The ball hit against the garage door. Repeatedly. Thumping. A swift rhythmic noise repeated over and over again. The mother never noticed. If she did, she didn't care. She had duties to attend to. She had dinner to cook and bills to pay over the phone before her husband got home.

The little girl sat on the driveway, kicking the ball. At an angle of forty-five degrees, it bashed off the garage door and fell back to her. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. She was having a whale of a time.

The bushes on the right hand side of the drive way flickered slightly. The girl didn't seem to notice it. She was having too much fun. A loud stereo played in the kitchen. The door was open. The mum could see her daughter playing. Absentmindedly, she continued to wash the dishes, humming away to the latest Take That track.

A foot stepped out from the bushes. Not a human foot. Not an animal foot of any kind, no dog nor fox foot. Somewhat skeletal. A slow sinister laugh curdled the air.

The mum continued washing the dishes.

“Gonnae be careful doin' that? Yer dad'll pure kill you.” Giving the daughter a bit of warning.

The creature took one step forward. The ball bounced off the garage door. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. Whale of a time. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. The music blared. Loudly. Loudly. Loudly. The mum hummed along. Badly. Badly. The laugh... laugh... laugh.

The screaming, for a second only, temporarily.

Then it stopped.

The music stopped.

“Becky?” cried the mother. “Becky? Where are you?”

No reply to her mother’s call.

“Come out of the bush, would you...”

The mother never finished her sentence. Instead, she started screaming. And screaming. And screaming. And she was still screaming when the neighbours arrived, and the police arrived, and the husband arrived.

No one ever saw the daughter again. All they saw was the ball bouncing off the drive way, repeatedly, repeatedly, and repeatedly. The blood trickling down the drive way from where a girl once sat. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. And the ball, as they all watched, continued to bounce off the garage door, repeatedly. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. At an angle of forty-five degrees.

"At An Angle of 45 Degrees"
Copyright: © 2010 Michael S. Collins
Michael S. Collins is a member of GSFWC (the Glasgow Strange-Fiction Writers Circle). He has been published in several countries (including Literature E-zine websites, ad writing for Bob Furnell) and does book review for magazines such as The Fortean Times.

His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Aesthetica, Clockwise Cat, The Short Humour Site, MicroHorror, TBD, and was included in the DemonMinds anthology in 2008.

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