In the darkness

There it was again. Flutters, or swishing. Something like that.

The lamp by the bed switched on, her hand hovering over the knob. She waited, listening closely, searching for the cause of the sounds. But there was nothing. Only the usual nighttime sounds of crickets and frogs with the faintest of traffic whirs in the background.

Uneasy, she turned the knob, killing the light once again. The animal sounds grew louder, the traffic fainter. She pulled her blanket up around her shoulders, settling back into sleep.

The chirps and croaks ended, abruptly, replaced by the fluttery, swooshing, rustling sounds. Almost the sound of a too-long, too-voluminous taffeta skirt moving along the floor.

She snapped the light back on, her heart pounding in her chest. Once again the bugs and animals were singing their nighttime chorus, but nothing was out of place.

Her heart thudded so hard and loud, she imagined it was connected directly to her ears. She waited, searching her bedroom for movement.

Her heart slowed, her logical-self laughed at her excitable-self, and she twisted the light switch, plunging her room into darkness yet again.

The blackness pressed in on her, but she tried her best to ignore it, focusing instead on the chattering of the crickets outside. She was about to drift off when the frogs’ last croak silenced the crickets’ conversation. In the deep silence, there came again the bizarre, out-of-place sound of swishing. But this time, the fluttery sound carried an undertone, a creaky, crackly sound like smoldering flames.

She reached for the lamp, but her fingers got twisted up in something. Something smooth and silky. Her heart pounded, her breath puffed heavily in and out, her mouth opened to scream, but before a sound emerged, her gaping jaw was filled with fingers of thick, acrid liquid.

She searched the darkness for salvation, but there was only darkness. And blood.

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