Something was watching her from across the room. She could feel its gaze boring into her, burning holes in her skin and making it crawl. Every now and then she could see the orange-red glow of eyes beneath the bed or hear a scrape as a clawed appendage was dragged across the cold tile floor. It was enough to drive anyone mad but for Samantha it was commonplace. This thing, this unknown entity had been with her for some weeks now, always coming when the lights went out but never revealing itself or its purpose for stalking the shadows with such vicious intent.
Sometimes it spoke to her, not in words but in whispers she did not understand. A garbled tongue foreign to her ears. Some days it was coaxing and inviting in attempts to lull her into a false sense of security. Most days it was harsh and frightening full of danger and foreboding. A majority of the time, however, the thing just watched.
Tonight was no different, or at least it would have been no different if Samantha had simply tugged the covers up over her head and willed the thing to leave her be. That was not the case. Oh no. Tonight, she decided, tonight she would be brave and she was going to confront the beast in the shadows. Crawling to the edge of the bed, which had grown larger over the past several seconds and seemed to go on forever, she peered over the edge and tried to see down into the darkness.
Without warning something grabbed hold of her hair and jerked her downward. Instead of hitting the floor as one might suspect she just tumbled into unrelenting darkness. It consumed her like a living thing, filling her mouth when she tried to scream and choking the air from her lungs. Panic seized her and she began to fight against some invisible force trying to hold her steady. That garbled voice began in earnest, echoing in her mind and assuring her that everything would be alright even though she couldn't distinguish a single word (if any were being said at all). Shaking her head violently she tore her arms free and waved them around in search of something to grab to stop her descent. Just when she thought she could fall no more she hit something soft and yielding.
When she opened her eyes she was back in her tiny room. Her bed was a tangled mess of sheets (which had wound their way around her legs whilst she kicked and struggled). A thin beam of light illuminated the floor where it filtered in through a tiny window on the door. Save for a desk and chair there was no other furniture in the room. She was completely alone -- or was she? In the corner of the room, furthest from the light, those eyes glimmered.
Samantha opened her mouth and screamed.