He poured himself another glass of the alcohol from the cabinet above the fridge. What was it? Bourbon? Whiskey? He was not in control of his faculties enough to know or care what it was, as he drank it down, as it numbed the shock he felt in his heart and the pain in his arm. The pain kept him alert. Too alert.
He caught himself staring at the closet door with such intensity he feared he may burn a hole through it, but he didn’t want to do that. If that door were to open, if that wood were to smoke and fade away into ash while he stared, it would let the thing inside out. He didn’t know what to do, where else he could look. The moonlight cascading in through the window caught his eye and as he turned his head to it the thing moaned from behind the closet door, bringing his attention back to the chipped blue paint and the small brass hook on which he had only once hung his hat.
“Shut up!” he cried, throwing the glass in fearful reflex. Silence. It stopped at his request, a fact he found far more troubling than if it had simply ignored him and continued. It showed intelligence, it showed recognition. He told it to shut up and that is exactly what it did. Why did that scare him? Why did the silence frighten him more than the awful sounds it made on the other side of that old wooden door?
His heart pounded in his chest like a drum and every beat made the pain worse. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t remember where the thing had come from, let alone the exact moment it had dug its claws into his arm. Blood pooled on the floor around him and he began to feel weak. He fought against every blink of his eye as each one lasted longer and bled into the next. From behind the closet door, he heard something stir.
“It won’t be long now.” he thought, or did he? He must have thought it. Or did he hear it? His eyelids slowly drifted together and his head leaned back, causing him to collapse into the nearest chair.
“So much blood.” he whispered, “So much blood.”
A horrible sound filled the air, the sound of claws scraping against wood, the sound of tentacles wriggling and of teeth biting at the air. He fought against the urge to sleep, the desire to give in to unconsciousness, he rallied against it like a soldier on the rampage, but it didn’t matter. He was slipping and he knew it. He slumped down and slid off the edge of the bed, taking the blanket with him, landing with a thud. He couldn’t recall its face, if it even had one, but somehow he knew it was smiling as the wood began to splinter. He could feel it.