Ichor Falls

The Pull

by on Nov.02, 2008, under Submitted

My cat was the first to notice.

I mean, of course I’ve heard that animals are more sensitive to things of this nature. But I was never entirely sure. Until Muffin started acting up.

It was semi-normal in the beginning. Muffin would run around the house at random, like cats do. And there were times where she would stop, like dead stop, and stare at corners of the room. Usually the top, up where the roof and the walls meet. I never thought much of it, assuming she was staring at a bug or a cobweb or something.

The house was a bit larger than I needed, since it was just Muffin and I, but the price was unbeatable. Ichor Falls wasn’t my first choice for a new home, but I wanted to be out of the way so that I could focus on my work. I was redrafting my screenplay to seal a contract with a major motion picture company and I couldn’t afford to be disturbed. Really, I only used two or three rooms and it was a five-bedroom affair, so there was a lot of empty space left over.

I had set up furniture in all of the rooms, since I wanted the place to be hospitable in case I ever had company. I spent most of my personal time in my chosen bedroom, the living room, or the den, which I had set up with my computer equipment and turned into a workspace.

It was there that I first encountered it.

Sometimes I get caught up in my writing and lose all track of time. This particular night, I was up well past midnight, and Muffin was oddly calm. And staying quite close. As a rule, she wasn’t the most affectionate companion, but I kept finding her curled around my legs or trying to get into my lap.

Then I heard the sound. I’d swear it was a chair being dragged around in one of the other rooms. I must be hearing things, I thought — but it was the middle of the night, I was sleep-deprived as all writers tend to be, and I must have been hearing the house settle. That was all.

Just as I was convincing myself of that, I heard another piece of furniture being dragged in another part of the house. As best I could imagine, it was a table, or bedside stand. It sounded much larger than the chair would have been, but whoever was moving it seemed to have no difficulty whatsoever with the weight.

The frequency with which I began visiting the other rooms increased, and continued to rise as the noises continued night after night. Suddenly I was aware of why Muffin ran throughout the house and stared at the corners. It seemed as if all of the other rooms in the house that I didn’t stay in regularly were being pulled away. That’s all I can think of to describe the phenomenon.

Chairs, tables, stands, bookcases, beds. They were being dragged to the corners of the rooms and then, slowly but surely, they were being pulled away. Using a tape measure, disbelieving, I found that an inch of a bed had just simply vanished. The bed still appeared whole; it had no missing parts, nor was the headboard somehow embedded in the wall.

Some fraction of the bed frame was just gone, into thin air.

I moved my pieces of furniture back to their original locations in the rooms, as a test. They didn’t regain any of their size or weight or being — I’m not even sure how to describe the way they diminished. And in one night’s time, they would all get dragged back to the corners and the process would begin anew.

I occupied myself with my work the best I could, telling myself that the floors were merely on some unnoticeable incline. A month passed before I was convinced to take a holiday leave from the house. A chair I had put in the far study was gone. Completely and wholly.

I packed some clothes, my computer, and Muffin up and we went to a hotel. Rather dilapidated place, but it was intact. At least it was intact.

I fear to return, for I’m sure I’ll find the rooms now completely devoid of furniture, of what I placed there. And I’m afraid of what will happen after all of the inanimate objects are gone.

Is it strange that I feel older?

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5 comments for this entry:
  1. ProfessorKao

    Well edited, Kris. This was my first attempt at microfiction, started the day I found the site. I’m still trying to get comfortable writing in shorter bursts.

    I love the site, and have been a fan of all of your other comics as well.

    Expect more from me.

  2. Dublin Jack

    This needs to be expanded upon. You have an idea here that’s good and remarkably fresh, but the story itself feels lacking. The microfiction atmosphere doesn’t really allow for this, I’m aware, but perhaps certain details could be edited out to expand upon the idea… In any case, good work.

  3. Hal Newcome

    It’s something I never even thought to be scared of, but it immediately struck me as being really insidious and terrifying. I guess it’s a variant of Something Spooky Is Happening When I’m Not Watching. Clever. You cover it well and communicate it and then it’s done. Just right.

  4. Xivver

    It reminds me a lot of House Of Leaves, which (other than scary stories to read in the dark at a much younger age) began my conscious enjoyment of creepy tales. In fact, it would not surprise me if you had read it and decided to replicate the idea of measurement changing mysteriously. It’s a good mechanism.

  5. amyss

    Exaactly! This story has elements of the FANTASTIC House of Leaves by Danielewski (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone who likes this site)

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