Wow, this is late. I'm sorry. I tried to post it yesterday but I ran out of time. See, this week for Spring Break, I'm in Missouri visiting my grandparents. While I'm here I don't have full Internet access. But it's up now, and that's what counts.
Words, words, words! They swim before my glazed eyes like mad serpents. A headache is growing in my right temple. I slam the English book closed, deciding I’ve had enough of Shakespeare for the night.
Shaking out my legs, I rise from my position on the floor. My arms almost reach the ceiling fan as I stretch them. Muscles all over my body are stiff. A few hours lounging on the couch watching old crime shows sounds about perfect.
The thought pulls my mind from its murky fog and I bounce to the kitchen. Popcorn is popping in the microwave and I’m in the middle of pouring way more pop than necessary when a cold breeze makes me shiver. I shut the kitchen window with a huff. Susie’s always opening windows and forgetting to close them.
I sink down onto the couch amidst my snacks and the fluffiest blanket we own. The room is dark and the TV’s lights pierce my eyes in a nice way. Body after dead body flashes across the screen as episodes begin and end. Hours slip by but it doesn’t matter. No one is home to complain.
The soft voices soothe my mind. The picture starts to melt into flashing colors as my eyes blur over. Sleep takes me just as a piercing scream echoes through the surround-sound speakers.
My eyelids flip open, my eyes rolling over the room wildly, confused. Where am I? Why is it dark? Sense returns to me soon enough.
The TV is still on, the noise hurting my ears in the quiet. That’s not what woke me up though. I grab the remote and jam the volume button until there’s no more sound. My ears strain, listening. For some reason, my heart is about to pump out of my chest. But why? How do I know I even heard anything? What if I’m just freaking over a dream?
I’ve just about convinced myself that I’m an idiot, when there’s a thump from overhead. Everything about me freezes, emotions, thoughts, body. I can feel my eyes so round in m head.
Then it all jumpstarts. I’m standing and fear is making me sick to my stomach. My mind is chasing around in circles trying to find a logical explanation that isn’t absolutely horrifying. Maybe mom and dad are home early, my brain whispers hopefully. Plane doesn’t leave till seven tomorrow, I shoot down my own dreams. Susie got homesick at the sleepover. That must be it, it pleads. But Susie’s been to Jenny’s house hundreds of times. Could she have forgotten something? She would have gotten it earlier. Nothing fits right.
And so I decide the only thing to do to put myself at ease is to go check it out. I’m starting to understand that person in all the horror movies. You know, the one that everyone is always screaming at for their extreme stupidity.
Every shadow spooks me as I walk up the stairs. Shapes mold into horrible demons with long, vicious teeth. Their unreal eyes seem to follow me, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up like soldiers. I send quick glances over my shoulder every other second, but the stairway remains empty.
When I reach the hallway, a frown line creases my forehead. The bathroom light is on. I didn’t leave it on. How do I know? I just do. It’s like knowing I brushed my teeth this morning.
I walk toward the dim light as if entranced, the shuffling of the carpet beneath my feet making me walk faster. I stop at the partially ajar bathroom door, steeling myself. I watch my hand flash out, pushing open the door, ghostly white against brown.
The glow from the harsh lightbulbs surrounds me as I step into the room. For a few seconds, nothing is clear. The light that seemed so shallow from the hallway gleams off every surface, the cream walls, the mirror, the tile, blinding me. My pupils contract in the glare and all the air releases from my lungs in relief. I’m alone.
My eyes pan over the shower and porcelain toilet, the shag rug and face products around the sink. A chuckle is bubbling up my throat when my sight locks onto my reflection. Hair sticks up on one side from sleep and my clothes are wrinkled for the same reason. But I have no idea what the state of my make-up is. A torn-off slip of paper is taped over my face.
The handwriting sprawled across it is tiny and cramped, unfamiliar. A few steps closer and I still have to squint to make out what it says:
If you are reading this, it has chosen you. If it has chosen you, it’s already there.
There’s no where to run.
You are doomed.
Doomed. The last word locks in my brain, echoing over and over. My joints seize as if cold water has been dumped over my head. My mouth gapes open and closed like a fish. Nothing registers but that word.
Another bump jerks me out of my dumbfounded state. This one is so much closer, right on the other side of the wall, in my room. Instincts kick in, telling me to flee, screaming it at me, no matter what the note said.
Feet twist under me, turning me around to face the door. My steps are slow at first as I consider, undecided. Then the hallway walls are flying past me and the stairs are thudding beneath me. I trip on the second-to-last step but catch myself before I fall. The sound of ragged, rasping breath comes behind me, lending speed to my flight.
I crash through the living room, where the TV still flickers, to the front door. A claw snags my shirt, tugging the fabric across my throat. Scrabbling noises grate against my ears as the creature runs across the oak wood of the coffee table, air still rattling in its demon lungs. All that goes silent as I wrench open the door with relief. The note was wrong. I can run.
My mind barely has time to process the wretched, reptilian being before it punches straight through my chest and wraps its twisted fingers possessively around my heart.