I clawed my way up through the darkness and woke screaming. My heart raced and my muscles were tensed to escape from some imagined and already unremembered terror. The entire house seemed silent after the echoes of my yell faded. I laid there, soaking in sweat for a moment, before I realized that it was far too hot under the covers. Upon standing, my vision swam, and I fell to the bed. After a slight pause, I stood again and, swaying slightly, made my way to the kitchen. I didn’t bother with the light, because I’m always certain that I’ll see horribly intelligent red eyes and a dripping maw right outside my window. Being a writer of decidedly dark fiction does that to you. I fumbled in a cupboard to get a glass, cringing at every noise. Finally succeeding in quietly extricating one, I went to the sink and filled it. The moment after I took a drink, I was struck by the thought that something could have been in the glass, and I wouldn’t know. I might have swallowed mouse droppings or a quietly pulsing arachnid egg mass unaware. I poured what was left down the drain, set the glass on the counter, and walked to the door. I opened it and slipped outside. The cool fall air was wonderfully refreshing, and I closed my eyes as I raised my head to the sky. It felt like something was horribly, horribly wrong, but it always did, and I refused to act on the feeling. Every rustle of the grass was an abomination lurching towards me, every breath of air the whisper of wings bringing fanged doom from above. I’d long since grown used to this paranoia, and so I felt my very soul shudder when, upon opening my eyes, I saw a figure, silhouetted in the light of the full moon, standing on the roof of the house across the street. His attention was fixed down the road a ways, and he didn’t seem to notice me. Without turning, I slowly moved back until I could feel the door behind me. I grabbed the handle, and turned, but it was locked. Icy terror gripped me, and the world turned black. How long I slept I do not know, but I awoke before any sign of dawn had appeared. The glass sparkled with frost, and a chill breeze blew. I shivered, as I tried to recall why I was here. I couldn’t help but gasp as I remembered and I swung my head up to see my neighbor’s roof. There wasn’t anything on it. Then I heard the thump of a great weight landing, and a single stone fell from my roof to my shoulder. I looked up and saw those terrible eyes looking at me, wreathed in wrinkled brown scales. Four long fangs protruded from a dripping snout, and the stench of decay wafted down to me.
Minutes later, all was silent in the cold night. The air was still and the frost glinted red in the moonlight.