Dreams haunted Alex's sleep. The images and taunting voices frightened her to the very core of her being. Her name whispered in her head while she twisted around her bed sheets. Little beads of sweat formed around her brow as she desperately tried to wake up. The more she tried the louder the voices got, until they were a continuous stream of shouts in her head.
She felt cold, her cheek felt like ice, the feeling seemed to spread from her cheek all the way down to her toes. Just when she thought the dream would engulf her into bitter darkness a voice so familiar sounded, not in her dream but in her waking state.
Alex lurched awake, sitting up in her bed and looking about the small and shadow covered room in desperation. Her breathe seemed to have been taken away and would get stuck in her throat. The ice cold feeling had faded from her body but the feeling that it had been there was still fresh in Alex's mind.
The room was empty and cold as her heart. No life or presence haunted these walls, although Alex couldn't get the feeling out of her head that something had happened in this room only seconds before while she slept. Her hearing was picking up not even the slightest movement or sound except of the pounding of the wind outside her window and the rhythmic breathing of Sophia in the room across the hall from hers. Alex felt a sudden need to know that she was ok.
She threw off the thin blankets that surrounded her and stepped out of the bed, making it creak as she did so. When her feet touched the floor the feeling of cold dry floorboards numbed them. Her dressing gown was silky and smooth as she slipped it on while moving towards the old wooden door. More creaking as she slid it open and peered out into the gloomy hallway. It looked old and seemed to echo with the wind.
Alex made her way to the door with the odd claw marks that she had seem the day before on it and twisted the handle, which seemed to be incredibly loose, like it had been turned or rattled too many times and peeked inside. The small blond figure who slept was dreaming a peaceful dream, her breathing was steady and a small smile played at her lips. Alex felt a little silly for worrying unnecessarily like she did and closed the door.
A sudden movement that not even a petty human could miss struck the corner of Alex's eye. She whirled around and while doing so moved into a defensive position and grabbed the doorframe with her hand ready to take on any threat. A threat that was no longer there. Empty space filled the area that was the top of the stairs that led down to the hallway. Alex had seem enough sneak attacks in her life to know that she had to be careful when approaching the stairs, she wouldn't ruin her family's reputation of deadly skill and sneakiness now. She crept down the hall and to the top of the stairs. It wasn't until she had made it to the second top step before she realised that water had been spilled at an enormous rate down the stairs and through the downstairs hall. Too much water to have accidently spilled but enough to send a very real chill of fear down Alex's spine. The water seemed to be dripping from one stair to the next in a slow and meaningful way as she silently crept down the stairs and through the hall.
Unknowingly to Alex, a presence was in the house with her, and was silently seeking her out.
The room at the end of the hall was an empty kitchen, filled with chairs and a table, and a huge fireplace on the far wall. Perfectly ordinary and empty. Alex turned away from the kitchen and followed the stream of water back towards the stairs. She had made it halfway when a creak made her stop in her tracks. The creak had come from behind her, and Alex was suddenly aware of a new stream of breathes apart from her own. A person was on the other end of the hall behind her, Alex knew it and believed it with every fibre of her being. Although she felt no want to turn around. Alex couldn't feeling anything except for the ice cold floorboards beneath her feet and the cold fear that had frozen her bones. Alex had not been afraid of anything for years and yet here she was afraid of even the dark shadows that surrounded her. The person had not moved since she felt the presence behind her but now it slowly moved on unmoving feet toward Alex. To Alex this was impossible, she would have been able to feel the vibrations of the floor when the person took a step shouldn't she? No, no vibrations. Only the small sound breathing. Alex's hands started to shake with horror when by the corner of her she spied the shadow of the figure on the wall next to her. It did not horrify her that there was a figure behind her, no she already had known that, what horrified her was that the small body of the person was suspended in mid air, half a foot off the ground with nothing holding them up, they were just silently floating towards her. As the person got closer Alex could make out the new sound of dripping water, dripping water that was coming off the floating person.
The drips would have driven her mad if not for the new distraction of the persons breathing, which had started to hitch in their throats. Making an awful moaning sound that wouldn't seise. As if the person was taking a never ending breathe. By the shadow Alex could make out the small nose and chin of the person and the spikes of their hair. It was a girl dressed in what looked like a long dress that stopped at her feet.
They were about a foot from Alex now and Alex knew she would have to do something or the strange girl might put a knife in her back. She flexed her fingers in anticipation, never taking her eyes off the girl who had stopped moving and now just floated there, not a few inches from her back. Alex was about to turn around and grab the girl when an unmistakable drop of the coldest water hit her neck and a small voice said in the way that sounded dead and afraid "Alex, Help us, please". Alex, seising the opportunity whirled around and struck out at the girl how had so harmlessly begged her. But caught nothing but thin air. Alex had frozen in mid stance, staring out around her with a blank expression. Her hands no longer shook and the ice cold feeling had left her, she knew the girl was gone. Alex numbly reached around and caught the drop of water on her finger and brought it around to her mouth, not really knowing what she was doing and tasted it. It had the strange taste of salt to it. It was a tear.
Alex felt as her knees hit the floor of water and as her hands slipped into the water and slid along the floor until her whole body was lying in the icy tears. Before she passed out she relived the whole frightening second when she had whirled around and had seem for the tinniest bit of a second the face of the girl. Tears had been flowing freely down the girls face and veins had become very visible on her white skin. Her black eyes filled with pain and loss.
A name crossed Alex's lips, a name she had not spoken in years, a name she thought she'd never say again.
Alice. The girl who had been her sister in law and best friend. The girl who had lived with her and comforted her in times of pain. But, unfortunately, a girl who had been dead for five thousand years. This time when darkness engulfed her, she welcomed it.