A Chapter From
Anna stepped into the shower.
Eyes honed in on her like infrared scopes, examining her petite, angelic figure with malevolent precision.
The sensation of being watched clung to her like humidity. Even the hot water could not wash it away.
Anna grabbed the curtain and wrapped it around her. Heart trembling, she glanced everywhere in search
of a peephole, but never found one. That did nothing to quell the horror already escalating inside her, but
caused it to grow more steadily.
“Trent.” Anna called to the man sleeping in the next room. She had meant to wake her boyfriend with a
scream so that he would come running in to protect her, but found that she could produce only a mere
Anna was all alone.
Eyes preyed heavily upon her as though fear and weakness attracted them even more. Anna stared in
every direction. Not knowing where her interloper might be hiding. She armed herself with a bottle of
hairspray. “Whoever you are, stay the hell away from me.”
Anna’s assailant slid down through a loose panel in the ceiling, visible for a flashing instant before
knocking the bottle out of her hand, snatching the curtain and using it to cover her eyes and mouth. A
clenched fist punched her in the midsection. She doubled over and spat.
A bitter voice whispered in her ear. “That’s for cheating. Now you’re coming with me. You bitch.”
* * *
He couldn’t remember ever going to sleep.
Rolling over, he discovered Anna was no longer lying beside him. He called out her name.
Alongside the bed sat a glass table with a digital clock on it. The time was 11:30p.m. He had been out for
A cloth lay along his chest. He picked it up, gingerly, and gazed at it. The cloth had been laced with a
peculiar substance. The odor it gave off, however much it may have faded, still dizzied him.
Where was Anna? Had she given this to him?
Trent tossed the covers aside, sprang out of bed. A thin frame of light shone beneath the bathroom door.
Water was running.
Trent knocked softly. “Anna, are you in there?”
No response other than the echo of ominous silence.
Trent pushed open the door, half expecting Anna to shout at him for intruding and slam it shut. The
bathroom was empty. Steam had smothered the mirror. That was all right. Trent did not want to see fear
seeping into his innocent blue eyes. He did not want to see it smeared across his firm but boyish features,
especially when he took in the signs of a struggle. The ceiling above the shower had caved in. Blood
flowed along the surface of the tub. The water spraying it was no longer hot. It had turned a pitiful cold.
Trent shouted out for Anna. When she did not answer, an inevitable horror drove him to his knees.