Scott’s mom went into the closet to prove that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of, but she never came out. It all began with Puppy (Scott never had the chance to give him a proper name). Puppy ran into the room while Scott was sitting and coloring in his book. His little nails clicked on the smooth hardwood floor as he slipped and flopped his way toward the young boy. They played for a long while, laughing, barking happily and tumbling about.
At one point, Puppy skidded off to the side of the room and landed in a pile of Scott’s loose clothing. He fumbled in the colorful heap for a few seconds before his head surfaced, entangled in a tiny pair of He-Man underwear.
Scott laughed for a moment before he noticed that Puppy was quite still. The little dog was staring, transfixed, at the closet door, which rested slightly ajar. Sheer blackness peeked out from the little gap between the door and the wall. Scott called to Puppy, but he did not respond. His big black twinkling eyes were frozen and unblinking. No matter how loudly Scott called to puppy, he would not move.
‘What is Puppy staring at,’ Scott wondered. He inched closer toward the little dog, hoping to catch a glimpse of what had caught his attention. Was it a mouse, a dust bunny, or maybe a menacing piece of clothing? Scott didn’t know, but it had to be something, because Puppy’s head was as still as stone.
Then, once Scott had crept a bit closer, Puppy spun around and barked at him. Scott fell backwards, surprised. Puppy wasn’t threatening, by any means, but never had he behaved in such a way. Puppy then turned back toward the closet door, and began to yip hysterically at it. Then, pushing himself through the pile of little clothes, he sprang at the tiny opening in the door, squeezed inside haphazardly, and was gone.
Where’s he go?
Scott’s mom said that Puppy must have gotten outside somehow and ran away. Despite Scott’s insistence, she wouldn’t believe that he disappeared into a closet. She explained to Scott that Puppy must have come out while he was sleeping, and then somehow found his way outside.
Sleep was restless for Scott during the next few nights. A violent wind monster pushed on the trees outside, which in turn knocked on Scott’s window, wanting to come in. This frightened the poor boy so much that he tried to hide under his covers. It didn’t help very much. Light from the moon would seep in occasionally, and cast horrific images on the walls and ceiling.
Sometimes Scott thought he heard Puppy calling out to him in the night, and he would jump out of bed and look around the room for him. Of course, there was nothing there, but each time Scott heard it, it drew him closer and closer to the closet.
Scott told his mom about the barking a few times, but she never listened to him. “It’s NOT just the wind!” he would cry as he flopped himself on his bed after stomping up the stairs.
Time passed, as it always does, and Puppy began to fade from Scott’s mind as the leaves drifted off of the trees. One day, on an especially wet afternoon, Scott’s was playing inside with Amber, a little girl from the neighborhood.
“Let’s play hide and seek!” she said. “I’ll hide, and you count!”
Scott said “okay,” and began slowly naming off numbers in order. The little girl started running through the house, looking for a decent hiding place, when she found her way into Scott’s bedroom.
She walked all about the room, looking up and down, and all around. She knelt down and peeked under the bed, then shook her head disapprovingly. When the little girl stood back up, her eye caught something at the far end of the room and she smiled.
She was looking at the closet.
The little girl ran at the door and swung it open wide, thick blackness welcomed her on the other end. With a quick giggle and a happy smile, she tiptoed in, and closed the door behind her.