He’s Here

“Tommy, mom says dinner is ready” Jake called up the stairs. He waited for a moment, but it was silent. He gave an exasperated sigh then made his way back to the kitchen.

“Where’s your brother” asked his mom. “I don’t know, probably under his bed hiding from the ‘spooky man’ following him everywhere” he said with a sarcastic chuckle. She looked at him, slightly scowling her brow.

“You know you use to have an imaginary friend when you were his age. A little girlfriend you’d pretend to hold hands with and go on little dates” she said, puckering her lips and making kissing noises. “Gaaah mom stop, you’re embarrassing” he said while tucking his face into his arms trying not to listen. She smiled and rolled her eyes, moving back towards the stove.

“Not so fun being the one getting picked on is it? Come on, go up stairs and bring him down”. “Fiiiiiine” he said while pushing away from the table. He exaggerate his slouch and dangling arms as he walked by her to make sure she knew how torturous of a task she gave him.

“Come on, Tommy. There’s no boogeyman downstairs, I checked” he said while making his way up the stairs and to Tommy’s door. He pushed the door open and walked in, but the room was empty. “Tommy I swear I’m gonna chuck your toys out the window if I have to pull you out from under the bed” he grumbled while walking to the bed. He leaned down to look under, but there was nothing.

“Tommy?” he called out to the empty room, but was met with only the sound of the wind outside. He saw the window was open and went to investigate, but stopped when when he saw a note left on his desk. He looked at it and started to panic. “Mom!” he yelled down to her, legs frozen in place.

A flurry of footsteps raced up the stairs and his mom came through the door. “Jake what is it? Where’s Tommy?” she said breathing heavy as she scanned the room. He handed her the note, his facial expression worsening. She snatched it from his hand quickly to read it, but it only had two words. “He’s here”.

They stared at each other, eyes widening, the room growing cold. “Oh my god, no no no” she said while frantically making her way downstairs. “Jake, I’m calling the police. I need you to get on your bike and start looking. He was just here so he couldn’t have gotten far.”

He stood there, not moving an inch. The man following him wasn’t real, it was just in his imagination, it was just—“Jake!” his mom called forcefully. He snapped back to reality and started to make his was downstairs. “If you see anything, come back and let me know. Stay safe”. “Yeah, I got it”. He threw his shoes on and threw open the door running to his bike.

“Tommy!” Jake was peddling as fast as he could, racing through the neighborhood. “Where could he be….come on think think think….”. Tommy was small and always getting picked on. The bullies would chase him so he would always hide in—“the park!”. He remembered finding Tommy there last week after the neighborhood kids were picking on him. He turned his bike around and began to peddle fast. “Please be there Tommy, please be there”.

Jake got to park and began heading toward the shed, his tires skidding through the dirt as he came to a stop in front. “Tommy” he called out. He leaped from his bike and grabbed the door knob. It was unlocked. “Please be here” he whispered. He turned the knob slowly and peaked his head inside. In the dark corner there was a kid wrapped in a ball, face hidden and whimpering in his arms.

Jake let out a large breath of relief and began to walk towards him. “Tommy, mom’s gonna kill you when I—“ “Jake”. Tommy lifted his head and looked towards Jake. His skin was pale and his face was dripping in tears and cold sweat. He was shaking as Jake walked towards him. “What’s going—“ “he’s here”.

The light to the shed began to disappear, replaced by the outline of a man. Jake slowly turned, the light disappearing as the door began to close. He looked up glimpsed toward a man with darkened eyes, a small smirk creeping across his face. The door closed, and all was dark.

Comments 1