What was that?
You bolt upright.
Groggy from a sleep cut short, you stay still to let your eyes adjust to the dark. The house is silent, yet you feel an uneasy presence. You scan the room, glancing briefly at the bedside clock. Three in the morning.
Suddenly, a remote, rustling noise.
No. It can’t be.
You hold your breath and listen. Motionless.
Swoosh. Swoosh. Swoosh. Faint shuffle of feet being dragged across the floor at the far corner of the house. A pause.
You take a deep breath. Silence.
You exhale. Nothing.
Then an eerie, unmistakable sound of a door creaking open.
The shuffling continues. Louder now. More tangible. Then it stops once more.
You force your eyes to focus.
At the end of the narrow corridor, silhouetted against the living room window, looms a dark, featureless figure. It sways silently in bleak moonlight. Outside, in the distance, a dog howls.
With a sharp jerk, the ghostly visitor swivels and looks right at you. It sees you now, despite the darkness of the bedroom.
You thought this was over!
The ghost starts to amble in your direction. Slow, deliberate steps. It doesn’t speak. All it produces is a rhythmic sucking sound.
You’re frozen in place.
The figure locks eyes with you and speeds up, each step now punctuated by a thud.
This must stop. It has to stop.
The phantom comes to an abrupt halt just a few feet from you. It hovers there, still shrouded by shadows. Reaching into its unseen mouth, the specter grabs hold of something and yanks it out.
“I had a bad dream. Can I sleep with you, Daddy?”
You sigh, then smile.
“Sure, little monkey. Climb in.”
You slide over to make room for her. She snuggles up to you, puts the pacifier back in, and clutches your hand. Soon, she’s sleeping.
Tomorrow. She’ll stay in her bed tomorrow.