Calm down and think. What are the facts? They are here for the diary, and they are not violent. That much I know. With all of the commotion downstairs, I could easily rip out the pages and eat them or flush them down the toilet of our upstairs bathroom, and they wouldn’t be any wiser. Interesting I should be thinking about that at the moment, given I’d managed to get myself into this mess by being far less than wise. Still, I have time to think, so that’s probably what I should be doing. Maybe they’re not here for the diary. Maybe they’re here for, I dunno, food or something. I’ve got to stop kidding myself because there’s no time to be kidding myself. That’s something I’ll have plenty of time for once everything has calmed down.
I could potentially hide the diary in plain sight. You know, leave it lying there beside my hairbrushes on the dresser. I read about that once. The whole theory if you walk, talk and act confidently enough you can pretty well get away with hiding anything in plain sight. It’s based on the assumption most people are decent people, so our brains are already primed to be actively seeking all the good things people do. Though, given the noises below, I’m going to go ahead and admit, now is not the right time to be toying with untested theories. It’s always good to have a backup plan just in case you get stuck when the timer runs out. Trying something was going to be better than not trying at all.
Ok. Back to the facts. They were here for the diary, and they are not violent. The truth is, I don’t possess much more information about them than your average person, but that’s apparently enough to get them curious. Writing down what I do know wasn’t the silly part. Telling Henrietta Cronenberg. That was the real mistake. Her flair for getting the information she wants out of people is matched only by her desire to spread her new found knowledge around the town like a wildfire she was proud to start. I’d bother telling her about the consequences her actions had if I thought that it would do any good. But, with Henrietta, ‘doing’ and ‘good’ rarely make it into the same sentence.
I hate the sound of their wings, it sends my skin into a fit of goosebumps every time. It’s like a rattlesnake but a million times worse. Unfortunately, it’s also the best indication I have as to how close they’re getting to my bedroom. The only other student I know who has heard the sound is Haley. The story goes that she had left the school and made her way down to Crow’s Nest Pond where she had somehow managed to get them angry enough that they chased after her. That’s all they ever seem to do is chase. It’s almost as of they just want to make you scared enough not to want to bother them again but that they really wouldn’t hurt you even if you went back for a second helping.
It’s embarrassing that I’ve stooped this low, but, here I am, under my bed, clutching the diary to my chest and staring up at the underneath of my mattress. There’s not enough room for me to lie on my side, so the best I can do is to turn my head and look through the crack between my bedroom door and the floor for any signs of movement. The erratic shadows moving on the other side of the door and the gut-wrenching sound of their wings are working in perfect harmony to get my heart beating faster than it ever has done before. They’re close now. A short, sharp bang happens just outside my doorway followed closely by a deafening silence that only makes me feel more unease. I hold my breath just for a moment, trying to imagine what is happening on the other side of the door.
Two cockroaches start crawling on the carpet under my door and head straight towards me. Being trapped under my bed, the only word I can think of is ‘sneaky’. They found me without even trying. I move to hold the diary out to them, defeated by magic, or witchery, or whatever was powering this situation. That’s when my dad walks into my room. He yells something I can’t make out and before I can stop him, he takes off his shoe and squashes one of the roaches with a single swift blow. I’m in shock at what I’ve just seen but nowhere as shocked as when the second roach spreads its wings and flies itself down the stairs and out of the house for good.
Although he’s pretty chuffed with himself, I can only imagine the joy that’s going to come from my dad being the hero. Pretty sure they’re not going to like being told that one of their own kind is dead. Given his goofiness, it’d be pretty funny if my dad ended up being the one who started a war between ‘us’ and ‘them’. But, then again, I’m going to need all of the humour I can use over the next few days until I figure out their next move. Except for this time, I won’t be unwise enough to write it down. Well, at least not to share it with the wrong person anyway.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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