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I sat up in the darkness of my room, frightened. Some noise from the land of the waking had jolted me out of unconsciousness. Groggy, I reached across to the nightstand, turning my alarm clock toward my face. The dim numbers read 3 AM, and I groaned. So much for a good night's sleep. Forgetting what had awoken me, I rolled over and settled back into bed... but there it was again. It was a thump from the attic above me, loud and deliberate. There was another. It sounded as though someone (for surely it was a person, no house settles in a manner so resembling footsteps) was attempting to make me aware of his presence, almost toying with me. I bolted upright, adrenaline pumping. Someone was in my house.

The thumping stopped somewhere above my closet. Slowly, I stood up in the darkness of my room, the illumination of the alarm clock extending no further than the night stand upon which it sat. Slowly, I worked my way out of my room and down the hall, heading for the storage closet, and grabbed my old bat. I retreated down the hall to stare, waiting, at the trapdoor into the attic. Whoever the intruder was, he wasn't going anywhere.

I held my breath, waiting for any noise, any sign of life. Nothing. Heart racing, I slowly approached and pulled down the ladder. The light was on in the attic. I wasn't sure if I'd left it that way. I climbed up as quietly as I could and peeked into the room, only to be confronted with... nothing. There was nothing there at all, just the old crap I'd left up in storage. I sighed, relieved. I must've been imagining things. It's easy to convince yourself you're hearing things when you're alone in the dark. Laughing, I shut off the lights behind me and went to lie down.

I closed my eyes, thinking about how ridiculous I had been, then... thump. It was closer now. It was just as loud as I'd heard it before, though nearer to the center of the room. I jumped out of bed, less frightened than angry, and rushed up the ladder, bat in hand. I kicked over boxes, swung at shadows at old clothing. There was nothing. There was no one there. I rubbed at my temples, climbing down the ladder and back towards my room. There must have been too much stress at work. I must have been imagining things. Maybe I'd take the day off tomorrow. I felt strange as I approached my door. A sense of dread washed through me and I hesitated, hand outstretched towards the doorknob. I groaned. I was being stupid. I'd probably feel better after I got some sleep. Fingers rubbing the bridge of my nose, I blindly flicked on the light-switch and made my way towards my bed. I slumped down onto the edge, rubbing my eyes. I was so tired. I had to stop being paranoid.

Thump.

I jerked my hands away from my face, whipping around to glare once more towards the attic. With the light on, I could see it. It was a grotesque mockery of the human form, bent and twisted, head facing the wrong way, and empty sockets where the eyes should have been. Slowly, deliberately, it lifted a hand. It grinned as it slapped it down with a thump, dragging itself closer to me.

Thump.

I give a panicked laugh as it smashes the bare bulb that is my only source of light, shrouding the room in darkness. I'm not insane. How could I have known?

Thump.

It walks on ceilings.

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