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I can hear it on the stairs. Dread tightens my throat like a noose. I never should have let this happen.

I never should have allowed it into my home. It latched onto me at the earliest opportunity, sucked voraciously, drained me dry. That’s how it took possession of my body, my home, my life. Ever since, I have been its slave.

Its tortures are innumerable. It uses sound sometimes. Horrible, piercing noises. Wave after wave hit me right in the chest and surge throughout my whole poor body. Then, it breaks my will in other ways. It can cover my skin with any number of sensations, each vile in its own way. Sticky, slimy, wet, slippery: all of these and more have been deployed to soil my skin and make it crawl. I wonder if I will ever feel clean again.

The situation is untenable. I’m a shadow of my former self, but I’ve decided to take my life back.

I sit here on the bed beside my salvation. The gun is long. The metal is cold as I run my finger along its barrel.

“I’m going hunting,” I told the man behind the counter. I didn’t lie.

It’s coming closer now. I can hear floorboards creaking in the hallway. Who knows what demands will be made of me this time? I do not intend to find out.

Knocks on the door. Loud and persistent. It’s here. I raise the gun and take aim.

“Who’s there?” I ask.

“It’s me, Mommy,” the little voice says. The sound of it makes me cringe. “Are you in there?”

I’m shaking, but holding my aim steady. “Yes, sweetie,” I said. “Come on in.”

Written by Jdeschene
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