I know he’s here. I can feel it. I hope he can’t hear my heart, but I’m sure he can as it is certainly beating loud enough for anyone within a few miles to hear. My heart and light breathing seem to be the only things making any sort of noise in the house. The house itself seems too frightened to even feign any sort of commotion, as if he is whispering the same fair warning to the house as he is to me:

“Don’t wake up.”

Maybe it’s all in my head, I mean, I’ve heard of insomnia, and I suppose some sort of opposing complication must exist; the inability to wake up. A cold breeze enters through the slight cracks in my room’s door and I know he’s back to once again watch me pretend to slumber. How long has it been now? How long have I now been in cold sweats hoping he still supposes me asleep? How long have I been here with my eyes clamped shut, alone with only a few frightened and desperate thoughts to keep me company? It feels as if it has been days since I heard a cold whisper in my ear and even longer since I last opened my eyes.

Now I just sit here wondering if the rest of the world has faced this cold demon. I sit here and ask myself whether I could have done something to prevent this, or, at the very least, if I could have done more with the days I had been given. I had always wanted to be someone important, but now, in this desperate state my life may very well be taken by whomever or, more likely, whatever this beast may be and the worst part of all of this is that nary a soul will care.

Darkness is still all there is. The fact that it is still perfectly dark out is the only indication that days - or perhaps years - have not passed. Something about the darkness also tells me that my tormentor still lies in this very room, for, there is something quite unnatural about this very darkness, as if it is not there due to a lack of light, rather the presence of some sort of dark essence. My motionless body faces the emptiness of the room rather than the emptiness outside of the window. The numbness of fear has begun to wear off and my limbs beg for oxygen.

I shift my position in the slightest and I feel a wicked grin come across the face of the beast, as if I had completed the first step to giving in. I hear a faint hiss and imagine he is speaking to himself, maybe commenting on the weakness of all his prey, or possibly praising how long I have stayed motionless thus far and preparing himself for a good fight. I feel the cold presence slither silently out of the room and I release a small sigh in my exuberance. For what feels like hours I continue to lay still, attempting to change positions in the slightest occasionally, but still remaining motionless as long as I may.

After the constant torment of boredom I hear a voice, not one belonging to my tormentor, rather my mother, calling “Honey, wake up.” I become confused and think my persecution may have come to an abrupt halt, but I then remember, even in my sleep deprived state, that I have been living alone for the past three years. As if to answer this question, she continues, “I used the spare door key to get in, I hope you don’t mind. I wanted to be sure you were ready for your first day of your new job.” That made about as much sense as it needed to, and I supposed that it was only dark for how early it was in the morning, so I prepared to step out of my bed when I felt the same cold presence as earlier and froze completely. I became suddenly aware that this was but another ruse of the demon, or perhaps, I thought, my mother had come in earlier and was unaware of my torment.

The latter supposition was soon discarded, however, as I realized I would have heard even the slightest sound of a door in this frozen house. The chill lasted for a few minutes longer until I felt a scowl come across the face of the beast. I heard his body scratch against my floor and the chill of the room grew to a point where I could no longer remember what the warmth of my comforter on my sleeping body felt like. A finger, cold and hard, though not entirely inhuman, pressed against my stiff body and again the demon spoke, mocking my mother’s voice “Sweety,” I felt a smile upon the beast’s face, “you need to get up, I made coffee.”

As if responding to the command of the demon’s words, a tempting draft of the aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee rushed into my room. This, I’ll admit, was the harshest moment of the night thus far, as living alone had driven me to grow fonder and fonder of the bitter bean, to the point where I had to force myself now to remain motionless, convincing myself that, in the long run, coffee is not worth death or whatever punishment this beast prepared for me.

After a good half hour the demon audibly scowled and slithered out of the room, leaving me again alone with my agitated, fearful thoughts. Not ten minutes later did I hear heavy footsteps enter the room, followed closely by a familiar chill and a familiar dread. For the first time then did I hear the voice of my heretofore silent tormentor, presenting to me am entirely unexpected benediction.

The words “you are not the weakest soul I have encountered,” crawled out of his throat, “your perseverance has paid off,” he continued, “the only scar I shall therefore leave you with is a memory of the fear and dread of tonight.” And with those words the chill left my room with the beast.

Although it is unnecessary, to be safest I think I will remain in my bed for a while longer. I know I must get up soon, but with the dim light of dawn creeping through my window, and the coppery smell of blood still haunting my room, I cannot keep myself from doing anything but staring at the mangled wreck of my mother’s body lying at the foot of my bed.

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