The lightning and the knock happened simultaneously. I stood in my bedroom, silently willing the creature to leave me alone tonight.
The knock came again, louder, more insistent, more threatening. I scrunched my eyes closed and forced my hand over my mouth to stop from sobbing.
The creature began desperately clawing and howling; a high piercing sound that seemed to resonate through my entire body.
I let out a whimper and pressed my hand tighter to my mouth, trying not to make a sound but helpless to stop the tears from forming.
I stood there for what seemed an eternity, listening to the creature’s growls, smelling its fetid breath.
My face was still scrunched tight when the howling became less frequent, less piercing, and the clawing began to subside.
My tears began drying as I felt the small glint of hope that it would not take me tonight.
Slowly, silence descended. I remained standing in my bedroom until I was sure the creature had gone.
No, the creature had not taken me tonight. It would be back, that was certain. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, but tonight I had survived.
I took the noose from around my neck and stepped down from the chair.