Author Topic: The Circuit Board  (Read 987 times)

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Wolfman Lou

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on: 01:50 AM, 03/31/18
At the age of twenty two, I had finally saved up enough money from working to put down a security deposit and rent an extra month in advance on a house. It wasn't anything fancy, as anyone's first house is. A simple, single-level three bed, one bath. Hell, I didn't even really need the extra bedrooms, but it was nice to have sort of an office space and a spare room for storage. It even had a basement which, like most suburban homes, was where the washing machine and dryer were kept.

The idea of having a place of your own is a bit of a double-edged sword. There is the freedom to do whatever you please, but then, living alone as I did, all the responsibilities fall to one person, not to mention the occasional pangs of loneliness. I didn't have many friends, and the ones I did, I didn't see often. It wasn't a big deal to me though. People grow up and apart sometimes.

I spent most of my time working, coming home, drinking beer, and watching TV. Rinse and repeat. It might sound a bit depressing, and that's because it was. It got dull, but it was a routine at least. A bit of reprieve after grueling days machining car parts in a shop.

One hot summer night, I sat on my couch, downing another Labatt Blue, a storm warning flashed onto the screen. It had been a bit windy during the day, and in Michigan, that's usually a good sign that the evening with be a rainy, thunderous mess. My county was included in the warning, but I paid no mind considering I found the rain calming, even through the lightning flashes and roars from the sky.

I continued staring at the inane sitcom glowing through the glass in front of me when the first thunder spoke and raindrops began to fall. I sighed and took a nip of beer, feeling cozy. I slumped back and phased out the television, listening to the drone of precipitation hitting my roof, when I was brought back to reality by the sudden darkness of my power going out.

"Fuck me," I muttered to myself. Quickly, I stood up to grab a flashlight from the junk drawer in the kitchen. Being in the dark was always one of my biggest fears, as childish as it sounds, especially alone. Clicking the switch on the light, it of course had dead batteries. I shuddered slightly, dreading going into the basement with nothing to show me the way.

Carefully and cautiously, I opened the door to the underground laundry room. It had a slightly damp smell not unusual for a basement, but my fear amplified it to a horrid stench. I gripped the railing as I made my way down the steps, trying to recall the location of the circuit board.

When I reached the bottom, the sound of raindrops left my ears completely. Not just from being underneath the house, but it suddenly became dead quiet. My hands started to shake, the terror becoming much stronger inside me, I ran for the board and opened it, checking for the popped circuit. They were all in place. I flipped the master breaker, to no avail. "Goddamnit, a blackout!" I growled. Shaking like a leaf before winter, I turned to return upstairs.

I turned and abruptly my shaking stopped, my body rendered frozen. Standing about six feet in front of me was a pair of eyes. Floating in the air, alien. The pair of floating, undialiting pupils peered back at me. I felt a horrid searing in my heart, perhaps my soul. I choked, trying to let out a scream, a cry of pure horror, but a sudden wave of calmness overtook me, the pure silence becoming nearly tranquil. My joints and muscles unlocked as I slowly being to step towards the glaring oculi.