The next morning, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave my bedroom. The smell of French toast and bacon floated up the hall to me and my stomach grumbled. My favorite breakfast. But I couldn’t be sure if it was real. Or if the food was real, the person cooking it might not be.
But I still hadn’t crossed my own insanity off the list. What if I was the one behaving oddly? Would my parents say something? Maybe the breakfast was a way to bring it up without me being angry.
The daylight streamed in through the little window in my ceiling and I stared at the sky beyond the glass. It looked completely normal this morning. No weird swirls of color and no flashes of light. I’d probably imagined it.
When I couldn’t take it any longer, I pulled myself to my feet and dressed. Mom would be knocking on my door before long and I’d rather her not guilt trip me about sleeping all day. Unless the weird other mom was the one who came for me this morning.
I sighed and shuffled my feet down the hall into the kitchen. And froze in the doorway.
No one was even in the kitchen. There wasn’t any food on the stove and the smell evaporated. I checked the clock over the microwave and sunk down to the floor to hold my knees to my chest.
It wasn’t morning. Or it wasn’t day time morning. The clock read 2:13. And the window over the sink was dark.
I pressed my back into the wall and tried to think of what to do. Mom and dad would supposedly be in bed still and if I yelled to wake them, they wouldn’t be happy about it. I was too old to run to my parents over a nightmare.
Was that what this was?
But I also didn’t want to go back to my bedroom. The sun had been up in there. I know I’d seen it. Right? There was definitely light shining in my face from the skylight. But my curtain was closed on the regular window. What woke me?
The house was silent around me, barely a hum coming from the fridge. I crawled back along the hall to my bedroom, afraid of what I would find when I got there.
But it was empty. And no light shone through the skylight now.
Resigned to telling my parents I was losing my mind in the morning – the real morning – I sunk back onto my bed and rested my head on the pillows.
And through the skylight above my bed, I saw a face. A face with impossibly white eyes and gleaming sharp teeth. So many teeth. And it was grinning at me.
I shot upright and my scream caught in my throat.
In the doorway to my room stood my parents. But not my parents.
Their teeth were sharp and gleaming, their eyes wide and bloodshot. They reached their hands towards me and their nails were long and jagged. I cringed away, wishing I could fall through the wall.
When I felt the rough skin of my not dad’s hands touch my arm, I finally found my voice and screamed as loud as I could.
But it was too late.
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