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The Thing that Goes FUMP in the Night
By Evan McBride



1: FUMP.
2: What?
1: I said FUMP.
2: Why?
1: Because thatís just what I say.
2: Well, why do you have to say it outside my bedroom door at this ghastly hour?
1: Iím the thing that goes FUMP in the night, thatís why!
2: Donít you mean bump?
1: No, that oneís already taken.
2: Taken?
1: Well, obviously everybody canít just go around saying BUMP in the middle of the night.
2: Why not?
1: It just wouldnít be polite.
2: In my opinion, itís not very polite to make any loud sound at all outside someoneís bedroom door in the middle of the night.
1: But I have to. Itís my job, you see.
2: Why would you want a dreadful job such as that, tromping around after dark?
1: Because itís what Iím good at, thatís why. Not just anybody can say FUMP, you know.
2: Sure they can. Fump fump fump.
1: Youíre not saying it right.
2: I thought I was doing a jolly good job of it.
1: No, try it like this. FUMP.
2: Fump!
1: No good. You have to do it just right or itís no go.
2: Sound like a most dreadfully difficult job.
1: Yes, very. And it would help me tremendously if you were a bit frightened.
2: Of what? You?
1: Well, yes.
2: All right then. Oh my. I am most terrified indeed.
1: Thatís not very convincing at all.
2: Well, itís your own fault that Iím not really frightened.
1: I suppose it is. Perhaps you should try opening the door?
2: Why?
1: Well, itís something people do sometimes, when they hear a FUMP. Creep over to the door, throw it wide open, expecting nothing to really be there, and then FUMP! Most frightening, really.
2: Whatís so frightening about you?
1: Try and guess. It may help the atmosphere.
2: All right. Do you have glowing red eyes that cast a ghastly light on a twisted face prominently featuring a rather large maw with several rows of sharklike teeth and a barbed tongue? Huge, hairy misshapen arms ending in a grizzled clutch of wickedly curved and razor sharp talons that will reach up in a demonic embrace to pull me between those deadly jaws that right now are likely as not dripping corrosive green saliva on my new rug?
1: Only one way to find out.
2: And spiny... what?
1: Only one way to find out if thatís what youíll see when you open the door.
2: One way? You mean ask you? Iíve already done that, I believe.
1: No, youíll have to open the door to find out. Isnít the suspense causing your heart to flutter in your chest?
2: Not particularly. And I rather donít fancy the thought of getting out of bed right now. I did just go to the bathroom.
1: But if you donít open the door, youíll never know what wouldíve happened if you had.
2: I suppose I could live with that. Besides canít you just tell me?
1: But that would take all the bone chilling terror out of it.
2: Just as well. Iím cold enough.
1: This isnít working.
2: No, not really.
1: FUMP.
2: I believe you already said that.
1: Iím starting over. I must have done something wrong.
2: Oh please donít. I really do need my sleep.
1: I canít leave until Iíve frightened you out of your silly little skull.
2: Oh my. Iím afraid this is going to be a very long night indeed.
1: Did you just say youíre afraid?
2: Oh, I mightíve. I mean yes. Yes, I most certainly did. Traumatized even.
1: So traumatized you may never be able to sleep properly again?
2: I may not be able to.
1: Well, good, then. Thatís all I needed to know. Goodbye.
2: Youíve just left? Hello? Oh. Heís gone. Good riddance. Now I can finally get some sleep. Aaaaah. Mmph. I wonder what I wouldíve seen if I had opened the door. No matter. ( pause) Perhaps I should go out and check, only to see if heís gone and left some corrosive saliva or something, of course. Hello? Are you still out here? Well, I guess that just...
1: FUMP.

The End.