sliding away, almost floating as gentle and soundless as a breeze until it reached our open closet. There it was joined by it’s partner, in between the dry cleaning. Then, just before my husband flicked the switch in the hall, it winked with one massive eye as if to say: “See you tomorrow.”

  • ∆_R.H_∆

    Gotta be honest, I was hooked from the first few lines.

    • zac

      Thanks! This is the first thing I ever posted.

      • Ellpa Elgae

        Wow, as a first story it was pretty impressive.

        • zac

          Thank you!

  • TheBestDoge

    I dont get the whole thing. Is this supposed to be scary or creepy?

    • zac

      Honestly, it came out of a dream. I thought it was pretty creepy when I woke up and I saw a face fading into the dark near my bed. As far as the story, it was an experiment with perspective.

  • Sammantha Ellyn Soto

    I wish it was longer. Good story

    • zac

      Thank you!

  • Fiver

    Watch paragraph length as, especially in this format, longer paragraphs can be unpleasant to get through and easier to lose one`s place in. Your dialogue is also improperly formatted. Dialogue is meant to be treated as an independent paragraph with only a short non-dialogue sentence paired with it. Correctly formatting dialogue will also make the work more pleasing to the eye and thus more pleasant to read. Otherwise this is an interesting story that is worth the read. The idea is a common one, but effective and has originality in this particular piece that saves it. The length works well too. It is long enough to build some tension and sprinkle in detail, but short enough that you don`t lose the reader. Some parts can be a bit repetative which isn`t necessarily bad, but you should watch out for that in future pieces just in case.
    I feel like something is missing, but I can`t pinpoint what. Whatever is slightly off will surely go away as you write more and likely would not bother other people (I get weird when I read so it could just be in my head as well). Thus far this has been perhaps the only work I have read of quality on here (I haven`t read too many, but I have read a good few), so despite all I have said I really did enjoy reading this. It is a good, unsettling piece.

    • zac

      I don’t know who you are but I want you to review every story I’ve ever written or will ever write! I love how well you analyze and how specific you critique. As someone who wants to have a future in writing, this is invaluable!
      And you’re right, because this site basically accepts everyone’s stories you can get some… Underdeveloped pieces.

      • Fiver

        I mostly just apply things I have noticed and picked up in my own writing and constant reading. I love to give feedback as it also helps me develop my own skills. It is great reading and critiquing stories of this level. I share your passion and dream for writing so I will gladly help when I can.

        • zac

          Thats awesome! I love to do the same. Are you on this site at all? If so, I would gladly go over some of your work (if you want).

          • Fiver

            I have one story up called Restless and another one waiting to be approved (I guess).

          • zac

            Hey, no problem. I’m just being neighborly. And i’m not done posting on this site either so keep and eye out lol.

          • Fiver

            I will make sure to.

  • Bryan Nelson

    I wish it had a longer reaction with the woman. Messed with her more.. Maybe a bit more dialogue between them. But the story is good. I liked the idea, and it had a good flow to it.

    • zac

      Thank you!
      Sometimes it helps the reader embody the mind of the character more when there is less/no dialogue. So This was kind of an experiment in this.