Tap. Tap. Tap

Tap. Tap. Tap

A story of a creature from another place looking for food


Coming-of-age / Young adult fiction


Courtney Erbeni (Australia)

I watched as he inspected the corridor for a further minute, before returning to his chamber. He did not go to his bed, as I presumed, but over to the bookshelf. He got comfortable on a nearby couch, book in hand, candle lit, as he attempted to lose himself in a world far away.

Ten minutes later, a raping at the door echoed through the room. He remained seated. It continued for three more minutes. Frustrated he slammed the book shut and thundered towards the door. I heard the mice retreat to their homes as he threw open the door only to reveal...

Darkness. Complete darkness.

The faint smell of smoke wafted through the room. The torches were only recently extinguished. He didn't seem to notice at all.

I couldn't see his face, but I imagined that he would have a scowl on it as he shut the door for a second time. He stormed back to the couch and resumed reading by the meek candlelight.

From the unlit fireplace, I watched the anger and frustration ebb off his face, as though it was ice, ice melting in the warm spring sun.

The knocks continued throughout the night. He got up to inspect a further three times, getting more frustrated each time. The icy anger taking longer to melt away each time he sat back down.

When the faraway clock struck three in the morning, he began shivering through his pants and long tunic. Ten minutes later, ha came towards me in the fire place, match at the ready. The next minute, he continued reading on the couch, which he had dragged closer to the roaring hearth. I remained watching him, even as the scorching flames ate away at me, hungry for further energy. The fire seemed to have warmed and comforted him a little.

Just as sleep had taken hold of him, the raping began.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Startled and drowsy and angry he opened the door for the sixth time that night. Darkness remained before him, but it wasn't empty.

Something lingered in the darkness, awaiting. As he yawned, the creature had found a moment of distraction and clawed through the door and up the wall, resting above the door frame. It was lightning fast, a pale blur along the wall.

With the light of the fire, I could see it clear enough. It was covered in pale wrinkly skin. Its snake eyes filled with anger, beyond this world, and hunger, starvation. It wanted food and I knew that he was the target, as he reclaimed his spot on the couch, returning to his book, oblivious to the danger lurking within the chamber.

In the light, I caught a glimpse of the creature's claws . Six inch talons protruding from three fingers and six toes. And then the teeth. The firelight reflecting off the metal teeth, needle thin, but I knew they were razor sharp. If only I had a mouth then I would scream to the man to look above the doorway, where the wretched creature sat in its wake.

The clock struck four when the creature moved along the wall. I lost sight of it as it neared the back corner. He was now fast asleep, exhaustion finally caught up with him.

The creature was as quiet as a mouse, also very surefooted and nimble as it jumped to the ground, landing noiselessly in front of the, still burning, fireplace.

It bent down, its face towards me, eyes squinting at the fire, as it reached out and smothered it with its hand, plunging the chamber into darkness.

I couldn't see where it went until the room erupted with noise. First the sound of metal ripping into flesh, followed by screams, which eventually ceased while the sound of ravenous eating took over through the night.

The end.

Competition: Friendly feedback, Assigned reviews incomplete



The reviews for this submission haven't been published yet.