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In The Dark

A Closet Sanctuary

By T.D. ZummackPublished about a year ago 5 min read

She peered through the tiny crack she had left in the door. From her closet sanctuary she looked out at the bedroom, barely breathing, heart pounding so loud she felt it would give her away any second. She saw no movement in the room but could hear the rustling from the hallway. A shadow passed by the bedroom door, and she paused her breathing once more as her eyes grew wider with apprehension. The shadow went back the way it came, never entering the bedroom and she allowed herself to relax for just a second. Her mind was racing. Would he find her? She closed her eyes and hoped the answer was no.

She could hear him rummaging through the rest of the house. Cupboards being opened, doors being opened and shut, every corner being checked. Hearing him downstairs, she sat back from the door and brought her knees to her chest. She wrapped her arms around them and hugged herself tight. Thoughts started creeping in. ‘This is a bad spot’ she thought to herself. ‘There’s only one way out, no quick escape.’ She considered running from her refuge and finding another spot but decided against it for fear of being discovered. He hadn’t found her yet, it can’t be that bad. It was quiet now, she couldn’t hear him moving around. She guessed he must have gone to check the basement, maybe the garage. Now would be the time to go, to run, to find another spot to hide. She couldn’t do it, she couldn’t make her body leave its haven, her legs wouldn’t move.

“Where are you?”, his voice rang with a slight lilt as he asked the question. His voice froze her thoughts, and her eyes were wide again. She peered through the crack once more. Where was he? Did that come from upstairs or was he back in the kitchen? She was so into her own thoughts, and he had asked it so quickly that she didn’t have time to get his location. Panic struck as she again went to the crack and scrutinized the bedroom, looking for any sign of him. If she could go, where would she go? She could hear him every now and then, still checking for her, trying to find her. Under the bed? That’s the first place they always look. Leave the room and try and hide somewhere else? What if she was in the hall when he came back upstairs? There would be nowhere for her to hide, and she would be discovered for sure. No, she decided it would be best to stay where she was and just stay as quiet as possible.

“I’m going to find you.”, his voice still had the lilt but had a little menace to it this time. What would happen if he did find her? It was all she could do to keep from screaming. So much anxiety, anticipation, fear all at once that she felt like she would burst. She wanted to look behind her and scratch her way through the wall to another spot, one that felt safer. She was breathing heavily and was sure that he would hear her and discover her hiding place. She tried to slow it down, but the suspense wouldn’t allow her to do so. At one point she thought she heard him on the stairs again but couldn’t bring herself to look. Things were silent once more and she wasn’t sure what was happening. Her mind was racing. What was going on? Was he still looking?

It felt like she had been in that closet for hours. How long had it been? Would anyone find her there? Did anyone even know she was there? She pushed herself to the back of the closet and curled into a ball trying not to let the apprehension take her over. The darkness and the shadows played tricks on her. The blackness of the closet made her feel almost weightless, like she was floating in a void, trapped in nothingness, but when she looked out the door the shadows in the bedroom conjured images of strange objects and creepy people staring back at her. The conflicting feelings caused her to freeze, the fear paralyzing her. She was getting claustrophobic now, there was not a lot of room in the closet, and she was sharing what space there was with the clothes hamper in the other corner. The walls started to move, they were closing in on her in the darkness, threatening to swallow her whole. She swallowed a scream and stared out into the bedroom again, trying to calm herself.

A shadow entered the bedroom again and she gulped hard as this time the shadow was followed by a figure in the doorway. Her eyes were the size of saucers as she saw the figure enter the room. She tried to maneuver further back and accidentally bumped the hamper. She froze. Had he heard her? It didn’t appear he had as he continued to search the room. She was glad she had chosen to stay where she was as she saw his dark figure go to his knees and look under the bed. Everything was still dark, why hadn’t he turned on the light? She didn’t want to be found, but another minute in this darkness and she was going lose it. She watched through her crack as he stood up again and looked around the room. His gaze fell upon the closet door, and she paused her breathing again.

“Are you in there?”, he asked. He took a step closer, and she could feel her heart pounding. She squeezed herself against the back wall as hard as she could and carefully pulled the hanging clothes in front of her, disappearing behind them. One hangar squeaked on the bar as she slid it. She froze again. She could hear him coming closer as she slowly pulled the hamper in front of her legs to hide them.

She could no longer see him but heard his hand on the door handle. Her heart was pounding so hard now she felt it might burst right from her chest and it was so loud she was sure he could hear it on the other side of the door. The closet door opened, and she held her breath. Suddenly, the clothes were pushed swiftly away from her. “Found you!”, he yelled.

She screamed and then started to laugh. “Daddy! It’s your turn to hide now.”

Short Story

About the Creator

T.D. Zummack

I'm a 48 year old aspiring writer who has finally taken the time and put in effort to make the dream come true instead of just keep wishing it. I currently have 2 books available on Amazon, 'Amazing Grace' & 'The Brand of Brotherhood.'

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