Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
It was the dead of night when the noises started. Sophie had always been a light sleeper, and she woke up almost instantly. What had woken her? The noise came again, sort of a scritchy sound that seemed to be coming directly from her left. Probably just a tree branch, scraping the house. It kind of sounded like it could be. Sophie tried to tell herself that’s what it was, but she didn’t really believe it. She pulled the covers closer, palms sweating. There was the scratching again. It had moved, closer to her head. Tree branches didn’t move. Her heart began to race and her hands started to shake.
It came again. Louder. Closer. Should she get up and turn on the light? Get up and go to her parents’ room? No. Don’t move. Um. What was that. Stay put. Don’t move. Okay, there was a weird voice in her head. Not good. Building up her courage, she ripped off the covers and ran for the door. Sophie raced down the hall and slammed the bedroom door behind her. The scritching stopped.
Grabbing blankets from the guest bedroom, she flopped onto the couch and stayed there. Her parents would wonder why she was there in the morning, but it didn’t matter. Eventually, Sophie fell asleep.
Sophie worried about the voice all the next day. It had been very strange. She considered telling somebody, but they would just think she was crazy. Maybe she had just been dreaming, or hearing things, or only half awake. As the day wore on, she grew more and more apprehensive. That night, despite her better judgement, she went back to her room. She was fine, it was just one weird occurrence. Sophie stayed up a while, reading with the light on. I should turn off the light. The thought wasn’t hers. It had come out of nowhere. But something else would say ‘you’, not ‘I’, right? Anyways, it was getting late. Yes, it’s late, and I should turn off the light. Hearing voices was bad. Sophie had watched enough horror movies to know that. But this is different. This is MY voice. I shouldn’t worry about it. I… I guess it’s okay. Isn’t it? Yes, it’s okay. I should turn off the light now. Sophie hesitantly turned off the light. She held her breath, as if expecting to happen. Nothing’s going to happen, I’m just being weird. Yep, it must have just been that noise last night. Freaked me right out. But I should try to go to sleep now. Yes, I should go to sleep. Sophie tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. It was very hot in there. She finally fell asleep.
But, just after midnight, the scritching started again. It was just a tree branch. No, it wasn’t a tree branch, it was a tree branch scratching the house. Hey, I’m telling this story here! No, you’re not. I am. Stop it! Never. So the tree branch continued to scratch. Sophie lay very still. But it’s just a tree branch. I shouldn’t worry. Yeah, just a … tree branch. But she just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was very hot in the room. No, she couldn’t get comfortable because it was so hot. Ugh! Go away! Let me tell my story! Please. Just let me finish the story, okay? Fine. No more interruptions? I promise. Great. So Sophie just couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t a tree branch, that it was some sort of horrid creature, scratching along the side of her house. But it’s hot. I should open up a window. I guess it’s a little warm. But- I should open up a window. Fine, fine, I’ll open a window!
Sophie got up and opened a window. She peered out, half expecting something to happen. When nothing did, she let out a sigh of relief. Suddenly, a scaly, ugly hand shot out and snatched her wrist, dirty nails digging into her flesh. Sophie shrieked. The hand dragged her forward, out the window. She yelled louder. Upstairs, her parents heard the scream end abruptly.
Sophie was never seen again.
Just like you. Wait, what? You said you would leave me alone! Until the end of the story. And we have reached the end. No! Please no! I have a family! And friends! You should have thought about that before you wrote about me.
But wait! Please! N-
And you, reader. I see you, too.
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