ANTHONY JOHNSON - THE GIFT
Anthony Johnson is a writer whose favorite genre to work in is horror. He is currently studying Creative Writing at Full Sail University. After taking a very long break from the writing world he is hoping to take a passion and turn it into a fun and lifelong career. He is a currently a member of the Nebraska Army National Guard and likes to spend his free time running, taking care of his dog Missy, spending time with friends, and can be occasionally be spotted at a local open mic comedy night. He can be contacted at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ring! Ring! Ring. The sound of the doorbell startled her right off the couch. She had been engrossed in the bright flashes and loud noises of her Xbox for hours. Looking down at her phone she saw that it was one in the morning. Who the hell is that, she thought to herself. Making her way to the door she remembered arguing with her mother, when she first moved to the city, about how there wasn’t actually as many creeps in the city as she thought.
Trying to peer through the impossibly small peep hole she couldn’t see anyone outside. These damn things are useless she thought. Slowly creeping the door open she stuck her head outside looking around ready to slam the door shut. Fully opening the door, she leaned out to get a better look. Still no one.
Taking one more step out the door she felt her foot brush up against something. Looking down she saw a small box with one thing written on the top, KELLY. The air seemed to get heavier and the hairs on the back of neck stood up. She hadn’t ordered anything. Why would she be getting a package at this time of night anyways?
Taking one last look around she picked up the box and went inside making sure to lock the door behind her. Striding quickly across her living room into the kitchen she sat down at her table and opened the box. As soon as she took the lid off she dropped the box like it had send an electric shock into her hands, and the pictures of her spilt across the table.
This has got to be a joke. Spreading the pictures across the table she noticed something peculiar. They seemed to be taken farther away, and progressively got closer. A picture of her in her Prius at a stoplight. A picture of her walking into her office. A picture of her walking into the grocery store. A picture of her playing her Xbox…that had to have been taken tonight. She was wearing the same outfit and playing the exact same game.
Suddenly the back of her neck tingled like a thousand different pairs of eyes were watching her that she couldn’t see, and she felt a little scared about all the lights that she had turned off throughout the house. Going through the house she turned on every light, and made sure all the windows and the backdoor were locked shut.
Intending on calling the police she rushed back to the living room, but couldn’t find her phone on the couch. I could swear I left my phone here.
“Did you like my gift?”, a male voice breathed into her ear. Screaming she swung her elbow behind her as she turned around and caught air. There was no one else in the room.
Heart racing, she looked around the room. The hallway and kitchen lights were off. Sprinting to the switches she tried to turn them on but they wouldn’t do anything.
“It’s just us now,” she heard the voice whisper again. All the power in the house went out. Jumping across the room back to her front door she tried to undo the bolt, but it was jammed. Icy cold fear washed over her, and she made a beeline up her stairs. This is why I’ve always kept that Glock in my dresser.
Ripping open her top drawer she immediately wanted to get sick. Her gun was gone. Attempting to run out of the room she felt something grab the back of her shirt, and toss her back hard into the dresser with what felt like supernatural strength. Pain like she’d never felt before shot like fire through her hip. It had to be broken. What’s happening to me?
Shooting seemingly out of nowhere in the darkness a large, inhuman looking hand shot out of the darkness, and grabbed her by the throat. “Why’re you running?”, the voice said, “I’ve got another gift for you.”
The hand shoved her onto the floor. She tried to fight back, but the figure was so monstrously strong she couldn’t shake it off. She never got a look at its face, but she laid there for hours after the figure had slinked out of the door.
As it left the lights seemed to flicker back on as it passed by, but they could’ve all turned back on at the same time. She wasn’t paying much attention as she just stared up at the roof. The sound of one of the doors going out of the house never came to her, but once the sun started to come up she assumed she was alone again.
She made her way back down the kitchen. A framed picture of her on the ground had the box and pictures she had left there. Mom was right about the city, she thought as tears started to stream down her face.
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