Hey Guys, VortexisDragon here.

This is my first time publishing anything on here, so I hope you all enjoy it! I'm trying to expand my interests in writing and this seemed like the best way to get started. So reviews will be very much appreciated! But if not, that's fine too, I just want to share really.

Thanks for choosing to read my little short story! Hope you like it!


Tink

When the lights first flickered, it was so fast she thought she was seeing things, simply glancing up to her light before shrugging and going back to her book. For a couple minutes, all was quiet, the only sound being the soft turning of pages as she read. But once more, the lights flickered, the darkness permeating the air for much longer than before, the short seconds seemingly taking full minutes before the golden artificial light replaced the inky darkness. The girl continued to sit on her bed with a book in her lap, frowning lightly, and brows creasing as she stared at the light. Making a decision, she opened a drawer next to her bed and retrieved a flash light, placing it well within reach just in case.

She began to read again, but as her eyes scanned the page, she noticed the room was no longer as silent as before. There seemed to be a quiet tink noise sounding from her light. Dragging her eyes from the text in her lap, she turned toward the lamp and tried to pick out what the sound was.

Tink. There it was again. It sounded almost as if something was tapping on the glass of the light. She put her book down and focused entirely on listening.

Tink. Again.

Tink.

Tink.

It seemed to be getting faster. She rose from her bed and walked slowly towards the light. As she came closer, the sound picked up even more.

Tink. Tink. TinkTinkTink. She reached for the light.

TINK. The sound suddenly peaked, hitting a high note as the light went out. She was plunged back into darkness, back into silence. The only sound to be heard in the small room came from her quick breathing and racing heart. She put a hand to her chest as she waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. She took deep breaths, shaking her head. Why was she getting so freaked out over nothing? It was probably just some prank meant to scare her. But a part of her remained unconvinced.

She reached for her flashlight, flicking it on, determined to go investigate the strange power outage. She quietly opened the door, the creak of the hinges sounding like fireworks in the silence of the empty hallway. Moving the flashlight back and forth down the hall, she breathed a sigh of relief before chastising herself: What are you thinking, this isn't some horror movie, there's no monsters in the shadows. She continued to the stairs, trying to avoid the creaks in the floorboards. Entering the kitchen, she headed towards the garage door, which would lead to the breaker.

A floorboard suddenly creaked behind her. She froze, hand still on the doorknob. What was that? Her breathing grew harsher, the sound pounding in her ears as she listened intently. Slowly, a low keening growl sounded from somewhere behind her. The flashlight shook in her trembling hands as her heart raced, a cold sweat building on her forehead. The keening got louder, a mix between nails on chalkboard and strained growling.

Slowly, she turned, the shaking beam of light following her vision. The light had almost reached directly behind her when it happened.

The light went out. The keening stopped. Once more, she was plunged into the black silence. She waited, frozen as she held her breath. She had lost all light, unable to see anything. Paralyzed with fear, there she stood, blindly searching the darkness, trying to hear over the pounding of her own heart.

A footstep sounded, claws striking against the cold wooden floorboards. Warm, rasping breath struck against her face. The flashlight dropped from numb fingers as she stumbled backwards, unable to even scream. I have to get away. I have to get away. Get away, get away, get away. The mantra repeated over and over in her head as she half-ran half-stumbled over to where she hoped the stairs were. Her eyes were finally beginning to adjust and she almost wept with joy upon connecting with the bottom step.

Another footstep sounded in the near silence, the clicking of claws wiping all trace of joy from her head as she scrambled up the stairs, the low keening growl echoing up the stairs behind her, urging her faster. She almost tripped on the final step as she rushed to her door, fumbling with the knob before it mercifully opened, allowing her to quickly rush inside before closing and locking the door shut behind her.

She stood, frozen behind the door for what seemed like hours, even days, before that haunting keen finally stopped. She allowed herself a sigh of relief as her legs collapsed from underneath her, trembling as cold sweat dripped down her body. She leaned against the door, holding her head in her hands, eyes wide as she tried to process what had just happened. It was insane, what was that thing? And how did it get here? Why was it after me? Why? Why, why, why! Her thoughts flashed, panicked across her head before stopping all together.

Her mind went blank in shock as she shook against the door, silently weeping. The only thing she could register was the chill in the air, the darkness surrounding her, and the sound of her rapid heartbeat and stifled sobs.

Tink. All movement stopped. Her head snapped in the direction of the dead light in the corner, staring at it in horrified despair. No. Please, no. A freezing chill seeped into her room.

Tink. A weight settled on her upper arm.

Tink. The other arm too.

Tink. Tink. Clawed fingers dug into her flesh. She was vaguely aware of warm, sticky fluid running down her arms.

Tink. Tink. The growling keen was back, sounding far too close for any sort of comfort.

Tink, Tink, TINK. She was yanked backwards, slamming against the door as the sound abruptly stopped. Everything vanished. All feeling, all sound, all sight. There was nothing. Nothing but the black silence.


She awoke with a scream, sitting bolt upright as wild, panicked eyes flashed across the room. Her breathing came in heavy pants as she searched her surroundings. The light. Her wide eyes froze on the innocent lamp in the corner, bright light shining from its top.

What? Was it all a dream, a nightmare?

Slowly, her mind fell quiet as she repeated it over and over in her head. Just a nightmare, just a nightmare, just a nightmare. Shaking her head at the thoughts, she shivered. What a terrible dream, her hands going to her arms at the mere memory of that clammy, painful grip.

She slowly got up, heading to the bathroom, intent on clearing her head when she saw it. Ice filled her veins as she stared at the bright red liquid coating her hands, running down her arms, and filling the room with the acidic scent of copper. Her mouth went dry as she stared, horrified at the image in the mirror. Her body coated in sweat, her hair sticking to her head, rivets of blood dripping down her arms onto the cold tile floor.

She sucked in a sharp breath upon seeing the dark, purple-black bruises encircling her upper arms. The shadowy marks of long fingers curled around her biceps; crimson, bleeding puncture wounds where the claws had bit into her skin. She stared, entranced, as her lifeblood dripped slowly onto the floor from her shaking hands. That was no nightmare, she realized.

The dark, scratching chuckle that sounded behind her only managed to confirm her thoughts. No nightmare, indeed.