Under the Rug

Author’s Note: This was originally a story I wrote based on a photo from Harris Burdick titled “Under the Rug.” This was written for a class I took in college about teaching writing in a secondary classroom setting. I hope you enjoy it!


Greg was wondering why his chair had suddenly rocked back on him until he saw the coffee table pop up as well.  After two weeks without incident, he thought the mysterious bump had finally left him.  Before that, the longest hiatus had been only three days.

As soon as the bump would go down in one spot, it would instantly appear in another.  Greg stood up and watched its movement, waiting for it to get closer.  As soon as the bump came within reach, he stomped on it, only to have another rise under his other foot, throwing him face first onto the floor.

Greg had finally had enough and started to tear up the carpet all throughout the living room, exposing the floor boards beneath.  The bump only appeared in that room, so he figured the problem would end, but then he noticed the boards starting to warp into a bump.

Greg went into his garage and walked back into the living room dragging a sledge hammer behind him.  He started watching the bump and swung the hammer everywhere it appeared, knocking chunks out of the floor.  The bump started to move quicker as more of the floor disappeared.  After a while, it was moving so quick it looked like waves were moving across the floor.

Soon, Greg was simply running around the room, smashing everything he saw.  This went on until Greg was panting and physically incapable of lifting the hammer again.  After regaining his breath, Greg stalked back to the garage once again, but returned with a jug this time.

He started dispersing the contents of the gas can all around the room, and when he was finished, lit an entire match book and hurled it into the room.  As the fire spread, Greg saw the bump moving even faster, making the flames bounce.

Greg walked outside and watched the house burn, taking the cursed bump with it.  Once a crowd had gathered, he walked down the street, laughing to himself in triumph.

He eventually stopped and checked into a local hotel.  After getting his key, Greg took the elevator to the seventh floor, went to his room on the perimeter of the building, and lay down for the night.  Just as he was about to fall asleep, Greg was jolted back awake as one corner of his bed jumped.

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