Things Change :

Funny how things can change, isn’t it?
I’m a careless person.  I leave things for weeks at a time, and sometimes never come back to them at all.  There are things I’ve lost in my own bedroom that I gave up searching for years ago.  It’s not that my bedroom is particularly big or messy, just that I really have a hard time keeping track of anything.  Sometimes my losing things seems to be almost supernatural.  Once, as a test, I placed a fork (something easily noticeable) alone in a cardboard box on the floor of my room.  I didn’t pay it any mind for a week or so; then, upon checking the box, I was startled to see it had vanished.  The bare bottom was entirely visible.  I don’t live with any roommates or family members, so someone else seeing it and picking it up is extremely unlikely.
However, my ability to lose almost anything and everything can lead to blessings.  I’ve found things I’d never known I’d owned, and if I hadn’t been searching for my car keys underneath my bed on a frustrated, rushing Tuesday morning, I may never have seen the girl beneath my bed.
At first all that was visible in the dusty environs below my mattress were two cream-white arms, the skin of which looked smoother than the surface of a porcelain bowl.  I had gotten her attention with my rustling around her, so she regarded me with eyes that looked like cool river water with flecks of gold beneath the ripples.  Before the rational response of incredulousness at a person living below where I slept, I fell in love with the woman.  Her appearance, at least.
I tried speaking to her, but she seemed to be in some sort of daze.  Wielding a light, I crawled deeper under the bedframe to get a better look at my room’s secret tenant.  As I came closer, I realized that a multitude of items I had been looking for were  crowded near the girl, as if she had stockpiled them.  My car keys were in this grouping and I snatched them up quickly, remembering for a second that I was unequivocally late for work.  I thought of this only a second, however, because the moment I lifted the keys from the dirty carpet under-bed, the being that lay catatonic beside the pile began screeching in an inexplicable frenzy.
The sound was like a high-frequency pitch of television fuzz.  I slammed my hands over my ears in an attempt to protect them, dropping the flashlight as I did.  When it landed near the assortment of objects collected by the girl, the howling woman seemed to fall back into reality and quieted down.  She made a few confused huffs that sounded suspiciously like the fussing of an infant.  Thoroughly bewildered and curious as I was, I wanted to stay and learn why there was a strange, inhuman woman in my room and how long she had been here, but my work was indeferable and the threat of losing it so great that I had no choice but to leave this creature where she lay.  If she had been here for some time already, as it seemed to me, it wouldn’t hurt to leave her until I returned.
Tired and lethargic as working always makes me, I didn’t at once remember the girl when I got back.  Instead, I spent a good deal of time drinking beer and commenting on Facebook pictures.  It was nearly 8:00 when I placed my cellphone beside me on the bed, only to hear it ring with a text message moments later.  My hand went instantly to the place it remembered putting it, but when it grasped instinctively it held nothing, like claw machines at supermarkets seem to do on every occasion.
The ringing continued; I was now getting a call.  But the sound was muted.  My memory jumped as if recoiling, and I recalled the strange meeting I had under my bed that morning.  For a moment’s hesitation, my skin grew taut with cold and realization; she was totally silent below, as if she wasn’t there at all.
I found another flashlight and dove beneath the slats to reclaim my newest lost possession.
Unexpectedly, I was met with a wall of random affairs that weren’t placed in such a manner before I’d left.  Maybe I’d gotten the girl’s attention, at long last, or maybe she rearranged my room each time I went out.  I honestly wouldn’t have noticed, being the type of person to let sleeping dogs lie.  Clearing the stuff took a few seconds, but once I could see the wall my bed was situated against—
I could see the wall.
The girl was gone.
I backed out hastily from my prone position, getting up to a kneel, looking about my room in confusion, and seeing the girl laying, as she had underneath, atop the covers of my bed.
Now that I could see her in the more diffused light from my lamp, I saw things that made me shudder, literally- a sunken in face that had no discernible lips, the nose scabbed over badly and almost completely gone, her eyes closed but the lids translucent.  She was gaunt, cheekbones blade-sharp from hunger and her hair short wires that existed only in clumps.  Her body was in a worse way, and entirely visible due to her nakedness.  In place of nipples she had disgusting black charred spots, all the more juxtaposed by her cadaverous white skin, and no breasts to speak of.  She was beyond albino, nearly the color of undirtied snow.  Her legs were bones with skin, the same as her arms.  Her right hand’s fingers had been cut to the second knuckle, and what looked like construction nails acted as substitutes for the natural digits.  It was in this hand that the creature clutched my phone.
Rationally, I knew that calling the police was the only thing I could do to stop this horror show.  Being only freshly out of college, I was in a poor economic state and couldn’t afford a landline.  I lived in a cheap house in a new development of cheap houses, and I knew my nearest neighbors were either fugitives from the law or similarly unable to spare a telephone.  I was wary of the girl’s screams.  Pacing the room, I thought.  When I watched the girl, it seemed that she leered at me through her vitreous palpebra with her insect eyes.  I shook.  Perhaps, I reasoned, if I could quickly switch the phone with this flashlight…
Steadily I approached, my hands prepped to act as quick as necessary.  With my left hand I grasped the torch, and with my right, I neared her milk-white skin.  Closer…
The lids flew open.  Black eyes.  She shrieked.  I was impaled by her nailed hands.  I slid to the floor.  She seemed totally awake now, and slid languidly off the bed.  She gazed down upon me, crumpled on the floor, totally paralyzed by fear.  Her cracked mouth betrayed no emotion, but it opened and emitted a subhuman hiss.  Just before she descended upon me with tooth and literal nail, I looked to the corner of the room.  There sat my iPod, headphones and all.  Oh there it is, I thought, rapturous for a moment.  I’ve been looking for that for ages.


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