Shudder

A Spooky Story About the Sinister Occurrences of One Man’s Reality

Shudder

   It was a bad dream, the way the shutters violently banged up against the one glass window above the man’s bed. He attempted to sleep, but the shutters were no match for the wind. Only Sam, the man’s dog, could comfort him.

   He stared through the opening in his window, looking out from his tall, dark house. His dog, no bigger than the box radio speaking to him from his nightstand, leaped into his lap and licked his hand. While the man was tough, he could not sleep without the company of Sam’s comforting licks.

   The man sat, petting Sam on the head, when suddenly, the radio tuned into a story that had been haunting him for weeks. “Killer on the loose… psychotic… struck again last night… victim reported dead… survivor reports missing dog… bounty out for killer…”

   This news would have paralyzed the man with fear, but sleep weighed heavily upon his eyelids. He tried his best to stay awake, but instead hung his arm off the side of the bed, letting Sam’s reassuring licks guide him to sleep.

   He awoke early, got out of bed, tended to his pumpkin patch for several hours, and quickly called it a day. He walked back inside and realized Sam was gone. This did not trouble him greatly so he got in bed and began to sleep. Soon after, he felt the licks on his hand, feeling Sam had come home.

   The next morning, Sam was not on the bed nor in the house. Sam’s absence grew strange. A dog as loving as Sam would have stayed near the man all day. That night, the man went to bed, and once again, the licks returned to his hand and put him to sleep.

   The following day was brutal, working without Sam in the pumpkin field. That night, he took a hot shower, letting the steam fog up the mirror. When he stepped out, he shuddered. Written in the mirror, against the steam, was “HUMANS CAN LICK TOO.”

   Moments before he fainted, he looked through that small opening in the window. In it loomed the shadow of a man, his tongue nearly visible through his crooked grin.

   The radio suddenly crackled in the corner, sputtering a news story. In between static, echoing through the empty room, sounded the words, “Dog collar found… dog was named Sam… killer’s fingerprints… lock your doors…”

   Suddenly, the radio crashed to the floor, leaving the house silent save for the buzzing of the light fixture against the steam… and the sound of the front door slowly creaking open.

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