Alone in the house, I looked out the window just in time to catch a glimpse at the faint shadow creeping towards the back entrance. I suspected that it must have been an animal of sorts, for no one in their right mind would choose to trudge through such a substantial snowfall. I resumed my spot in my novel, the thought of the silhouette already forgotten, until I was startled by a hair-raising screech along the wood siding. It was in that moment that I noticed the uncanny bitterness in the air, and a chill shot up my spine. I had forgotten to lock the back door. Will all the courage I could muster, I rose from my chair and began to frantically search for my phone. Just as I realized I had left my phone to charge downstairs, a hair-raising creek shuddered throughout the house, followed by the rattle of a slammed door. Could it have been the wind? What if it was something else? Could it be someone looking for shelter from the storm? I crept through the doorway and started for the stairs, wondering if my house had always seemed somber and peculiar. I had almost reached the bottom of the staircase when the floorboard let out a blood-curdling shriek. The rattle of chains echoed as a flicker of orange crossed my vision. Could it be a lost dog? C-could it just be wearing a Halloween costume? These thoughts did little comfort my racing imagination, and my mind became hysterical with sinister scenarios and twisted creatures. My life began to flash before my eyes and as a tear snuck down my cheek, I decided that my apprehension was getting the best of me. “Who’s th-there?” I called into the darkness half-heartedly, not expecting the agonising cackle I received in response. I stifled my whimper as tears streamed down my face in droves and ominous thoughts invaded my head. Why me? What did I ever do wrong? Will I ever live to be 30? Knowing that my only hope was reaching my phone, I inched my way into the kitchen and around the corner. The chattering of chains re-emerged, and hushed as I edged closer. I quickened my pace, the phone now in sight as I suddenly received a call. It was my mother. I dashed the remaining distance and frantically answered, waiting for a familiar voice to respond. “Mom… Mommy… Mom can you hear me?” Removing the phone from my ear I glanced at the screen now displaying, “No Service.” “No, but I can,” hissed the creature, so close that his breath raised the hair on my back. There was no escape.