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The silver moonlight- that is the first thing that I notice. It practically drips in through the wide open window, illuminating an all too familiar room.
It is the living room of the house where I was raised, only instead of being filled with childrens toys, or strewn with week old cheerios, It is empty, desolate. The walls of this room were once pocked with dents, scrapes, and pencil marks that had never been washed off. Here, now, they are smooth and white, like the unbroken shell of an egg.
For some reason, regardless of the familiar environment, I am afraid.
One thought echoes through me head, over and over again. Watch the Shadows.
I shiver, and clutch my too-big sweater to my thin, shaking body. My long dark hair sweeps over my eyes, but I brush it away and tuck it behind my ears.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see something move, a flash of green in the darkness. Familiar, cold laughter echoes through this empty house of mine, and a chill creeps up my spine.
I turn, twist this way and that. Who’s there, I want to call out, Why are you following me? But I don’t. I must be silent, I know that.
Finally I stop searching about the room. Nothing is there, the room is empty.
Except for shadows.
Slowly I exit the room, turning my head this way and that, trying to see everywhere, but knowing that I can’t succeed. All that matters at this moment is finding it. I try, I really do. I go through every single dark, empty room, I check every corner of this house. Each room is as empty as the first, but I know that it must be here, somewhere.
Finally, I reach the last room in the house. I shove the door open, and it creaks loudly. I don’t jump. The sounds of this house are the same as they were when I lived in it. I peer slowly inside the room, wary and afraid of what I might find here.
“There you are,” I sigh, relieved that I am in time.
A small orange tabby cat sits erect in the center of the decrepit room that I once called my own. She blinks her huge crystalline eyes at me, and her ears tilt slightly forward, listening.
I open my mouth to call to her, tell her I’m here, but the words freeze on my tongue before one syllable is uttered.
The Shadow is right there, so close that I can see every detail. The Shadow smiles Ghoulishly—it knows I am here. It’s glowing, icy green eyes glare at the Cat. There is nothing that I can do to warn her. The Shadow reaches out, and touches the very tip of the Cat’s white tipped tail.
She doesn’t stand a chance, and I feel my knees buckle beneath me as the Cat’s eyes glow the same eerie color as the Shadow’s, and the Cat…the Cat smiles. At me.
I try to stand, to run, scream, anything. But I can’t. I am frozen in place. I can’t even breathe.
It seems an eternity as I wait in the silence for the Shadow to make it’s move. I think that perhaps It will make me starve to death. That sounds like something it would do.
And then I hear that laugh. That cold, cruel laugh that haunts my dreams at night. It bounces, echoes, rolls through my head. The pain of that laugh…once again I try to scream, or sob, but I can’t. Tears roll slowly down my face, freezing almost instantly. We found you at last... he cackles. I can’t bear it any more.
I tear my eyes away from the Shadow. It holds no mercy. Instead I look at the Cat, and my breath catches in my throat. She has been inching closer to me while I was looking elsewhere. Feet from me, the Cat’s mouth lolls open, revealing needle sharp teeth and a small, rough tongue that seems to me to be searching for blood. I take all this in in seconds. I know I have few left.
In an instant, the Cat’s body tense, and she leaps for my neck.
The last thing I hear…or perhaps think, I don’t know, It’s all so fuzzy….black around the edges…..