Hey, guys! It’s time for the response to my Day Six Writing Prompt! This is yet again one of those instances in which… well… I might have accidentally made something very akin to the beginning of a novel here. There’s actually 2,000 more words to this, but I cut it so that you wouldn’t have an enormous wall of story to read, because I didn’t think that you’d appreciate it.
Honestly, though, I really enjoyed responding to this, and I can’t wait to see what you guys came up with. I hope that you enjoy what I’ve written!
Mr. Teeth and Claws
I didn’t know him by his face, but I knew him by his voice. It was rich and full of promise, and a snarl all at once. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I certainly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d come back to my parent’s house because my Father had just died, and after the funeral, I’d trudged my way up the stairs and to my old room. My mother said that my bed was still there, the sheets fresh, the pillow new. I was moving back in, because she couldn’t take care of everything at the house, including my little brother, on her own.
I was moving back in because I was a terrible son if I didn’t help her – if I didn’t do something to make this a little bit easier on her. I’d lost my father, but she’d lost her husband, her best friend. She’d lost the man that was the most important person in her life…
And all that I could do was move back in and hope that I was capable of making things a little bit easier on her.
I wasn’t sure what I could do – but I would do whatever I could.
It was when I stepped into the room that the voice spilled out; the blackout curtains kept the soft streetlights from shining through my window. I’d installed them when I was sixteen because any light at all kept me awake.
“I thought you’d never come home, Corbin. It’s nice to see you again.”
My eyes widened, and for a moment I thought that my heart stopped in my chest. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t heard that voice since I was ten years old, and my father had told me that believing in the monster under your bed was foolish, and I was a big boy. I’d told him to go away, and after a few moments of arguing, he told me that he would.
But he’d promised me then that we’d see each other again.
I didn’t move to turn on the light. I closed the door behind me, and I felt my breath come in a soft, shaking gasp. “I’ve had a damn long day, I’m imagining this.”
I heard the sheets rustle – he wasn’t beneath my bed any longer, he was sitting on top of it. My eyes were adjusting to the darkness, and I could see the vagueness of a large figure, slender and lean, sitting on the head of my bed. “Really, Corbin? After everything that we’ve been through? After how kind I was, leaving you alone after that Father of yours demanded it? And you’re going to treat me like any other beggar on the streets like you don’t know me?” His voice was thick like honey and choking like smoke. It was in my head, wrapping around my thoughts, wrapping around everything that I was so that I took a step forward without realizing it.
“I don’t think so, Corbin.”
His voice was a low growl. A threat, a warning, and his displeasure made very known to me for the fact that I was trying to write him off as a hallucination of my very exhausted mind.
My hand moved to the light switch on the wall, and he tsked again. “I don’t think that’s necessary. Here,” there was a flicker of motion, and a light purple flame appeared. The thing on my bed was all blackness and shadow, but dancing amongst it I could see a very human face peering out at me. He had full lips and dark crimson eyes that flashed with wicked delight at the fact that I was looking at him with wide-eyed horror. I’d seen him under my bed before – a flicker of shadows and teeth and claws.
He was still all teeth and claws, but those teeth were concealed behind full lips and a curtain of dark hair that was the shadows that had always obscured him when I was younger.
“Who are you?” The words came hoarse from my throat, and I couldn’t believe that I was even talking to him. Still, there was nothing that I could do about it – he was real, and on my bed, and more tangible than anything that I’d ever thought possible.
“You used to call me Mr. Teeth and Claws. Or Shadow, don’t you remember?” He smiled again, leaning back on my bed so that I could see amongst the swirl of darkness that obscured his body a lean, muscled frame and an exposed chest. The darkness was like a cloak, and as he stretched back, still holding that purple flame in his hand like a flickering lantern, it shifted and moved so I could see more of his body.
“Those aren’t real names. You aren’t-”
“Don’t say that I’m not real again, Corbin. I won’t ask twice.” His voice was chilled, a snarl, and it froze me in my spot. My eyes widened, my heart beating so violently in my chest that I could hardly breathe around it.
“Okay…” I barely managed to get the words out, but he grinned viciously at me for it.
“That’s better. Now then, why don’t you come over here – we spent a lot of time on this bed, you and I…” His voice curled darkness, as though something had happened that hadn’t. I remember being terrified of his arms reaching out from under the bed, and I remember his dark voice telling me stories all night long about little boys being caught up in the shadows and never returning again. “And now that your Father is gone and his barrier has fallen to shambles, I’ve come back to claim what is mine.”
I’d started to step forward, lured by the warmth of his voice, the curling pleasure that cloaked the daggers… but as soon as he mentioned my father, I stopped.
“What do you mean, his barriers?”
The Shadow on my bed laughed richly, “Did you think that I left because you asked me to? Oh, Corbin, that’s rich. No… no, little boy, my little dreamer.” He raised one hand, and a pale finger that seemed elongated in relation to a normal digit crooked towards me. I felt a pull above my navel, almost as though he was calling me forward. “You belong to me, just as much as I belong to you.”
