"They're Gonna Get You "

A Short Story Collaboration by Pierre C. Arseneault and Angella Jacob

It had been a tiring weekend for Kendall. Spending time at a friends house was always fun, but she was happy to get back to her own bedroom and regain a certain sense of comfort within the familiarity of her home. She sat alone in her dimly lit room, facing her vanity mirror while brushing out her damp, dark brown hair. Though the weekend was now almost over and she felt safe within her home, her imagination was still high into overdrive. It was getting late, and it was time to sleep, but she couldn’t stop replaying her friend Ashley poking fun at her about monsters in the closets and under the bed. A sudden buzzing sound made Kendall jump in her chair, sending her hair brush flying across the hardwood floor. It resonated loudly. Kendall breathed deeply when she realized the noise was just a text on her cell phone from Ashley that read “They’re gonna get you… Lmao!”. Kendall rolled her eyes and replied “You’re sooo not funny...”. She got up and started to make her way to bed. She momentarily relived her childhood fear as she took a few quick steps and hopped swiftly into bed, both legs at the same time. She got under her covers and reached her hand out to turn off her bedside lamp.

The alarm clock display cast a greenish glow across the darkened bedroom. The minutes ticked by, the bright digital counter a constant reminder of the sleep that seemed to stray from her even though she knew she should be fast asleep already. It was late Sunday night and school would come very early in the morning. Kendall wondered if sleep would be a friend tonight or if she would continue struggling to fall asleep way past the witching hour. Her thoughts paced back and forth in her mind, leaving heavy footprints on her young, vibrant soul. As with the fresh Fall season, the school year had just started. She knew she needed all the focus she could muster to get through grade eleven without being too distracted. At sixteen however, school only came third on her list of priorities. Her thoughts were mostly about boys and worrying about having a social life. Her best friends since grade three, Ashley and Sandra, were of no help to her efforts. They didn't understand the reason for her trying to stay focused on her studies. Unlike Kendall, they only ever thought about the boys they had a crush on and their social status. Their schooling carried no real interest to them.

Now in her warm pink fleece pj's, Kendall tried all she could to make herself comfortable. She wrapped her heavy and warm blankets around her body, tucking in the toasty covers under her small feet. She turned onto her side, wrapped tightly in her bedding, trying to will sleep into existence. Her thoughts wandered back to the weekend's events and naturally her mind wrapped its' own blankets around these images and still frames. This entire weekend had been Ashley’s idea, her young mind a sponge for anything soaked with spine-chilling fright. She was a huge fan of horror movies and often times she made her friends go through rounds of watching horror flicks with her, one after another. Sometimes, just for kicks, she would scream out loud at the most opportune moment to see the reaction and the look of terror on her friend’s faces. Ashley would giggle endlessly and tease them about it, calling them scaredy cats. She knew her friends didn't enjoy being scared as much as she did, but she relished in the aftermath of her gag each and every time.

The three girls had walked to Ashley’s house after classes late on Friday afternoon and had planned a weekend long horror movie marathon filled with screams, giggles and flying popcorn. Their conversation went back and forth from the latest gossip about the other girls at Wilson High and the cute guys on the football team. When they weren’t discussing things to do at school to get attention from the boys, there were fully engrossed in the horrifying scenes on the flat screen TV in Ashley's living room. They watched all kinds of movies over the weekend. From simplistic teenage-infested slasher movies, haunting ghost stories and tales of the walking dead, they watched them all. Ashley had a large collection of dvds to choose from, but she especially loved the really disturbing ones, which she kept for last, when the lights were turned off and the darkness of night fell into the corners of the living room.

The girls would take the time in between movies to gather up snacks and drinks and chatter some more. Kendall and Sandra were surprised when Ashley confessed to them a childhood fear she had experienced. When she was little she had been convinced that there had been monsters living in her closet and under her bed. They discussed this intensely as each of the girls also had this sort of fear as a child. Kendall had refused to admit it, as she sensed her friends also did, but she still kept this fear to this day. Even at her age, her overactive imagination would still manage to get to her.

Each night when the girls tried to go to sleep in their own sleeping bag in the dark bedroom, Ashley would whisper in a cackling voice from her bed: “They’re gonna get you...”. The girls would burst in screams, giggling hysterically at the fear this instilled in them and laugh at the massive amount of goose bumps it had produced. They loved that they were able to frighten each other even more than the last time, Ashley of course quickly gained the title of the Queen Freak, which she proudly accepted by placing a flashlight under her chin and rolling her eyes back she proclaimed “I am your horror maaaaster...” Once the laughs subsided, and the girls all settled down in their own slumber spot, the house remained eerily quiet. Ashley would take the opportunity for one last terror hoopla and squeal as loud as she could: “THEY'RE GONNA GET YOU!!!!!” Shrieks filled the house and Kendall's heart beat hard against her chest as she had laughed, though annoyed at Ashley's unrelenting pranks, she had to admire her consistency in delivery. All three girls knew each other well enough to know that all three had their own level of paranoia and childlike fantasies of monsters in their closets, but not one of them vocalized their current fears to the others.


