I still haven’t told her that I lost my job because I didn’t want to worry her and the kids. I knew I could probably figure it out before rent was due because I was great at solving problems.
A gray cloud must have gone over the sun, casting a shadow into the drab room. The food on the table appeared revolting. The uncanny moose bust, hanging on the wall opposite to the clock, stared through my soul.
The large wooden clock ticked and ticked. The walls were painted in a horrendous shade of green, where ominous acrylic portraits with dirty frames were hung. I sat entranced as the paintings looked at me. I heard the crescendo of splattering rain outside when suddenly, the portrait of the young crowned boy splashed into glittering gems on the grimy wooden floor. Curiously, I walked up to the gem fragments on the floor that the paper canvas had shattered into. Picking up a gem in my hand, I looked around to show it to someone.
My wife was nowhere to be seen, and I heard a loud roar from the basement accompanied by the scream of a woman.
In a zealous panic, I grabbed a long carver from the kitchen counter and slowly advanced to the stairs that would lead to the basement. The non-stop roaring blared louder and louder as I slowly crawled down the dimly lit cement stairs, my grip weakened, and my hand had a slight tremble. I force my hand to squeeze harder on the handle. I let out a weak roar of my own while flexing all my muscles.
Suddenly, a furless mandrill with gleaming claws burst through the door with a monstrous face. The primate began its thundering howl and beat its chest.
I heard my wife crying from inside the basement. I think I saw her move behind the hairless primate, but it could have been its shadow. I made calming gestures to let her know everything was okay because I knew only I could help. I slowly clambered towards it and waved my shiny blade, making the monster back away slowly and grumble unhappily. I inched down the stairs a bit more, having one hand for movement and the other pointing the knife until I was a few feet away. Man, I was going to be a hero!
The mandrill started to move towards me again, and I knew I must act quickly to save my terrified wife. I swung my knife at the surprised animal, but I couldn’t tell if I had hit it. Again and again, I struck at the horrific monster until it dropped lifeless on the ground. Out of breath, my eyes made a sweep through the room in every direction, but my wife was nowhere in sight. At least I saved her from the mandrill. She’ll definitely be proud of me now.
I turned on the lights and gazed around the room, yet there was nothing except the swirling dryer and a couple of dirty clothes baskets. I rushed back up the stairs and ran through all the rooms, only to find no one. My heartbeat raced under my ribs while I tried to collect my thoughts by pacing around the table. Where could she be?
Outside the mesh patio sliding doors, the heavy rain vaguely concealed two silhouettes of dark hounds with blood-red eyes gradually approaching me. I jumped and dashed to the wine cabinet, where I pulled out the shotgun from a hidden compartment behind the bottles. I swear I told my neighbors I would shoot the dogs if they ever got in my yard again. I fumbled with the red shells, attempting to load the gun. I heard the rolling of the doors behind me. The hounds bared their gleaming white fangs, aggressively growled, and were ready to pounce. I let out a yelp of terror and fired all the rounds at the hounds. The hounds burst and sprayed dark liquid that covered everything.
I wiped the sap off my gun and placed it on the table. I paced back and forth again and thought about where my wife might have gone, and it occurred to me that she must’ve gone off with the kids again. She must be grateful for my bravery.
BOOM. A resounding ringing pierces my ears and pushes me to the ground as my door is blasted open. Two stern police officers rush and tighten cuffs behind my back. They murmured something about murder and proceeded to drag me outside, where I was blinded by the sun.
There was no rain.