katie marie

Katie Marie is a horror enthusiast and writer from Norfolk, England.

She has been published in several anthologies and magazines, and her Novella A Man in Winter was recently released by Brigids Gate Press.

Katie started writing while studying at Aberystwyth University in the early 2000’s and several years later she has received a Masters Degree and published many short stories, a novel and novella.

You can connect with Katie on Facebook
at facebook.com/katiemariewriter
or on Twitter @KatieMarieWrite.

You can also visit her website, katiemariewriter.com to sign up for emails about new releases, short stories and blogs gushing about the horror genre.


by Katie Marie


Mike’s blood soaks into my pajamas from my spot on the bedroom floor. I could hear my roommate screaming downstairs. But I can’t move. I fixed my gaze on the chest of drawers in front of me.

Mike is dead. Pieces of him litter the room. The room stinks of him, fleshy and organic. The drawers rattle.

It won’t be long now.


I was eight when I found the chest of drawers in Gran’s spare room.

Gran would baby-sit me during the school holidays. I would often stay with her for several days, as both my parents worked long shifts during the holidays. Gran lived in a ramshackle cottage on the edge of our village and liked to watch ‘stories’ on the television. I was often bored and would make my fun exploring the small garden and surrounding woodlands on dry days. On the rainy days it would trap inside me and it was harder to entertain myself.

It was on one such stormy day that I found it.

I’d gone into the junk room looking for my lost bear. I was searching when I noticed a large piece of furniture covered by a yellowing dust sheet in the room’s corner. Curious, I pulled the sheet off, revealing a redwood chest of drawers. They were taller than I was and smelled of old wood and moth balls. The varnish was pealing, and they had long ago lost their lustre.

The drawer in the middle of the chest was the biggest and the highest one I could reach. The drawer wasn’t locked and with some wriggling, the stiff drawer opened.

My bear was within.

This was odd, even to my childish mind, because I’d never noticed the drawers before, let alone put my bear in them. Perhaps Gran had tidied it away?

I took the bear out of the drawer and turned to leave the room. Taking a few steps out into the hallway, I tripped and fell, scraping my knee on the rough carpet. When I looked to see what I had fallen over, I saw my bear lying on the floor.

How could that be? I thought there was only one stuffed bear. Yet this one on the floor appeared identical in every way to the one I held in my hands.

I picked up the bear from the floor and held it in my left hand, comparing it to the one in my left. It smelled the same and felt the same. The fur even had the sticky hard patch on the left ear where I’d suckled it.

I went back into the junk room and stared at the drawers; my skinned knee instantly forgotten. I decided the bear I found in the hallway was my real bear. I put the chest of drawers bear down on a chair.

I opened the drawer with some difficulty, peering inside. It was empty. I closed it again.

“Come and get your lunch!” Gran called from the kitchen.

I shivered at the thought of the cold meat sandwich waiting for me. I wanted cake, not sandwiches. The moment the desire formed in my mind, there was a sound from the drawer, the sound a plate makes when it is set gently down on wood. Curious, I opened the drawer again.

Inside was a plate, and on that plate was a large slice of chocolate cake.

It didn’t take me long to figure it out after that.

The drawers were magical, granting wishes like a lamp, but without the mischievous and proud genie. By the end of the day, I’d pulled many toys and treats out of the drawer and by the time I went to bed, I was already plotting something bigger.

My parents would often read to me at night before bed. We’d been working our way through Lewis Carroll’s Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were my favorite. Finding the drawer had put me in mind of that story. Here was something magical in my Gran’s painfully ordinary junk room, not unlike the wardrobe in Professor Digory’s house. Perhaps it could be used as a doorway?

I went to bed that night thinking of how I could climb into the drawer and close it. How I could turn it into a doorway to another world? A world where there would be talking lions and I would be a great hero, beloved by all. I’d fight evil and save the magical land.

My last thoughts before I drifted off to sleep were of fighting monsters and becoming a hero.


I awoke deep in the night to the sound of something scraping over the wooden floors. Rank breath disturbed the air around my head, moving my hair. Any eight-year-old would know exactly what was happening.

There was a monster in my room!

I pulled the cover over my head and whimpered. But brightly covered duvets do not dissuade actual monsters. The creature pulled the cover right off of me and growled.

It was massive, a dark, hairy shape with yellowed teeth and claws as long as my pudgy arm. It reached for me, tearing my skin, and I screamed. My scream and the movement of my Gran from the living room must have frightened the creature as it fled, breaking the window as it leaped out into the dark.

I refused to stay at my Gran’s overnight after that.
Naturally, no one believed me about the drawers or the monster. The police said it was a break-in gone wrong and by the time I was a teenager, my memory of that night had faded and warped until I believed it had been an armed assailant in the cottage that night.

