I pulled my hair up so it wouldn’t get wet while I showered. There would be no time to dry it. When Beth said twenty minutes, she meant it. She wanted me to go out with her tonight. She always wanted me to go out. I rarely ever did, but something about tonight was different. I wanted to go out, or rather I didn’t want to stay in. Alone. Not after the nightmare.
Beth knew I was upset about something. She wanted me to tell her what, but I refused. I had told her about the nightmares before and now every time I didn’t sleep well she gave me a look. It’s the kind of look reserved for someone who might be a little crazy. I didn’t want her to think I was any crazier than she already did, so I didn’t talk about the nightmares anymore.
Besides she was probably right. Even I thought I might be crazy. How do you explain to someone that you have dreams about monsters chasing you down alleyways coated in blood, filled with the stench of burning flesh, and hundreds of eyes watching you from the shadows, waiting for you to fall?
Finishing my shower, I stepped out onto my old green bath mat and saw something move out of the corner of my eye. When I whirled around to see what it was, nothing was out of place. I would have sworn I saw something. It was just a shadow. There's nothing there I told myself trying to calm my racing heart. Just a trick of my mind.
Or was it. Next to my old green rug in front of the shower were two red drops. They were tiny. I would have missed them if I hadn't been looking so closely. I reached down to touch them but pulled my fingers back quickly. It looked like blood but how was it here?
I checked to make sure I didn't have any cuts, quickly looking over my body. Nothing. Where had it come from? It was fresh. It couldn't have been here before I came in, it would be dry. Spinning, I looked around the bathroom. I didn't see anything else, just those two drops. Carefully, I eased my way out of the bathroom and into my bedroom. My door was still shut, and there was nothing out of place.
Quietly I went to my dresser and pulled open the top drawer, barely making a noise. Inside was my gun. I grabbed it and walked toward the door, my heart beating so loudly I was sure if anyone were here, they would hear it. As I started to open the door, I heard a thump in the living room. Shit. Someone's out there. I moved away from the door and silently debated with myself. Should I go out? What could it be? I shuddered. Whatever it was, it had been in my bathroom while I showered.
Taking a deep breath I moved towards the door again and began making my way silently down the hallway, gun held out in one hand while the other hand held my towel up. I could hear something moving around the far side of the living room, but the noises didn't sound like a person. It was a snuffling noise, like an animal but not quite. As I turned the corner, gun drawn, the front door slammed open.
Demon Hunted is a new adult fantasy. It is book one in a set of three about Serena. Serena's story is part of The Guardianship world.