After a long day, you find there is nothing that takes the edge off like a nice long shower. You seclude yourself in the clean tiled privacy of your bathroom and into the curtained stall of your shower. The relief you feel when the water cascades down your spine is near-indescribable, already beginning to lather up.
That’s when you hear it.
The sound of running water shouldn’t be an unusual occurrence- you are taking a shower, after all. But this sound is different somehow.
It sounds as if it’s coming from outside the shower.
You try to ignore it, along with the past stresses of the day as you stand under the comforting blast of water. But that relief you felt has dissipated somehow into a dread that you can’t explain. You try to ignore it, and just focus on bathing.
But the sound returns, louder somehow.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Almost as if it’s taunting you.
You try and chalk up the sudden feeling of paranoia as one of the anxieties of living by yourself. You know that you’re being unreasonable- you’re as safe as you can be. The door is locked. No-one can get in or out.
You should be safe.
The noise has moved, as if coming closer.
You swear that it’s just behind the cover of the faint rustle of the shower curtains. You tense as you swear you see a dark shape abruptly vanish behind the cover of the shower curtains. At that moment, you realize just how vulnerable you are in here- alone, unprotected, naked. How easy it would be for anyone to just come in here without you noticing, safe behind the cover of rushing water.
The thought is too much.
You rip the shower curtains open, your own pounding heart feeling like it’ll explode at whatever horror is hidden behind.
Only the emptiness of your bathroom greets you. Everything is in order, though slick with fresh condensation from your shower.
There is no intruder, you see at you look around at the cleanly white-tiled room, void of limes scale or dirt. Everything is immaculate, as you work to make it be.
You’re still alone. You were always alone.
Only the low hiss of running water breaks the eerie silence of the room as you look around. The dripping noise seems to have ceased entirely.
As you close the shower curtain, you inwardly begin to chastise yourself as you resume your shower, reaching for the loofah at your feet so that you can scrub your back. There’s no-one here, you try to tell yourself, you’re completely alone.
No one can hurt you, right?
Of course, with your back turned, you’re completely blind to the sight of the two dark wet hands that break through the long, tapered folds of the plastic shadow curtain that belong to a tall, vaguely humanoid shadow outside, reaching out until they’re mere inches away from grabbing you.