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Short story: I'm Not Afraid of the Dark
By: Ashley H., Bishops College, St. John's, NF

"Here Stalin, where are you you stupid cat? I really don't want to be here, I have things to do you know!

Come on sweetie…come out and I will give you a treat! I have a box of those fish treats that you like and I promise you can have them all if you just come out already.

Come on...I'll even let you sleep on my bed tonight!" I coaxed.

"Okay, have it your way. I'll come in and get you but when I find you you'll wish you were lost again. Stall-ll-iinn!"

I step up on the fungus-covered stairs and can almost feel the soft fuzz tickling my leg. The little dips of moldy, yellow water splash between my sandal covered toes as I get closer and closer. One wrong step and I could fall right through the weak gray wood. I am really starting to get aggravated now. "How could anyone have lived here?" I thought.

"Who really least I know that he isn't here now. Well here I go. Let's just hope that I make it out without breaking something…like my leg." I smile at my silly remark and proceed to the door.

I open the horrific, steel door and push it with all my might. I brush the wall with my soft fingers in search of the light switch but it didn't seem to be there, so I walk in the dusty room. I once again search around for the switch and touch what I assumed was a table in hopes of finding a lamp but there didn't seem to be one. There were no windows in the room and it reminded me of the time when we were painting my house and everything was covered with dingy, white sheets. Everything looked so dirty.

"Okay," I say out loud, "I guess that I will have to do this is the dark…"

I walk a little farther into the room and the door slams shut behind me.

"Ahhhhh…." I scream, "This is so not funny. Of course the wind would pick up as soon as I walk in here. I hope that it isn't to hard to pull back opened again. I'm goin' find the cat and get out of here right away. Here Stalin, here Stalin…where the hell are you?" I sputter to myself.

I glance around the room and all that I can see are dusty carpets and spider webs in the corners of the ceiling. The place looked just like it came from a horror movie, all that was missing was the ghost and maybe a few fuzzy brown rats. The air has a fousty smell about it, almost like the smell I got when we found that dead cat in the woods. We couldn't help ourselves and we turned it over to see its rotting body being eaten away by white maggots. It had brought tears to my eyes, and vomit in my throat…I was beginning to get that feeling all over again. I urge but catch myself just in time. I hate that feeling it burns your throat and hurts your stomach.

This gross feeling makes me think, 'what am I doing here?' I think for a minute about my silly question and realize that it is stupid. I am looking for my cat and I know that there is nothing scary about this place. I mean it is just an abandoned old house, falling apart, with cobwebs lining each corner and scary goblin like statues hanging from the walls. You know it looks just like the cover of the R.L. Stine book, Welcome to Dead House. But I am sure that it is nothing like that house.

I hate the dark and I can't believe that I am in here. I won't even sleep in my room without my TV being left on, imagine that, a 17 year old sook who is afraid of the dark. I think about this for a minute and it scares me even more. I have no light to switch on, no TV to keep me safe and no one to run to for help…no that I think of it if I scream than no one will even hear me. What if I fall through the rotted floor and hurt my leg? Who will help me? I will be stuck here forever. No one even knows where I am.

This scares me, I don't want to get stuck here and starve to death. Slowly withering away until the rats start to gnaw at my lifeless body. I don't want to die alone I am so young…I don't want to die!

I turn around and run for the door but feel so disoriented. Like when you were a child and spun in circles, then when you stopped you couldn't figure out which way you were facing. I am so confused that I cannot remember what wall the door is on. I fumble around and find a wall. I feel its rough wooden surface to find the door but it is no where to be found. This is really starting to scare me now. I know that the door was around here somewhere but where I can't seem to figure out. Everything is so dark and lord knows what is hidden in this shadow of darkness.

" I'm not afraid of the dark…I'm not afraid of the dark…" I repeat over and over. I cannot find the door and it feels like the darkness is surrounding me like a cloud of dust. I am sure that you know that feeling, just think of when you are called to the principals' office after doing something you know you have gotten caught for. You know that tightening in your throat that you get and the paranoia you feel when you are awaiting your punishment. Well that is how I feel. It is sickening.

I am sure that something is coming toward me. I can tell that it is something evil because its presence is so cold; I quiver like you do when you get a chill from the winters air. But I am not cold…I am too scared to be cold.

Beads of sweat are running down my forehead as I search again along the rough wall for the door, a light switch anything that will release me from this dark shadow. My soft innocent hands search but find nothing. I don't know what to do.

"I'm not afraid of the dark…I'm not afraid of the dark…." I repeat over and over, hoping that it will somehow save me or at least give me some type of hope.

The evil being seems to be getting closer and closer to me and no matter what I do I know that once it is here I am done for. I can feel its cold breath on the back of my neck and know that the long talons will reach my young, delicate skin soon.

Tears stream down my face as I prepare for my death. The being is very close now and I know that I only have one more chance to find the precious door. This last touch could be my last so I know that I had better make it worthwhile. I reach out my quivering hand in hopes of finding the door. I touch the wall and my life flashes before my eyes…why didn't I call and tell everyone where I was…if anything happen they won't know where to find me...I should have done more with my life…I could have been so much more…

I repeat once more, "I'm not afraid of the dark…" and I fall to floor in a lifeless bound.

I can feel the enormous beast is on top of me now. Its hairy claws are against my faint skin. I know that this is the end of my short life…

With my last breath I repeat out loud to give myself a last bit of hope…"I'm not afraid of the dark…I am not afraid of the dark". All of a sudden the door flies open and the light shines in. It is like I have been reborn and this is the first time I have ever saw light…it amazes me.

The horrific ordeal is over…I am lying on the bleak, frigid floor with my kitty in my arms purring contently and I am not afraid of the dark.

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