Feelers

You awaken to footfalls outside your door, despite living alone. The low-pitched, irregular breathing that resounds through the hallway is unlike any human you've ever heard. Footfalls to heavy to be human feet echo outside the door. Your mind shifts to mundane, but comprehensible possibilities like a burglar or errant animal. Your mind frantically searches for any weapons you can envision within reach. Imagination, memory, and will fail you, leaving you frozen indecisively.

It stops moving outside the door, and you jump into action. You lock the door and brace yourself against it, praying you didn't make enough of a clangor to anger it. The thin, wooden door and flimsy lock is all that separates you from your uninvited guest. Instead of reacting with an animalistic fury, it instead waits inscrutably outside the door.

It takes you a moment to realize what is amiss. A narrow, tendril-like appendage slides up from under the door. It reminds you of the fiber-optic wands used by police to search rooms before entering, but this is clearly no machine like you've ever seen. The end terminates in a glistening black eyespot like an obsidian sphere, which is unmistakably trained on you. Summoning your own half-forgotten urge to fight back, you smash it with your heel. It feels like warm jelly against your naked skin.

There are no agonized cries from behind that door. Instead, the shadow passes away wordlessly, as though bored. You wait in silence before what seems like an eternity, before you return once more to sleep. When you awaken, you believe you've just experienced some bizarre nightmare. The stain on the floor, and the warm sensation on your foot, may suggest otherwise.