He might hear you.
I am pressed against the wall. My fingers are spread as wide as they will go as my palms press heavily on the drywall. I take a deep breath. Hold it tight. I feel the air escaping my lungs, my circulation; my blood thinning of oxygen as I hold, one, two, three…
I hear Him slither down the hallway. His movements are languid, snake like, as He comes after me. I can imagine it all in my head: the long, thin arms, coiling around every turn and corner, searching for me. Have you ever noticed His face? His eyes—or lack thereof? I have a theory. He doesn't have eyes because He doesn't need them. He hears things. Feels things. Smells things.
I exhale, slowly, hoping not to catch His attention. It's a fruitless thought. He knows where I am. He's only playing with me. A game of cat-and-mouse, where He is the cat, and I am nothing more than a rubber mouse hiding underneath old and rusty furniture. He will find me. It will only be a matter of time.
My fingers curl into knuckles. I bring my arms down to my sides and take a tentative step down the room. Always pressing against the wall because it's dark. I can't even see my own hand in front of me. He killed the lights. I have to wonder if He senses things better in the dark. Every attack I've heard of, the lights have been off, or it's been outside at night with no moon in the sky.
Would it be so awful to die by His hands? Would He play with me, torture me, or make it fast and sleek? Am I prolonging my torment by waiting for Him, by playing into His games?
Crunching sounds. Wet, deep, and throaty chuckles. A snap. I wonder what He's found—then I remember my pet rabbit. He's eating my rabbit. I want to cry and to scream, to find Him and kill Him for this. I can't move, though. I've been immobilized by fear and by the wet choking sounds coming from the other room. I hear a damp tearing sound and wonder what part of the body He is eating now. My rabbit didn't even squeal—didn't even notice the Monster creeping up on it.
The slow, steady, drip, drip, drip of blood platters against the ground. In the silence, I can hear it, only punctuated by the low grinding coming from His mouth. Ploop. Crunch, ploop. Does He drink blood?
There is a sound like a zip of electricity and the lights flicker to life.
The crunching stops. Then, a small and husky giggle. I feel as if I am about to faint as I look around the room frantically. Where to hide? Where will He be least likely to look first?
I dive beneath the bed. I barely fit as I shimmy my way into the small space as silently as I can. Once I am settled, I roll over to look out from beneath the bed. There is a small area where the sheets do not meet the floor. I can see the door to the bedroom and shadows as they dance all around the dark and cramped space.
I hold my breath. One, two, three….
The slow slithering. Down the hallway. I see His shadow growing bigger, then smaller, in the doorframe, as he comes closer to the light.
Finally, His legs are visible. Long, black fabric touches the floor. I see no sign of feet, and in the last moments of my life, I wonder if He even needs to walk—or if he simply floats.
He walks into the room and turns around. I don't dare exhale, although my lungs are screaming for release.
He walks closer. Closer still. I feel the air growing stale and old inside my chest. I am growing dizzy, although I can't tell if it's from the lack of oxygen or from the spine-wrenching fear.
The movement stops. He begins to kneel.
He lifts the sheets and bends down low, so that his face slowly comes into my view.
And he smiles.