Amazon kindle description:
"A seemingly innocent impulse purchase is about to teach one woman a lesson in terror and pain. A truly unique and suspenseful tale from a new master in modern horror."
Linda stared at the dresser for a full twenty minutes, trying to decide where it would look best in her room. It was hard to find anything that looked good in a room with light pastel-green walls, white drop-ceilings and sherbet orange molding. She found herself hating the house's previous owners for a moment, but contented herself with the knowledge that it would be painted to her liking soon.
The new dresser was an impulse purchase from earlier that afternoon. While driving home from work she'd seen it there on the side of the road, and known instantly that it would look great in her bedroom once all of the remodeling was finished. With help from the neighbor boys, getting the dresser up here had gone smoothly, but now she wondered why she hadn't considered its position in the room before paying them their promised twenty dollars each and sending them on their way.
Suddenly she decided that it would look the best on the south wall, opposite the bed. After a few minutes of grunting and pushing, she managed to get it to that position in the room.
She smiled once it was done. It was perfect. She knew that her husband Mark wouldn't have cared where it went. He would probably give a satisfied grunt of approval no matter where she put it and then turn away, bored, as though it were a foolish question. 'After all,' he would probably think, it's just a dresser.' He would probably even be asking himself, 'What was wrong with the old one?' Most men had no appreciation for such things.
Linda knew that she probably wasn't giving him enough credit, but who cared? The point was that she liked it and he would have no valid reason to give her any trouble about it.
After about fifteen minutes, she managed to get clothes in most of the drawers, but was stopped abruptly when the bottom one would not open. 'Why didn't I check them at the sale,' she wondered. The old man hadbeen rushing her a bit. Now, it seemed, she knew the reason for his pushiness and dirt cheap selling price. She thought for a moment of getting someone to help her put it right back in her car and drive it over there the next day where she would promptly drop it at the edge of his driveway and demand her money back. But it was kind of an unspoken rule of such sales that every now and then you got junk when you thought you were getting a deal. There was no warranty on such things. It was as-is, all sales final.
And the drawer was jammed tight.
She quickly checked all of the other ones. They slid open and closed with ease.
Growing angry now, she dropped to her knees with a choice expletive. She pulled as hard as she could on the bottom drawer, but it wouldn't budge.
Well, it doesn't matter. she tried to tell herself.
She turned to leave the bedroom.
But it does matter, dammit. She needed for some reason to have that drawer opened. She tried to tell herself that it was just because she needed the extra space if she was going to keep the damned thing and get rid of the old one. Somewhere, deep down, however, she knew that it was more likely just her stubborn nature, refusing to be stopped by a sticky drawer.
She knew it was a bit odd to be obsessing so over it. After all, it was probably empty. But was it? She wondered. The dresser was obscenely heavy. What if there was something of value in there and he'd never bothered to force it open? It could have been an inheritance, she supposed. He could have been selling some dead family member's belongings in that sale. What would he care if one of the drawers was stuck? That would be someone else's problem if he could manage to sell it.
Linda forced herself to leave the room and stop thinking about it. She went downstairs and poured herself a cup of coffee.
She went into the living room and tried to get interested in some sort of movie, but when none of the tapes or DVDs appealed to her, she realized that her mind was still on that damned drawer.
"Oh, hell!" she said, and left the house. Before she knew what it was that she was doing, she found herself in the garage searching through her husband's tools for anything which would open that drawer.
She finally decided on a screwdriver.
She made her way slowly up the stairs, a smile steadily building. But she worked on that drawer until the screwdriver started to bend, and it still would not open.
Finally she gave up. It was getting late anyway. After a while she convinced herself that her husband would be able to open it when he got home, and she started to get ready for bed.
She laid awake for an hour, before finally giving up the natural route and took a Valium. "Fuck you." she said to the drawer with her middle finger raised to the sky, and lay back. After a little bit, sleep took her.
Sometime in the night, Linda awoke.
There was a scratching sound across the room like finger-nails on wood.
She turned on the light next to the bed, and after a few groggy seconds, realized with terrified certainty that the sound was coming from the dresser.
What did that old man do? she wondered, and shivered at the possibilities. She thought back to the sale.
In her mind's eye, she clearly recalled the old man standing there, looking at the dresser as though he didn't want to part with it. In the heat of the moment, thinking of how much more space this dresser had as opposed to the old one, She'd thought it sentimentality at first. Perhaps a show to make her want the dresser all the more. No stranger to yard sales was she. Another part of her, however, was on guard the whole time, afraid that it meant something else. Now, looking back, it seemed that there may have been fear in those eyes of his. Fear of the dresser, or fear to sell it to her; she had no way of knowing. Was there something alive sealed inside?she wondered. A cat or a dog, maybe? Some sick joke from the old man? The idea seemed ludicrous. Who would do such a thing? But the scratching persisted just across the room, no matter how crazy it seemed.
