Aria never felt alone. Not truly. Sure she felt lonely sometimes, mainly thanks to people at school thinking she was weird for her passion for books, but she never felt alone. Ever since she was younger she had, what her parents called irrational, been afraid to go to bed. Thinking it was a fear of the dark, she had tried to sleep with the lights on but would have the same feeling. There was someone with her. Someone that shouldn’t be.
This fear had consumed her life. She didn’t look in mirrors if she had looked away, certain that a face or message would appear from her ‘friend’. If she was the last one up to bed, she would run up the stairs as fast as she could, convinced that someone was chasing her and she NEVER ever left a door open, always imagining that whatever it was would come through the door to see her. She never understood why the door being closed helped so much. Surely whatever it was could just open it but, in her experience at least, it didn’t use doors. It appeared wherever it wanted to, as long as it was dark. Just the thought of this made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end.
Laying in bed that night, well early morning as her failed attempt of an all nighter had seen her hesitantly run up the sofa at around 3am, Aria tried to think happy thoughts. Meeting her boyfriend, seeing her family and just about anything that would get her mind to wander. She drew the cover up to her neck, as if it was a security blanket that would keep her safe, but it was no use. She knew that the moment she closed her eyes it would enter the room. There was no use trying to stay awake, she had tried it every way she could but all it created was an unhealthy caffeine addiction. She would have to face it again. She shut her eyes, her heart already in her throat as she prepared.
The moment her eyes closed she felt it. The pressure on the end of the bed. Whatever it was had arrived, right on cue. The corner of the bed sunk as if it was being lent on. She froze, afraid to move, not that it would help her at all. The weight on the end of the bed increased, ‘Oh god’ Aria thought as the sudden realisation dawned that it was climbing on the bed. There was no escape. Her mouth dried up in response, she couldn’t scream, she never could. Her parents wouldn’t believe her anyway. She had tried telling them frequently as she was growing up but it was always put down to her having an active imagination. They had walked her through all the hiding places that ‘monsters’ could be hiding with a smug look of satisfaction on their faces as they all appeared empty.
“Of course they’re empty, it appears when it wants to” she would cry through her tears but she was always told the same thing
“Its in your imagination”…”Think of something else and it’ll go away” or, her personal favourite, “turn the light on and you’ll see its nothing”.
Aria had tried everything but the same anxiety was there. A sensation so strong that it caused her to hesitate, just a little, if the door had been left open. She thought that moving would help, maybe the house was haunted by something but no, it had followed her to her new home with Troy, her boyfriend. Of course, he never felt it and thought it was her imagination as much as anyone else.
The thing had now worked its way upwards and was hovering over her upper torso, just below her breast. Soon it would come to its destination and stop, completely in line with her. Its face only inches from hers. She stayed as still as she could, her imagination going into overdrive as to what it was. Maybe it was time to confront it? If she opened her eyes, would it really not be there? Was this all in her head as so many people had suggested? She waited, trying to stop her body from shaking, as the thing crawled further and further up. She could tell exactly where it was. Its face was level with hers. She put her hands that once seemed so strong against the cover, ready to pull them off. The weight lifted from on top of her, the bed becoming light again. Aria let out a breathe of relief before….what was that?
A whole new fear gripped her as she become aware of weight bearing down where Troy normally sleeps. Its moved. That was new, it had never moved before, always preferring to position itself directly over her, its eyes level with hers. Her eyes closed tight enough that she saw patterns displayed before her on her eyelids and she gripped the cover tighter. She would just wait it out like she did every night, when the sun came up, she would be free for another night.
A breeze of cool air wafted over her face, coming from below, something she was grateful for after a while under a thick duvet. It helped to cool the beads of sweat that had appeared on her forehead, a symptom of hours spent fearfully gripping the cover with all her strength. She breathed slightly and let her body relax for just a second. While she was enjoying the cool air, a thought struck her and made goosebumps appear all over her body and a shiver spread over her spine, air could only get in if there was a gap in the quilt. Staying still, she quickly assessed her surroundings to see if she could locate the thing. It was down by her feet, where the breeze had come from. It was trying to enter the cover!
Her fight and flight response was well and truly disabled. There wasn’t an option, she couldn’t move as she felt the presence of it inside her cover. What was it doing? Why try and come it, it hadn’t done that before so she wasn’t prepared. She closed her eyes tightly in an attempt to steel herself for whatever was about to happen. She had to look at it, to find out what she was dealing with. She started to open her eyes, slowly at first before slamming them shut, could she really look at it? Was she prepared?
As she felt the icy feel of its hand, tentacle or claw for all she knew, grip her hips she knew she had no choice but to face her greatest fear. She took 2 deep breaths and opened them. She let out a scream when she saw it, a scream that no one ever heard!