Struggling to stay awake, determined that sleep wouldn’t pull her into its clutches. The young woman lay rigid in her bed. Too afraid to move, just in case. Barely breathing and with eyes wide open in terror. She fearfully glanced around the room, interpreting shadows and shapes of furniture to be something terrifying. Desperately hoping that morning would hurry itself and the darkness would end.
Suddenly a tiny noise disturbed the silence. Her ears almost pricked up, like a dog. Listening for another sound in the stillness of the night.
There it was again, that same scratching, shuffling, swishing sound. Was it getting louder? Or maybe it was getting closer. What was that horrific noise? Her mind began to race, imagining all sorts of gruesome creatures crawling towards her across her bedroom floor.
The hairs on the back of her neck sprang to attention, in fact every hair on her body were all standing up like soldiers, ready to do battle with the encroaching horror.
She stopped breathing, in case it heard her. Too terrified to do anything other than imagine her dreadful end at the hands of this horrendous monster.
She tried to turn her head to see the floor, but her body wouldn’t respond. She lay, still and rigid staring upwards unable to move.
Sweat began to form across her brow, beads of liquid trickling down her temples. She then realised that tears had formed in the eyes and they joined the onslaught of fluids saturating her pillow.
The noise had stopped briefly, but the terror still held her in its vice like grip. She started to breathe noiselessly and a plan of action began to form in her mind.
If I turn over quickly and put the bedside light on, maybe the brightness will scare away whatever is trying to get me. Filled with panic, but determined to save herself, she flung out her right arm and turn on the light.
A tiny brown mouse, sat in the corner of the room, even more terrified than she was.
341 words – Sandy Bryson
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