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She crouched, shivering as she forced her body deep inside the crowded closet. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she couldn’t help shuddering as her fingertips grazed the clots of blood and flesh that she’d been sprayed with. Gritting her teeth, she fought to maintain control though she felt the bile rising as her stomach churned.

An ear-splitting scream mingled with the guttural gurgles that resembled mirthful cackling. She heard panting and the indelicate, wet slapping of bare feet scurrying down the hallway toward the closet. Her eyes flicked upward to the knob of the door and she grasped at it. Leaning back and pressing herself against the other items inside the closet, she used all her strength to keep the knob from turning. As it rattled in her hands she heard the shriek of frustration and terror.

“Please!” came a frantic female voice as the doorknob was tried again. “I know you’re in there! I heard you come this way. Let me in! Why is this happening?”

The closet inhabitant closed her eyes, leaning her forehead against the cool wooden door as she did her best to ignore the pleading while maintaining her grip. She had no idea why this was happening. How could she? She wasn’t even supposed to be there…

“PLEASE!” the voice on the other side of the door hissed. “You can’t just stay in there and let this happen to me! Why won’t you… NO!”

Pleas turned to a harsh choking, followed by the breaking of bones and an eerie, high-pitched giggle before the unmistakable sounds of flesh being ripped and consumed as the whimpering of the victim turned into a raspy keening before being silenced.

From within the closet, the olfactory senses of the inhabitant were overwhelmed by the stench of blood, her hearing assailed by the sounds of sloppy consumption, and the slipperiness of blood that crept beneath the crack of the closet door.

Minutes passed even after the smacking ceased, and she glimpsed the hulking shadow on the other side of the door from beneath the crack. She heard its purring as if contented by the meal, and there were no other screams.

That was it, then. The others were gone. She was the last one left.

She remained still, wondering how long she’d have to wait it out before the coast was clear while hoping that her departed friend hadn’t made the thing aware that there was still someone left to hunt.  The grip upon the doorknob trembled a bit but held fast.

A flickering shadow of movement beneath the door locked her into place. There was no time to react as the shadow suddenly shifted, the door burst apart, and she screamed as she was snatched into the hallway.

 – Excerpt from Duality, available NOW on Amazon

Copyright © 2018 Ametra S. Rayford.
All rights reserved.