I crane my head up off the pillow and stare out into the blank hallway. I shoulda left a light on. The gloom echos as the the footsteps draw nearer to the open door. Sweat rolls down my sickly face and I desperately want a drink of water.
My stomach heaves suddenly and I cry out. I wrap my arms around myself and curl up into a ball. I lie there, pitifully, as the cramps contract my torso. I grit my teeth and exhale painfully. It feels as if I’m dying. Like my guts are vomiting.
Like something is growing inside of me.
Of course that’s ridiculous and I remind myself of this fact. The footsteps have moved past the door and I have missed it again. Whatever is out there, stalking my home, remains a mystery. Somewhere in my addled mind, I knew I should be more concerned about this strange nighttime visitor, but the pain of sickness has dulled my concern to a blunt edge.
Please, make it stop, I thought wearily as another wave of nauseous discomfort twists my insides. It feels like I have been stabbed with the biggest knife in the world.
“Shut the fuck up!” I scream at the footsteps, now lurking toward the other end of the house. I immediately regret my outburst as an explosion of dizziness rattles my vision. I lean heavily back into my pillow and take concentrated breaths. I squeeze my eyes shut and count to ten. Beads of syrupy sweat drool down the sides of my face. I know I can’t afford another outburst like that without risk of passing out. And I don’t want to do that because of those goddamn footsteps.