InterAct: Under the Rug

Originally posted by Lisa Van Hagen

As I sat there, relaxing and reading my favorite book, I caught a fleeting glance of something moving out of the corner of my eye. I looked again, but whatever it was, seemed to have disappeared over by the bookshelf. The next day, I found the remains of my favorite slippers in the corner of the front room chewed up and covered in dust and loose hair. But what did it? We didn’t have a pet so I was concerned.

Two weeks passed and it happened again. I had just settled into my favorite chair with a book when a flicker of movement caught the corner of my eye. I peered into the dim corner, but I didn’t see anything–at first. I looked again and noticed what appeared to be a lump underneath the rug. Suddenly, the “lump” started moving in my direction. Initially, I was frozen, unsure about what to do.

Whatever it was under the rug, it was inching closer to me with every passing second. Instinctively, I grabbed the nearest thing; which happened to be a stool, to defend myself with. The bulge of the lump got close to the edge of the small table next to me. The table leg lifted up and the lamp upon it tipped over and fell to the floor, but the lump was still moving in my direction. It got closer and I struck down with the chair to hit the lump. It flattened out, but within moments it grew, returning to its original shape and continuing towards me again. I struck down and hit it again and then again. I heard a cracking sound and the stool fell apart. I watched horrified as the lump resumed its shape yet again. What could I use now? I spotted the broom, but it was on the other side of the room, too far away for me to reach. Looking around again, I saw the closest thing behind me was the vacuum cleaner. It was too big to lift, but as I reached for the hose, my shoe caught the edge of the broken stool and I fell hard. I struggled to roll over and then looked back.

Whatever it was under the rug was now coming out from under the edge of it. It was almost indescribable. Its eye was an old marble and various pieces of yarn and loose thread appeared to be its hair. An old twist tie from a bread sack was interwoven in the yarn. Were those broken pencil pieces for legs? It definitely had a mouth and the marble eye had a crimson red glow in it. How could this… thing…move and appear to be alive?

Then, it started moving towards me. I was briefly frozen and filled with multiple emotions: fear, uncertainty, shock. I remembered the vacuum behind me, but I didn’t want to take my eyes off that thing. I reached blindly, fumbling behind me for the vacuum cleaner hose and found it, grasping it tightly. I saw the thing pause and for just a moment, I thought I saw fear in its glowing eye. I desperately fumbled again for the vacuum switch to turn it on. The thing actually appeared to smile with its twisted mouth and approached again. I had to take my eyes off the thing for a moment as I turned to find the switch. I felt it and heard it click as the vacuum roared to life.

I spun around and frantically pushed the hose towards it. It tried to back off but it was too late, the suction from the vacuum drew it closer. I began to see pieces of it get sucked off and disappeared into the hose. In the final few moments, just as the last of it vanished down the hose, it looked at me again and the red glow in its eye ebbed and disappeared.

Afterwards, I realized that its “body” was made up of things I’d been irresponsibly sweeping under the rug. I’d promised my wife to vacuum but I hadn’t wanted to.

She always warned me that if I kept sweeping things under the rug, instead of properly taking care of them, they’d come back to bite me…someday. She was right!!!!!!

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