The Thing that Crawled Out from the Grate
On the floor there was a grate which looked down into the basement. I hated the thing. It was big enough to fall through, and loose; it could be popped up with ease.
Something happened one night that I can’t quite explain. I awoke from an otherwise deep sleep to the sound of tapping.
Tap. Tap. Tappa. Tap.
The sound was quick, irregular. I popped an eye open. The room was dark, but I spied a light coming from the grate. I sat up and stood up on my bed, meaning over far enough to see into the basement. For a while I wasn’t sure what I was looking at–there was just the table covered in tools. When I finally saw it I fell onto my backside, silent and dazed.
Tap. Tappa. Tap. Tappa. Tap. Tappa. Tap.
My eyes wandered back to the grate. A large, elongated something darted its head out from under the grate, swayed into the air, and then snatched the apple I had left out on my computer desk.
“OI!” I yelled.
Startled, the thing darted back into the basement. I jumped up and covered the grate with the closest thing I could find. My heart was pounding in my chest.
The Thing which had crawled out from the grate in the floor . . . was a monstrous centipede.
I haven’t seen it since.