The Bad Thing
David was a shy 10 year old boy and for being so young, also very cold. He never really got along with the other kids at Old County Orphanage, although he did manage to make friends here and there. He moved to the orphanage when he was 7; a rough age for kids that need to be adopted. After all, most parents want a smaller kid or even a baby when seeking to adopt a child. At least that's what the nuns told him.
It had been a long time since anyone picked his "mugshot" out of what the other kids called "the line-up", and David had literally given up hope for adoption, which was one reason his personality was so icy. As the days went on, he came to the realization that Old County Orphanage would be his permanent address and found peace with this.
There was something about living at Old County Orphanage that was not so peaceful however. There was something living amongst the boys that many could not see or hear. It was something out of the norm and David wished he was one of the boys who were unaware of this "thing".
When David laid his head down to sleep one night, he could hear someone crying again. The sound echoed through the cold concrete of the dormitory hallway. The other boys that he shared a dorm room with were still sound-asleep and it seemed as if he was the only one that could hear the terrible moans of sadness.
Was he crazy? Could he really be hearing this right now? Why can't the other kids hear the cries too? What exactly was going on here?
David tried to close his eyes and pretend that the sounds were only his imagination playing tricks on him, but the sounds just kept getting louder and louder. He began to get scared and curled himself up under his blanket, like it was a shield against the evil and terrible beasts that rule the dark of night as he squeezed his pillows against his ears to block out the sound.
The morning came and with the rising sun also came the end of the crying above. David wished he knew what was going on. He was so tired from not getting any sleep the night before. He decided to investigate a little, asking a few of his friends if they had ever experienced anything unusual in the orphanage, especially in their dormitory.
One of the boys that happened to bunk with David, was eager to answer and was thankful that he was not the only one hearing these things at night. He knew nothing about the orphanage's history but knew of a kid in another dorm room down the hall, who used to bunk in their dorm. Joshua was his name and he had a twisted tale to tell. A tale of horror, pain, and sadness. A tale of "The Bad Thing".
What was your biggest childhood fear?
© 2017 Matthew Hotaling