It’s dark, so dark that I have to strain just to see my hand in front of my face. The moon and stars are hiding behind ominous clouds. I use the wall to guide my steps, being careful not to walk into anything.
I don’t know what brought me here. All I know is that something feels strangely off. Other than the sound of my own heartbeat drumming in my ears, all that can be heard is the faint whisper of wind. The stillness of the night is unnerving and my mind keeps warping sinister images before me.
I jump when a resounding bang goes off a few feet behind me. I quickly whirl around but I’m unable to see anything but the blackness in the dead of the night. Horrified, my breathing shallows.
A shiver runs down my spine and adrenalin quickly pumps through my veins. And then I hear it – a chilling scream! Out of terror, I freeze. I’m forced to hear what sounds like an ongoing battle. Ear-splitting sounds echo around me and my blood curdles.
Trembling, I force one foot in front of the other but I seem to be moving in circles. If anything, I’m moving toward the scream and not away from it. I unknowingly enter the room where it happened.
Soft groaning alerts me of another presence. My gaze drifts to the floor and I’m able to detect the indistinct outline of a human crawling across the floor.
I get on my haunches in an attempt to help. As I do, a metallic smell fills my nostrils and a wave of nausea rolls through me. Blood is oozing from her deep wounds and she’s leaving a blood trail in her wake. The puddle of blood seeps into the carpet and taints it into a disturbing scarlet color.
I hover over her body, uncertain, before flipping her onto her back. Her face is unrecognizable. Warm blood bubbles from her mouth as her eyes turn lifeless and her face ashen. I hear her gurgle before she inhales sharply and then…silence.
Heavy footsteps come from behind me before cold air hits my neck. I whip around and make out the silhouette of someone standing there, staring at me through the darkness. Horrified, I take a few steps back until my back hits the window of the room. The person follows my movements, cornering me.
For a split second, the clouds part and moonlight filters through the glass. I gasp loudly in shock when my eyes meet his.
“Bryan?” I ask, terrified.
I look down at his hands and stumble clumsily when I see that they are drenched to the elbow in blood.
“What did you do?” I whisper in fear.
He stalks toward me, his expression morphing into something monstrous, something heinous.
“Mary,” he drawls slowly, “help me clean up.”
His voice drips with malevolence. The cruel glimmer in his eyes is unfamiliar to me. I don’t know this version of him. He’s a stranger to me.
Petrified, I shake my head and step back yet again, pressing myself further into the window.
I turn to make a run for it but he viciously yanks my arm, pulling me to an abrupt halt. He stares down at me with a crooked look, clearly unstable, before letting out a deafening shout.
Filled with aggression, he shakes me back and forth violently before giving me one final shove.
“Help me, Mary!”
My feet slip out from underneath me. I feel the glass shattering beneath my weight. And then I’m plummeting to the ground…
I suddenly wake up, drenched in sweat.
My heart is racing and my hands are shaking. My subconscious won’t let me forget what happened four days ago. Liz Montgomery was found face-down, dead, in a pool of her own blood. Besides the body, was a name she’d written in blood: ‘Bry’.