I walked in my son’s room , and he was listening to ghost stories on his phone. I remember when I was his age, and I listened to Jump Stories . Jump Stories was a popular scary story podcast when I was younger. They say love is intense , but I disagree. Fear is stronger , and this is probably why I enjoyed being afraid, when I was younger. I noticed his eyes were closed , but his ears were open. He was laying down on the floor. Perhaps the rug turned into a magic carpet while he was listening to the story and took him to another world. . I tapped him on the shoulder and he jumped up, returning from his mini field trip. He looked up at me and froze. “ Dad you scared me “ . “ Is everything okay “ ?
“ Yes, I just came in here to ask what did you want to eat , your mom is thinking about pizza” “ Pizza sounds great. Can we get pepperoni with the cheese in the crust ? “ Yes, we can get that, it’s been awhile since we had that kind”.
As I was leaving his room, I turned around and asked him, what was the show he was listening to called.. He said “ Truth or Scare”. “ Is it scary” ? “ Dad, it’s the scariest podcast out right now , I listen to every night. The host of the show is the Keeper of the Tales , and the stories he tells are either true or false. You have to determine what the story is going to be, before the next show airs”.
“ I’m actually interested in hearing one. I want to listen to the scariest story you heard so far“. “ Well you should listen to the newest story, Don’t Tell Dad. The Keeper of The Tales hasn’t revealed if the story is real or not yet”. I swallowed my spit , and looked at my son. The title , let alone, the way he was staring at me, made me uncomfortable. The last time I listened to scary stories alone was when I was in middle school. I grew out of it and never thought about them until now.
I went inside my bedroom. I wasn’t expecting to see my wife , because she was downstairs doing yoga. Getting ready to listen to the story, felt like being in line to ride a roller coaster. Excitement and fear are intoxicating , and I was drugged up on both. Although I’m a grown man, sometimes I think of the worse things happening. My mind plays commercial breaks of my life deteriorating. I can’t help but to think if something is lurking in the shadows, while I’m listening to the story.
I ran over to the light switch and turned off the light, and returned to my bed in a hurry. My heart was a jack hammer, creating a pothole of curiosity in my chest. Although the light coming from the highway looked like a lighthouse and I was the boat, far away from land, it made me feel more comfortable.
Before I closed my eyes, I found the podcast and clicked play on Don’t Tell Dad. The thunder in the background of the story, swept me away and took me outside the circle of time. The story began like this,
It was a dark and stormy night, the lighting was violent, and playing hopscotch in the sky. Ted was laying on his bed reading comic books with a flashlight. His power decided to go into hibernation , and he was left in the dark. His parents were in the basement, mopping up the water that found its way inside through a cracked window. His mother made a joke, saying there was enough water for them to turn their basement into a swimming pool. His father laughed and extended the joke, by saying “, we can use the stairs as a diving board” They became hysterical, , until they remembered why they were downstairs.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Ted threw his comic books on the floor , and decided to stretch. His bed bounced when he got up, perhaps, finally being able to breath. Ted walked near his window. The curtains were drawn open. The rain tapped against his window , like a stranger, knocking on a door, to see if someone was home. The street was dark and he couldn’t see anything out of the window. He shrugged his shoulders and began to walk back to his bed.
“ Pshhhhh” . The whisper caught Ted off guard. He turned towards the door, thinking it was his mother or father. His eyes scanned the entrance of his doorway , and there was nobody there.. The entire house was swallowed by darkness , and silence except for the low voice coming from under his bed.
“ Pshhhh Ted “ . Ted looked again towards the door . “ Mom, Dad “ ? Ted went towards his bed and grabbed the flashlight. He shined the light towards the doorway, and there was nothing there. ‘
“ Pshhh Ted, look under your bed “ . Ted tornadoed around the room, until there was a spotlight pointing towards his bed. The flashlight eye’s began to get heavy and fell asleep. He held the flashlight tighter in his hands, hoping he wouldn’t have to use it. “ Is anyone there “ he asked .
“ Don’t worry Ted, you have nothing to be afraid of. I’m a friend of your fathers. My name is the Willy Whisper , and your name is Ted, nice to meet you “.
“How-, how do you know my name” ? “ Remember , I’m a friend of your fathers silly . We were friends when we were your age. I used to visit him every night, especially during thunderstorms. I hid under his bed and even in his closet. Sometimes, I even appeared in his dreams. However that all stopped when he moved away to a new house. But guess what, I came back”.
“ Why are you under my bed and not downstairs with him “ ? “ Because, I want to surprise your father. His birthday is coming up . He’ll be shocked to see me. But you must do one thing. “ Don’t tell your dad, I’m under here. He checks under your bed and in your closet every night for monsters, he’ll see me for sure “
Ted was playing freeze tag, fear touched him and he could not move.
“ Ted’ ! He heard his father’s voice. Ted wanted to run out in the hallway into his father’s arms. However, he was still frozen and staring into the darkness.
“ Don’t tell Dad Ted. This is our little secret” Ted began to tip toe backwards into the hallway, keeping his eyes towards the bed.
He yelled, when he bumped into his father. “ Ted, what’s wrong buddy “ ? “ I was calling your name but you didn’t answer “.
Ted was quiet and stared at the bottom of the bed. “ Ted why aren’t you answering me “ ? Ted’s father saw where Ted’s eyes were . “ Oh you’re waiting for me to check under your bed and in your closet“ ?
His dad walked towards the bed . He noticed the flashlight was in Ted’s hands and asked for it. Ted handed it over. His dad clicked it and it did not turn on. He dropped it on the floor and patted his pockets.
He reached into his left pocket, and took out his phone. He turned on the flashlight and looked under the bed. His paintball gun shot yellow paint, when he saw a set of familiar yellow eyes staring back at him.
I opened my eyes , when I heard my son call my name. The story just ended and I’m glad, it made me feel uneasy. I got out of the bed, and walked towards the door, to see why he called me. Before I left the room, I heard.
“ Pshh , dad, someone called your name, but it wasn’t me “
Submitted by Sky Davis
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