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You know that feeling you get? There’s all kinds of cliches to describe it, but they read like you’ve been possessed or something: hairs raising, skin crawling. Like somehow your body knows something you don’t. Some earthy desire for self-preservation that modernity hasn’t managed to breed out of you.

You get it late at night, during the ritual. You know the one. Check the doors are locked. The windows fastened. Turn out the lights. Room by room. Your cosy cocoon of light getting methodically diminished by darkness at its extremeties. By your own hand.

And your eyes start playing tricks, don’t they? Looking back into a room newly dark, the space seems cavernous. Watchful. Hungrier. You have fleeting visions of a figure. A face. A form that moves – but it’s nonsense. There’s nothing.

You could turn the light back on to check, but that would be an admittance of the ridiculous fear tickling around – not even your mind which would be acknowledgable – but your neck.

Retreat. Don’t look back. Well, maybe once, but… nothing. Though there could have been. Move a little faster, snap off the last outer light before closing the door firmly and satisfyingly on the uneasy, uncanny space that used to be home. Bunker down gratefully, albeit temporarily, in the clinical bright light of the bathroom.

No corners here. No shadows. Door closed. You might even take time to laugh at yourself in the mirror before turning on the faucet.

Water falls with noisy familiarity and there is relief as you bend, splashing it up into your face briskly and efficiently.

Vulnerable position, that. Head down, water running, sight obscured. The door could open. The shower curtain twitch. But it would take you time to wipe your eyes to look.

Turn off the water, still leaning, drips running smoothly down your face and plinking relentlessly into the basin. Now, contrarily, you don’t want to look up. Imagine if you did, straight into the mirror, and saw something impossibly and awfully behind you. Right there. You’ve rarely known that flash of raw fear, but your body is anticipating it without you.

You know that feeling?


That’s me.




One Comment

  1. My favorite vampire is here again… and my favorite writer too!

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