A few hours later, Kendall awoke in a haze of sleepiness, unsure what roused her awake. The green glowing numbers on her alarm clock read 3:17 AM. Still sleepy, her ears made out some kind of noise that she did not recognize right away. Slumber faded from her and she could make out faint scratching sounds that seemed to be coming from inside her room. She wondered if this could be what woke her a few moments ago. She lifted her head off the pillow with eyes wide open, scanning the dark room as best she could, seeing nothing abnormal in the shadows. She reached for her bedside lamp and turned it on in one swift movement. The lamp was dim, and only lit the immediate area around the right side of her bed. The scratching noise diminished and then stopped completely. She grabbed her cell phone on the night stand and pressed random buttons to get it out of sleep mode. Using its glow, she tried to illuminate as much of the room as possible but still nothing stood out to her as out of place. That’s when she heard what sounded like a scrapping sound again and it was coming from under the bed. A crackling voice suddenly resonated against the silence of her room as her body sat rigid and upright in bed. “I’m coming to get you…come out of bed little girl…pleeeaaase...”, it said just before bursting into a loud and hideous cackling laughter, followed by louder, scrapping noises.

Terrified, Kendall got onto her knees atop the mattress, clutching her blankets tightly in her moist hands. She held them clenched against her chest, her breathing shallow and her heart racing. She sat there for a moment wondering if she had imagined it all, hoping this was a nightmare that she would soon wake from. As the scrapping noises coming from under the bed became louder, she soon realized this was not in her head and panic swiftly set in. “Come out of bed little girl!” she heard the voice say yet again, this time with a demanding and evil tone.

Before she realized what she had done, she found herself standing up in the middle of her bed, blankets at her ankles, her legs quivered in fright. Fear took hold of her every sense and she had to leave this room as fast as possible. Standing amidst her pillows and blankets, she positioned herself to jump as far away from the bed as she could. She quickly planned her path to the door and down the hall into her parent’s bedroom. Taking a partial step back in an attempt to launch herself off the bed, the teenage girl leapt out, only to find the mattress slipping suddenly backwards on top of the box spring. She lost her footing and stumbled as she got tangled in the blankets. She managed to regain her balance just in time. However, with the momentum of the failed leap, she found herself on the floor right next to the bed. She now stood directly in the area she had tried so desperately to avoid.

Before she could take a step away she felt something very cold wrap itself around her right ankle. A feeling of shock resonated within her core. Her mouth opened to scream, but nothing would come out as she peered down at the shadows to try and see what had hold of her. It held her leg very tightly, unable to move it, she felt panic rising up from her gut and into her throat. Remembering her cell phone, still in hand, she pointed it towards the floor to see what was trapping her. Her shrill scream came out easily as she saw a long, dark skinned bony hand with brittle and chipped yellow claws wrapped around her ankle in an iron grip. The young girl screamed like she had never screamed before. Suddenly the room spun out of control, her scream faded into the blackness that overcame her. She felt the floor slip away from under her as if she suddenly weighed nothing.


She felt her scream in her throat again, coming out slowly at first and then gushing out of her mouth. Bolting her body upright, she realized she was sitting up in bed with her feet still warm under the blankets. Her hands clutched at the covers close to her chest. A sudden feeling of relief washed over her as her bedroom door burst open and there stood her father holding a small aluminium baseball bat he always kept handy. Sitting up in bed, she felt herself still quivering in fear. “It was just a dream… it was just a dream… it was just a dream...” she repeated to herself. Her father brought down the bat and looked at her with sleep still in his eyes. “Stupid Ashley and her horror movies...” she muttered to her father as she lay back down, embarrassed. Her father shook his head and smiling he said: “Get some sleep...”. He closed the door and let her drift back to sleep.


Reaching her hand out she pushed snooze for the third time. “So tired...” she said to herself as she sat up in bed the following morning. Dragging herself out of bed, Kendall walked across the cold hardwood floor to the washroom. Sitting on the toilet while brushing her teeth, she couldn’t help but think about whether or not she should tell Ashley and Sandra about her dream last night. They would probably make fun of her if she did, but she couldn’t help but wonder if they had the same kind of dreams too following their horror movie marathon. She marvelled at how cold the floor was this morning. Her dad hadn’t turned the heat on in the house yet. “Its just October,” he'd said, “Just put some clothes on.”

She searched for her slippers as she came out of the bathroom, her bare feet freezing in the early morning chill. She spotted one of them at her bed side and began to make her way over to it. The previous nights fears were gone now that the beautiful morning sun was beaming through her mini-blinds. The sun rid her bedroom of all the creepy shadows she had dreaded. She knelt at her bedside, picking up the one slipper that was clearly in view. She searched for the other slipper and noticed the second one slightly peeking out from the edge of her ruffled aqua bed-skirt. She moved her right hand under the cotton material, grasping at the corner of the slipper to pick it up. As she looked down at her floor at the edge of her bed, something caught her eye that she didn’t remember seeing there before. Clutching both slippers in her left hand she reached out with her right and slowly lifted the bed-skirt and blankets. She brought her face down closer to the cold surface, trying to make sense of what she was seeing. Horrified, she saw deep, long scratches on the hardwood floor that started from the edge of her bed and disappeared under it, into the dark shadows below. She brought her face back a few inches as she began asking herself: “What the hell?”. Before she could finish processing her question, she saw the brittle yellow claws pierce the soft skin of her forearm and she felt the long, dark skinned, bony hand wrap itself around her arm. It pulled her under the bed by her already bloody arm in a steely grip that she would never escape.

The end