I was always warned about going near that old shed, but being a mischievous young boy, you wouldn’t have been able to keep me from eventually trying to check it out. Our neighbor, Mr. Hobbes, always told us that we had no business poking around back there and that we’d regret it if we did. I always figured he was hiding bodies back there or something like that, maybe because I watched too many of those monster movies growing up. He was never the most likable guy and seemed to always want to yell at us to get out of his yard or stay away from his hedges. Now, years later, I realize that he was just like anybody else and didn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s kids getting hurt on his property. But, unfortunately, I ended up being that kid who made the mistake of not heeding his warning and paid for it. Not so much physically, but emotionally. How did I end up getting hurt? Well, I ventured to that shed he always warned us about one night.
It all started because of a dare during a sleepover; a friend from school said that I was too chicken to sneak inside of the shed and spend ten minutes. As most kids will tell you, nobody calls you a chicken and gets away with it! We would always do stupid stuff like that whenever my friends would spend the night; it had become a ritual for us to see who could do the riskiest and most dangerous thing. I never thought that being dared to sneak inside of a shed at night would be viewed as such a daring and heroic thing, but that is the way I felt and the way my friends viewed me after I said that I would do it. So, we all snuck out the back door of the house in our pajamas and flashlights. Mr. Hobbes yard was separated by that row of shrubs he loved so much and a small chain link fence. There was a gate on the backside of his yard that I could get in if I jumped over my own family’s fence and snuck around to his side. I was more than ready to prove to my friends how tough I was, so without thinking, I hopped the fence and snuck to the outside of the old shed.
It was a normal sized shed painted in a deep red that matched the color of his house. It had one window, which was filled with cob webs, and a set of double doors that were locked with a padlock. I thought I could maybe pretend to go inside by rattling the doors and my friends would believe me that I actually went it. But just as I was about to push on the doors, one of my friends shined their flashlight on me. I thought, well, I guess I could try to get in the window. I didn’t care much about getting dirty or bugs, so the cobwebs didn’t bother me. I reached up and pushed on the window, which to my surprise, actually opened pretty easily. With one final hesitant look back towards my friends, I put my flashlight in my mouth and I pulled myself up and through the window in to the darkness.
I came down inside to see that the shed was surprisingly pretty empty. Usually, those kinds of sheds were always filled with tools or a lawnmower, like the one my family had. But when I shone my light around Mr. Hobbes’ shed, I saw very little. There were a couple of old paint cans and an old rake, but that was about it. It was then that I finally started to feel a little scared and started to not want to be in the shed by myself. There was something very creepy about the fact that it was so empty. My mind started to race and I wondered how long I had to stay in there in order for it to “count” with my friends. Time began to slow down and my eyes opened about as wide as humanly possible as I scanned the shed with my flashlight. A knot formed in my stomach and my throat got incredibly dry. That is when I first heard it; the sound of someone else breathing in the shed.
I quickly stopped breathing when I heard it because I wanted to be sure it wasn’t actually me. Though, the result I got was not what I was looking for deep down. I held my breath, but still heard the deep wheezing sound of someone else slowly breathing in and out. I froze with fear and had no idea what I was going to do next. The sound of the breathing began to get louder and louder until it was all but hurting my ears in pitch. I dropped my flashlight because of how bad my hands were shaking with fear. I just wanted to smash through those locked doors and get out of there, but I couldn’t move. I didn’t think it could get much worse, but I was dead wrong. It got way worse.
Before I could even reach down to pick up my flashlight, someone or something roared in my ear with a bone chilling scream. It did not take much more than that for me to fly out of that window with the speed of a cheetah. I did not even bother going back out the gate, but instead just went bolting over the hedges and fence back to my yard. I did not stop there either; I just kept on running until I was back inside the house. My friends were not far behind me, as they ran because I was running, but had no idea what it was we were all running from. It took another ten minutes or so, and my mom waking up and coming downstairs, for me to even be able to talk.
I told her that we were screwing around outside and that I went in Mr. Hobbes’ shed. I wasn’t in the mood to make up any stories and did not worry about the punishment for being outside that late or trespassing in the neighbor’s yard; I just straight out told her what I was doing and what happened to me while I was inside of the shed. Of course, she did not believe me and figured I just spooked myself somehow. Even my friends had wondered what happened, because according to them, they did not hear anything while on the outside. I ended up not sleeping that night and it took me about an hour before I stopped shaking completely.
I have no idea what it was in the shed that night, but I did not like it one bit. I never told Mr. Hobbes that I went in his shed, but I also did whatever I could to avoid ever looking at it. And I pretty much stayed out of my own backyard after that. I will never get that angry sounding scream out of my head and even to this day I can close my eyes and picture the rage and remember the fear going through my body. I have no clue who it was or what it was in that shed, but I sure learned to never disobey an adult after that. I did not want to end up making a mistake as grave as that again.