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‘Who’s there?’ I squeaked, it had been meant to come out as a challenge, but it never works out that way when you’re scared. I was alone in a two-man tent in the dark, in a small field at the back of dock bungalow and I was scared.
Khalid and I had decided to camp out for the weekend. We’d pitched the tent after tea on the Friday night, played football until it got dark and then crawled into the tent. But Khalid had decided that he was hungry and had gone off to get something to eat, leaving me on me own. With nothing else to do I pumped up the Till lamp and layback on the blankets.
That was when I heard the noise; it came from the direction of the bungalow wall. A couple of soft thumps followed by a scrabbling noise as something climbed out of the bungalow and then a thud as it dropped to the ground. Oh God, something had crawled out of the bungalow and it was in the field only about fifteen yards away from the tent. I sat there in a funk, I hadn’t a clue what to do, but one thing was certain, there was no way I was going to go out there in the dark. After the initial noises, all was quiet and I couldn’t help scaring myself even further by thinking; it was as silent as the grave.
The silence didn’t last however and a few moments later I heard it moving stealthily through the grass, there was no sound of footfalls only what sounded like a cross between a slither and a swish, slwish …slwish… through the grass as it came nearer and nearer. Slwish… slwish… slwish, it reached the side of the tent where I was sitting and I scurried to the other side. Slwish… slwish… slwish, it was on the move again, this time towards the front of the tent. The slwishing stopped for a moment and I slid into the corner at the back expecting it to come bursting in through the flaps. But instead it began to move again, this time down the other side of the tent towards me. Slwish… slwish, I was frozen in place, slwish… slwish, I managed to unfreeze and move but you can’t move far in a two-man tent. The slwishing stopped directly opposite where I sat quaking. No more than two feet of air and a thin piece of canvas separated me from whatever was out there.
I stared at the canvas and wished I had x-ray vision to see what it was, and then cancelled the wish. I didn’t want to know, instead I just wished for it to go away. This time the silence went on and on. Then just as I was beginning to believe that my wish had been granted, the bottom edge of the tent slowly lifted and a hand came through. The fingers were covered in a horrible green mould and beneath the nails black dirt was crusted. I whimpered as it scrabbled towards my leg and kicked out. The hand withdrew and the slwishing began again. This time, I knew it was coming for me, slwish… slwish… slwish, It was at the front now and I could see the canvas moving as it undid the ties that held it closed. I looked around for a weapon to protect myself, anything would do, but there was nothing, other than the Till lamp and the football we’d been playing with.
Picking up the football with both hands I swung it back over my head ready to throw at the monster. The last tie fell away, and as the flaps opened to admit the horror, I threw the ball with all my might and hit it slap bang in the mush.
‘Ouch!’ cried Khalid, as he fell backwards out of sight.
My heart was thumping and I could gladly have killed him. ‘You stupid twit, if you come in here I’ll flatten you,’ I screamed.
But as I ranted and threatened him with the death of a thousand tortures, he stayed outside until I had calmed down. Khalid, after taking a shortcut through the bungalow had decided to give me a scare.