This week's word is: SINISTER singularly evil or productive of evil This will put you in a Halloween sort of mood, I hope!
A noise woke her, and Karen turned on her side fretfully, hoping to return to sleep. She had a big presentation tomorrow, and she needed to be well rested. Something about the noise jarred her, her body sensing danger. She opened her eyes to a sinister darkness. What time was it? She could see nothing in the blackness of the hotel room, and yet her heart was pounding, and she was afraid. Why? She hesitated to draw in a breath; the very air seemed malevolent, suffocating. Cloying as the grave, it seemed to pour itself down her throat like sand, and her lungs coughed with the thickness of it, like drowning. In the midst of her coughing fit, she heard the noise again. A sighing sound. A whisper of movement underneath the sheets. A subtle fluctuation of the mattress.
There was someone in the bed with her. Something, Karen's instincts told her, her fear ratcheted up several notches. The air around her moved, a dark ocean current, as if a hand were reaching out to fondly caress her. Karen's hackles rose at the thought; she imagined a decayed skeletal hand pulling at her tresses as the empty-eyed skull grimaced, ignoring her screams. Questions careened through her mind. Does it know that I'm awake? Would I have enough time to turn on the light before whatever it is got to me? Am I crazy?
What if I pretend that I am still asleep? Karen vaguely remembered the cardinal rule of childhood monsters: pretend that you're asleep, the monsters can't get you. The minute that you noticed the monsters, the second that you screamed, you were theirs to play with. Could she do that--pretend to be asleep, when every cell in her body was screaming for her to run? She closed her eyes and said a small prayer, as whatever was in the bed with Karen sighed, and the air around her swirled with purpose.