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One Story, Two Opposing Views

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Here’s a couple of short stories I wrote back in 2004, for a writer’s workshop. The goal of the exercise was to write two short stories on the same subject, but told for different points of view. The leader of the workshop seemed pretty impressed.

THE LITTLE BOY AND THE THING IN THE CLOSET

by R.G. Sewell

Well, here I am in bed once again. I hate bedtime. Stalling just doesn’t seem to work anymore. Sooner or later, my parents put their foot down and here is where I wind up. Oh, it’s not so bad at first. I am pretty tired. The bed feels good and soft. What happens after I get settled in, is what I dread. My dad says I’m too old for a night light and I have to get used to a dark room. I guess he’s right, but it’s hard to get past this shadowy situation. Covering my head with the blankets, I try not to look. If I don’t look, maybe I won’t get scared. I turn over with my face to the wall and try not to think about the thing. This is nearly as bad, however. I can almost feel it creeping across the room. Shivering, I close my eyes. That makes it worse. Opening my eyes, I jump at the sight of the shadows on the wall. My head jerks around for me to see that it’s only tree branches at my window, silhouetted by the street lights outside. Settling down, I see out the corner of my eyes that I left my closet door ajar. I close my eyes, once again trying not to look. That thing doesn’t exist. Somehow, my mind makes me see the clutter of clothes in the darkness, as a big lurking monster. Not being able to resist, I look at the closet. To my horror, I see the shape of an arm with long clawed fingers, as well as the bones of past victims scattered deeper inside that little room of terror. When I see the shadow of a hairy misshapen head, I cover my face with the blankets. All I have to do, is turn on the light and this creature will disappear. As dad says, it’s all in my mind. Getting the nerve to get out of bed and head for the switch is another matter. Oh no! I can almost feel him crossing the room again. Jerking the covers down, I can see that nobody is creeping up on me. Once again, though, I’m scared to look at the closet. My dad says that I’ll grow out of this. I hope he’s right.

THE THING IN THE CLOSET AND THE LITTLE BOY

by R.G. Sewell

I just love this kid’s imagination! That and darkness is my domain. Every time he goes to bed, I get more powerful! To think that a few short years ago, I was just a tiny anxiety brought on by dim illumination. Having no shape or form, I was just a mysterious feeling of dread with no explanation. Now, I’m a full fledged fear, with gnarled, clawed fingers and a monstrous head looming in the shadows. He’s even recently given me the ability to leave this closet for short periods, until that pathetic little face looks up and steals away half my strength. The longer he takes to face me, the stronger I become. This kid has even provided me with the bones of past victims, cringing in the back of this little room of horror. All this is great, but I feel the need to expand. If only I could figure out a way to get him to talk about me with the other kids at school. All I need him to do, is plant a little seed of anxiety here and there. Once I get a foothold, then I can spread throughout the neighborhood, then the town, and then there’s no telling how far I can go! I might even be able to take my place among the great phobias of this century! Perhaps I would be listed beside my hero, Claustrophobia! I wonder if she started this way.

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