A Call Is Heard
The darkness of the night never seemed to bother Zora, even in the early hours of the morning, as she waited for her mother to come home from work. She enjoyed the silence of her too tiny apartment, the low purrs of her cat and the ruffling sound the wind made as it passed her living room windows, flying in as some unwelcome visitor.
But most importantly, Zora loved the sound of her favorite TV series, basking in the adventurous world of Sally the Vampire Hunter, her cat-printed socks on the coffee table, clutching her blanket everytime a horde of vampires attacked the protagonist. Turning the human realm into an invisible essence that seemed to pass her by. Just until now...
Knock! Said the door. Zora’s wide eyes were fixed on the TV screen, ignoring the unexpected visitor completely.
Knock, knock! Screamed the sound again. This time, as Sally hid from an army of vampires, Zora irritatedly pulled her gaze from the television, now staring at the mahagony door. After a long and suffocating day at school, she desperately needed her alone time. Without any interference from the outside world what so ever! But it seemed as if irritation would let itself in.
Zora pulled the blanket off of her, which made her black cat Jane Austen, that had been sitting on her lap, jump from the couch onto the ground. Zora ducked to the door, looking first through the peephole just so she could find herself staring at empty space. What the-
Knock knock! Again, the sound echoed into her apartment. Zora tried to open her mouth, but the words seemed to be stuck. Swallowing an enormous lump in her throat, she managed to spit out. ″Who is there?″
A chill that hadn’t come from the open window started to rise from her feet up to her pale face. This must be Holly or Beth, wanting to scare her because of the you-didn’t-let-me-copy-your-homework-so-you’re-not-my-friend thing. After all, they’re the only ones who know that her mother is working late, being her only friends. Maybe she should have let them copy off of her?
The knocking came again, and again until it became unbearable and Zora did the stupidest thing she could have done in that particular moment. Her nervous fingers pulled the lock and with that unresponsible decision changed the course of her entire life. As she opened the door, a small creature - a monster - came into view.
″Dobra večer.″ His sharp voice said, showing his keen smile that had been stitched on a child-like face, with big blue eyes that looked to Zora almost familiar. Because they were familiar, even more then that, those had been her eyes, just without the black holes that adorned the middle of the iris. He curtsied while pulling the long, red hat from his too round head, revealing a few strings of hair.
As fast as she could, Zora closed the door and started screaming. She ran to her kitchen counter, still screaming while searching for any kind of weapon. A spoon? A knife? Or a fork? She didn’t know how to wield any of the kitchen utensils!
Her desperate call for aid evaporated as her screams became exhales of breath. When Zora tried to utter another word, all that came from her mouth was her rattling breath. She couldn’t talk! Which creatures took voices? The ones from the TV show that was being played on her television right now! Great. Can this get any worse?
Maybe the opening door part was her fault, but the rest of it had been just poor luck. Like in her worst nightmares the monster is coming to get her and she doesn’t have a superpower nor a friend who could help her!
The door burst open, leaving splinters and other parts laying on the living room floor.
″You should really calm down. No voicey-voicey until you calmy-calmy.″ said the monster with a smug smile on his childish face. He walked over to her, taking every step with enjoyment. As if it thrilled him to see the fear gloom in her eyes.
What was he? Thought Zora, still searching for a weapon, but eyes overcasting on the creature before her. If her hands managed to grab something useful without her looking, then she could try and throw it at the monster. Even though her throwing skills lacked practice, or so Mrs. Johnson, her P.E. teacher embellished.
″Even if you are frightened, I won’t give you your voice back until you calm down.″ the last part of his sentence sounded a bit nervous as if he was trying his best to sound normal.
Zora rolled her eyes, retorting with mimic gestures: ″ Yeah as if I was born yesterday!″ and the moment she calmed down the monster would eat her. That had been the oldest trick in the book, dating back to It and any vampire movie or series ever. Maybe she was just a twelve year old, but she knew how the world functioned!
The monster exhaled, looking frustrated and tired. ″If I wanted to harm you, I would have already done that. Besides, humans are not my thing, their meat smells like rotten feet when you cook it,″ he said it as if it was an obvious reason why she should trust him. It made Zora even more skeptical, so when her fingers found a spoon, she threw it into the monster’s head. He dodged it with one turn and twist of his body, saying with his eyes and exhausted face. ″Really? That was your best throw?″
Zora knew how it went from here on in the movies. He was: a) about to eat her because she didn’t trust him or b) tell her why he was here. She hoped it was the last option, hoping and realizing that she didn’t have a choice. She was either to trust him or make him mad so that he really did eat her.
While taking a deep breath, Zora calmed her breathing. As if that was enough of trust the creature needed, he opened the fridge and pulled a pack of milk. ″As I was saying… I don’t want to kill you or something.″, he then took a glass and poured the milk into it. ″I’m here because of the Four Witches of Realms. Unfortunately, their big sister, Baba Yaga, has gone missing.″
The monster paused, sniffing around the cabinets until he found a box of cookies. He opened it and took one cookie, returning to his story. ″It’s not just that she is their big sister, but Baba Yaga is also a Vremenik, a Witch who carries time on her shoulders. Without her, the three Witches have a disturbance in their energy forces.″, he dropped half the cookie in the milk, then ate the dank part.
″So you… see, how her missin’… can cause som’ problems… in the Hereafter.″, his words sounded rough and incomprehensible while he chewed on the cookie and drank his milk.
After his last sip, he put the glass on the table and looked Zora in the eyes with a piercing stare. ″The problem is that all clues led to you, Dawn. I don’t know how that can be possible, knowing that you’re really young for -″ he looked her over. ″- a human.″ Said the creature with disgust.
What was that supposed to mean?! She may be young, but she had the highest grades in her class! Well, right after Sarah Spencer. Zora tried to beat her and failed every time. Did it help that Sarah was also the most beloved girl in her school? No, it most certainly did not.
The monster walked to the destroyed door, looking one more time into Zora’s startled eyes. ″If you want to live, you need to find Baba Yaga. That is your only chance of survival.″ With one click of his fingers, Zora could feel the words coming at her, she could actually taste them in her mouth.
The splinters that speckled the floor started to flow before Zora’s eyes, rearranging and shaping into their old glory. In a blink of an eye, there hadn’t been any wood parts discarded on the floor, instead, the old door looked back at her. It seemed as if it had never been destroyed in the first place.
She said, with a shaking voice. ″Why-y are you-u helping me?″ Even if she was young, she knew that people, creatures, didn’t help strangers if they hadn’t had a benefit from it. She learned that crucial fact on her own skin and found it hard to forget it.
The monster smiled, spreading his stitched mouth into a wide grin, ″Because I owe someone a favor.″ Before leaving the apartment he whispered, back turned. ″I’ll come in two hours. Be ready.″
As his footsteps walked out from the hall, cutting the harmony and silence of the night in half, she asked herself what the hell just hapened? Maybe just that. Literal hell had walked in, destroying Zora’s safe heaven with its loud slamming, promising a new world. One that was undiscovered and strange, with creatures who ate cookies and destroyed doors with a blick of an eye. But the real problem was, how will she explain all of this to her mother?