The head of my single bed was sat in an alcove where a tall set of drawers once stood. To the right of me, a solid brick wall to the outside of the house, and to the left a hollow wall where there was once a fireplace from when the Victorian house was built. You could knock and hear the emptiness echo from behind the plasterboard.
My bedroom was pitch black. There was no light in the house as everyone was in bed and it was very late. Too late for a twelve-year-old girl to still be awake. As I was finally beginning to settle, I heard scratching in the wall to the left. Mice were not uncommon in these old houses, especially in hollow walls like this. They never bothered us inside the house, but that night I needed to sleep, so I banged on the wall and turned to face the other way. Then I heard the scratching from the solid wall. Could mice be in there too?
Then I heard a noise from the other side of my room. There were papers on my desk and it sounded like they were being shuffled. I slowly pulled the duvet up and over my face. I was no stranger to doing this and I would be safe in my cocoon.
The noise continued. Things were dropping on the floor. Papers swished as they flew across the room towards me. I. Was. Terrified.
I had to get out. I had to get to the bathroom. There was an odd feeling in the bathroom, like security. It was a small room with no hidden corners for things to hide from me.
I got myself ready. I turned under the duvet to face the other way so I could make a run for it straight to the door, across the landing and in to my sanctuary. I just needed to count to three, throw back the duvet, and run.
I didn’t see his face, but it was a man. A white, tall figure of a man. He was standing next to my bed. I didn’t know if he was looking at me or just standing thinking about his next move, but he was there.
Back under the duvet I went, panicked tears streaming and a silent scream. I was frozen.
Frozen until the noise stopped and I was finally given the gift of sleep.
When I woke, it was all a dream, right? Well, I’m not sure about that, but I didn’t leave my room in the mess I woke up to.