Just Keep Snapping

This starts out with a few short stories about the monster of the book then starts the story at about chapter 4! Hope you like it!

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1. Virginia Anne

(A/N) The titles are who the chapter is about.

Just keep snapping. That’s what they always told us. Whenever you were in the dark, keep snapping!

“For a fearsome monster roams these countrysides!” cried out old James Briant, the town kook. “With eyes the size of yer fist! And claws as sharp as swords!”

“Hush.” I told him as I walked past on my way home from school. “No one believes your silly fairie tales.’ he grabbed my arm as I walked away and pulled me back over.

“You listen here, missy.” he spat in my face. “That monster loves wee little girls like you for a treat!”

“T-there’s no such thing!” I stuttered back at him.

“Oh yes there is. Snap when you hear a noise in the dark, be it a hiss or a grumble. A pebble hitting the street.” he hissed. His face was next to mine as he whispered, “Run as fast as you can and don’t. Stop. snapping.” he let go of my wrist and I stumbled back. “Now git! Git out of my sight and remember, stay inside at night!”

I ran from the street all the way home. I ran in the house and slammed the door. My father, who was sitting in the living room reading the paper, looked up at me from under his glasses.

“Virginia, what are you doing home so quick? It usually takes you longer to walk home.” he asked me.

“Uh, the ol-” I stopped myself. I couldn’t give away that he had talked to me or my dad would have known I took the short cut through town. “I mean, I walked Georgia home from school, then headed here.” I nodded to myself as I finished my lie. My dad gave me a raised eyebrow look before turning his attention back to his paper.

“Your mother’s in the kitchen. Go see if she needs help.” he told me as I walked out of the room. I set my satchel down next to the foot of the armchair as I made my way to the kitchen. I walked in and my mother was there, preparing the food for the night. I took a big whiff of the smell and sighed contently.

“Chicken?” I asked, hopeful.

“Yes, dear. Now go whip up the potatoes.” my mother gestured to her side where the unskinned potatoes laid. I walked over and started to skin them. I wondered if my mother believed in the superstition.

“Mom?” I asked cautiously.

“Yes?” my mom answered, not looking up from the chicken.

“Do you believe the rumor about snapping in the-” she cut me off.

“Have you been into town lately? You know that stuff ain’t true, Virginia.” she responded as she salted the food.

“But what if it is mom? What if one day the monster catches me and-” she cut me off again.

“Virginia Ann! I will not have this superstition in my house! Understand?” she slammed the salt shaker onto the counter. “It’s not true! That’s final!”

“O-okay.” I turned back to the potatoes and finished skinning them. “May I go do my homework now.”

“Get out of my kitchen until dinner.” she spoke sternly. I walked into the living room and grabbed my bag from the side of the armchair. My father looked up once more from his paper.

“Trouble in paradise?” he smirked. I gave him my signature ‘You already know what happened.’ look.

“Father, what should I do?” I asked. “Do you believe in the rumors?” I whispered. He leaned in close to me and whispered back,

“I do. I recommend, though, that you stay away from that kook and away from town unless your mother instructs you to. And if you are somewhere in the dark,” my father clicked his fingers. “Snap.” I followed his motion and heard the click between my fingers.

“Okay.” I agreed and started my homework. After a half an hour, I had finished it all so I thought  I would head upstairs. I was on the brink of walking up when my mother called,

“Virginia Ann? Can you run to the store and grab me a jar of milk? We’re all out!” I turned around and walked into the living room. I looked out the window to see the sky a purplish-blue hue.

“Mother,” I called to her. “It’s almost dark! Can’t we survive without it?”

“Go! And be back before dinner!” she called to me. I heard the sink turn on and looked towards my father. He snapped his fingers and I gulped loudly. He went back to reading his paper and I stepped into the foyer to grab my coat. Suddenly, I heard him say,
    “Better hurry, the light’s almost a’fading.” and with that I hurried my coat and ran out the door. The town wasn’t too far from our home but it was dusk by the time I got to the store. I walked in the door just as they were about to close.

“What would you like?” the man at the counter asked.

“A jar of milk?” I questioned.

“30 cents.” he answered back. I handed him the change and he went to go grab the milk. I sat at the counter, patiently waiting when I saw the street light flicker. I suddenly saw a figure outside by the store. It was all black and hairy. It looked back and forth then scurried off. I felt my breath hitch.

It couldn’t be. It wasn’t. I’m hallucinating! I told myself.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and jumped back a few feet.

“Mam?” the boy asked. He held the milk in his hand and bore a weird expression on his face.

“S-sorry,” I stuttered, taking the milk from his hand. “Thank you.” and with that I hurried out to the sidewalk. There was no sign of the creature I had supposedly seen so I hurried home. Halfway through my journey I heard it: A scratch. I felt a shiver run up my spine as I realized it was dark. I cautiously started to snap. I clicked my finger once, then twice, and so on till I was almost to my house. I had started a rhythm but my hand was getting tired.

I can’t get tired. I told myself and switched hands. That was enough time for me to hear the small growl. I almost whipped my head around. I started snapping much more frequently. The thing had to be on my tail, walking in step with me. I couldn’t see it’s shadow in the light from the lamps above but I didn’t need to. I could sense its presence. I could see the lights of my house. I was only 3 houses away from mine. I had just hit the walk of the third when I bolted. I heard a fierce growl and hiss and snapped as much as I could. I could hear it’s paws hitting the pavement as it chased me.

Please be unlocked. I silently wished. And luckily, it was. I slammed my whole body into the door and flung myself inside. I was in shock. I couldn’t move to shut the door. I could see it, standing on the walk, breathing heavily and staring at me with it’s beady black eyes. They were the size of my fist, just like he said. He bared his teeth and in the light, I could see them glint and shimmer. Suddenly, the door closed. I looked up to see my father standing there, looking at me from under his glasses. He turned and locked the door.

“It can’t get in.” he reassured me. I nodded to him.

“Virginia, is that you?” my mother called from the kitchen. “What’s all that commotion?” she walked into the foyer. I was still on the stairs, grasping the milk while my father stood there looking out the window.

“You brought the milk? Great.” she took it from my hands. “Now we can eat.” she walked back out again. I looked at my father and he smiled reassuringly. I stood up, brushing myself off. I then ran to my father and hugged him tightly. He ran his hand through my hair.

“At least you remembered,” he whispered.

“To snap.” I finished. “Always snap.”

 
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