Edited by Isela Fisk


Ryan Urbina

Original Digital Cover by writer Ryan Urbina

Contributing writer Ryan Urbina wrote this piece as an assignment for his 11th grade English class. We’re thrilled to be able to share his work here with our readers.

Before reading, be aware that this story contains graphic content that may be uncomfortable or frightening for some readers. The story is entirely fictional, but is within the horror genre. Content includes depictions of gore, horror, mentions of implied suicide, mentions of substance abuse, and violence. Reader discretion is advised. 

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There is someone inside my house. Instinctively, I run for the revolver on my nightstand. Only 6 bullets — that should be enough for any normal human. Or at least it should have been.

However, as I go to open the door, loud thumps like footsteps rapidly approach the stairs to my bedroom. It was fast, too fast.

Moments later, they stopped.

I could hear shallow breaths, they didn’t sound human. I lock my door, slowly backing away. I wanted to call the police, but I had left my phone in my office. My room has no windows, with dark blue paint. It’s fairly simple, with a small bed placed by my nightstand and a closet to the side. A television faced my bed, but it wouldn’t be any help. I drag my nightstand instead to the door, barricading it. Even from my bed, I can still hear it breathing. Afraid and panicked, I’m unsure of what to do now.

“Who are you… get the f**k out! I’ll shoot.. I have a gun!” I shout, sweating with my gun clenched and aimed at the door. It’s silent.

Then, an inhuman giggle comes from behind the door. I sit there, seemingly for hours, but nothing happens. I haven’t slept in days, and my fatigue is catching up to me. My gun slowly loosens from my grasp, and I fall asleep at my bedside.

“Momma, what’s the news talking about?” I asked.

“There are many people missing dear, 78 in the past 24 hours. Don’t worry though, I’ll protect you dear.” She reassured me, patting my head.

I looked up at her and she gave me a warm smile back with her beautiful obsidian-colored hair. I returned to my room as my little sister sprinted down the stairs, giggling while my father chased her down playfully. My sister had black hair like my mother who loved wearing a ponytail. My father was bald now but had black hair when he was younger. My sister and father playing made me laugh a fair amount and I closed the door behind me.

I heard the sound of glass shattering downstairs.

“Open up.” I hear upon waking, rubbing my eyes. The voice was feminine, awfully like my mother.

“Police, open up. We got a call about a break-in, and the situation has been handled. Please open up,” the woman commanded.

A wash of relief swept over my body — I’m saved. I walk towards the door, relieved it’s all over.

“Everything is okay now, please come out,” she assured me.

I hesitate slightly, her pushiness rubbing me the wrong way — but maybe I’m just paranoid.

“Is…he dead? The man that was outside?” I shakily ask.

“He was neutralized, he tried attacking me and I killed him in self-defense. Everything is okay,” she said coldly.

I would’ve heard the confrontation, it would have woken me. I’m an extremely light sleeper. Something is wrong. I don’t know what the thing outside my door, and I don’t want to find out.

“Open the door please.” She persisted. I respond in silence, fiddling with the revolver in the corner of my room.

I’m still sweating from nerves, but it doesn’t seem to know how to break down a door. It’ll eventually leave, right? Please leave. Please. I sink my head into my knees and softly I begin to cry.

I want to live. I don’t want to die here. Why me? Why, out of everyone, must this happen to me? Everything has already been taken away, so why me? Why must life take my reason to die, and then return to take my life after? This is too cruel.

“Please…go away. I’m begging you…please.” I lightly say while sobbing.

“It’s okay, just please open the door. I’m here to help.” She states.

“Leave me the alone! You torment me with these voices, what did I ever do to you? Who are you? I swear to god, I’ll pop a hole through your skull if you don’t leave right now! Get the hell out of my house!” I burst.

Tears stream as I point my gun toward the door. I’m so desperate, but I don’t know what to do. As my grip tightens, all I hear is uncontrollable laughter in my mother’s voice. I sat there for hours, even after the laughter had died out. I couldn’t move from my position at all. I just sat and listened. My body started to ache from a growling hunger and a demanding thirst, so I decide to try and sleep to not feel this discomfort. I find sleep through the crippling fear with melatonin, hoping to feel better when I wake.

The glass shattered, and the screams of my mother and little sister echoed throughout the house. Adrenaline pulses through me, unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I opened the door to my room slightly, hearing loud stomps approaching. My father rushed and grabbed me over his shoulder, he looked afraid. My father never feared anything. But he looked horrified. He rushed me to his room, hiding me in the closet.

“Whatever happens, do not, for any reason, leave this closet.” He bluntly said before he closed the closet door.

He rushed to a safe on the other side of his room, retrieving the revolver inside hastily and desperately putting in the combination. In the panic, we barely noticed the abnormal rush of footsteps approaching the door. Before it entered the room, it made a deafening screech so loud my ears could explode at any moment it felt like. I balled up, closing my eyes while crying silently. I could barely hear the firing of the gun as my father’s screams ensued shortly after. Then, after what seemed like an eternity, the screams ended, and the footsteps retreated. I could hear the front door open, as it seemingly left my home.

