Frozen in place, I stared from my seated position in the bed at the thing moving across the floor. It was the thump followed by the dragging sound that had pulled me from deep slumber. I’d lain there for a moment letting my eyes adjust to the darkness and listening for some clue as to which direction it was coming from. When I caught the movement in my peripheral vision, my head snapped to the far side of the room. At first it looked like an elongated pile of clothes being jerked a short distance. There would be that odd thump, a pause, and then a screek as it moved again. By the time it reached the halfway mark from the wall to my bed, I could see the claw like hands. Long, black nails protruded from mangled fingers as they dug into the wood floor.
Closer and closer it came with each jerky movement, yet I still sat there unmoving, as if my entire muscular system had quit working. My chest heaved as my breathing increased and finally surpassed the beating of my heart. I wanted to scream. I tried, I really did, but my lips would not part and my vocal cords refused to contract.
Inch by inch it continued towards me. I lost sight of it when it reached the foot of my bed. Suddenly, I was able to move again! My body flew into overdrive and wasting no time, I reached over and twisted the switch on the nightstand lamp. The dull glow from the bulb barely encompassed the bed, leaving the rest of my bedroom shrouded in darkness.
Still breathing heavily, my eyes darted around the room looking for any sign of the creature who had inhabited it just a few moments earlier. Nothing. Not one blessed thing out of place. No thumps, screeks, or dragging noises. Just my dark, silent room.
My hands trembled as I rubbed my eyes and searched again.
Without warning, my door knob began to turn slowly. This time my horrified scream erupted before I could even attempt to contain it. The door flew open as my mother rushed into the room.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”
Tears filled my eyes, spilling down my cheeks as I tried to tell her what I’d witnessed. Stuttering between sobs, I relayed the entire event.
Sitting on the bed beside me, she held me close and stroked my hair, saying, “It’s okay, baby. It was just a bad dream. You are just fine.”
I could hear the smile in her voice. I knew what she must be thinking. She was probably already mentally going over a list of which doctors to call. Eighteen year old girls who see creatures stalking them in the middle of the night obviously have some issues. However, I knew she was wrong. It wasn’t a dream. I wasn’t asleep. That thing was coming after me!
Shoving away from her, I looked up into her eyes. “Mom, I was wide awake. I’m scared. There’s something in this house!”
Sighing heavily, her face transformed from a worried expression into the one that says ‘I’ve had enough of this nonsense.’ She stood, saying, “Christina Anne, you are far too old to believe in the boogeyman. Now it was just a dream. Get settled down and go back to sleep. We have to be up in three hours.”
She shook her head. “No buts.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and lifted my chin in defiance.
Her eyes grew wide as she gasped and then locked on mine.
I had no time to think, or even speak, before she screamed and was pulled under the bed.
I screamed my head off for the first hour, too terrified to get out of the bed. But we are the only ones home tonight. Dad will be home at 6 AM. I think as long as the light stays on, I might be safe. As long as the lights don’t go out...
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