By: Kate MacDonald

Between the street lights, there were shadows. No moonlight appeared because of cloud cover. Through a slit in her bedroom curtain, she surveyed the little she could see of the cul de sac. Her house was the last one on the right at the bottom of the road. There wasn't a great deal that was visible even from upstairs. Suddenly, her heart jumped, and seemed to skip a beat. There had been a slight movement, barely perceptible, seen from the corner of her eye. Spinning round, she opened the curtains a little wider and stared intently. She counted the seconds that passed, dagging slowly by, but nothing moved again. She decided to go downstairs.

Standing at her front door, she strained her ears in an attempt to hear any of the normal, night-time sounds of the neighborhood. The dogs were silent. Where was the laughter from a late night chat show audience, or roars from the crowd as a recorded football game was played?

Still, it was quite late. She had been asleep when terrified screams had awakened her. She thought to check and found there was no phone signal, the TV was out, even her landline's familiar dialing tone was silent. Adrenalin fuelled fear was now causing symptoms that made her nerve ends scream and her heart pound. Death could be lurking, waiting, if she stepped outside.

As her hand reached for the doorknob, she thought again. That was probably a very stupid thing to do. At that moment, the door could be heard to crack as it was hammered violently. A scream was quickly stifled by her shaking hands. She could not make a sound, she knew that, without knowing why. Whatever horror was out there wanted in. Those heartbreaking screams she'd heard made that part obvious. The sudden silence seemed even more terrifying. Was someone, something, still out there?

She looked through the peep hole. Shifting grey shadow figures milled around her door. The maisma of evil surrounding these entities seemed to stick in the back of her throat. That made her feel ill, but the hate in their large grey eyes made her sob with fear. It was true then, the invasion had happened. That was why there had been no-one on the street for days. All of this took only seconds.

Then her letterbox opened, slimy hands captured her and held her tightly. More joined the first, slithering up her arms. She almost passed out at the sensation of those moist, undulating, cold limbs. Then came the thought of hands with sucker like fingers moving over her face, sliding down her throat. All was lost. She screamed, louder and louder. The sound became strident, shrill, measured. She became aware that the alarm clock was buzzing. It was morning.



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