Remy opened her eyes and was as surprised as she was relieved that no one was standing over her.
The excitement of moving into her own place had waned over the past couple of weeks. Her nightly routine grew to consist of jumping at every little sound and feeling as though she were being watched.
Her mom insisted that she just wasn’t used to being alone. There was truth to that considering she grew up with three sisters and had roommates all through college.
Her best friend went further comparing her to an amputee—her family and roommates were her phantom limbs.
As she lay in bed Remy desperately wanted to believe they were right. That she was being paranoid and just needed to adjust to the newness of it all.
Keep your eyes closed and breathe, she told herself. Just breathe.
As her eyelids kissed, she committed herself to focusing on her breathing. Deep inhales and exhales softened her muscles and slowed her heartbeat. Her mind quieted and grew less muddled.
It was working.
Her body was enveloped in a lightness that made her feel as if she were floating. Her fearful thoughts became too weak to push through her drowsiness. She was on a cloud drifting blissfully toward sleep.
A faint scraping sound overhead instinctively threw her into panic mode and her eyes flew open before she could stop herself.
Goosebumps riddled her body as the hairs stood on end. Her breathing grew shallow and her heart pounded so violently against her rib cage that the pulse radiated all the way down to her toes. The pulsing rushed blood to her ears drowning her in white noise.
Frozen in terror, she couldn’t tear her eyes away.
Shafts of light rained down from two small holes in the ceiling.
From the attic.
She felt a tear escape her eye and roll down her cheek toward the pillow as the first hole disappeared.
It wasn’t until the second hole darkened that she finally screamed.