She suddenly needed to have that drawer open.
As she neared the dresser a few minutes later, with a hammer and another screw driver, the scratching stopped as though in anticipation.
She stopped also, a fear creeping over her.
It knew she was there.
'Oh stop it you chicken,' she told herself, "It's a drawer. What could actually fit in there that could hurt you? But that was, she realized, a stupid question. Any number of small animals was capable of causing harm to a grown adult.
'Well,' she thought, 'There's only one way to find out.'
With that, she hammered the screwdriver into the crack at the top of the drawer and began to pry at it. It caused the wood at the top to chip and break away, but at this point she cared little for cosmetic damage. Such things could always be fixed later. Finally after a few seconds, there was an audible clicking sound, and the drawer began to slide, albeit very slowly. It was like trying to open a door with hinges that were completely rusted.
And then it pulled out all of the way and Linda backed away slowly, trying to fight the scream which was building inside her.
It was not a cat, or a dog, or a mouse, or any other manner of small animal: It was a human body. Its bones, rudely broken, body folded in order to be fit into the drawer, but otherwise it was in one piece. She could see where the flesh had torn and bones were protruding in several places. There was blood, but it was a dark maroon - almost black - as it had no doubt been there for some time. The flesh - pale, almost white, and hanging off the body in places, despite the cramped conditions - was bluish-black in spots where the blood had settled. And the eyes were bulging from the sockets.
Why on earth hadn't she smelled this? Surely a body, once reaching this level of decomposition, would stink to high heavens.
And then its eyes turned to look at her, and she lost it. The scream droned away until she thought that she had lost her voice, and then she realized that she was in fact still screaming, it just sounded far away to her.
Something slammed into her hard from behind, and she cried out even louder, spinning halfway around before realizing that she had merely backed into the far corner.
The dead man in her drawer was twisting his body this way and that with a lot of cracks and tearing sounds. Soon, she could see, he would be in a fully upright position.
It was then that Linda realized her mistake. In the process of backing away, not caring where - as long as she got away from the abomination in her drawer - she had moved quite a ways from the bedroom door. It looked now as though that was probably her only avenue of escape. This reanimated corpse was now between her and the only exit.
She began to stand, and slowly to move toward it.
The thing's head swiveled toward her, and then fell to one side of its misshapen shoulders with a thick liquid crackle. The left hand of this monster that looked human,reached over and yanked it back into its proper position a second later With a couple of snaps and cracks. Since turning toward her, though, its eyes had never left hers. Its mouth opened, but no sound came out. Its jaw hung at the wrong angle, but quickly snapped back into place.
She knew what it wanted though, regardless of the lack of sound.
It wanted her to take its place.
"NO!" she screamed at it, and ran toward the door.
Its hands reached out lightning quick, still crackling, but almost whole again, and latched onto her shoulders.
She tried to get away, but it was pulling her toward it and it was just too damned strong.
She saw her chance and went for it a second later as its grip lightened for a moment. The screwdriver had been dropped on the floor when the drawer had finally opened all of the way. In one last desperate attempt at survival, she stooped down and grabbed hold of it before being yanked back up to face the monster. In one swift move, she lifted the screwdriver into the air, and stabbed it in the eye.
Linda cried out then as a pain greater than any she had ever known shot through her head and reverberated throughout her body. She had stabbed its eye,but hers was bleeding.
"Oh God," she cried.
The creature let go of her then.
She reached up and tried to take hold of the screw driver which was buried in her now-ruined right eye. She cried out in pain as her fingers collided clumsily with the tool - warm blood cascading down her face - but she couldn't do it. There was too much pain. And then the room was fading. She attempted to fight it as everything faded to gray, but there was no winning here. The corpse looked down at her, smiling its death-grin, and she knew that it had won. She was not going to wake up. This was it. This was forever. She thought of the old man one last time. What was it that he said?
"It's yours now. You own it."
Something in that still seemed archaic to her, and she had not gone past thinking it an old-fashioned closing of the transaction at the time. But, it seemed, he had meant much more. She had made an agreement by making that purchase. Whether aware of it or not, she'd gotten what she paid for. And that, apparently, was death.
Mark arrived six hours later, having left the conference early after not hearing from his wife in three days. On one hand, he hated having to leave for these trips so regularly, but on the other, he did need to get away occasionally. The quiet evenings at motels in one state or another often afforded him the solitude that he so often seemed to require.
