by C. Ikpoh
Slowly, Cassandra opened the door, anticipating the gloom on the other side. The room displayed an aftermath of otherworldly events. A lamp in the corner teetered from side-to-side on its once circular shade, now more square in shape. As Cassandra crept past the edge of the door, Chris sharply whispered, "Shh! It's here. Shh! Listen. Do you hear that?"
Cassandra's heart pounded frantically against her sternum. Nevertheless, she remained poised and calm on the outside. Every fiber of her being screamed for her to run; her sixth sense knew what was present with them in the room. Yet, she would not allow fear to make her abandon Chris. "I am listening," she replied.
Silence befell their surroundings. The lamp ceased rolling, leaving the light bulb facing the corner. There was very little illumination emanating from it. "There, there! You didn't hear that?" Chris inquired excitedly. He was trembling uncontrollably while curled in the fetal position, spine pressed against a dresser. Cassandra knew she could not move him. His fear stapled him in place, rendering him immobile. Then, suddenly, the sound of a lingering breath entered the room. The temperature noticeably dropped many degrees. "Please tell me you heard that, Cassandra. Please!" Chris pleaded in a maddening whisper.
"It was just a draft, Chri..." Cassandra's lie was interrupted by a high increase in the breath's volume. The noise penetrated their ears, ringing their brains with horror. Chris forcefully buried his face into his folded arms placed over his knees. Cassandra glanced around the room in an attempt to identify the origin of the noise. As her sight reached the lamp, the light bulb burst, causing them both to jump from being startled. The air was thick as fog. It became slightly more difficult to breathe. Then, it happened: a bone chilling cackle emerged from the darkest corner of the room. Their adversary was alive.
In a deep, bellowing, almost digitally robotic voice, the being said, "Hello, Cassandra. Welcome." The door slammed shut behind her. Wood floor boards around the two creaked as it walked closer. Cassandra wanted to ball up on the floor next to Chris. However, she stood tall, easing her way back from the being. The cackling commenced, followed by the horrific voice repeatedly calling out to her, "Cassandra," while supernatural whispers flooded the air. Distracted from her whereabouts, it was not long before Cassandra backed herself between the being and a hard place. Nervously, she tossed her hair from left to right when she realized her body was against an immovable object leaving her with no place to turn. "Slowly, I will gnaw away at your soul from the inside, Cassandra," the being promised as more supernatural whispers lingered around them.
Tears trickled down her face. The intensity of her impending doom shattered her resolve. Cassandra was quickly becoming uncoiled. However, before the being could ravage her, an arm yanked Cassandra by the hand, pulling her entire body to the floor. Chris had worked up the courage to move from the dresser and release her from the wall where she was paralyzed. Momentarily, she had escaped. Nevertheless, the two were still trapped inside the corner room, seemingly with no hope for survival.