Penumbra: Don’t Be a Baby (Part 2 of 4)

Penumbra Nightmare: Episode 7

Part 2 of 4

Colin was the only one to have not noticed the bird. He came home from school one day and there it was. He had been certain it wasn’t there before. It was a red and black parrot in a shiny brass cage. The parrot looked back and tilted it’s head before screeching. 
“What a baby!” It screeched at Colin as he came inside. He found his mother at her desk and tugged on the sleeve. 

“Mommy is busy.”

“When did we get a parrot?”

“We’ve always had a parrot.” She said and picked up the phone to call someone. Colin sighed and went to go watch some tv. When his older siblings came by the bird screeched at them as well. 

“No one likes you Alice!” And “You’re fat and slow Frank!” The others seemed to just shrug at the words. When his mom came by the bird screeched at her. It gripped the bars and howled at her. “You’re ugly! You’re husband doesn’t love you!” Then it just cackled as she walked away. It glared down on Colin and screeched with a horrible noise like rusted metal being dragged along one another. Colin turned and ran up into his room. His door slammed and for a moment he was in the dark. A stifling and thick darkness that seemed to wrap slowly around his throat. He gasped and found just a tiny bit of air come in. His hand reached back and began to desperately paw for a light switch. Colin felt his breath come short and quick as he gasped desperately. His eyes went wide and reached up for his throat. 

“Colin?” A deep voice came from the other side of the door. The 

door cracked open and Colin felt the darkness release his throat. He fell to his knees and found a breath of clean air enter his lungs. Colin’s father flipped the light switch revealing a seemingly empty room. “You alright buddy?” His father asked, picking Colin up and slinging him over his shoulder, he turned and Colin faced towards his still dark closet.

“Don’t tell.” 

Colin wasn’t sure how the thing in the closet had spoken. But he could feel the words “don’t be a baby,” bouncing around his head. He gulped and bit back the tears that had begun to well up. 

The rest of the evening passed like molasses as Colin sat in dread of his room. All night he felt the bird sneering down at him, and cackling at him from it’s lofty cage. As he sat at dinner he looked out his window and saw a creature had begun roosting by the window. It was a dove, nesting gently and looking with intensity at Colin. It was pure white and seemed to have a kindness in it’s eyes. When Colin’s mother saw the bird she smashed on the window to drive it away. With a single flap of its wings the dove flew away into the dark night. Colin sighed into his soup as the other bird landed in the middle of the table. The cruel eyes sneered level with him as it urinated into his food. Before it could speak though, Colin’s father swept his hand over the table to drive it away. 

“Begone Satan, the Lord Rebukes you.” He said as he drove the bird away. It squawked angrily as it flapped away into a dark room of the house. When dinner had ended, Colin’s father tucked him in to bed. He gently closed the door, and Colin heard his father lean up against the wall. “Lord help me, I can’t do this alone.” Just then Colin heard the rain begin to fall on his roof. In a flash of lightning he saw the shadow of a bird blazed in his window. Colin’s breath caught in his chest as he turned ever so slowly. With a crash the thunder followed and he saw the dove on his window, gently knocking. It was already drenched as it tapped on the window pane. It struck Colin as a creature which did not need his help, but wanted to be let in. In the quiet Colin felt as though the monster in the closet was waiting for him. Colin very slowly moved to the window. His eyes never looked away from the closet as he slid his way across the room to the window. He stepped up onto the closed toy chest and undid the window’s latch. The bird slipped under the open window as the storm blew in. Colin shut the window and the dove climbed up onto his shoulder. They both looked towards the closet as Colin shuffled on over to his bed. The door stood slightly ajar and Colin swore he could see the thing shifting in the darkness. 

“What a baby, getting help.” It whined at Colin. He felt a dove wing brush his face and he looked over at the creature. In the gloom it seemed to glow in its own light. The creature’s presence alone seemed to drive the thing in the closet back. 

Suddenly the squeal of wet tires on the pavement. There was but a second as a blur of motion shot at Colin. He gasped as the thing screeched and swerved past him. The black swirl twisted towards the door and ripped it open.




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