There was something so damning and final about his words, and I couldn’t help the frown that flitted across my face.
“What do you mean, his barriers?” I asked the question again, though this time, it was far fainter. I had a feeling that something had been going on – perhaps for quite some time, that I hadn’t been aware of at all. It was clear that this creatures reappearance in my life had something to do with my Father’s death… but my Dad had died from a construction accident at work… so surely, the thing on the bed hadn’t had anything to do with that?
“No, Corbin. I never had an influence on his life. Only yours – you and I, we are linked. I am the Nightmare, and you are my Dreamer. He just thought that he could keep you from me.” He smiled then, and it was all sharp teeth and wickedness. He crooked his finger again, and I stepped to the edge of the bed. That hand flew out, wrapped around my wrist.
It was cold.
I didn’t understand the wash of sensation that tore through me – it was a mixture of terror and excitement, and it burned and nearly made me faint from the sensation of my heart thundering in my chest.
“S-stop. What are you doing?”
“What I was meant to do all along.” He pulled me closer to him, jerking my body forward until I fell on the bed beside him. I couldn’t ask more questions, though a thousand of them were flying through my mind. “You’re my shadow kissed Dreamer – you can see into our world…. you can see me. It’s your father’s fault, for being half Nightmare himself.”
I still couldn’t speak… and I still didn’t know what in the fuck he was talking about. My father wasn’t a nightmare. His dark hair and eyes had always been kind, and he’d always chased away the shadows–
“Because he didn’t want us to know about you. Do you know how special you are? How rare you are?” The Shadow leaned forward, and his tongue came out, long and smooth. He licked along my cheek, and the saliva left a cool line against my skin that burned just as much as his touch had. “You make a Nightmare strong, you let me walk in the physical world… and he can’t keep me at bay anymore. No, you’re mine, little Dreamer, and together, we’re going to have all of the pleasures of the world.”
He purred that word, deadly like a big cat. I wanted to jerk away from him, but I was frozen under his presence, under the weight of him holding me there on the bed that I’d seen him hiding under so often, heard his voice spilling from.
After the night when my Father had told me that the monster wasn’t real, I’d never seen him again… but I still heard him sometimes when I was trying to sleep – he’d tell me stories, he’d sing me lullabies… his voice was a curse and a gift all at once, because I’d never been alone.
But I’d left him behind as I’d grown, and I never thought that I’d see him again.
“You need to go – Shadows aren’t real.”
His grip on my wrist tightened, and the lick along my cheek turned into a sharp bite against my neck. I almost screamed out, but his free hand came up, covering my lips, stopping the noise from escaping my throat.
“Do you really want to do that? I’m not your little Brother’s Nightmare, but he’s still Shadow kissed. I could still visit him, instead. Your father isn’t here to protect either one of you.”
I thought of Jackson – of his innocent blue eyes and blonde hair… and I thought of this thing touching him, being near him. I instantly shook my head, my eyes shutting tight. Maybe I would wake up from all of this still, maybe it was just a dream.
“A nightmare, Corbin, I’m a Nightmare… and I’m glad to see that you’ve made the smart decision.” He knew before I’d even said it; he was in my head. He’d known when he threatened Jackson that I was going to do whatever I could to keep him away from him. My eyes opened wide, though, the words that he’d said trickling into the back of my mind. He answered again before I could even speak.
“That’s right, little Jackson has his own Nightmare, and she’ll be hungry for the taste of him just as much as I am for your taste.”
“I can’t le-”
“If you cooperate with me, I’ll make sure that she doesn’t touch him… I’ll make sure that no other Nightmare has a presence in this house, in your families life. I’ll keep your dear little Brother safe.” The aching tight grip on my wrist loosened, and he stroked along the side of my face. His voice was still honey, and it made me shiver. I was terrified – not for myself, but for the thought of Jackson having to go through something like this. My Father had clearly thought that keeping me safe from the monster beside me was important enough to seal him away… but I didn’t know how to do that, and he wasn’t here to do it for Jackson.
“I’ll do whatever you want if you promise that he won’t get hurt.”
Dark crimson eyes flared a bright red, and those full lips curved into a wicked grin that flashed sharp teeth that had drawn blood at my neck. “Perfect – with your blood, with your strength and your essence, I’ll be stronger than her. I’ll be stronger than any Nightmare who thinks they can pique their head and show their face here. This is my domain; no Dream or Nightmare will be known any longer.”
He turned to me then, and those crimson eyes were a swirl, cascading, drawing me in. I wanted to fall into that stare if only to escape from the reality of what was happening around me. I wanted to escape everything that was happening…
So, there we go. More than likely, Mr. Teeth and Claws will end up being a novel. I really can’t help myself. For some reason, I’m terrible at writing short stories.
Still, this is great practice for NaNoWriMo, and I completely encourage you guys to go ahead and do some writing prompts to get yourself revved up for the event!
Make sure if you end up doing any of my prompts that you tell me. I’m going to make a list of all of the responses at the end of the month, so we can have a big compilation of horror stories, for anyone who is really in the Halloween mood and wants to get their fix.
Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!