's 2019 Horror Write-off:

Nothing is there.

Submitted by The best, around

Everyone has a fear of the unknown, they don’t like to admit it, as a thing they can’t own. There’s just the inability to find reason, that keeps us back, lest our minds run wildly off track. Despite this, there’s unknown all around us, all the time, and nobody else seems afraid of it, so why am I, when everyone’s fine? I feel them behind though they’re gone when I turn, I feel them there as I stare down the hall, but nothing is there, nothing at all.

Mayhaps loneliness creeps in the night - I talk to myself after all - trying to drown out the feelings and sounds, but even my words can’t pierce through the call, ‘something is there, lying in wait, are you just going to accept your fate?’ I turn and gasp as it’s revealed to me that nothing’s what waited, causing no noise, feeling no feelings as I feel destroyed, I felt them behind me but nothing was there, my breathing grows hard yet nothing was there, I stare and stare yet like my prayer; even as I look, nothing is there.

Maybe there’s something deep in the dark, which howls and creeps without leaving a mark, I get a dog from the local shelter, yet feel more alone around her. They don’t even perk as I can hear the depths; reaching forward, pressuring breaths, I call for my dog with worrisome tone, but they look confused as I stand alone, sweating profusely, my heart it’s own tone, ‘there’s nothing behind me’ I say to night’s cowl, but even while talking I feel something prowl.

The stairs, the stairs, that’s it, the stairs. It must be the basement which causes my scares, I look down the dark but I can’t feel my arms, the light is nearby but my head’s all alarms, if I flick the switch and something shows care then how will I know that nothing is there. Of course, I know, it’s all in my head, but I can’t I can’t I’m filled with dread, there’s something down there and it wants me DEAD, how do I know this? I can’t comprehend, yet my heart leaps and weeps as I stare down the steps, exciting and fighting the thoughts in my head. My eyes shut tight with unusual force, nothing unnatural, it’s me of course, but I’m keeping them locked under my own protection, what if my motto needed correction? I gasp and sputter, what a fool am I, forsaking my sight while the time is nigh, their grip is enclosing, I can feel it, foreboding.

I open my eyes and nothing is there, nothing at all is upon the dark stairs, my arms are trembling, my legs are weak, I can’t even find the strength to speak.

I turn on the lights and something is there, all the way at the bottom, I feel its stare - looking at me with widened eyes, a typical mix of fear and surprise. I smiled, spat “of course, a rat!” - Talking right through my dog’s fearful bellow, standing upright as I notice the shadow, eyes going wide as their grip’s felt this time. I turn and scream at the empty wall, I cower in fear, curled into a ball, my mind rotting hastily, it answers the call, because nothing is there, yet ‘Nothing’ stands tall.