Somewhere Else by Dryhope crept through her headphones as the rain fell on a silent town outside her window. She’d been studying for hours now, fighting the very real desire to cuddle up with her cat upon the bed and fall asleep with Kupla and Tenno. Only a few more pages to write now, she was so close to finishing her essay.
She noticed the battery alert emerge on her computer screen, ‘how long had the charger been unplugged for?’ she thought. Seeing that the charger cable was in and connected at the wall, her laptop died, and all was silent. Her lamp began to flicker. Her cat that had been perched so peacefully on the windowsill until now turned to face her abruptly, and gazing at something just above her head, began to growl softly. She looked up but saw nothing.
Her lamp flickered more aggressively now, and the flame of the lit candles upon her desk began to sway erratically as if being fanned by some invisible force. Her lamp whirred with static before suddenly sparking violently and going out. By the dim light of her candles, she saw her cat stand up with back arched and tail coiled, hissing, and growling as it scanned its eyes around the room as if following movement.
Sensing a dark presence she didn’t recognize, she slowly turned around in her chair to face her bedroom. The silence was thick and heavy, an unwelcome guest for 3am. The mobile hanging in the corner of her room tinkled, and her eyes shifted swiftly to it only to find empty space.
Unexpectedly, a purple teddy-bear fell from her shelf onto the bed, and she felt a surge of energy flood her arms and legs. A quiet breath left her mouth before leaping forward toward the open bedroom door. The door slammed ferociously before she could reach it, and she froze. She felt her heart pounding, and the rise and fall of her chest with every breath. She knew that she was not alone in her room.
A horrible odor filled the air, like rotting eggs or sulfur, and she slowly turned to face across the room. Her wardrobe door creaked open slowly, before hearing swift and powerful stomps echo across the floorboards toward her. She ducked as the footsteps reached her and crawled quickly under her desk. Shaking, and with her knees to her chin, she buried her head in her arms and rocked gently.
Slow and thudding footsteps echoed towards her desk. Her chair squeaked as if under pressure, then spun viciously around in circles as books were thrown from their shelves across the room, posters were torn from the walls and trinkets were smashed on the floor.
The chair abruptly halted its spinning, and jerked forward as though someone, or something, was now sitting at her desk. She was stuck, pinned against the wall in a fetal position, a prisoner in her own room. She could see her cat crouched under her bed, and for a moment they made eye contact, but her cat seemed much too preoccupied with whatever was sitting at her desk.
She heard her laptop whir as it does when it starts up and saw the glow of the screen on the back wall of her bedroom. A few clicks of the mouse followed, and she heard the echo of LoFi playing through her headphones. How was she to remain here under the desk, terrified and pinned against the wall, while Sugar Haze by HM Surf drifted magnificently through the air into the ears of whatever imprisoned her?