Short Story
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                    What Lies Beneath
                                                          By Jojo King

  Michael was up late texting on his phone in bed.  Normally he would not do
so since he had a curfew, but his parents were out of town and he had the
old, country house all to himself.  He cursed as he dropped his phone in the
crack between his bed and the wall.  

  He reached down, feeling for the phone, when another hand snatched his!  
For a few moments, Michael thought that it was his imagination.  But no, he
could feel the cold hand wrapped around his, the long, bony fingers, and the
jagged finger nails as they pressed into his skin.  Michael let out a yelp, but
he knew deep inside that no one would hear his cries.  The nearest neighbor
was a half mile down the old, dirt road.  He didn’t know what to do, seconds
went by and nothing happened, the grip the hand had around his stayed the
same.  

  The light from his phone shone up threw the crack, and Michael dared to
lean over and see what has a hold of him.  It was a pale arm, outstretched
from under the bed.  The hand of a recently buried corpse, the blue veins
almost seemed to glow from the pale white skin.  He saw it’s nasty finger nails,
grown and jagged.  

  He pulled hard to try to break free, but it held on like a vice.  Michael felt a
little blood trickle from his hand, caused by the tightening of the hand.  
Michael had no clue what to do.  Would it leave eventually?  Would it hold on
him forever?  Was it trying to hurt him?  And if so, what was it waiting on?  His
phone automatically shut itself off, he was left alone in the darkness with that
thing under his bed which still held on to his hand.  

  An hour has past, and the thing still clung to his hand like it was a life
preserver.  Michael decided he had to do something, so he reached his other
hand down there, feeling for his phone so he could call for help.  Something
wet touched his free hand, and he quickly pulled it out.  His hand was covered
with saliva!  The thing had actually licked him!  Michael was close to going
into hysterics, but he calmed himself down.  He thought of his family and how
everything would be alright, but something deep down told him things would
not be.  He threw that feeling aside and decided to try and speak to this thing
under his bed.

  “Please” he croaked “Please let go of my hand…”

  Silence.  The cold hand rubbed his like it was trying to comfort him, but he
knew there would be no comfort coming from this thing.  Whatever it was, it
was mocking him.  This was his worst nightmare.  

  He recalled being a little boy and how he would stuff pillows in that crack in
fear of the boogeyman emerging from it, to take him away.  But after a few
years, he grew out of that fear.  But now, it was back in full force, because
this was no nightmare, nor the imagination of a young boy, no this was real.  
Michael lie back down and the hand squeezed even harder, he closed his
eyes and winced at the pain.
                                                                          THE END