Read Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings Online

Authors: Karina Halle

Tags: #Fantasy, #Horror, #Romance, #Adult, #Mystery, #Suspense, #Goodreads 2012 Horror

Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings (27 page)

BOOK: Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings
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below the waterline.

I raised my head and opened my eyes to the harsh

bathroom light, sputtering. I had almost fal en asleep in the

tub. Or had I already been asleep? My heart was pounding

wildly in my ribcage. I could have died. After al this, what a

way to go.

I composed myself and pressed my hands on the bottom

of the tub until my shoulders were safely above the water,

the remains of bubbles clinging stubbornly to them like

cartoon dandruff.

How long had I been out ? My skin was pruney and a

greying pink and only a few tufts of bubbles remained

floating in the oily water, which was cooling fast.

I wasn’t ready to face the world yet. I didn’t know if I’d

ever be ready. I leaned forward and turned on the hot water

faucet, prepared to stay in the bath forever.

The tap shuddered and gave off a strange, metal ic

grinding noise that shook the blue and white tiles around

me.

But no water flowed. It was dry.

I twisted the knob further.

Stil nothing.

I started to wonder if perhaps my parents were having

plumbing work done to the house, when a terrible sound -

that could only be described as a scream - emerged from

behind the faucet fixture, fol owed by a weird scurrying

noise.

I instinctively inched away from it until my back was flush

against the tub.

A drop of water dripped out, creating a ripple on the

water.

Then a black, moving drop; a tiny spider. It also created

a ripple, but instead of floundering in the water, it moved its

little legs in a hurry, as if it were swimming toward me.

“Oh, ew,” I cried out softly, and began to splash it in the

opposite direction.

Another shudder shook the whole bathroom. Someone,

somewhere laughed.

Suddenly, black water gushed out of the tap, flowing so

fast and strong that I was frozen in shock.

Frozen until I realized it wasn’t water, but
spiders
.

Hundreds, thousands of baby black spiders that were

rushing out, streaming into the bath with me, cutting through

what was left of the bubbles with their scurrying, writhing

bodies. Each one was no bigger than a freckle, but united

they created a squirming blanket of horror.

I screamed. I just screamed bloody murder until the

bathroom shook and tried to get out of the tub. My feet and

hands slipped wildly beneath me and the spiders were

making their way up my arms, my torso, onto my shoulders,

my neck.

I splashed and screamed until spidered water fil ed my

mouth, then slapped myself sil y along my stomach and legs

and chest. They popped and squished under my hands,

leaving behind a burst of fresh pain, like they oozed

stinging acid goo that clung to me like their flattened

bodies. I twisted around, wildly, blindly, and when I couldn’t

find my footing, I flung myself over the edge of the tub and

flopped onto the bathroom floor like a slab of meat.

One quick glance at the bathtub was al I needed to see;

it was fil ed to the brim with the evil arachnids that never

stopped flowing out of the tap. They trickled over the side in

charcoal streams against porcelain, stil heading for me like

an unstoppable army.

They were up my nose, in my mouth, in my hair.

Everywhere.

I heard my parents cal ing my name, the door handle

jiggled. I scrambled to my feet, stil making some horrible

kind of gurgling scream.

“Help me, help me!” I screeched, and threw myself at the

door, pounding on it with my fists until they were bruised

and tenderized.

“The door, Perry, let us in,” my dad yel ed, but I kept

throwing myself against it, trying helplessly, foolishly to get

out. I didn’t want to look behind me. The bathroom

shuddered again and it sounded like the world was being

torn apart.

With my back against the door and spiders stil clinging

to my bare skin, I turned and saw the tub breaking up at the

bottom, the drain becoming a wider and wider hole until

that’s al there was; a fathomless, dark fissure to nowhere.

Two human-sized spider legs, three-feet long each and

coated in coarse black hair, crept out of the opening,

wrapping over the edge of the tub. They clung to the wet

porcelain, and with straining joints, tried to pul up whatever

was left in the hole.

I didn’t want to see what that was; I knew there’d be six

more legs to fol ow.

I grabbed the door knob and throttled it harder, then

final y remembered that I had locked it. I pushed the button

in and the door was thrown open by my parents, who were

looking at me in utter shock.

I col apsed into my mother’s arms, total y naked and wet

and cried into her shoulder, “Get them off me, get them off

me!”

“Calm down, Perry,” my father said, and I felt his hand on

my head. Seconds later he had a towel and was wrapping

it around me.

“What happened?” my mom asked, sounding near tears

herself. “What happened to you?”

She held me back at arm’s length and I clutched at the

towel at my chest. She gasped as she looked over my

limbs.

I nodded and said, “I know, I don’t know what…they just

al came at me, I…”

“What did you do to yourself?”

“What?” I asked, and fol owed her gaze down.

I wasn’t covered in spiders. I was covered in numerous

scratches, al forming Xs in bleeding, swol en abrasions.

My head spun. I looked up at my parents. I looked over

their shoulders at the bathroom. The tub was intact, the

water filmy but empty, the bathroom floor was wet but bare.

There were no spiders.

There never were any spiders.

And I had been scarred with Xs.

“I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head. “I don’t know, I

didn’t do this, I didn’t.”

I didn’t, right? How could I have, I was taking a bath. A

bath with spiders that magical y disappeared.

But I’d never hurt myself; I hadn’t done that since I was

15.

