More shrieking and mock snarls from the hallway. Rubén had actually scared Mirenita; the five year old had begun to cry.
I let out an annoyed sigh. Seriously? I ignored my aunt and cousin, pushing past them as I ran out to the hallway. I expected to see my step cousin chasing Mirenita, but he was nowhere in sight. My little sister, however, was already over her tears, running through the kitchen and cackling.
“Miren–” I called out to her, but the sound of my voice only quickened her pace. My legs were much longer, considering our twelve year age difference, so I power walked after her, easily catching up. We had traversed the dining room space and were passing the living room when I reached out to grab the back of her shirt–
I shot a peripheral glance at the man sitting on the couch, and my heart began pounding against the confines of my rib cage. My eyes had widened so much, I thought they would fall out if they stayed that way. Mirenita out of sight, I sprinted back down the hall to my room, slamming the door behind me.
That was not my uncle.
The door opened.
Shadows crept in, scaling the walls and slithering across the ceiling.
He took a step in.
Who is that? My body asked.
My mental presence shook her head, panicked. I-I don’t–
He took another step in.
For the past several days, I had the same recurring dream. In it, I stood a little over two meters from the red door, and in each dream I took a step closer. The last thing I wanted was to go near it–to see whatever the door had to show me. I wanted none of it, but I didn’t know why.
Why does it make me feel this way? I asked myself when I woke up last. It’s just a door.
It was square, with no partitions or bracings. The window hovered ahead without the help of a wall, and a dim light spilled through the glass, a dusty bone-white glow that fell off the bottom of the window like a waterfall at the edge of the world. I had expected the light to stretch on for eternity, but the emptiness swallowed the rays. Captured them.
Snuffed them out.
“What’s the matter?” asked Mercedes, Rocío’s mom. Her hair was dyed black, but her roots were flaxen blonde. She was already seated at the kitchen table by the time I trudged out of the bedroom. “You look tired. Didn’t you get any sleep?”
I shrugged as I entered the kitchen. “I’ve just been having weird dreams.”
“She tosses and turns and mumbles in her sleep every night, Ma,” Rocío revealed, throwing me under the bus. I threw her a scowl, which she ignored.
ei·do·lon /īˈdōlən/ noun
- an idealized person or thing.
- a specter or phantom.
The short stories you will find on this page are all original works from the mind of Natasha Penn–me. That is not to say they are necessarily fiction; fiction is defined as, “literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.”
Fiction and non-fiction, reality and fantasy, normal and paranormal–their lines will blur as I recount that which I have witnessed. So relax, settle into your favorite seat, and make sure you have a hot beverage handy. You’ll need the heat.
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