The odd sound came again. Dylan rubbed his sleep-sore eyes, looking blankly around his darkened bedroom, trying to figure out what woke him from his much-needed sleep. A small light pulsed from across the room. The sound was coming from there, too.
Dylan pushed himself out of his cramped twin bed and stumbled across the pale carpeted floor to his flimsy metal desk. His cell phone was furiously trying to get his attention, pleading with him to read the text message from the unknown number.
Open the door, Dylan.
Bleary-eyed and confused, Dylan stared at the deep black letters in the middle of the brilliant white space of the phone’s screen. He didn’t recognize the number. It didn’t even look like a telephone number. It was just a jumble of seemingly random numbers scrolling across the top of his phone.
Sighing in annoyance, the curly-headed teenager thumbed off the phone and replaced it on his desk. He didn’t have time to mess with prank texters. He had finals in the morning and he needed sleep. He’d spent all weekend cramming as much as possible into his brain and now his head hurt and he was spent.
The light colored carpet glowed just enough, in the feeble light of the moon’s rays coming in from his solitary window, that Dylan could see well enough to make it back to bed without trouble.
The teen had just clambered back into his unmade twin size bed when his phone buzzed again. He was awake enough this time to recognize his standard text message tone. Groaning with impatience and fatigue, Dylan buried his head in his pillow, silently asking the world to silence his phone for him.
Instead of falling silent, his phone buzzed yet again. Dylan rubbed a hand across his dark eyes and then through his tangled hair and sat up in bed. He glared at his blinking smartphone, willing it to shut up. The small black thing did go still. But only long enough for the tall boy to sink back down onto his back.
Fully awake now, Dylan waited, knowing that the phone would cry out again for his attention. When it did, he grunted, anger coloring the edges of his vision, and he rose again from his bed, shuffling his way to the desk across his tiny dorm room.
He grabbed the phone, sliding his thumb across the screen to read the several new messages he’d received from the unknown number.
Open the door, Dylan.
Open. The. Door.
Let us in, Dylan.
Open the door for us, Dylan.
Scared now, not sure if his friends were playing tricks on him or something sinister was happening, Dylan looked at his door. He felt drawn to it. Maybe it was the texts, maybe it was a feeling of someone standing at his door, he didn’t know, but he fought the tendrils of fear that crept across his tall, slender body. He stepped away from the door, backing up, hard, against his metal student desk. His heart thudded in his chest.
Outside the window above his desk, the moon vanished behind storm clouds, plunging his room into a deep darkness. Dylan dragged breath after breath into his burning lungs, the panic attack threatening to drown him becoming more intense.
A sudden knock at his window forced the air out of Dylan’s lungs in a hoarse scream. He whirled to face the window, panic driving his thoughts into a confused frenzy. A pale hand with slender fingers tipped in translucent fingernails tapped on the flimsy glass pane.
Dylan screamed again, the sound tearing from his throat before he could catch it. The crystal clear fingernails clawed against the glass, gouging deep lines into the window. The glass began to crack, spidery lines spreading from the gouges left by the pale hand.
Dylan backed away, his feet tripping over themselves in his panic. The dorm room door stopped his backward progression. In his trembling hand, the phone buzzed again. Another text message…
You should have let us in, Dylan.