Falling Through the Night
This is my first attempt at an actual short story. Please don't mind the grammar mistakes. And if you have any critiques I would love to hear them.
I woke up suddenly and set my hand on a search for my phone that should be on my nightstand to check the time. I finished searching the entire table without any sign of my phone before remembering that I left it in the bathroom while last night. Deciding that that is a morning problem, I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
When I was finally surrendering to sleep, I heard a noise come from outside my door. My heart picked up speed as my imagination took control of my thoughts. “You’ve always had a creative mind,” my dad told me. And now, with nights like these, it comes back to haunt me.
I’m sure it’s nothing, just mom or dad going to the bathroom I told myself as I pushed the thought aside and laid back down.
As I tried to give in to sleep for the third time, I heard a thump from the hallway. It almost sounded like someone fell, yet there was no cry for help.
I grabbed my covers and pulled them closer to my chin, feeling the armor of the comforter protect me from whatever could have been outside. The silence that was there for minutes was interrupted by a knock on my door. I tensed and wondered why my parents would come to my room in the middle of the night and then knock.
“Yes?” I hesitantly say out to the anonymous person outside the door. My call-out was met with silence as tiredness washed over me which was followed by chills.
Not soon after the first knock, I heard another one that seemed almost further, like this mysterious person was knocking on my parents’ door. But that doesn’t make sense. If it was them why would they knock on their door? With curiosity getting the best of me, I got off my bed and made my way to the door.
I swallowed hard and felt my chest tighten with anxiety as I pressed my ear against it waiting for something.
There's no one out there. I decided on my plan. I pause for one more heartbeat making sure one last time that there was nothing out there. Just go open the door and knock on their door to see that they’re asleep. Then, go downstairs to make sure all the doors are locked, refill my water bottle, and come back upstairs, grab my phone from the bathroom and get back into my bed.
“There’s no one out there. You can do it.” I said softly, but there was a warning behind it to who or whatever is on the other side of the door. I breathed one last time before my shaky hand reached out for the doorknob. I yanked my hand back surprised by the unexpected coldness that the doorknob had. It was the middle of summer, the last thing anyone or thing was was cold.
With the faint light of the moon that was seeping into my room, I saw the frost that was covering the golden doorknob. I start to hear something outside my door, again. I couldn’t quite place it, but it was getting louder and louder sounding like my room was transported into the middle of a marathon.
A force slams into the door as murmurs start to fill the void of sound the footsteps had left behind. I do nothing but stare at the door putting all my faith into the strength of the door to keep it standing between me and whatever is out there.
The noise grows louder and louder until I hear my name over and over, coming from the other side.
Then, as quickly as it started, it stopped. I reach out for the door handle to see if it was still frozen, but it was perfectly normal.
I have decided that it was just my sister pulling a prank on me as I leave my spot by my door wondering how she pulled off the frozen doorknob. “She’s clever,” I thought “but that clever?”
I lay down on my bed and blink three times. “Long three blinks. Like you just walked outside and saw the sun for the first time in hours,” is what my father would say to me when I felt scared or nervous. And it’s what I do to try to make myself go back to sleep and get out of what I know is a dream
I blink once: the sound starts again, but distant.
I blink twice: it’s getting closer but is that a voice I hear?
I blink thrice: I think that voice belongs to my dad who’s calling my name. It sounds far but near me at the same time. Did I sleep through till morning?
I get up and walk to my door to get my day started and am relieved that all of that was a dream. I stop breathing as the door opens. I can see nothing but a void; no stairs, no carpet, no sister’s room, no bathroom. “Where am I?” I ask myself out loud.
“This has to be a dream,” I murmur to myself over and over. I reach out my foot like I’m dipping it into my aunts’ pool when we would first arrive, testing the waters to see if it’s warm or cold. I jump backward as my foot went past where the floor should’ve been and met nothing but air. I scamper back to my bed and try to even my breaths.
I start to run through my list, my list of reality.
First deep breath: I am in my house.
Second deep breath: I’m in my room.
Third deep breath: I am in my bed. Am I? It has to be a dream that’s what can explain this. I just never woke up. What is the word they call it? Oh ya, a lucid dream. That’s what I’m having I decide as I make my way to my nightstand.
I reach for my bottle of water that I keep next to my bed, unscrew the lid, and pour it onto my head. I sit there cold and wet unsure if it did wake me up. I dig up courage from the sure fact that I had to have woken up from the dream and head back to the door to try again.
I hold my breath as I reach out for the doorknob once again. It felt normal, that was a good sign. I pull the door open and I feel like the wind was knocked out of me as I am once again met with the same thing: nothing.
“Mom? Dad?” I yell out to the void hoping that they can come to wake me up from this dream. I can hear something coming from the opposite direction of where I am standing, it sounded like those footsteps I had heard earlier, and they sound like they were charging for me once again. I step back to close the door but feel a rush of air blow past me as the sounds of the footsteps sound like they are now behind me.
I turn around, unsure of what to find. I can see barely see anything as the moonlight has vanished from my windows. Luckily, my eyes have adjusted enough to the darkness that I can see a silhouette of something standing on my bed, above imprints of feet. My eyes adjust only enough to be able to tell that those are not feet, but they have yet to adjust enough to see what the shapes actually are.
My room starts to be filled with a voice that is somehow overlapping itself calling out my name at various levels of volume. I can see the impressions of whatever it was on my bed move toward me and onto my carpeted floors.
I back myself away from it, edging closer and closer to the open door. The impressions stop right in front of me and I reach out a hand unsure of what I will find. It hits something, like an invisible force, making it stop moving forward. Suddenly, silence replaces my name and all I can hear is my shaky breath escaping my mouth.
“Goodnight” I hear in that same voice which is now clearly in front of me as it pushes me back out through my open bedroom door.
I feel myself falling like I do before I am jerked awake some nights. But, I am still waiting to wake up as I am falling through a black void. There are no stars, no moon, no planets—just blackness with no bottom.