First Draft

Page 7


He looked down at the spot where the door knob had struck the wall. Fortunately, the wall had already been dented in that very same place. In fact, sitting atop the dresser that stood next to it was a small tub of drywall spackle, a putty knife, and a small can of paint. And on the other side of the dresser, in the empty space that spanned between it and the closet wall, was a chest-high patch of roughly layered plaster, covered by a coat of poorly-matching paint.

Ben tucked his left hand under his right arm, and with his right hand pinched the bridge of his nose. He closed his eyes, breathed in deeply, trying to contain it all. In through is nose, as deeply as he could, and back out through his nose, with his teeth clenched tight. The shrieking blob had settled itself next to the closet doors, stomping, screaming and blinking rhythmically in place, “AH!-GAH!-ARGH!-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP.” Benjamin could no longer contain it.

He charged at the creature, which did nothing to protect itself, and grabbed onto its floppy protrusion with both hands, throttling it like it was a neck. He shook it violently. The stupid thing, however, hardly reacted, save for shifting its clogging feet and spindly legs in order to prevent itself from falling over. All the while, it continued to stomp, scream and blink, its pace unchanged, “RAH!-OHHAH!-ARGH!-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP.” Ben bared his gritted teeth as he stared at the beating, blinking heart inside of the fluid-filled sack that served as the creature’s head. Finally, having inflicted what damage that he could through strangulation – which was no damage at all – he released his grip, pulled his right hand back, and swung violently towards the pulsing heart. Unfortunately, having released his grip, the protuberance was once again free to flop about wildly, and it did so at just the right moment. Ben’s hand overshot it, and his open palm smacked squarely against the closet sidewall. He clutched his wrist, letting out a furious howl. His palm already stung from when he had struck the floor earlier. With an elevated fury, he hurled himself towards the stomping, shrieking thing, and flailed wildly at the grotesque lump – repeatedly beating and bashing at it with all of his might, trying to strike the beating heart. He accidentally smacked the putty knife and spackle across the room, onto a rug, though the tub lid remained tightly in place. He could use its contents to patch the hole that the putty knife had just made on the opposite wall of the room.

At long last, one of Ben’s swings struck its mark. His palm met the rubbery, globular head, which flopped perfectly into his swing at just the wrong moment. His hand made contact with the beating heart, which jostled around like a brain inside of a rattled skull.

As though it were a switch, the creature instantly went quiet and limp, toppling to the floor in a heap of twisted, stick-like legs, attached to a large bag of salmon-colored jello. It made a sickening sound when its body smacked the hardwood floor.

There was no sigh of relief from Benjamin, however. He was outraged. His face red, palm throbbing, he stormed to the wall opposite the dresser to retrieve the putty knife that was sticking from it like a throwing dart. It had missed the window by inches, which, as he had just remembered due to the light breeze that he now felt on his thighs, he’d left open the night before. He looked down, to realize that his towel was missing. He looked up and out of the window, at the car passing by on his suburban road.