It was just past midnight, when I had decided that I’ve done enough typing for the night. I stood, popping my knotted muscles and bones and walked over to the window, sliding it shut: the ambiance had kept me focused on my work, but would keep me from sleeping. I shut off the light, and then crawled underneath my polyester sheets and reached down to turn on my fan: the soft hum lulling me to sleep.
A sudden sense of dread jerked me awake. A primeval fear hung thick in the air: a primal response to something horrid, no doubt. I looked around frantically, but the darkness obscured my sight.What horrid monstrosity had crept into my room, what eldritch…thing had invaded my space this late summer night? I could see nothing: hear nothing save for the humming of my fan, and the soft ambiance of the city below my window.
I sprung out of my bed and rushed to the far wall, flipping on my light. With a soft buzz the fluorescent flickered slowly to life, chasing off the shadows of night, and bringing in the light of modernity. And with the darkness being flushed out of my room, so too was my irrationality. There were no monsters in the dark, of course. The modern era had banished all horrors of our past, with the flame of enlightenment. I chuckled to myself at how silly I had been. I emphasized my internal monologue by walking to the window and throwing open the curtains, allowing the fluorescent light of modernity to flood the outside darkness, if only a little.
The fear, however, crept back into me. Not with any movements, nor with any sound, but with a feeling. The feeling of the brush of a warm, breeze on my forearm. I looked to my left and froze. The window was opened. Just an inch or so, but opened nonetheless. I slammed it shut and turned around, once more, scanning the room: sweat forming on my brow. And, once more, fear slammed into me like a truck: overtaking all of my senses. This time coming in the form of a soft, yet audible, “click.”
With that click the lights flickered off once more, and darkness swarmed into the room. It was only then that I noticed the thick dust that hung precariously in the air: reflecting the ribbons of pale moonlight that now flooded the room. Millions of particles of dust, floating on the night air above, behind and around me. And then, as if disturbed by a strong gust of wind, they began to move. They swirled around the room and into a fearsome vortex in the center. Spinning and spinning until they began to coalesce, not more than a couple of inches from me.
First the particles of dust formed into a head: oblong in shape, and longer than any human or animal that I had ever seen, with not a speck of hair on it. The eyes were nothing more than to sunken ovals that barely penetrated the white, “flesh,” of the being, that took up more than half of its’ terrible, “face.” No mouth formed, yet I could feel it’s horrible grin. Next the dust formed into a body: as misshapen as it’s head, and even more hideous. With sunken pores and holes where moonlight pierced covering it, like some pale pumice stone.
It’s arms were longer than they should have been. Reaching to at least the middle of what could be called its calves. It’s knees were bent backwards and the legs themselves were short, yet it towered above even the tallest man, due to it’s long torso, stretching at least five feet. It craned its neck downward to look down on me, it’s sunken eyes peering into my soul.
I tried to scream, to have some stranger, some passing good Samaritan rush to my aid, and fill my dark apartment with the white fluorescence of the hallway. Yet no sound escaped my lips. Though my larynx strained and tore against the horror forming in front of me, I could not get a single terrible syllable out. And as the last of the swirling vortex of dust stuck to this sordid terror my silent screaming halted. As the being became complete it reached it’s long, gangly arms towards me.
I snapped out of it, slapping it’s arm away: the dust that formed the limb blew across the room and I sprinted for the door, towards safety. A gust of wind shot past me: the creature of dust had disconnected and reformed in front of the door: blocking my escape.
I backed away…I needed to escape. My legs gave out and I fell on my backside. The creature once again reached out for me, and paralyzed by fear as I was I could only wait.
It’s large hand grasped my face: it’s digits encircling my head. I kept my mouth closed, it, too, struck still with fear. I could feel a pressure on my occipital lobe as the creature squeezed and I involuntarily opened my mouth in a silent whimper.
As my mouth opened it stuff something that I was not prepared for: all the dust that formed it’s hand rushed into my narrowly opened mouth. The creature wrenched my jaws open and I could do nothing but stare as each individual particle of dust flooded into my mouth, into my being. The dust scratched at my palettes, and my throat as it seemingly dispersed throughout my entire body, and I could do nothing but choke on the seemingly unending torrent of dust. And then it ended: my consciousness left me as the oxygen was robbed and replaced with dust…
I woke up in a cold sweat, and looked around…I was under my polyester sheets on top of my spring mattress. It had all been a dream, a horrible nightmare. I sighed and laid down starting at the ceiling before I stood up. My heart sank as I saw the curtains wrenched open and the window opened just an inch…