First, a thought. A feeling of paranoia. A sensation of eyes, watching me, watching my every movement, studying me. A minute passed. A noise, from the kitchen? Louder now, glass shattering, scuffling on the floorboards, a grunt, a hiss.Darkness, surrounded me. Without sight, I felt vulnerable. I tightened my grip on the bed covers that wrapped around me. I felt like a fly trapped in the web of a spider, a colossal spider that stare hungrily at me. My mind raced, but my body refused to move. I lay under the covers for what seemed like hours but could only have been minutes. The commotion continued, becoming more rapid and harsh.

Wiping fear from my eyes, I crept to the door. I tried to peer into the void of darkness which consumed the corridor I had once spent my time in, but I now feared. My hand clumsily caressed the wall next to the door until it came across a switch. Light, blinding me, every detail of the room becoming clear, this did not happen. As I flicked the switch, I saw nothing. I was still enveloped by black. My heart began to beat faster and in desperation I flicked the switch on and off, again and again. But to no avail. After cautiously backing away from the door, I began to search for a source of light. I knew a flash-light was hidden beneath the piles of items I kept under my bed. But every item I put aside made a noise, that to many would be inaudible, but to me was an invitation to the being downstairs. A sound that could give away my position to the enemy. The blare of the beast continued, stopping just a few times leaving the sound of my heart pounding violently at my chest alone in the silence. The flash-light, once discovered, rattled nervously in my hands. Turning it on shot a dim orange glow across the room. Shadows of inanimate objects became frenzied dancers moving swiftly away from the flash-lights aim.

Once I had familiarized myself with my room, being a completely new environment in the night, I steadily walked towards the door. The cold air took me by surprise. The carpet that lay curled around my feet told me I was still indoors, but something was wrong. Each breath I let out formed icy smoke which floated up to the ceiling and evaporated. Each step I took became harder as my body refused to move. The corridor that I was slowly trudging through had become suffocatingly narrow. Pictures of a happy family framed along the walls stared at me, whispered to me, followed me with their eyes. As I neared the staircase, my mouth became dry and my stomach sank. The flash-light's beam did not reach the kitchen. I lowered my first foot on to a stair, even with the little weight it creaked creating an echo that surrounded me. With every creak I froze, waiting to hear a response. This was when I noticed the sound had vanished. My house was silent once again. While I was relieved at first, I soon realized that it could only mean one thing.

The creature was no longer in the kitchen. Panicking, I turned to run back up the stairs. But a noise stopped me. At first it was just a low hiss. But this quickly turned into a growl which turned into a scream. I had little time to react as the scream deafened me. What creature could imitate a human cry for help exactly. The screaming continued just a few feet away at the bottom of the stairs. I had dropped the flash-light out of my hand in fear so could not see the thing that seemed to be able to see me.

As I endured the painful scream, I could smell something foul. The smell of rot and decay. A smell so putrid it burned the inside of my nose. My hands, cupping my ears, momentarily dropped to search for the flash-light I had dropped. The creature had not stopped, but the sound was fainter. Whether this was because of my loss of hearing or the creature moving I could not be sure. At last, my fingers ran across the surface of a familiar item. Flicking the switch I turned the orange light to the scream. Nothing. The bottom of the stairs was empty and so was the corridor. With the light, I felt confident enough to investigate the disturbing sound that had just a moment ago destroyed me. The flash-light led the way as I stalked the shadows around my house. The door to the kitchen opened begrudgingly to a room untouched. No glass shattered on the floor, no food smeared over the walls. I began to laugh. I was alone. It was all in my head. As my heart rate slowed, I walked back to the stairs to go to bed. However, my eyes caught a glimpse of something odd.

The front door, wide open.

By Reece Alexandar