Until tonight.


Gran died several weeks ago. I went back home for the funeral, taking a few days off from my studies. While I was home, Mum started clearing out the old cottage to decide what we would sell, keep or scrap.

She found the chest of drawers.

She was thrilled. My university house was small, with very little in the way of storage. A chest of drawers would be perfect for me. She insisted I take them back to university. My gut told me that this was a bad idea, because I vaguely associated them with a break-in.

Still, they were just drawers after all and I was low on space. They would help me get organized back in my dorm room.

So I took them.

Mike, my boyfriend, helped me unload the chest of drawers from the car. Once we had them in place, he leered at me. 

“Surely, I deserve something for all the help?”

“Maybe tomorrow.” I pushed him away. “I’m tired. It was a really long drive. I just want a shower and sleep.”

“But you’ve been gone for days!” His face flushed red. “You know, if you’re expecting me to not go for other girls, then you gotta make it worth it for me.”

“I’m exhausted.” He jerked away from me like I’d slapped him.

“Whatever. You treat me like crap, you know that? I’m gonna hit up the Union bar, find me a girl who’s not so bloody selfish all the damn time.”

The door slammed behind him and I slumped down on the bed. I really needed to dump that asshole. I’d tried before, but every time I did, he’d threaten to hurt me I would give in just to make peace.

I headed for the shower, already composing the breakup conversation in my head. By the time I turned off the water, I had a solid plan. I knew what I’d say when he turned made threats. I was confident this time.

It was 3am when he came into my room.

The bastard must have swiped my key on his way out. He was wobbling on his feet, grunting incoherently. I turned on the lamp and he yelled, so I turned it back off.

I could hear my roommate stirring in her bed.

He stumbled closer and made a grab for me, but missed. He stank of cheap deodorant, beer, and perfume. I reached out, intending to take his hand and steer him to the living room sofa to sleep it off. But he wrenched his hand out of my grip and swung at me.

He was very drunk, so it didn’t connect but my entire body flushed with heat and I swallowed the fright and the anger that blossomed in my gut.

“Fucking bitch.”

“Calm down,” I said through my teeth. “If you—”

“Stop telling me what to do!” He swung at me and missed again, almost spinning on the spot.

I turned the light back on. “Get the fuck out!” I said, no longer caring if I woke my roommate up. He wobbled backwards a little before tipping forwards and grabbing for me, yelling incoherently. He fell into me, knocking me backwards onto the bed.

“I’m calling the police!” my roommate yelled.

“You’re a bitch too,” he said to my roommate.

And then something rattled in the room.

I wanted him gone. I wanted something horrible to happen to him. He was an asshole. He had no right to hurt me, no right to even be in the same room as me.

The rattling grew louder.

“Get out, get out, get out!” I screamed.

Something that sounded wooden splintered and broke.

In the lamp light, Mike’s eyes were unfocused but angry. He reared back and for a moment I thought he would finally hit me. I thrashed as he came for me, but the bed under me was soft and he trapped my wrists.

There was no leverage. I couldn’t get away. I couldn’t stop him.

A shadow loomed behind him, a growl sounded in the dark and everything in me went cold. My sudden stillness seemed to unsettle Mike. He looked behind him and screamed.

There was a monster in the room. It was large, dark and hairy. It bared its yellow teeth and growled like a tiger. It shuffled when it moved, as though its massive size made it clumsy. I couldn’t believe it was real, but there it was. For a moment I thought I would pass out. My heart beat too rapidly, and I felt that my fear would overwhelm me.

Yet somehow this felt familiar.

I closed my eyes as it tore him off me. His screams were a sound of frantic terror. I curled up, my arms wrapped around my head, my hands over my ears. My eyes closed so tightly it hurt. Mike screamed for what felt like hours, but in reality, couldn’t have been longer than a few moments.

Even when everything went quiet, I stayed curled on the bed, my eyes closed. Only when I heard my roommate call my name from seemingly far away did I open my eyes and slowly uncurl. Everything hurt from how tightly I had wound myself. My muscles were jelly, and I slid off the bed onto the wet floor. My hand bumped into something warm and squishy.  

When I looked up, the monster was gone. But so was my housemate. I could hear her screaming in the hallway. What was I going to do? I could hear sirens outside, getting louder, closer. The police were coming.

I didn’t want to go to jail. The chest of drawers, cracked but still whole, rattled against the wall.

The knock on my dorm room door was thunderous. I knew the police would push their way inside at any moment.

I heard wood scraping and snapped my eyes onto the chest of drawers. The middle drawer started to open the moment the bedroom door handle moved.

“No!” I screamed at the police officers in the doorway. “Stay back.”

But they didn’t listen.