The Angler

Dylan Goss

Silence. You could’ve heard a pin drop in your room that night. It was so unusually quiet during that cold and still night, not a wisp of wind could be heard anywhere in the world. One once said, that “where there is silence, there is peace.” But ten year old Timmy Washel knew better. There was always something lurking in the pitch black corners of his room. And there was always a monster under the bed or in his closet. Although he had never seen anything, he knew they were there. He even stole his father’s zippo lighter a long time ago (who still hasn’t found it) so he could have some kind of weapon against the monsters. He kept that safely in his pocket, but he wasn’t so sure it would be useful.

So on this cold and still night in December, Timmy was the only restless being in the world. He clung tight to his covers, eyeing up every nook and cranny in his line of sight. The shadows in his room tonight seemed to be almost thicker, and it only made Timmy resent his mother more. His mother had put him to bed that night with a great big smile on her face, a hug, and a gesture that made it look like she was spraying what she called, “Monster Repellant.” Timmy always knew she was full of it. There was no such thing as “Monster Repellant.” This only made him feel worse, believing there was nothing that could stop the hidden beasts from eating him whole. But he knew thinking about it would just make his fear worse. He finally decided to shut his eyes tight, pull the covers over his head, and hope that sleep would overtake him soon.

Just when he thought he was going to doze off, Timmy felt a chill down his spine. He shot up from under the covers and gazed the entire room, searching for anything out of the ordinary. But to his surprise, everything was where it should be. He collapsed back down onto his back and pulled the sheets back up. But just as he was about to doze off again he felt another chill down his spine. This time, it was much more defined, like a fingernail scraping from the top of his neck down to his lower back. Timmy rolled out of bed and onto the floor, spazzing and flailing his arms like a lunatic. He stopped and got a hold of himself, crawling into a sitting position on the floor. He touched his hand to his heart and was instantly confused. Despite the fear he felt, his heartbeat relayed a very slow and steady drumbeat, a normal rhythm even.

“Hi, Timmy.”

The normal rhythm broke. His heart skipped a beat. Timmy’s eyes went wide as he spun around to see a young girl about his age standing next to his dresser. She was pretty and had a small nose. Her eyes squinted as though she was focusing on Timmy intently. Long black hair drooped down to her sides, exceeding her shoulders. She wore an all white dress that looked as though it had been made more than a hundred years ago. It covered up her feet, and as far as Timmy knew, she could’ve been floating. Timmy’s lamp flew past his face. It had been on his nightstand but it now lay on the floor next to the girl, unplugged. The socket it had been plugged into now showed it’s jaw-dropped terrified face, very similar to Timmy’s expression.

“Sorry…” the girl whispered, “sometimes things like to float in my direction. I’m not sure why, but they’re usually sources of light. I guess they’re just attracted to me.” Just then, Timmy’s closet door opened. A shelf inside shook and the closet threw up his flashlight. It rolled on the floor until it was at the feet of the girl, or at least, where her feet would’ve been. “Just like that,” she said in response.

Timmy just sat in fear, staring at her and chattering his teeth. He was freezing for some unfamiliar reason.

“I can sense you’re cold. I feel the floor shaking. Should I shut the window?” She asked like it wasn’t really a question, and just like that the window slammed close. Even the locks clicked into place.

Timmy didn’t even notice it had been open. He was more focused on how she shut the window without moving a muscle.

“You’re probably wondering why I’m here, aren’t you?”

Timmy stayed sitting on the floor by his bedroom door. He didn’t dare move, but he was able to manage a shaky and fast head nod.

The girl didn’t seem to acknowledge it. “Well you see,” she answered, “I’m blind. I actually can’t see anything.” She waved a hand in front of her face. “It’s just all darkness up here. It’s like not even having any eyes at all,” she giggled. “It’s not all so bad though. My other senses are really strong because of it. I can even identify objects based on the sound waves they emit when they come into contact with something.”

Timmy looked confused, so the girl subtly demonstrated. Timmy’s pillow flew across the room and hit the far wall, slumping to the ground.

“That was a pillow wasn’t it?” Timmy nodded but once again, it went virtually unnoticed by the girl. “Yeah, definitely a pillow. Hey, would you mind helping me with something?”

He didn’t even nod this time. He knew she’d respond anyway.

“Great!” she said. “So a long time ago, I was cursed by a witch. I asked her if she could make me special, better than everyone else. As you can see, I was made very special.” More objects from Timmy’s room began to float around her, slowly spinning in all directions. Suddenly, they all dropped to the floor. “But it all came with a price,” she whispered. “The witch took my eyesight in return. But you can help me, Timmy. All you have to do is take my hand and I can share in your vision forever.” She smiled, a warm smile that almost made Timmy kind of like her.

The flashlight and lamp began to drift over towards the window, farther away from Timmy’s location in the room. This only made him a little confused.

“Oh please, Timmy! Won’t you help me? Everyone who I’ve met before has always been too afraid of me to help. Please?” She sure didn’t look like a monster, and she was definitely in need of help. But Timmy was still afraid. He was still uneasy. Sadly, he knew the girl would answer for him. “Oh joy! Thank you, Timmy!”

She flew over quickly until she was standing right in front of Timmy, and politely held out her hand, palm up. She was obviously afraid of light, and Timmy had to know why. He whipped up some courage, and executed his idea. Timmy’s hand shook vigorously as he slowly took his father’s lighter out of his pocket. He raised it until it was between his face and the girl’s. She said nothing. Did nothing. Instead she just kept on staring, grinning even. Taking a deep breath, Timmy flicked on the lighter. The girl’s face was no more. Instead, there remained a wrinkled and pale face. It was missing both eyes. Deep dark holes remained instead. Massive jaws lined where it’s mouth would’ve been. Sharp, jagged teeth extended out in all directions. Everywhere the flame shown, the sweet little girl disappeared. Her arms were now visible. All seven of them. They were dark and shadowy tails that were obviously what shut the window and picked up Timmy’s appliances. A single tear escaped his left eye. Just as Timmy was about to scream, he accidentally touched the monster’s outstretched hand. After that, there was no time left to scream.