A Sense of Mystery – by Dellani Oakes

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00022]I started my own writing group a few months ago. We meet every other Friday at a local library. I frequently give out a writing prompt that we can use to inspire us. This week’s was A Sense of Mystery. This is what I wrote last night — after the power went out.

Light came from the flickering candles, their combined glow was barely enough light to see. Ellyann lit another, hoping to power would come back on before bedtime. She could have taken herself to bed right away, but she hated to admit to herself that she was scared. No power meant no alarm. It also meant no phone – except for her cell – which had been charging up from 13% when the lights went out. She’d had enough charge to call the power company to report the outage, and use the flashlight to find matches and candles.

Now, she sat in the semi-dark trying to keep the monsters at bay. Singing every hymn she knew, Ellyann rocked back and forth in time to the beat. Rock of Ages followed Nearer My God to Thee, which was followed by How Great Thou Art and dozens of others. Using the meager light from the candle, she found her grandmother’s Bible and opened it to Psalms. They always gave her comfort. Unfortunately, tonight, that comfort was short lived.

Less than an hour into the power outage, Ellyann heard a noise outside. She’d seen too many horror movies – she knew not to go looking for trouble. Instead, she took her candles, cellphone and a package of Oreos and locked herself in the bathroom. With that door, as well as the bedroom door, locked she felt better. Her Bible still clutched in one hand, she sat in the tub, shivering.

Another noise, louder and closer, made her jump. She listened closely trying to decode the sound. If she knew what it was, she wouldn’t be so afraid.

“Keep telling yourself that, Ellyann,” she muttered. “Be sure to tell the serial killer you identified him by the sound he made.”

KaTHUNK Ellyann jumped again, screaming.

Clank. Rattle. Tweet. Thump.

What was going on? Had an army of zombies attacked? Even now, had they gathered outside her home, waiting for the chance to eat her brain?

Rrrr Rrr Brrr Bdddddd That was a sound she knew. A chainsaw. Any second, Freddy Kruger or Jason – or was it someone else? Was gonna come through the wall.

The side of her house vibrated, the rumbling transmitted itself to her nerves. Holding her ears, she whimpered, terrified.

The rumbling stopped abruptly. More thumps, grunts and snarls scared her beyond all reason. She was sure now that some unseen menace awaited her. She huddled in the tub. The strange sounds continued, interspersed with the rumbling grunt of the chainsaw.

In agony, Ellyann decided that a menace seen was less frightening than the unknown. She cralwed to the low window, biting her lips. She peered through the curtains. Giant, insect-like creatures lined the foggy street. One crept onto her front lawn. Bright lights illuminated her yard and the street, bathing everything in a blue tinged glare.

Forget serial killers, it was an alien attack! Surely, these were their machines that captured people, carrying them off to the mysterious unknown. A monster grunted and rumbled. Ellyann screamed as it lumbered toward her. Scrambling away from the window, she whimpered helplessly.

Banging sounded on the front door. Ellyann could hardly make herself get up. Wobbling unsteadily, she walked to the door. Zombies wouldn’t knock that regularly. A crazed killer was more likely to cut down the door. The knocking repeated.

“Hello? Anyone inside?”

Ellyann peeped out the side window. A man stood on her porch. He wore a uniform.

“Hello? Anyone there? Power company. We need permission to come on your property and cut down a tree. Hello?”

Relieved, Ellyann laughed as she opened the door. A friendly man wearing a power company uniform and name tag, stood well away from the door.

“Hi, Grant Sevier, FPL. You’ve got a downed tree. It’s severed the power lines. We need to cut it up, but we have to have permission to cut down your tree.”

Ellyann started laughing. “I’ve been imaging such awful things! You go right ahead and do what needs doing.” She continued laughing as she shut the door. “Nothing sinister – just the power company.”

A short time later, the power came back on. Ellyann got ready for bed, checked her alarm and carried her Bible back to the bedside table.

“Nothing to be scared of,” she said as she lay down.

And that’s when the zombies attacked.


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