They Are Watching, Oh They Watch Us

Writing Prompt: Every morning you wake with little cuts and bruises. You have told yourself for years that its just how you move in your sleep. Today, you woke up with a large gash on your arm, a glowing red dagger plunged into the wall, and what looks a lot like a dead angel on the floor.

Andreas, the man with the silver eye, had all his life woken up covered in cuts and bruises. The cuts? Barely scrapes. He blamed the sheets, not exactly soft, too scratchy. And the bruises? That’s just how I sleep, you see. You don’t outlast night terrors without giving yourself a few black and blues.

Harmless. Or so he thought…

He awoke that morning not to the sound of an alarm clock braying, but to a screaming pain that festered within his forearm. What is that? Those screams were far from metaphorical. Literal, ear piercing cries fled from a six-inch long gash that ran up from his wrist.

Jesus! His lone, natural blue eye blinked before a burning red light. I can’t see. Christ, I can’t see! What’s happening? Am I going blind…? No. Remember what Lilac told you. Breathe easy. Focus.

He closed his natural eye and let out a queer shiver. He didn’t like using that silver sighted looking glass that occupied the left side of his face, but sometimes it was necessary, at least ever since…

“Who are you?” Andreas demanded, throwing himself back against the head board of his bed. His hands were shaking, his whole body sunk as if trying to disappear into the walls or down through the floorboards.

His room was delicately cast in a silver glow, the outline of reality ebbing to reveal some foul stench lurking underneath. There were eyes watching from the skirting boards. Faces pushing through the plaster walls. Hands groping in waves across the floor.

Andreas jerked himself forward, seeking refuge in the centre of his bed. “Answer me!” he cried out.

There was a creature with folded wings, singed and dusted in a black ash, curled up in the corner of the room. It was singing in a low voice, its eyes fixed on the hands of the floorboards. Though those hands didn’t dare to touch this creature, instead they swam away.

A red light lifted from the creature’s face, running in a faint circle round its head. There was a dagger, too, plunged deep into the wall.

“They are watching, oh they watch us, don’t dare look or they might see. They are watching, oh they watch us, why won’t they let us be?”

“Who’s watching us? What does that mean?” Andreas swallowed the lump stuck in his throat, edging himself to the side of his bed, a bed that had become a boat on troubled waters. He could see now that the dagger had been forced into one of the plaster-born faces, buried in a place where the eyes should have been. Only Andreas knew where the eyes really were… 

They’re down below.

The creature’s crumbling wings flexed, opening in a flurry of dust, but it didn’t dare to look up. “The dead will rise to meet him, oh they’ll come to greet him fair. They stir now from a sleep eternal, whilst he creeps out from his lair.”

“Who?” Andreas demanded, “Who’s coming?” he leaned over the bed, slowly reaching out to the cowering creature. It fell suddenly still, not so much as a whisper rising from body or mouth. “Please,” Andreas begged, “why won’t you talk to me…”

Slowly the creature lifted its head, mouth drawn into a twisted smile, “Peek-a-boo.” it whispered, “I see you.”

“Oh, God.” Andreas jumped back, “What… what happened to you?”

The creature’s eyes were but hollow sockets of flesh, lively maggots writhing within them.

“You weren’t supposed to look.” the creature tittered. The its jaw unhinged and a snake-like tongue lunged out at Andreas.

Andreas had a choice; let the snake come, or drop from the bed into the waiting hands of death. He decided to drop into the embrace of the hands. Without need of foresight the hands surrounded his being, grabbing at his night shirt, clawing at his flesh, dragging him down.

The creature sat up, tilting its head and glaring solemnly at Andreas as he sunk. It waved a a single rotting hand in farewell, drawing the dagger free from the wall.

Andreas watched as the creature ended its own life with a quick cut to the throat. Painless. Though the screams didn’t think so. At the first sighting of blood from the creature Andreas was forced beneath the floorboards until only the very top of his head could be seen. And then he vanished. Los deep down below.

AS he fell through the bleak abyss beneath the floorboards of his home the screaming reared itself once more from the cut on his arm, and in his head the creature’s solemn song played endlessly on through the dark;

They are watching, oh they watch us, don’t dare look or they might see. They are watching, oh they watch us, why won’t they let us be?

The dead will rise to meet him, oh they’ll come to greet him fair. They stir now from a sleep eternal, whilst he creeps out from his lair.

Copyright © K R Perry 2019


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