The Thing that Crawled Out from the Grate

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.

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