On occasion, Linda forgot to take her medication. In the past this had ended with her causing bodily harm to herself in a state of major depression. He prayed inside that she hadn't done something drastic. There were times when he just wanted to leave her, when the stress became too much to deal with, but deep down he knew that he loved her and always would. At times his hours of solitude in one roadside motel or another would actually open his eyes and make him realize just that.
He reached the end of the driveway in a panic. He was certain that something was wrong. There were lights on in the house, but no answer when dialing the house number. Mark tried to assure himself that she just hadn't heard the phone. Maybe she was just out shopping or visiting a friend. Maybe she'd just accidentally bumped the button, switching the ringer off and was completely unaware of his attempts to call. So often in life, his paranoia got the better of him when the answer was something so simple that he felt foolish later. He hoped like hell that such was the case this time as well. Feeling like an idiot was better than finding out that you were right and something horrible had happened. But a tiny voice inside - as on all of those other occasions - was screaming at him that this time was different. He left the car running and the driver's side door open as he quickly made his way across the lawn and into the house. He didn't bother to close the front door either as he bolted across the kitchen, shouting his wife's name.
There was no answer, and the dead quiet of the house was maddening. The kitchen lights were on, and he could see, just before exiting the room, that there were dishes in the sink. Not a large amount - just a couple of plates, one bowl, and some silverware - but they had obviously been there for days, as they were now coated in a a scum from sitting in the water for so long.
He rounded the corner toward the stairs, calling her name more urgently.
"Linda?" he called, running up the stair now, as he could see from the bottom - and had seen from the driveway - that the bedroom light was on. Had the light in the stairwell also been on, he might have noticed the bloody footprints, tracked halfway down the stairs before finally fading to nothing at the bottom.
At first glance the bedroom was empty and he almost turned away to continue his search - heart thumping wildly in his chest. And then he clearly saw what he had at first mistaken for dirt or clothing on the floor out of the corner of his eye. There were a few pools of blood and bloody footprints. The biggest puddle was in front of their dresser, which he would have noticed as new, had it not been for all that disgusting red stuff. He only half noticed its new position from their old one as his stomach threatened to turn.
Slowly he walked toward it, being careful not to step in any of the puddles, his heart beating a mile a minute, terror building in him with each step as to what he was going to see.
On the floor a short distance away was a hammer, and it looked as though someone had broken into the bottom drawer of the dresser. It was now that he realized this was not the same one as had been here before.
All around the top of the drawer were scrapes and missing chips of wood, where it looked as though a screw driver had been used. The hair all over his body was standing on end, ice water pumping through his veins. He neared the dresser in shock, not realizing that he was now stepping in the blood. Had someone come in here and killed her? Was that person or persons still here? Had she killed herself?
Something shifted from within the bottom drawer just then, breaking the unnatural silence of moments prior and caused his heart to lurch to a near fatal stop in his chest.
There was a scraping sound from within.
He suddenly found himself on his knees, smearing the blood - which was cold and had already started to congeal - all over his legs in his desperation to get the drawer open. In one horrified instant, he knew that she had somehow fit herself in there no matter how illogical it sounded. Or maybe someone had killed her and stuffed her in there. But that sound surely meant that she was somehow still alive, didn't it?
Mark crossed the distance on his knees, grabbed the handles, yanked it open, and then cried out in terror when he saw what was inside. His wife had somehow managed to shove herself into the drawer, breaking a couple limbs in the process. There, jutting out from where her right eye had been - just visible as it was almost completely submerged in the blood - was the screw driver she had used to force the drawer open. Her skin had gone a pale bluish-white with a slight green tinge around the neck and chest area. Rigor Mortis had long since set in with black and blue patches here and there. She was dead beyond any doubt.
"Jesus." he breathed. Reaching a hand out to touch the side of her face, which proved to be cold and clammy, and he wished he had canceled his trip the first time he hadn't gotten an answer when trying to call her. He had completely forgotten about the sound which had led him to open the drawer for surely he'd imagined that. How long had it taken her to die? Had it been painful?
"I'm sorry, babe." he said.
As he spoke the words, her left eye opened wide and turned to look at him. The screwdriver twitched as though the right eye was attempting to turn toward him as well but was incapable of such movement under the weight of the tool.
Mark cried out, backing slowly from the dresser, unmindful of the blood he was smearing all over himself and the floor. Can't be real. he thought. There was no way she could be alive. Not like that.
Mark watched in terror as she began to rise up, snapping bones back together one by one, never taking her one good eye off him.
At some point, shortly after realizing that he had wet himself, he lost consciousness.