It didn’t occur to Zachary Mosko that anything was amiss when he awoke to the static and hiss. He felt around the bed for the remote and found it near Margaret’s pillow. She remained sound asleep. He pressed the power button, which shut down the LCD monitor and the cable box.
In the quiet of the darkened bedroom, after setting the remote on the nightstand and lying back down, he could still hear the static in his own mind. There had to be some sort of input for static to occur, a channel number without a channel. Zachary realized that what woke him up might not have been the lack of a cable program and the resulting hiss of static.
In the static was another sound: lip smacking was the description which came to mind; as if someone or something had just taken a taste, licked the flavor off its lips a couple of times. Casually. Repeatedly.
Zachary’s eyes were open, searching—guiding his other senses in that way. He was on his left side, facing away from Margaret, facing the closet. He rolled to his back so he could blindly assess the darkness more fully.
The red LED of the television didn’t light the room at all. It glowed like a single eye peering from the edge of the monitor. It remained unmoving, watching its prey in constant calculation. The rest of the creature to which the LED-eye might belong resolved in Zachary’s mind as muted shades of terror and teeth.
Zachary slowly and carefully propped himself up on his elbows, daring not to make a sound. He regretted the recent death of his alarm clock, the room’s lone nightlight. Mental note: go shopping tomorrow.
With a hand on the chain-pull, he focused on the part of the bedroom most likely to have a lurking presence. He prepared to shed light on the situation.
When he turned on the light, he followed the illumination as it reached walls and corners—a tsunami of light; finally casting shadows where there had only been murk, shades of gray replacing the deep darkness of space. His space.
There wasn’t anything to reveal. All threats disapparated under the illumination of truth. No foe could move faster than the speed of light; his retinal perception had a hard enough time just keeping up.
He turned the light back off before it woke Margaret. She might not understand his heebie-jeebies over a little static. Hell, he didn’t understand his heebie-jeebies. He grunted a little chuckle and paid a smirk into the dark.
Outside, the wind gusted up, sounding like the tide coming ashore. As that sound dissipated, another rose to replace it—a high pitched sound, electrical and faint. It was a sound which would prick the ears of a dog before human perception. But there it was, feeling like predatory tinnitus.
The red LED of the LCD monitor went out showing that it had been powered up and in the darkness of his bedroom he felt alone, utterly alone; left to deal with whatever was lurking in the darkness—something he knew was there even after confirming it wasn’t. He was still propped up on his elbows so he could see what happened next.
Static began to show up on the screen. It began in black turned to a deep impenetrable gray as it washed in on the speakers. A few scattered bits of light, mere pixels really, scurried across the screen. More pixels vaguely made manifest a shape. As the head and shoulders of the static-thing resolved, the screen seemed to bow and flex, warp and ripple.
Two hands, then two arms reached out across Zachary Mosko’s dresser to pull the static-thing out as if drawing itself from a pool after a few laps. It yanked once and had its chest resting on the dresser. The hiss of its breathing, shallow yet rapid with its exertions, should have woken Margaret. But she remained unmoving and deeply asleep.
After the short rest, the static-thing took a great inhalation filled with electrical interference and launched itself at Zachary. It grabbed him by the legs and began drawing him back, back toward the LCD display.
Zachary reached to anchor himself in the room. One hand landed on the remote control and he frantically tried to turn off the television—turn off the terrorizing presence that couldn’t possibly exist.
Again, and again, and again—he stabbed at the power button.
When that didn’t do anything for him, he dropped the remote on the bed and grabbed at the footboard in a last ditch effort.
The electrical discharge grew louder as Zachary’s feet and legs passed through the surface of the LCD monitor. Pixels parted in fluid motion, engulfing Zachary and taking shape around him.
He inexplicably uttered no cry of help, too busy in the attempt of staying alive. He flailed in desperation as he was drawn in; denial written plainly on his face.
And then he was gone.
He had passed on to another where. A looking glass made by Samsung.
Margaret Mosko woke up then. She felt around on Zachary’s side of the bed and came up with the remote. She used it to turn off the television which was reduced to a light static anyway. She figured Zachary had gone for a snack when the cable went out.
Irony in that. Think about it.
Later, the police didn’t believe her. The spouse is always the first suspect.
But the surveillance video was pretty clear.
So now you know what happened to Zachary Mosko.
I understand it’s going around.