Floor 13“Mummy is that you?” Alice asked.
Quickly, she whipped her head under the blanket, clutching her teddy-bear in a death grip. As her heart began pounding against the walls of her chest like a jack-hammer, beads of sweat trickled down her forehead and drenched the pillow until it transformed into a soggy sponge.
All of a sudden, she felt a soft, sinister tug on her blanket.
She didn’t want to look.
The tug became more and more vicious each second, until after a few minutes, it felt almost as if the claws of a predator were tearing the blanket apart.
…there was a deafening silence.
Peeking through her blanket, she could see the figure of a little girl. Alice’s body boiled in an ugly mixture of terror and trepidation.
The closer she looked, the stranger she felt. There, kneeling down beside her bed, was a porcelain girl; her waxy skin reflecting the mellow moonlight; her golden silk dress flawlessly matching her messy golden hair; and her enormous eyes glimmering in the darkness like a pair of two sparkling sapphire stones.
“Play with me!” she exclaimed, clambering onto Alice’s bed excitedly.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Alice nodded. There was something about the little girl’s eyes that she couldn’t quite ignore. Something spellbinding.
The little girl grabbed Alice by her hand and pulled her towards the bedroom door: “I’ll count and you hide!”
Though she couldn’t explain why, Alice dashed out the door, and sprinted to the nearest elevator, tapping her feet impatiently until the doors decided to let her in.
Her eyes scuttled to look for the best floor to hide in: the top floor, obviously. Nodding to herself in agreement, Alice pressed the button for Floor 13.
Weird. She’d never seen that button before.
The doors opened reluctantly.
But instead of seeing a long, empty corridor, Alice was caught by surprise.
The little girl she’d met only a few seconds ago now stood smiling in front of her. Had she teleported here?
“Found you!” she yelled, “Now don’t let the bogey-man get you!”
Immediately, Alice turned around but could see no signs of a ‘bogey-man’.
That was when she heard it.
Scraping. Like the sharpening of knives.
There was something there…in the corner of her eye.
Something big. Something black. No racism intended.
Without a second thought, Alice ran out of the elevator and headed towards the large, spiral staircase, her feet screaming in agony as they tried to outrun the beast behind her.
Before she knew it, Alice was thrown down the stairs like a ball, with peculiar cracking noises popping out of her bones.
…The moment Alice opened her eyes, it felt like years had passed since the last time she saw the little girl.
She found herself staring blankly at a ceiling. It was painted in a beautiful, radiant shade of the morning, its surface pimpled and beige. Her fingers rubbed over a soft fabric: perhaps the cover of a mattress. Once she sat up and looked around, an overwhelming sense of relief washed over her. Alice was back in her room.
A few moments later however, there was a silent sobbing sound.
The moment she blinked, a wailing woman emerged out of thin air. The woman looked familiar. Very familiar.
Her body was hunched over Alice’s bed; her eyes bloodshot from all the weeping and whimpering.
“Mummy is that you?” Alice asked.