Shocking ‘dark’ short story by Colin Devonshire
Come To Bed
‘I’ve got a plan,’ Christy said to her mirror. She didn’t expect an answer. Instead, her smile cheered her as the girl clambered into bed. She hunted for her mother’s copy of Agatha Christie’s “Ordeal Of Innocence”.
‘Here you are,’ she pulled the well-thumbed copy from under her pillow.
Like several of Christie’s heroes, Christy wants to be a private investigator. But, before that, she would have to finish school, train as a police officer, and then as a detective.
Christy huffed at the thought of years of training. But then, she fell asleep wondering if her mum got the name from her favourite writer.
‘Look at this,’ said her father as he backhanded the newspaper.
‘Some crackpot has done it again.’
‘What, dad, what is he doing?’
‘It may not be for young ears.’
‘Come on, dad, I’m going to be a police officer soon. And anyway, I’ll read the paper when you go to work,’ said Christy.
‘Yes, I’m sure you will. A person is breaking into people’s homes and then climbing into bed with them.’
‘Oh, I see why you don’t want me to see.’
‘No problem, the perpetrator does nothing but lie there and then creep out again. As I said, a crackpot.’
Christy was reading the report over her father’s shoulder. ‘Look, it’s Mary’s house. Can I see her before I go to school?’
‘Okay, you can walk to lessons with her.’
‘Mary, tell me all about it.’
‘It was nothing. Mum fumed as she had to replace the glass. But, no harm done. A weird experience for her, though.’
‘So the burglar broke the glass? Did you not wake up?’
‘Actually, there was no burglary, nothing taken. And whoever it was didn’t break the glass, only removed it.’
‘So what happened?’
Somebody got in, went to my mum’s bed, laid down next to her, and then left. Nothing missing or moved.’
‘How did your mum know they got in next to her?’
‘Since my dad left, mum has slept alone. Usually, only her side gets ruffled. But the sheets were all over the place, and there was a funny smell. Like rotting almonds, she said.’
The girls carried on towards school when a woman ran into them.
‘Where is he? I’ll kill him?’
‘Who, what are you talking about? There is nobody in the street.’
The lady called the police on her mobile.
‘Yes, he was in my bed. Everything is present. What do you mean I’ll have to wait?’
The woman slammed the phone into her pocket.
‘Did you see anyone?’
‘No, we are on our way to school. When did all this happen?’
‘How do I know? I was asleep.’
‘What did the police say?’
‘They have more important things to worry about. I was unhurt, and nothing pinched.’
‘Excuse me, but how did you know anyone had been in your house?’
‘Because someone removed a window pane and the stink in my bed. Stupid kids.’
The woman stormed off up her driveway.
Three similar cases headed the local news. The next day a break-in got the police’s immediate reaction. After reporting the incident at the station, reporters swamped the lady.
‘I think it was a woman, not sure, but got a feeling,’ said the homeowner.
‘Tell our viewers more, please.’
‘Somebody took a pane of glass from my French windows, and they entered my house that way. I felt the bed move. I was half asleep and thought I felt something. There was someone next to me—a slightly built person, I guessed. A hand closed my mouth. The other hand stroked my stomach.’
‘Your incident was worse than others reported. Why do you think?’ asked a man with a mic.
‘Because I woke up? I don’t know.’
‘What about the smell?’
‘There was a strange odour. I don’t know what it was.’
‘As I said, this must be a crackpot. Scaring everyone in the area for no reason,’ said Christy’s dad. His daughter scratched her chin.
‘Do you think the police are checking medical records?’
‘How can they? They have yet to find out who it is.’
‘I mean, the records of the victims?’
‘Don’t be so silly.’
A newly married couple lay together, naked in their second-floor room. On the narrow patio, a crack as glass shifted. It broke the silence as an oblong sheet of glass found itself on the lawn. A black arm reached in and unlocked the verandah door. Black-dressed legs followed the black sleeves up the stairs. The well-oiled bedroom door inched open. A black hood peered inside.
The couple stirred, fidgeted, and rolled over, now lying back to back.
‘Perfect,’ mouthed the mask. A slight person was kneeling at the bedside. A scalpel flicked in the darkness, nicking the flesh holding the belly button’s golden stud.
The scream was loud enough to wake neighbours, shaking the stillness of the night.
Blue lights flashed. ‘Do you need an ambulance?’ asked one of the attending officers.
‘No, thanks, it was the shock, not the cut, that scared me,’ said the young bride.
The lady who lived next door rushed around with a tray of cups of tea and a consoling arm for both husband and wife. Detectives arrived, and experts hunted fingerprints.
‘Nothing, no dabs, no footprints.’
The lead detective gave a brief statement to the press. ‘It appears our culprit is getting more violent. This time the criminal took blood. I want to warn everyone to lock all your doors until we catch this dangerous criminal.’
‘Have you got anything to go on? Is it a man or woman, for example?’
The officer drove off.
That night a pane of glass was placed on the veranda’s wooden floor. The back door swung open, as was the entrance to Christy’s bedroom.
‘Dad, dad, look what they did to me.’ She pointed to a long gash on her stomach.
‘Quick, lay down. I’ll call an ambulance.’
Within minutes they were bundling Christy on a stretcher. Police threw questions at her as they whisked her to the hospital.
‘Is she going to be okay?’ asked her dad.
‘Yes, yes, don’t worry, we stapled her stomach. The cut was not deep, and she’ll heal without a scar,’ said the doctor.
The next day Christy’s dad was sitting opposite another doctor.
‘Why did you request an urgent appointment with me?’ asked the psychiatrist.
‘My wife died giving birth,’ said Christy’s dad.
‘Yes, but that was twelve years ago, was it not?’
‘It still has an effect.’
‘How do you mean? Are you still suffering?’
‘No, not me, but Christy is.’
‘How so? She would naturally be on edge after the attack in her bedroom.’
‘I put two and two together. I work at the resin factory.’
‘Sorry, I’m not with you?’
‘We use chloroform. It smells sweet, and we have some in my house.’
‘Sorry, I’m still not with you?’
‘My daughter asked if the police checked the victims’ medical records. That got me thinking.’
‘To see who had lost a child? Or aborted one!’
‘Christy badly wanted a younger sister. She is trying to find her.’