SHORT STORY May 16, 2022

There is a man under my bed.

I can feel him breathing,

I am waiting for him to pounce. There is a knife on my hand. It’s a black knife and it’s very sharp. I hold it tighter.

There is a beat in my chest. It’s very slow and steady. Someone should probably give it a memo of what's happening.

Seconds pass, hunter, and prey. I don’t know which I am yet. 

The man under my bed does not pounce. He must know I know he’s there. His heart is beating so loud I feel like it would burst my eardrums. It doesn’t. Instead, my own heart finally gets the memo. It’s now following the rhythm of the heart of the man under my bed.

I wait.

One minute has already passed. Still no movement. My right hand holding the knife is getting tired.

“Are you going to stay there or get out and face me like a man?”I hear my voice ask. It’s a good calm voice.

I have a good calm voice.

Why do I have a good calm voice?

There is a man under my bed dammit. My voice should be anything but calm.

No voice replies to my calm voice but instead, something shuffles under my bed.

Is he taking me up to my offer?

This is it. Dear Hand, clutch that knife.

Dear heart, remain steady. Dear legs, run when I say run. Dear eyes, see.

Another minute. Nothing has happened yet.

The shuffle had since ceased.

I am getting very impatient.

“If you’re planning to kill me, please do so fast.”

When did I get so bold? Does this mean I am not afraid of death? Or maybe am just not afraid of the man under the bed?

Five minutes. The lights go off suddenly. Is this how I am going to die? Here, in my own house where I felt safe?

Two minutes. The lights are back on. Just another stupid blackout Amanda. Keep Calm.

One minute. Another shuffle under the bed.

The knife is ready.

I am the hunter, I finally decide.

“Meow,” the man under the bed says. He gets out from under it.

There is no man under my bed. It was only a cat.

A cat was under my bed.

by Amanda Nechesa 67

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