By John McDonnell
Sarah woke up screaming. She sat up in the bed gasping for air, her heart pounding in her chest, sweat bursting out of her pores.
It took minutes to calm down, but echoes of the dream reverberated in her head. It was the same as before. Something was trying to strangle her. It was a dark shape close to her face, so close she could feel its heat, smell its rank breath. There were yellow eyes staring at her as the claws tightened around her neck.
She got up and stumbled into the bathroom, flicked on the light, and looked at herself in the mirror. In the harsh light she looked carefully at her neck for any marks. There was nothing.
She ran the water in the sink and splashed some on her face, then grabbed her bathrobe from the hook on the door and put it on. She found her slippers under the bed, and went downstairs, making her way by the light of the moon that streamed through the windows.
In the kitchen she went to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of milk, then poured a glassful and drank it in one gulp. She wished Lou was here. He would know how to comfort her. But he was out. He worked nights as an EMT, and every time she heard a siren in the night, she thought of him working in the back of an ambulance, biting his lip the way he did when he was nervous.
This is an excerpt from my latest e-book, "13 Scary Stories". It's available on Smashwords.