It was a typical evening at Seth's house, his family going about the usual routine of playing games, watching television, and in other words just unwindung from the activities of the busy day.
Seth was up in his room playing with some model tanks and helicopters, he could hear the sound of the television from down stairs where his mom was enjoying one of her favorite shows,
and his father could be heard out in the garage tinkering away at some sort of electronic gizmo.
It was a fairly small house, in fact you could pretty much hear what anyone was doing regardless of where they were at.
It wasn't very old, built in the mid to late 80’s perhaps, wood side paneling stained in a cedar looking stain although the years and weather had taken its toll on the panels.
The property was large, several acres of land that was mostly dense forest which gave the illusion of being completely severed from the city which was only a few miles away.
Over all a nice quiet home that Seth had called home since his birth.
He was an only child which for the most part he enjoyed, although from time to time he found himself wishing for some companionship.
He had friends from school sure, but he rarely saw them outside of class. Afterall he was only 8 years old and obviously couldn’t drive.
Hs parents both worked the majority of the time, constantly away for business, sometimes for a week at a time.
His mother was some sort of business consultant for a rather large technology company, and his father was one of the engineers from the same company.
Whenever they did have to leave for business they had a family friend come over to the house to watch Seth. Her name was Lily, and she had been around for as long as Seth could remember.
It was difficult to put an age to Lily, and quite honestly Seth had never really even thought about it. She looked younger than his parents, that is as much thought as he had ever given it.
His parents were getting ready to go on another one of these business trips in the morning, at least working for the same company they got to travel together the majority of the time.
Seth heard the tv shut off downstairs, which he knew meant that it was soon going to be time for bed.
“Seth!” he heard his mother's voice coming from the bottom of the stairwell. “Time to get ready for bed, start picking up your toys and putting them away, and don't forget to brush your teeth!”
‘“Can I keep my tanks out tonight!” Seth shouted back at his mom who had began to make her way up the stairs and towards his room.
“No, not tonight, the last time you left your tanks out I stepped on one and it hurt for like a week.” She replied giving him that mom look.
“But they help me sleep.” Seth pleaded trying to bargain and barter his way to keep his tanks out for the evening.
“Besides, you and dad are leaving before im even awake tomorrow, and I need my tanks and troops to keep an eye on my closet for me in the morning after you have gone.
I don’t want to get scared again.” Seth had said in an almost eerie way.
Ever since Seth was very young he has had an irrational fear of the closet in his room.
At least, that is what his parents had called it, Seth was still scared to death of that dark little nook in the room hiding who knows what at night when you can’t see.
“No Seth, now pick them up. I don’t want to ask you again. There is nothing to fear from your closet, see, look.” She said as she gestured to the closet that she had just slid open. “Nothing.
Reluctantly Seth put away all of his tanks and troops like his mother had asked. “There, all done.” Seth said.
“Thank you sweetie, now go brush those teeth and get ready for bed.” His mother had said as giving him a kiss on the forehead and telling him goodnight.
She shuffled off down the hall to her bedroom and gently closed the door. But not before blowing Seth one last goodnight kiss and giving him a smile.
Seth had finished getting ready for bed and wandered downstairs to tell his dad that he was going to bed.
“Goodnight Dad!” He shouted out into the garage where his dad was still working on some electronic kite looking thing.
“Goodnight bud!” He heard his dad reply as he stepped into view around a heap of scrap metal. “Be good for Lily this weekend will ya.
” His dad said to him as giving him hug that lifted him off the floor.
“Oh, I will like always.” Seth replied headed back into the house.
He walked back up the stairs and into his room where he climbed into bed, threw the covers over himself, and slowly started drifting off to sleep.
It was a cool evening out and the wind was blowing the trees from side to side.
Seth was having a hard time staying asleep because one tree particularly was scratching at the side of the house right outside of his bedroom.
He laid there tossing and turning a bit, trying his best to ignore the annoying scratching sound that the tree produced as its branches slid from side to side against the paneling of the house.
The wind had started to die down a bit and Seth was starting to drift off a little once again when he heard a very loud sound.
It wasn't the tree branch scratching that he had been struggling with all night, this sound came from inside the house.
Impossible to ignore Seth’s curiosity got the best of him and he climbed out of his bed to investigate.
He cracked open the door to his bedroom and peered out into the seemingly endless darkness of the house.
It took a few seconds for his eyes to focus on a clock that hung on the wall in the hallway. Tick, tick, tick.
A steady and reliable noise, the only thing to be heard in the pure darkness of the hallway. Seth stood there for a second listening for that loud noise that had startled him back awake.
He swore that it sounded like a yelp coming from somewhere inside the house, but after a few moments of not hearing anything besides the clock, he decided to go back to bed.
He was trying to convince himself that it was nothing, and that in his half asleep state his mind was just messing with him. But in all honesty to himself he was pretty much scared shitless.
Seth knew that getting anymore quality sleep that night, regardless of how hard he tried, or even wanted to for that matter, he wasn’t going to.