"You sure you're going to be alright?"
Cheryl looked down, taking a few seconds to think before she answered, "Yeah, I'll be fine. I just need to get all of that out of my head for a little while."
Karen nodded, "Okay. You took your medication, right? I can't have you up all night again. Hopefully this stuff they gave you works."
Cheryl had insomnia. Ever since she was little, it had come and gone weeks or even months at a time. Her doctor had prescribed sleeping medication that day.
"Yeah, I know, and yes, I took it after I brushed my teeth. I should be able to sleep alright."
"Okay, well let's try to get some sleep, then." Karen smiled, and then gave Cheryl a kiss before turning out the light.
The couple nestled together in the center of the bed, Cheryl's head resting on Karen's chest.
"Goodnight, Cheryl. I love you."
"I love you too, Sweetie. Goodnight."
After a few minutes had past, both were sound asleep.
Cheryl's eyes slowly opened, revealing nothing but the dark of night around her. Even with her medication, it seemed she was not able to stay asleep for a full night.
"I just need a glass of water," she thought.
She tried to scoot towards her side of the bed, so she could get up without disturbing her girlfriend, but to her surprise, she was unable to move. She was still nestled in next to Karen, with Karen's arm wrapped around her.
She attempted to move her legs.
She then tried to moved her arms.
Still no movement.
Cheryl could feel the covers on top of her. She could feel them bunched up around her side, and her feet. It seemed she could feel everything, but for the life of her, she was otherwise completely paralyzed.
Cheryl began to breathe heavily as her fear rose. This had never happened to her. She had experienced many sleepless nights, but never this. Although she was safely tucked in bed with her girlfriend, Cheryl felt alone, completely isolated from the rest of the resting world. She needed someone to help her.
She tried to speak. "…Karen…"
Only a faint whisper, but it was still a whole lot better than nothing. She continued trying to get Karen's attention.
The sound of the doorknob slowly turning interrupted Cheryl's desperate cries for help. Karen remained fast asleep.
Cheryl stopped trying to wake Karen as soon as she noticed the sounds of the door slowly opening. She shut her eyes tightly, almost stopped breathing altogether, and tried to rationalize what was happening in her mind.
"The door could have blown open, or I could just be imagining it," She thought.
Now, finally completely open, the door began to slowly close, making only an almost silent creaking noise until she could hear the doorknob latch into the doorframe.
Cheryl's temperature began to drop. Even though she was lying against Karen's warm body wrapped in a thick blanket, she felt as though she were freezing in the cold night air.
She could feel herself getting colder, and colder. Her heart raced. Her throat felt dry. She tried again to wake the only person who could help.
Only a very faint whisper, just like it had been before.
Her heart pounded inside her chest. Her breathing became more and more labored. Literally paralyzed with fear, she continued doing the only thing she could to save herself.
She felt, or at least she thought she felt, something moving towards her.
Her temperature dropped even more. Whatever it was in the room with them, it was making its way around the bed to her side.
She could feel it getting closer, but she could not hear a sound. It was quiet, and very slow. By that point it was at the foot of the bed, still circling around to Cheryl's side.
She dared not look. She could not bring herself to find out exactly what it was in their room.
It was nearly there. It moved around the corner or the bed, and made its way slowly up her side. Cheryl felt colder and colder as it got closer. She would have been shivering by then if she could move.
She could not see it, or hear it, but she could feel its presence. Standing next to the bed, it was only about a foot away from her back.
She felt the mattress compress on her side. It was sitting down next to her.
The extra weight shifted closer to her as if it were lying down beside her. As it moved in closer, she could feel it press against her back. It felt like flesh against hers, only it had no warmth. Whatever it was, it was as cold as ice, so cold it burned. Cheryl could feel it breathing. The frigged air coming from its face bombarded the back of her neck. She could feel her hair standing on end.
She could no longer speak. She was frozen in its presence. Cheryl could feel its face moving in closer to the back of her own, weight shifting on her pillow as it did. Her heart continued to slam against her chest wall harder than it had ever pumped in her life, but she could no longer breathe.
A cold, lifeless hand rested itself on Cheryl's arm. It squeezed tighter and tighter, pulling itself even closer towards her. Its cold breath was flowing in and around her exposed ear. Its breaths were deep, but very short and far between.
The three of them were frozen like that for only a couple of minutes, but to Cheryl it felt like hours. She had to get out. She had to get away from this monster. She tried one last time to get Karen's attention, and hopefully save them both.
Cheryl felt a wave of relief. She could speak! It was still only a whisper, but again, it was better than nothing. She continued.
It kept breathing into her ear. Its breathing got heavier and heavier as she whispered to Karen.
Cheryl clenched her eyes shut even tighter; tears began to flow.
Cheryl could do nothing now, but try one last time to rationalize the situation.
"You aren't real." She squeaked.
It tightened its grip around her arm. It was so cold.
"…….Please….." Cheryl cried.
Cheryl continued to cry, freezing and paralyzed, until her consciousness started to fade. Her heartbeat slowed until it was barely there. She could it whispering one last thing before she faded away.
Karen's eyes blinked open. The warmth of the sun hit her face as she joined the waking world. She stretched out in her bed. Each limb nearly touched its own corner of the bed. It seemed as though the medication the doctor had given her was a big help with her sleeping habits. She slept a full night without tossing, turning, or waking, but, more importantly, she did not hear any whispering voices all night. They had haunted her most of her life, but she never told anyone until recently.
"I guess they were right," She said to herself. "It was all in my head."
She sat up in bed, rubbing her shoulders and arms. She noticed a bruise around her left upper arm. It looked as though someone had grabbed her.