The Open Window

You had that dream again. The one where the beast with the drooping hands and wicked fangs stares you down from your window. Except the windows open this time—and you’re awake! What happens next?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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830 thoughts on “The Open Window

  1. dontaskmewhy

    The bile rises in the back of my throat. It is the same dream, the one I’ve been having lately. Although short, it never ceases to wake me from my sleep with a pounding heart and the feeling of nausea. Shivering, I pull my blanket around me, though it doesn’t provide much warmth. There’s something different this time. Realizing that the shakes aren’t internal, I look up and see that the window is open. And it is here.

    I think I try to scream, but nothing comes out. Silenced, terrified, and frozen in place, I wait for the inevitable death. Yet, the beast doesn’t move. Cautiously, I crawl to the edge of my bed, mystified. It’s red eyes glow in the dark night. Snot mixes with saliva down its snarling muzzle. I wonder what keeps it back, always at my window. Curious, I step off my bed and move towards it slowly. The closer I get, the bigger I realize it is. Its teeth are easily the size of my fingers, and its fangs the length of my hand. The beast’s own hands were around the size of my head, curling around my window sill. Standing a few feet from it, fear seizes my heart and I forget how to breathe. There’s something mystical about it. Magical, even. In one daring move, I reach out and touch its nose.
    Everything goes black.

    It’s strange how you don’t die immediately when you’re ripped I half and eaten. Sure, you’re losing blood at an insane rate, but your body still doesn’t seem to register that it’s separated. I think it is suffocation that finally kills me, though by then I had been unconscious for some time. It’s difficult to remember.

    All I know is I’m hungry, and I can’t cross the window without permission.

    Let me in.

  2. ShipsNC

    This is the first time I am writing on a public forum. Maybe someone will like my story.

    The open window
    I always had that recurring dream. She always stared at me through that open window. Every time I saw her blood shot eyes, her yellow fangs, her ugly face strewn with despise and her evil laughter, I woke up screaming. I used to call her Banshee and the name befitted her dearly. She was nothing but purely malevolent! She used to torment my dreams since I was a little child and I was sixteen now, this had to stop.
    My room had two beds as I used to share it with my brother Ted. Even though he slept against the window I was the one who used to get up screaming. I was the butt of his jokes at all our family parties. When he moved out of the house I was too scared to sleep in the room. I decided I could not have this anymore. I got money from mother and bought my room real thick curtains for my window. I made it a point to never open the window at night no matter how hot the weather got. I got through a few months peacefully until that fateful night.
    My parents were away and Ted decided to bring over a few of his friends home while he was babysitting me. His friends are real jerks. I hate all of them. His girl Sophie was the worst of all. She used to pester me to start drinking. I do not know what came over me that evening when I obliged in spite of Ted scolding us both. Just one drink and I was woozy. Ted got really mad at me and took me to my room. I do not remember anything more as I just hit the sack. And then I heard her.
    It was pitch black even after I opened my eyes. I could hear her evil laughter. It curdled my blood. It was faint at first and then the pitch increased. I shut my eyes and couldn’t dare open them. I was trembling. I could almost feel her presence in the room. As if her darkness was soon going to engulf me whole. I prayed, I don’t know how long but I just prayed to God to save my soul. The laugh dint stop and it was coming in staccato, taking long pauses in between. I really cannot recollect when I prayed myself to sleep.
    When I woke up the room was lightly illuminated. I turned behind to look at the window. I saw the ray of light streaming in through the sides of the closed curtains. With my heart pounding against my chest I managed to walk towards the window. With one swift gesture I opened up both the curtains. My window was locked! I could not believe my own eyes. I really think I have gone crazy. When will this ordeal end? I cursed myself as I could not escape her. I could not stop thinking about all the nasty things she might do to me tonight as I walked down the house into the kitchen. I saw Sophie and Ted in the kitchen along with Natalie, Sophie’s best bud. I warmed some milk.
    Ted began teasing me. “So baby doll, I heard no screaming last night! How come you slept so well? Maybe the drink did do wonders to you!”
    I absolutely ignored his remark when Natalie added, “Don’t tease her Ted. Some people do get nightmares.”
    “Ya look whos talking”, Sophie cut in, “I recall all the times Nat has come for a sleepover at my place and I ended up having a scare.”
    “Why was that?”, I asked curiously.
    “Ohh Nat has this horrible habit of talking in her sleep. Sometimes she bursts out into this evil little laugh it sends chills down my spine! Hope she didn’t do the same to you last night when she shared your room!”

  3. GrahamDowns

    Here’s my attempt (You can also read it on my blog at

    Mary’s mouth hang open. She wanted to scream, but no sound came out. She wanted to slam the window shut, but her arm wouldn’t move. She wanted to turn and run, as far away from her room as possible. But she didn’t know where to go. The thing would be in the room and upon her before she reached the door. Besides, her feet wouldn’t have been able to move if she tried. She was frozen in fear.
    “Hello, Mary.”

    Mary swallowed hard. “H-how do you know my name?”

    “Oh, we’ve met many times before. In your dreams, night after night. It’s good to finally meet you in person.” As she stared at the beast, with saliva dripping off its fangs, she suddenly knew who it was. “Marty? Is that you?” The thing threw its head back and emitted a deep, slow laugh. “Marty is the name your subconscious gave me, child. My name is Ciz’que.”

    Although still frightened, Mary was beginning to regain her senses somewhat. She knew this creature from her dreams, although she knew him as Marty. He was frightening then, but not overtly hostile, and she felt that if she could defeat him in her sleep, she could defeat him here, in the real world.

    “What do you want?” she asked.

    “My name, child—my true name—means ‘Bringer of Souls’. I want your soul.”

    Mary thought about this a moment, then snapped, “Well, you can’t have it!”

    Ciz’que seemed to take a step back, apparently shocked at the audacity of this child. After a moment, he brought his head through the open window, stopping centimetres from Mary’s face. Mary’s gaze met his, and she found herself unable to move or speak, transfixed by the creature’s glowing yellow eyes.

    The beast opened its gigantic maw and breathed hot, fetid breath into Mary’s face. The stench was terrible, unlike anything Mary had ever experienced before. But as she was no longer entranced by Ciz’que’s eyes, Mary was able to think quickly. She reached out her left hand and felt for the letter opener that she knew lay on her writing desk. Finding it just within arms reach, she grabbed it and plunged it into Ciz’que’s open maw.

    The creature screamed and stepped back. It swiped out at Mary’s face with a heavy claw, running three deep gashes along her cheek, causing her to crash to the floor. Ciz’que reached into his mouth, removed the letter opener and examined it. Blood dripped off the blade. He tossed it away, and leapt all the way through into the room.

    Ciz’que’s massive frame covered Mary on the floor, and once again she found herself unable to move.

    “And now,” he said, “your soul.”

    Ciz’que’s yellow orb-eyes filled Mary’s consciousness. Nothing else existed for her. She opened her mouth to scream—a whooshing sound came out instead. And with it, out streamed a long, black trail. The last thing Mary was aware of was her soul being pulled from her body.