Nothing Unusual by Adrienne Stephens

The crashing sound in the middle of the night snatched my attention from my dreams and back into the world of the living. I woke in a cold sweat, my heart racing from whatever ungodly thing could have possibly rattled me awake. The odd fluttering noise had subsided, bringing my focus to the wall. It was a barren white with a few scuffs – black marks where I had always tossed my shoes off after a long day at work.

Air from the vent above chilled my skin, causing prickly brown hairs to stand up on the back of my neck. My poster. It had fallen once again. I swallowed the lump in my throat and let my eyes adjust to the darkness before scanning the room.

Right under the doorway, in the tiny sliver that makes you feel as though perhaps you are not completely sealed away from the dark world as you wish, lay the corner of my Eiffel Tower poster. There were only a couple of inches left inside my bedroom on the shaggy blue carpet, but it was just enough for me to pull back inside without opening the creaky old door. The crinkled edges of the paper tried to roll themselves up as though they did not want their contents to be seen. I shook my head at the casual incident, my pulse still rampant. It was calming down, the draft of the air conditioning aiding.

‘I’ll hang this back up tomorrow,’ I breathed, shutting the parchment inside my closet. Who knew where the thumbtacks might have stuck themselves – I watched my step and hurried back to bed.

When I woke up the following morning, I went about my normal day: cold cereal for breakfast, an equally frigid shower, an eight hour shift in an office that sold refrigeration, and then ended it with leftover takeout and a DVD. When at last I made it back to my bedroom, I was reminded of the previous night’s event via a sharp tack in the foot.

Pressing my lips in a firm line of annoyance, I made my way over to the closet to retrieve the poster. That’s when my blood ran as icy as the day’s consistencies. The poster was gone.


Adrienne Stephens is a high school senior enrolled in dual credit courses. She is interested in writing, art, and film, and hopes to someday have a career in those areas.

Nothing Unusual by Adrienne Stephens

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