As I lay in my bed, I listened to the sound of the fan. Besides the fact that it kept the room cool, it's steady whir helped put me to sleep. That night was no different than any other. At least, not in the beginning.
It didn't take long before my heavy eyes sank and I began to drift away into dreamland. The steady hum of the fan mixing into my quickly forming dreams. Sleep always came to me quickly back then.
I don't know what time it was but I was wrenched from my sleep in the still late night. Was it some sound that woke me? I didn't know. My heart beat fast and I could feel each thump as it tried to break free from my chest. A few beads of sweat crept across my brow though the room was frigid. Why was it so cold?
Late August was always hot and I ran my rooms fan religiously, praying that it kept my room cool enough to sleep without any discomfort. My room was way too cold for August and my fan wasn't that good. My heart hadn't slowed down any and my hearing seemed to sharpen. I could hear every little sound in the house, as if microphones were hidden all around and transmitting back to my ears.
I heard a door shut. Then, nothing.
I gripped my pillow and sat up straight, straining my ears to pick up any sound. Had I actually heard that? I was alone so I couldn't have. A creak in the hallway downstairs cut through the silence.
As quick as I could, I reached over the side of my bed and pulled up a knife I kept in between my mattress and box spring. Ripping it from its sheath, I held it in front of me, eyes focused on the darkness beyond my open door. I cursed myself for not shutting and locking it.
A low thump sounded from the stairs and I pressed myself back against the wall. Should I just lay there, pretending to be asleep? No, I was far too scared to do that. The sound from the fan seemed to grow louder and soon it was all I could hear. The fan was almost deafening.
Another thump exploded through the fans endless tirade. I sat, frozen in place, eyes stuck on the darkness in front of me. Who was in my house? Why were they? Did they know I was there? My mind hurled unanswerable questions at me and all I could do was just sit and wait.
I could hear each step at that point. They were nearing the top of the stairs. It wouldn't be long and I'd be able to see them step into sight as they cleared the last few steps. Why did they have to put my room right next to the stairs? My mind was telling me to hide, to run, to get up and fight. Anything! All I could do is just sit and wait. It wouldn't be long and all my questions would be answered. Frozen, I sat like a silent statue and watched.
A figure, darker than the dark crested the top of the stairs and stood facing me. I couldn't hear the fan anymore, my heart beat too loud. I was sweating but shivering uncontrollably, my skin felt like ice.
The figure stood motionless, watching me. I squeezed the knife tighter. My mind shouted at me but I couldn't comprehend and before I knew it I had jumped up and ran toward the door. The figure burst toward me and I reached out and flicked the light switch. Light erupted into the room, stinging my eyes. I held the knife out in front of me as I leaned back, hoping to somehow protect myself from whoever or whatever it was.
I stood alone. The figure was gone. I waited there, knife held in front of me, confusion saturating every fibre of my body and mind. What the hell had just happened? After a while I searched the whole house but didn't find anyone. All the doors were still locked, as well as the windows. I left all the lights on just in case.
Finally I went back to bed, this time making sure to shut and lock my bedroom door. Sleep eventually overtook me, thanks to the noise from the fan.
I awoke to my bedroom door opening.