Editor’s Note: This is part two of a fictional story by Jesse Durona. When we left off, Scott’s best friend, Amber, had gone into the closet and not come back – just like Puppy. Scott has no idea what’s going on with the closet in his room.
Scott answered the two men in blue the same way he answered his mother when she got home: “We were just playing hide and seek.” They asked him many questions to which he did not have the answers, and there was a lot of commotion in the house for the next few days.
Scott couldn’t explain what had happened to Amber, and this angered his mom greatly. She would yell, and send Scott stomping and crying up to his room many times. He knew that she wouldn’t believe him, but Scott had noticed that the closet door was completely shut when he went back into his room after Amber had vanished. Not since Puppy went away had the door been touched, and it had remained ajar until that day.
The restless nights soon started again for Scott. Sometimes he would hear faint whispers in the night. Amber’s sweet little voice would beckon him closer to the end of the room, closer to the closet. He would wake up, eyes wild, with wet spots all over his pajamas.
He lay sleepless, motionless, on a night as still and silent as death itself. There was no wind, rain or moonlight, nor were there any impatient trees. Each creek and crack made Scott jump like a timid rabbit. Huddled against his bedpost, his bright big eyes were glued to the closet door. Amber’s voice hadn’t faded away like Puppy’s, it grew stronger. It would call to him, sweetly and kindly. It wanted him to open the door, but he knew better. He knew that anything that enters that closet does not come out.
The voice grew louder in Scott’s head. He tried to hide his ears against two pillows, but it did nothing. Tired and frustrated, Scott took hold of his comforter, which was in a messy heap by the foot of his bed, and hurled it as the closet door. The impact loosened the latch of the door handle, and it gently opened with a long moan.
Scott looked up over his bedpost at the closet. A small bit of the comforter was wedged into the opening of the door. The little boy blinked a few times, but there was no mistaking it: the comforter was moving, twitching. Suddenly it was pulled into the blackness of the closet, sucked in like a pasta noodle into a hungry mouth.
Mom can help
The scream was so loud that it woke up Scott’s mom. She called “what’s wrong” as she ran in to his room. Scott continued to scream, his eyes fixed on the blackness of the closet’s opening. His mom turned on a light and called to him. Finally the screaming stopped and he looked at her. For a half a second he was silent, and then he went on a tangent. He told her about Puppy, Amber, the voices, and the comforter. He spoke so quickly that she didn’t have time to process it.
Scott’s mom didn’t know what to make out of the situation. She finally calmed him down enough to find out what was going on. All she could understand was that Scott was afraid of the closet. She sighed, and told him there was nothing to be afraid of. He began to speak again, but she just put her hand on his mouth and smiled.
“If you’re really that scared of the closet,” she began. “I’ll go in there, and show you it’s safe.”
Scott sat frozen, unable to speak. He watched his mother move toward the dark crack in the door, take a hold of the knob, and open it wide.
It was black — a cold, horrid darkness. Scott’s mom glanced in briefly, and noticed that there was no visible light switch. She made a noise of confusion, and then stepped in.
Scott heard her voice through the dark of the closet: “See, honey? There’s nothing in here.”
But her voice sounded funny. It was soft and faded, as if she were speaking to him from far away. Scott waited for her to come out again, but the empty blackness consumed the opening of the closet from corner to corner; she did not reappear.
Swallowing softly, Scott slowly pushed himself off of his bed. He stood and stared hard at the door. He began to move forward, lifting one foot in front of the other. His little pajama legs dragged on the hardwood floor as he walked. His heartbeat was so strong that could feel it pulsate in his ears.
The darkness of the closet door was unforgiving. It started right at the line of the door; no light or reflection made it past that point. Scott’s toes touched the edge; he was directly in front of the opening. He took a deep breath, and held back a few sniffles.
They called to him from inside the closet, beckoning him to come inside. His fear was overwhelming; a sickening feeling festered at the bottom of his stomach.
He wanted to turn and run. Run away and never come back.
But then he heard his mother’s voice calling to him.
He smiled, and stepped inside.