This story was accepted for publication in Literary Orphans third issue: Edgar.
The above link is to the entire issue, here’s a link to the following story, about a terrifying Muppet.
I woke up around 8am on a sunny Saturday, so excited about cartoons and lots of playing outside. Lingering somewhere behind the fun ahead were whispers of my sweaty night dreaming of the blue Phantom that had haunted the Muppet Show the night before.
I had a bowl of Kix, and was settling down on my bench/seat for Smurfs when I heard a slight noise coming from the kitchen where I’d just been. It was so quiet, almost stealthy, I barely even heard it. Just a soft rustle, like a brush of cloth against the wood of the counters, cloth similar to the Phantoms robes.
I just froze on the spot, I didn’t want to make a sound, didn’t want whatever was in the kitchen to hear me and come out.
Another hint of sound drifted out, a slight scuff, kind of like a crafty step that went awry.
The Smurfs just droned on in the background of the fear that held me in place. I started wishing for my mom to wake up so I could be safe again, but I was also afraid that if she did, would the Phantom get her?
The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, and I could feel the goose-bumps rising all over my arms, and I thought I heard another sound, another rustling of material.
My primal urge was to run, but my base need was to simply stay frozen in the hopes that I would remain undetected, because I knew if I ran, it would hear me and catch me far before I could reach safety.
My legs started to tremble, and I realized I had to pee, very badly.
I knew I could never get up and use the bathroom, so I just tried my best to hold it and wait out the monster in the kitchen.
The loudest noise yet, a thud, almost as if the Phantom had jumped down from a counter to the floor, and now there were more scuffling sounds and I knew it could not be my imagination.
It was going to come around the cabinets any second and see me sitting on my bench at the other end of the hallway, and then the game of chasing and fleeing would begin.
I could hear the rustling and scuffs more and more now, and I was very aware of the almost overwhelming need to go pee.
My legs were still trembling, and my left one involuntarily jerked, causing the spoon in my cereal to clink the side of the bowl, which in turn brought silence from the kitchen.
Tears started to run silently down my face, because I knew the Phantom was listening intently, and I knew it was only a matter of time before our confrontation.
I saw a small shadow on the hallway floor, brought on by the sun from the kitchen window, and I knew it was moving towards me. As the shadow got bigger and more distinct, I could see the start of something turning the corner and I heard a scream coming from my own mouth and I had the vague impression of my bladder letting go.
I knew it was over, the Phantom would have me, so I jumped up and ran towards my parent’s room, getting there just as my mom opened the door to see why I had screamed. We bumped into each other and I was babbling about the kitchen and the Phantom was coming to get me.
She set me down on the bed with my dad and went to check.
I was so terrified for her, it was a long time before she came back.
She said it was our cat, Skippy, playing with a washcloth and there was nothing in the kitchen.
I was in trouble, however, for the mess of cereal I had spilled, and for the fact that I had peed my pants on my bench.
I cleaned up my mess, and spent the rest of the day stuck inside as punishment.
My mom had said it was the cat, but I knew better, I knew that Phantom was only waiting for a better opportunity to find me by myself and take me away to the shadows of the Muppet House.