“We’re making an appointment with Doctor Freedman,”

my mom said briskly. “Tomorrow.”

I hadn’t seen Doctor Freedman since I was 15.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

The last thing I remembered after the bathroom scene was

my parents taking me to my room and trying to get me in

bed. They wouldn’t listen to what I said about the spiders,

they wouldn’t believe me when I said I didn’t make the Xs

on my body. They didn’t listen and I got angry and threw the

book on demonology at my dad.

It nearly hit his head, and when he picked it up and read

the title, he went whiter than snow.

I’d say I didn’t mean to throw the book. That I was acting

without thinking. But part of me wanted to hurt him. Bad

enough so that he would see how serious this was. And I

wasn’t joking.

Then Ada was at my side, trying to placate me with

tears. It must have worked because a few hours later I

came to again. My mother gave me several yel ow pil s,

anti-anxiety drugs, and al three of them watched me as I

took them, then watched me as I relaxed in bed and

watched me as I fel asleep into a lucid dream world.

But now I was awake.

I was cold.

And before I pried my eyes open, I knew I wasn’t in my

bed.

I was outside, on al fours, along the spine of my house.

On the roof, the fucking
roof
.

It was black as al hel , with the winter wind whipping

around me, moving dark clouds in front of the moon and

stars so I could barely see anything except the faint glow

from the windows below that lit up the nearby trees.

My hands and feet rubbed against cold, rough shingles.

It didn’t feel like any of this was real. How could it this be

real? I was on the roof!

Why was I up here?

Was this another dream? If I jumped off the edge of my

house, would I fal like I fel into the river? Fal and then wake

up in Maximus’s bed? Or would it hurt? Would I die?

I tried to stand up but I teetered to the side. My balance

was off. The pil s would do that.

I crouched low to the roof and looked around, keeping

my fingertips on the shingles for security. There was only

one way to get up here and it was the only way down. I

slowly crept toward the western edge, taking quiet steps in

my bare feet,
so
careful not to alert anyone below. Once I

got to the edge it sloped off a bit and eventual y came close

to a lower part of the roof that was below my bedroom

window. There I could sneak along and get back inside

without anybody knowing.

I was near the edge and about to make my way down

when I heard something THUMP behind me, like a giant

bird just landed from out of the sky.

I didn’t want to turn around. Up until that moment, I had

been happy just going with the motions. I wasn’t panicking.

Sure, I was blacking out and ending up on the roof of al

places, a place where I could fal off and die, a place where

some part of me wanted to go and I didn’t know why, or

even worse, a place I had been summoned to. But if I didn’t

think about it, if I kept it at the back of my mind and treated

al of this like just another dream, maybe I wouldn’t lose my

mind. Maybe I could just shrug it off.

But the
thump
changed everything.

Because I wasn’t afraid before. I wouldn’t let myself be.

And now I was terrified.

I wasn’t alone on the roof. I was up there with something

that wanted me there. This was part of the deal al along.

And this fear, the fright that shattered my nerves and

made my tongue buzz like metal, it was more real than any

dream. Sometimes it was only the strongest, most palpable

terror that real y made you feel alive.

I paused, keeping my hands and feet strong and

balanced against the roof, and turned my head to face the

visitor.

At the other end of the house, lit up by the spotlight-like

moon that pierced through a thin cloud, was a…
thing
.

An infant-sized creature. Black as coal with two legs and

two arms. And two leathery wings that sprouted from its

furry back. Stormy red eyes. Burnished teeth. A wet,

gurgling laugh.

I heard a voice inside my head. A most terrible, horrific,

depraved voice. A voice that sounded like it was washed

with bones and lit with smoke and fire. It was beyond deep

and sounded a mil ion years old, like it had crawled out of

the bowels of the earth, before the first insects crawled on

its shores.

Jump
, it said. Its words reverberated in my head,

bouncing around my skul .

My mouth dropped open and I grew increasingly slack,

like someone had applied a paralyzing move to my neck.

Jump.

Jump before I make you.

It didn’t give me much time.

Like a shot, the beastly thing sprang forward, running on

two legs first, then al fours, while wild wings flapped. The

tips of each wing were armed with what looked like a silver

oversized bee stinger and it shone fiercely in the moonlight.

I screamed, then found the strength and agility to turn

and leap onto the area below.

I hit the shingles hard. They slid out from under me and I

was sliding down the sandpapery slope, my window out of

reach. I dug my fingers in and kicked with my feet, trying to

stop my descent, until I was almost al off, my armpits

digging into the gutter that moaned and creaked beneath

my weight.

My bedroom window was slammed open and Ada was

first on the scene.

“Perry!” she shrieked when she saw me hanging below,

as she leaned out the window.

“Help me!” I cried out, trying to lift myself up and onto the

roof as much as I could. My arms and abs strained

ferociously under the pressure.

Ada continued to cal my name, not doing anything until

my father appeared beside her. I don’t know what he said, I

was concentrating too hard on not fal ing to the brick

driveway below. I don’t know if it would kil me but it would

break my bones in a mil ion pieces. He took one look at me

then disappeared, cal ing for my mother.

I heard a slippery laugh from above.

I looked above the window, where Ada was watching me

in ful panic.

The
thing
was there, perched inches above her on the

higher slab of roof. She cried out at me for my safety,

blissful y unaware of the creature.

Because that’s what it was.

BOOK: Experiment in Terror 05 On Demon Wings
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