I had stepped into the kitchen with the simple intent of making a new bowl of popcorn when it happened. My back was turned to the living room, where my friend, Greg, was watching Psycho Horror Clown II. It was dark out, rain was thrashing the windows and we were home alone. Or so I thought.
A kind of tranquility had settled over the house. With popcorn popping leisurely and Greg sitting on our new couch, using his new phone, and hardly watching our (decidedly old) movie. Then it happened. I head Greg scream, a single, ear-piercing wail that shattered any semblance of silence, and then it stopped as suddenly as it had started. When I ran into the living room, Greg was gone, the room showing no trace of its former inhabitant.
I began to call out Greg’s name, receiving no answer save for the echoes bouncing off the walls off the house. Hearing nothing, I fell silent and began to survey the room. It was empty, and save for the sound of the TV, as silent as I was. All the same, the shadows seemed to reach off the walls towards me.
A door slammed upstairs, causing me to jump and my hairs to stand on end, as I peered up our staircase.
“Greg?” I called out again, and again I was greeted only by silence. Sure, the door slamming could have been the wind, but my friend had just vanished without a trace and his scream of terror still rang in my ears. I glanced up the stairs, gathered myself, and began the long trudge up them.
The stairs creaked as I climbed, protesting my weight until finally, after what felt like an embarrassingly long time, I reached the top, my legs aching after the climb. Turning on a light, I peered down our upstairs hallway, and began walking towards the room with the closed door. Cautiously stepping down the hallway, I thought about our new couch of all things, and how great it would feel to rest my legs on it. Nearing the door, I whispered, “Greg?” When no response came, I let out a battle cry and pushed the door open – banging my leg on the doorframe and making the couch seem that much better. The room before me, I switched on a light and was greeted by . . . more silence.
So it really had been the wind.
At this point, feeling thoroughly confused, I turned to walk back down the stairs, planning on calling 911. As I walked, I still checked the other rooms and closets upstairs, just to be sure Greg, or our alien/zombie/kidnapper, wasn’t up there in hiding.
I reached the top of the stairs and the first thing that hit me was the smell of the popcorn I’d made just minutes before. Hunger slowly traded places with terror. Greg had probably been joking anyway. With every step I took down the stairs, that feeling increased, along with the soreness in my legs. The walk down seemed to take even longer than the walk up, virtual starvation (or so it felt like) and the desire to take a seat clouding my senses, until even the creaking stairs didn’t bother me. By the time I reached the bottom, all thoughts of Greg had left my mind completely as I practically flew to the microwave, stopping only to grab my bowl before racing to the couch, the wonderful smell of popcorn at this point overpowering.
I sat down and it was . . . sticky. I recoiled and tried to leap off the couch, only to find that I couldn’t.
A Venus flytrap on the other side of the room was the last thing I saw before the couch snapped shut, swallowing me whole.