Life in the Shadows
I try to stay asleep, I really do, but it’s hard to stay in bed with eyes boring into the back of your skull.
I can feel the spot it’s looking at sticking out of the blankets, feel the cold stare press against me like the barrel of a gun. I can’t go back to sleep but I can’t leave my safe little cave of quilts either. If I don’t look, I can’t see it. My mind circles around the pros and cons in that idea.
Pro, I think to myself, it could all be a part of my imagination or an echo from a nightmare.
Con, what is it doing that I can’t see? And if I look, it would know I am awake and I would see it and it would see me seeing it and isn’t that how the climax of a lot of horror movies start?
I swallow hard around a dry mouth and throat and curl in on myself. I hear a rustle, it was moving closer. I close my eyes as tight as I can, letting tears slip out, and try to cover the cold spot on my head without being too obvious. I take a deep breath.
It takes a deep breath. A haunted, hollow, dragging breath that clicks at the start and finish.
Not like my quick, shaky gasps.
And if I could hear it breathing then it must be close, right by the bed. Waiting. A silent sob shakes me, moving the blanket further down my head and shoulders.
I open my eyes.