By Melissa L. Webb
Something about the house felt different when Kara awoke this morning. She couldn’t put her finger on it as she got out of bed, but that feeling was there, heavy as a mallet slamming into her. Something wasn’t right.
She padded through the empty house on her way to the bathroom. She couldn’t figure out where these feelings were coming from. Sure, she lived alone. That was enough to make anyone paranoid, but she had lived there for six months.
Six months was way too long to suddenly feel creeped out.
She hurried about, quickly getting ready for work as she tried to brush the dark thoughts from her mind. There was no place for them. She was an adult. Adults didn’t get freaked out, especially when it came to being in their own home.
Kara poured herself a cup of coffee and let the warm, caffeine-infused liquid flow through her soul. She tried to rationalize her feelings as she stared into the steaming mug. Some forgotten dream was haunting her mind. That’s all this was. She needed to let the morning sun burn away such thoughts. A woman afraid to live alone was doomed to live in someone’s shadow forever.
That wasn’t her. She was good at being alone. She even thrived in it to some extent. She wouldn’t let some ridiculous feeling shatter her solitude.
She grabbed her purse and locked up, heading to the car. Rays of sunlight danced around her, driving back the morning chill as she warmed up the car. A small laugh escaped her lips and a foolish feeling washed over her as she sat there, taking in the surrounding day.
Kara couldn’t believe how spooked she had let herself get. She needed to learn to let her dreams go before getting out of her bed if they were going to do this to her. This was her home, her sanctuary, and there was no reason that would change in one night.
She slipped the car in reverse and glanced up at the house one last time, a smile still on her lips. Her foot came down hard on the break and the smile faded. Something moved in her bedroom window.
Something black with red eyes.
It watched her, tilting its head side to side, as if gauging the amount of fear it caused.
Kara wanted to scream, but she was frozen in fear, her hands locked tightly on the steering wheel. She didn’t know what she was seeing, but she knew it was watching her back with a terrifying purpose.
In a blink of an eye, it was gone, leaving nothing but a fluttering curtain. An eerie reminder that the shape wasn’t imagined.
Tears flooded her eyes, silently slipping down her cheeks as she backed out of the driveway. Her solitude was broken, her life shattered in an instant, because something had changed over night.
The nightmare hadn’t plagued her sleep last night; it began the moment she woke up. That was the reason everything seemed so wrong. She was no longer alone.
© 2014 Melissa L. Webb