I woke up one night to a scratching sound.
It wasn’t anything startling; it wasn’t even anything out of the ordinary.
I struggled out of bed feeling weighted down by tiredness, with intentions to quickly let what I figured to be my dog; scratching to be let inside of my room. I managed to stumble my way to the door and felt for the doorknob. I found it and turned, awaiting a rush of fur to speed past my leg and jump onto my bed. It never came. I opened my eyes a little wider and surprising found that the hallway outside my room was empty. I was too tired to really care and crashed back in bed.
But it happened again. An almost inaudible scratching sound came from somewhere in my room. I sat as still as I could, ignored the ticking of my clock, and awaited the sound. After a couple seconds, I heard it. Strangely I was unable to locate the source. It sounded as if it was echoing from every direction, taunting me to discover what the hell was making the sound. I sat at the edge of my bed and again waited for it.
Instead, I felt a strange tickling sensation on the back of my foot. I looked down and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness.
I was greeted by the sight of a gnarled hand slowing reaching from underneath of my bed toward my foot, moments away from grasping my ankle. Its nails were scraping across the sides of my foot, waiting to tighten up.
I screamed and snatched my foot up. In response, the hand disappeared underneath my bed. Childish instinct drove me to lay back down with the covers almost covering my eyes. The smart thing would have been to jump up and charge out of the room, but I had made my move already.
I was trapped.
My eyes wouldn’t even dare to check the time. I was in panic mode, racing to gather my thoughts. What the fuck was under my bed. I was too old to believe in monsters. Was this just a prank by my brother? Had I just imagined the whole thing? No, because I heard it again. I discovered the source of the scratching.
Underneath my bed there was a slow yet definite sound of something being torn. The underside of my bed was being shredded apart. I could hear it moving downward further and further. Then, instead of scratching, I could hear something struggling to move in-between the crack of the springs in my bed. It was trying to move upwards. My eyes widened as I began to feel a small, sharp nail rub against the length of spine. It continued to run up and down, pushing harder and harder every time it traveled the entire way up and down. My body screamed to get up and run. But instead I lay stuck, paralyzed with terror.
It had already torn through my sheets and began to cut my back. Blood had started to soak into the fabric. Its hand started to reach through and widen the hole in my sheets. It was repeating what it had done to my bed with me. It was beginin-
Suddenly its nails dug into the cuts and began to tear into my skin. I still lay frozen, now because of pain. It tore deeper and deeper, burrowing into my body. I would pass out before it made its way through my body, tearing out into the other side and leaving me to bleed out.