Thank god the first week is over and I’m finally in bed.

I roll from my side onto my back and look towards the ceiling. The paint is peeling off, little broken piece by little-broken piece. It’s nothing bizarre, just chipped paint. My roommate’s quiet, slow breathing shows she’s asleep. Lucky girl.

Something moves by the window. My eyes shift to it. The chill climbs from the base of

my spine into the nape of my neck. There’s nothing there. Just my roommate’s desk and coat rack. Nothing more. It’s okay. Breathe, relax. Breathe, it is okay. My heart rate decrescendos to normalcy. I turn my eyes turn back to the ceiling.

Maybe counting sheep will help me sleep this time. Couldn’t hurt.

One fluffy sheep. Two fluffy sheep. Three fluffy sheep. Four fluffy sheep. Five fluffy…sheep… Six…fl…uffy…sheep… Seven…fluffy…sheep…

My head rolls to the side as sleep cradles my being.

There’s something there. There’s really something there. I can see it. Its profile, the lupine face. Can it see me? It’s not actually there. Right?

The profile turns towards me. Oh no. No. NO. It can. Holy shit. It can. It can see me. IT. CAN. SEE. ME.

I scramble for my phone. To catch a picture. To prove it’s real. To show someone. Anyone.

I can prove it. His profile rises up, turning into an inchoate mass that swallows up my roommate’s side of the room. It’s so close to her, but she’s not waking up. I have to save her, but first I need proof.

I sit up and take a picture in the dark. I hope it worked—Dear God. He’s getting bigger. His form fills up the room.

What happened to the room? My broken lamp? My roommate’s bed? Why does it feel so heavy? What is pushing on me?

He glides to my bed, without sound. His arm extends over my feet and legs, slowly and rigidly like an arthritic hand.

Leaning over and raising his arm, the breath leaves my body and I collapse back onto my bed. I’m in complete darkness.

My alarm rings; it’s 9 am again. I shut off the alarm on my phone and check the time.

The photo app is still up… What’s this? It’s a dark picture of the room. I can see my roommate sleeping… that’s so weird…

What the hell is that by the coat rack?

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Samantha Henry

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