“Vanessa..? Vanessa..? I know you can hear me… I know you’re in there Vanessa, don’t pretend I’m not here” convinced it was the clock people, I woke up with a start, panting heavily I rolled over onto my stomach to look at the time. I stared at the face for a few minutes, it didn’t make sense… the hands where there, and so were the numbers, but it wouldn’t tell me the time. I sat up, aware of the pain at the back of my head, and took the clock between my fingers. As I sat, marvelling at it, the echoing continued. “Vanessa?” I stopped stock still, my toes tingling painfully from pins and needles, but I wasn’t about to move. “I wont hurt you Vanessa, promise” the voice giggled, it was very high pitched and childlike, it could have easily belonged to a four year old. “Talk to me Vanessa, I’m lonely. I know you are too. Aren’t you Vanessa?” the voice doubled, there were two of them… then four, then six, then eight, so many voices. I stayed flat on my stomach in silence. The voices spoke up again. “You’re ignoring me Vanessa. I told you not to do that, you will regret it. Very. Very. Soon.” Exactly as the voices chimed out, the whole house was filled with almighty wailing. A thousand screams echoed off the walls, ringing in my ears, women, men, children. The agonising shrieks gained an octave, then another, and another… and once again, it all went black. I shot up, sat bolt upright, I grimaced into the sunlight which streamed in through the window, shining a golden beam of morning light over me. It was a dream. Just a dream, my heart had been frantically beating but it slowed as I realised my mistake. Never confuse reality with dreams. It was all a dream, I looked over to my bedside cabinet, but there was no clock. My heart picked up it’s pace once more, and I slowly leant over the edge of the bed, and filled the house once more with a piercing scream, only this time, it was my own, for on the floor was my alarm clock, shattered into hundreds of little pieces. Just where I had dropped it. I leant further over, and brushed away the pieces, numb with terror, I read the words You will pay. Just like the rest. Written untidily in blood. Staining the carpet. Tears streaming down my face, I raise my wrist into the air, to see a large gash all up my forearm, the bandage from the other day had vanished, and in it’s place were the same words as on the floor, You will pay. Just like the rest. Etched into the skin. Surveying further I noticed blood, covering the bed sheets, and once again, I plunged into darkness. Smashing my head on the headboard as I slipped. “You didn’t take another tablet before bed did you?” I opened my eyes to find myself tucked in blankets on the sofa, “What’s with the mood swings?” “You didn’t did you?” she scowled at me, unscrewing the cap before reaching a glass of water and handing them to me. I popped the foil, placed the sphere in my mouth, took a gulp of water and swallowed. Coughing and choking, I spilt water all over the floor and my top. “Oh for-“ Kirsty snatched the glass from me, and stomped off into the kitchen, emerging moments later with a large tea towel and a new t-shirt. She threw me the top, and bent down to dry the floor. I quickly changed under the blankets, re surfaced, stood up and went to fetch another towel. I stopped in front of the kitchen door. I couldn’t avoid it forever! I took a step forward, and shoved at the wood. It creaked open. The smashed table was gone and all the pathetic excuses for stools had vanished too. In their place was our old chipboard set of furniture, and on top of the table, was a neatly placed, yet old, ripped tablecloth. It was horrific, a sort of, black lace, covered with holes and laddering. I continued past it, past the stove and drawers, without looking at them, and took a blue towel off the rack. Bracing myself, I slowly turned to face the whole room. Nothing. There was no blood anywhere. Nothing. I smiled, and walked briskly back into the other room. I knelt down to help with the floor, and commented on the cloth, making use of my improved mood. “That table drape is grim Kirsty, I know you’re loosing it, and alcohol may have blinded you, but really?” She stared at me. “Don’t be so rude! And what table drape? We don’t have one.” I stood up and legged it into the kitchen. She was right.