I jolt. I hate storms.
It’s been pouring all day. School was canceled, since they decided it wasn’t safe to drive. There’s nothing to do, and I couldn’t fall asleep if I wanted to.
This sounds like the perfect start to a horror story. It was a dark and stormy night...
The power went out at about noon, which was hours ago. My parents let me eat the ice cream since it’ll melt anyway. It caused a stomachache, and I’m too tired to get off my bed.
Still, I drag myself to the door, the cold floor pricking at my feet. Fake candles are staggered around the room, vaguely lighting the area, and I’m able to find my slippers and a jacket.
I go out into the dark hallway. There are candles lining the walls out here, too.
The house feels quiet without anything on. I’m used to the washing machine running, or the tv on. The silence is deafening.
I carefully make my way through the dark living room, into the kitchen, wondering where my parents are. Sleeping, maybe. Some help they’d be if a serial killer busted in.
I walk to the fridge, but notice a small piece of paper on the counter. I have to lean close by one of the candles to read it.
We went to the neighbor's house. We’ll be back soon.
I place it back on the counter, wincing when my fingers touch the cold marble.
I start to open the fridge, but the front door rattles. I freeze.
Scratch. Rattle rattle. Scratch. Scratch.
I walk to the door slowly, reaching out for something to defend myself with. I find an umbrella, and hold it out in front of me.
The scratching continues, and the door rattling is insistent, seeming to get more violent by the second.
Don’t open the door, idiot. My brain tells me.
I ignore my thoughts, cracking the door open. Almost at once, it’s wrenched from my fingers, a flurry of freezing wind flinging it open. It’s pitch black. I can hear the rain pounding down hard past the porch, and I step to try to close the door again, but then I feel something on my leg. I look down but I can’t see anything.
I move back, and hear what sounds like tapping. I can’t tell if there’s someone in front of me, but I swing the umbrella out, my hands trembling.
“B-Back away. I’ll hit you.”
I actually see the lightning, from somewhere behind the neighbor's house across the street. It distracts me from the maybe serial killer for a second, then the thunder crashes again, and there’s a terrible screeching sound, then I feel something latch onto my leg.
I scream, kicking my foot out, and trying to shake whatever it is off. Something sharp swipes at my shirt, but I can’t hear if it rips over my screaming.
It’s not a human, for sure, but an animal? A raccoon? Something with sharp teeth?
“Get off! Getoffgetoffgetoff!”
The wind continues to hit me, and I feel rain blowing in, too. The sky booms as I try to shake the thing off me, but now it’s at my stomach, and scrabbling up my shirt.
My knees hit something, and I tumble forward, crashing into the ground. I feel something under me, and scramble up.
Oh my god, it’s Mr. Riley’s cat.
I fall onto the couch, panting. I’ve never been so scared. It’s just a cat.
Ginger rubs against my leg, and I jolt. I hate storms.