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By Oishaani Das “Ready or not, here I come.”

Your breaths turn shallow and panicked, you can feel the bile beginning to rise in your throat. You round the corner into a hallway. You can barely make out anything beyond a foot in front of you; the hallway has no end. A silence lurks in the hall, broken only by the untraceable yet unmistakable sound of a clock: tick-tock, tick-tock.

You let your hands guide you, feeling about for any sort of opening to a room. The walls are dusty and bare. Your fingers, previously electric with adrenaline, are starting to turn numb from the cold. Is it really that chilly or has your blood turned to ice?

You continue down the hall and the clock gets louder; tick-tock, tick-tock

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.” 

The sound is odd; you can hear their words but they have no distinct voice. It has more clarity now; a clear indicator of the person- or thing-’s increasing proximity. 

You start to shake as fear seizes you, clouding your head like smoke. You can’t let it find you, you can’t.

The walls of the hallway still betray not a hint of an escape route nor a hiding spot, not one piece of furniture but the invisible clock; tick-tock, tick-tock. A broken whimper escapes your lips. In the midst of such excruciating silence, you could have all but cried out. You clamp your hand over your mouth and dare not to breathe.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

It’s advancing.

Your blood is not your blood anymore but a torrent of terror pulsating through your veins. Your fingers tremble uncontrollably against the unrelentingly blank walls. Your breathing is so broken you have to hold your breath. You close your eyes and the darkness makes the difference indistinguishable.

You feel something. Something you can grab.

Your desperation conquers your senses and you yank it with all your might before you can think it through. The sound of glass shattering echoes through the hall. 

You bite down on your own palm to stifle your shriek. You feel little glass buds prickling into your skin, your ears ringing from how abruptly and unpleasantly the silence ended. You would probably smell the blood if it wasn’t starkly overpowered by the smell of fear. 

You run.

You feel your senses beginning to slip away. You can’t see. You can’t hear, you can’t feel. 

Your footsteps pounding off the walls have become your only reminder that you still exist.

“Here I come.”

You let out a devastatingly long, horror-stricken scream. It ceases suddenly when your body hits a wall. You ricochet to the floor. 

It’s a dead end. Your hands feel disembodied as they scour the wall; nothing.

It’s going to find you.

You turn your back to the wall and close your eyes.


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