Periphery

You are never more aware of something moving when it is in your peripheral vision.

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1. Periphery

Fight or flight.

The stimuli entering through your eyes and giving your brain the appropriate information for which to make you flinch or punch whatever it is you've seen it the face.
For example, at least once, you've been on the sofa, relaxed, in the warm haze of semi-consciousness, when a house spider creeps leg by leg up your forearm into your peripheral vision and makes you leap to the other side of the room before you can decide whether to let out a yelp of panic.

This happened to me once. Although this isn't quite applicable to Spiders.
Something much more elusive.
More sinister.

Nothing you'd see on a wildlife documentary I must add.

It only lasted for a night.
One night is enough to send a man mad I suppose.

It was about 11pm and I was alone in my house. I was finishing up some Art work for College. Something pretentious where I had to tear up old books and make a pretty picture to get marks. Easy. Very easy. Boring.
I'd bought these books from a charity shop. I'd managed to pillage all the books of a few pages except one. This one book, I hadn't touched. I decided I should make a start on it as I suddenly had limited resources. It was a large picture after all.
Before I made a single tear, I thumbed through the inherently brown and boring looking tome, generating a musty breeze towards my face from all the pages turning over quickly. I opened it again in the middle and tore a good chapters-worth out.

Shit.

I dropped the pages into a heap at my knees. I'd sustained a paper cut to the skin between my thumb and my forefinger.
A very deep cut. I was suddenly very aware of the blood drop swelling at the opening of the cut, ready to fall onto the carpet.
I left my room and turned on the lights for downstairs. I looked at my hand again and it was soaking. The trail from my room to the foot of the stairs was like a dried river. I put some pressure on the cut hoping to stem the flow. It just spurted out in between the gaps of my fingers. It was too much blood, I couldn't have sliced an artery there. This was wrong.

I felt progressively fainter. Like I was on a choppy sea. I stumbled into the kitchen.
With my numb, cold hands I grasped at the cupboards looking for a dishcloth, paper towels, anything.
My bloody hands made gripping things impossible. 
I gave up and slumped to the floor against the fridge.
My eyelids grew heavier as I decided to pull my phone from my pocket to call an ambulance before I bled to death.
What a time to have no signal. Perfect.
I threw it against the opposing wall. Like that would solve my problem.
Sat in a crimson puddle with my arms limp and my legs lifeless, I gave in to the oncoming unconsciousness.

Black.
Everything black.
The blackest black I have ever experienced.

Then my ears rang and felt the cold of the kitchen tiles beneath my fingers.
In my sleep I must've slid further down onto the floor.
My eyes were reluctant to let light reach my pupils, but I blinked hard and managed to defog my vision.
Evidently, I was still alive. 
I sat up and looked at my hand. I reckoned the blood clotted and congealed just in time. I decided to eat and drink something to encourage red blood cell production. My A in GCSE Biology was serving me well I thought.
Although in my period of massive blood loss recovery. I wasn't expecting hallucinations.
The door to the neighbouring room was slightly ajar; Enough room to spot changes in light and shapes.

I wasn't looking directly at it, but something moved past the door.
Something big.
Maybe the size of a dog. Except a horrible niggling feeling told me that this wasn't anything like a dog.

I crept towards the door so carefully as not to make a sound.
I succeeded as I caressed the handle and pulled it towards me.

Nothing in the room. And this room only has one door.  No. No, this defies logic I'm hallucinating and this is just-
-FUCK OH MY GOD


As I shut the door, I saw something in the corner of my eye lunge behind me. I could feel it brush my leg.
Something dark. About the size of dog. But once again, not a dog. It had gone.

And again, on the other side of me. ALWAYS in my peripheral vision. I caught it in more detail before it disappeared.
It had black fur, that glistened purple in the right light.
It ran on all fours, but like a Gorilla. If only I could look at it.

I chased the shadows of the creatures into every room of the house and lost them every time.
Then, They came towards me.
Dozens that I hadn't seen, ALL in my peripheral vision, crept towards me with malicious, hungry intent.
I hadn't time to turn and face these demons. I jumped for the stairs and all but fell down them.
I scrambled up and ran for the kitchen. As I made it through the door, one latched onto my ankle with it's teeth.
the pain shot up my body like fire. I screamed and kicked it away before slamming the door and blocking it with one of the chairs. My ankle was pulsating with blood. I limped to the other chair and slumped into it.

I could hear the angry patter of their feet in every room. There were hundreds. They were everywhere. 

It was only then that I saw the vast stain of blood that I'd been lying in for hours. 
Written in the stain were words that only intensified my paralyzing fear.

'SLEEP WILL NUMB THE PAIN OF DEATH
AND AS THEY FEAST ON YOUR BONES
THEY WILL GROW STRONGER AND THEY
WILL DEVOUR EVERYTHING YOU LOVE.
LEAVE YOUR CONSCIENCE BEHIND.
YOU MUST OFFER YOURSELF AND
BE CONSUMED BY THE DARKNESS.'

They started throwing themselves against the doors. They were going to get in. 
This is it. This is the end.

I looked again at the text. And again.
I lay on the floor and closed my eyes.
The noises were so loud.
Nearly there.
Yes.
I'm Going.
Going.

 

I woke up. It was daylight. Somewhat comforting.
I listened, there were no sounds.
Everything happened, definitely.
My ankle was punctured by the bite and still hurt like fuck.
The door was nearly split in several places where the creatures had tried to enter.
But they were not here. Non of them. 
I'd done as the writing instructed.
Not all of it, I must add, just the first word of each line was enough.

 

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