I suddenly woke up from a large slam on my door, with constant banging following. It made me feel slightly relieved, knowing that it couldn’t break the door down. But I started to feel so upset, not from the banging, but from my dream. I don’t want to remember that day. I start to cry a little, at the memory of my father, and everyone else I lost that day.

If I’m trapped and going to die here, I’ll at least try to have some fun. I feel so unphased by the banging at this point that I turn on my television to distract myself. I don’t really feel afraid anymore. I’ve accepted the fact there’s no way out for me. The television is just static, though. My remote isn’t working. I try turning it off but to no avail. Suddenly, the screen turns black, and text appears on the screen.

“Why didn’t you protect me? Big brother, you let me die. Why didn’t you help me? You heard me scream, and did nothing.” The voice of my little sister narrated.

Why can I hear her? What the hell is happening. Who is this? My television starts flickering as I see my sister’s lifeless decapitated head on the screen. I want to throw up. I feel disgusted to my core, and I feel such cold chills pulsating through my body.

I’m not afraid, it knows that. So it’s making me feel something worse. Trying to stomach my disgust, the screen flickers again.

“What did I sacrifice myself for? This is what I died for? I could’ve saved myself, I could’ve saved our family if it wasn’t for you. And this is how you turn out? Don’t you feel any shame? Anything at all?” The voice of my father coldly said.

Please stop. I’m sorry. Stop speaking to me in their voices, please stop. Please leave me alone. Please just go away. What have I ever done to you to deserve this? As I start shaking and sweating with my eyes watering, the screen flickers again.

“How do you have the audacity to live on while we were all slaughtered. What are you even living for? You couldn’t protect us, you just let it happen. It should’ve taken you, not us. So let it take you now, so you can make amends for what you’ve done to us.” The voice my mother ordered.

I don’t have a reason to live. So what did I get this far for? In a sense, she’s right, I wish it took me instead. I want to see my family again. It feels like something is squeezing my gut, guilt feels so awful. I stare at the revolver; I just want to see my family again.

“Don’t you miss us? Come home with us. Repent for your sins. End your dull life, and live a new one with us.” The voices encouraged.

The guilt, disgust, sorrow, grief, and pain all started to merge I’m so sorry. I raise my gun, still sweating, pointing it at the television and firing it. The television shut off, a bullet hole now through the screen. It was silent again. The thoughts in my head, considering taking my life, didn’t stop. I feared if I kept thinking about this, it would eventually happen. I grabbed the rest of my melatonin bottle, taking all of it. I just wanted to sleep, I don’t wanna be awake anymore. I didn’t care anymore, I just didn’t want to be in the real world. As soon as I noticed it kicking in, I immediately fell asleep.

My father was dismembered, his arms were twisted and contorted with his bones piercing out from his skin. His jaw was missing, as well as his eyes. He had so many gaping holes in his chest and torso that the rib cage could be seen through a few of the holes.

I just cried, I didn’t know how else to respond as a child. I walked slowly downstairs, I wish I hadn’t. My mother was hung with her own intestines that had been ripped out of her. Her arms were gone, with her lifeless eyes staring at the floor. Her legs were twisted like a puppet, it was a horrific sight. My sister’s head was below my mother’s on the ground, but her body missing. I don’t know how long I sat there. But eventually, police arrived to help, not like there was anyone to help anymore.

My life after that was such a miserable experience that I wish I died with them that day. This time, I woke up on my own accord. Though, I didn’t really want to. I just want this to be over. I finally gather the resolve to do something, so I pick up my revolver, gripping it extremely tight. I walk to my door, hearing those inhuman shallow breaths once again. I was planning to shoot through my door, but I wouldn’t know where to aim so I decided against it. So instead, I move my nightstand away from my door and reach for my door knob to open the door when a sudden slam on the door causes me to jolt back. I could hear cracks in the wooden door, as the slams continued the door started to bend. I run to my closet as part of the door is broken through, however, I only hear it and can’t get a glimpse of it.

I checked my revolver to make sure the bullets were loaded, which they were. My adrenaline was through the roof asI kept fumbling with my gun and it kept dropping to the ground. I was sweating profusely but felt so cold from the raw fear coursing through my body. I could hear the entire door come down from a loud crash, I looked behind me as the doorway was open now and the rubble of my door was scattered throughout the floor.

I could hear its footsteps slowly approaching the doorway. I aim my gun toward the door, shaking with unsteady aim. I took another glance at my gun as it had to have been only steps away from the door. I thought about my life until this point. Even if I killed this creature, my life would still be miserable if not worse with new trauma. I have no reason to keep going after this, if I make it through.

I have nobody, no friends, no family, and no hope in this cruel world. I want to see my family again. I slowly stop aiming, and take one last look at my gun. The cold metal barrel presses against my lower jaw as I close my eyes.

I can hear it inside the room now, though I don’t open my eyes as I hear it head towards me. I use all my courage, pain, strength, and guilt to pull the trigger.

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