A Late Night Knock

door with knocker

It was another late night. This story wasn’t going to write itself. My lids weighed on my eyes. I wanted to sleep but that was far off, as long as I could will my eyes to stay open.

There was a knock on a door. My door.

Books and paper rustled as my body jerked. I didn’t move. Maybe they had the wrong door, doubtful. It was hard to mistake the door you wanted when the halls were empty of people.

Another rap of knocking. I grabbed my umbrella. I know, I should have an actual weapon.

I walked across my apartment. I listened for a moment before turning the doorknob. The door was hurled open! Wooden door meet my face. I crumbled to the floor. I heard my door get shut somewhere behind me. I wasn’t sure where I was at first, the general left side of my face was throbbing.

“I don’t have time to explain, sir,” a gruff voice spoke, “but I’m going to need you to put this on.”

I turned to see a tall man holding what I was pretty sure was a harness of some kind. He held his arm holding the harness out. My vision followed the harness but flicked up towards the man’s face. The ceiling light was blinding me from behind him, his face was a dark blur.

“Why?” completely ignoring his lack of time.

“Well. I can’t stand here going in that circle so, if it gets you moving, screw it.” he shrugged.

I tensed. Not knowing what screw it meant to him.

“You’ve been touched by Darkness. You’re mortal so your infection beckons more Darkness here,” he said without a single twitch of joking in his face.

I gaped at him.

He stared at me. Then he shook the harness at me.

“A lot of people will die if you don’t hurry up.” his blank tone steered dangerously to anger.

This wasn’t your typical night so I went with it. I reached for the harness, it was a tight fit. The gentlemen took a metal rod, holding it vertically. I heard whispering. None of his words were distinguishable. The middle of the rod began to radiate a dark red as both ends impaled ceiling and floor. There was a resounding crunch as pieces of wood broke free from the ceiling. I was so busy staring up at the glowing bar I hadn’t seen him grab the tether on the harness.

“Wait!” I blurted at him. He was starting to tie it to the bar.

“You’ll be fine.” he said dully.

His turned and his eyes met mine, I know there was terror on my face. He smirked and snapped his fingers. The air behind gave an enormous cracking sound. I spun to see a jet black cloud swirling at eye level. I heard more muttering from the man. The cloud exploded to much larger size and my feet left the ground. I was being sucked in.

I could feel the tether trembling. I screamed.

Something inside me jumped into my throat as the man walked casually next to me. In my horrified silence I watched him hover his hand on my chest. The very insides of my chest burned. Black smoke seeped out of my skin and was sucked into the black hole. It felt like something was determined to break the harness. I screamed as the pain in my chest rose to a crescendo. My lungs let out a howl of pain. The world spun around me as my vision darkened.

I saw was the man’s face screwed up in concentration right before everything went black, I was still screaming.


The topic for this post’s flash fiction was via Daily Prompt: Tether

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