Watched

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Science Fiction
I'm always awake at three in the morning. Watching that horror movie at midnight was stupid on my part, but I drank too much water and have to go to the bathroom. Downstairs. In the dark.
I can do this. The darkness doesn't scare me. I'm sixteen. I'm an adult now. But the noises? The sound of footsteps coming up the stairs - that scares me.

Submitted: August 02, 2016

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Submitted: August 02, 2016

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 Breathe in. Breathe out.

I’m always awake at three in the morning. Watching that horror movie at midnight was stupid on my part, but I drank too much water and have to go to the bathroom. Downstairs. In the dark.

I can do this. The darkness doesn’t scare me, I’m sixteen. I’m an adult now. But the noises? The sound of footsteps coming up the stairs - that scares me.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

It’s just the pipes. Don’t be afraid. Okay, I can do this.

I unplug my phone from the charger and turn on the flashlight. Great, now everything has an eerie shadow. It’s okay, I can do this. And I really have to pee.

Slowly opening my bedroom door, I cringe at the sound of the old wood creaking. I can see my parents’ bed, illuminated by their TV, from the mirror in their room across the hall. Good, it didn’t wake them.

I avoid shining the light into their room and tiptoe to the staircase. Slowly, I make my way down, the light casting shadows on shadows. I feel like I’m being watched.

I can hear rustling from upstairs and a soft thud. When I turn around, Sammy, our chihuahua, is standing there. She’s cute and curious. She lays down on the top step and watches me.

I still feel like I’m being watched and it makes me afraid to turn back around, but I really, really have to pee, so I push my cowardice aside for just a second and-

What was that?

Something moved into the dining room when I turned my light around. I swear I saw it.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I have to be realistic here. The alarms would have gone off if someone broke in and the all the windows are locked, plus the screen would have to be removed for someone to enter through the window.

It’s late, my imagination is running wild. But, it doesn’t stop me from feeling anxious.

I take the last step down the stairs. Damn it took me a long time to go down fifteen steps. As lightly on my feet as I can, I run to the bathroom. I shut the door before I turn on the light. There’s a split second of fear in my mind that when I turn on the light, I’ll look through the mirror and see someone standing behind me.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

There’s no one inside the bathroom with me, just like it should be. Besides, who would want to be in the bathroom with a suburban teenage girl mid winter?

Maybe Sammy if she wasn’t so tired. She loved following people everywhere and even followed me in the shower when we first adopted her. I’m pretty sure Mom had let her into the bathroom because I always shut the door when I’m in here.

I had turned the flashlight on my phone off when I got in the bathroom and scrolled through Twitter and Instagram while I was at it. Nothing new from when I checked fifteen minutes ago.

Time to wash my hands. While I washed, I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked so tired. I only slept three hours last night because I had to finish a show. (I cried my eyes out at the end.)

What was that?

Those were footsteps. My hearing is “impressively advanced” according to my audiologist when I got my hearing exam in 2015.

Here comes the nausea that accompanies anxiety and my overwhelming paranoia. Okay, fight or flight. I either run upstairs at full speed or I cower in the bathroom until one of my parents wakes up. My phone battery will never last that, so I’ll run.

The footsteps were getting louder, closer. There were two pairs of feet walking out of sync towards the door.

I backed up to the shower, almost tripping over the tub. Shit, I didn’t lock the door.

The footsteps stopped at the door. I looked down at the knob to see if it would jiggle, but it didn’t. I waited five minutes before gathering the courage to leave the bathroom.

Cautiously, I opened the door. There was nothing there, so I ran upstairs as fast as I could, not caring if I made any loud noises.

After shutting the door, I turned my light on and hopped on my bed. The vlog I had been watching before going to the bathroom was playing, so I pressed the space bar to pause the video.

That horror movie is seriously messing with me tonight. Even though I’m sure I was imagining everything, I watched the door.

There was a light scratching at the door. Furrowing my brows, I climbed off my bed and looked under the door. The light from my room that escaped under the door allowed me to see four small paws.

I creeked the door open for Sammy and she pranced in, looking up at my bed. I lifted her on and she snuggled in the blanket.

I sat next to Sammy, adjusted my laptop appropriately, and played the vlog. I looked at Sammy. She was so peacefully sleeping, curled in a ball. Five pounds of cuteness. I just have to take a picture of her.

Where is my phone?

I felt around the bed for the thin rectangle, but it wasn’t there. Did I leave it in the bathroom? Probably.

Now I’m on a rescue mission, except this time I’m much less afraid. That’s a lie. So instead of risking catching something out of the corner of my eye again, I shut my eyes and made my way down.

I’ve lived in this house long enough to know how to get to each room without being able to see the room, but the thought of someone watching me in the darkness made my chest feel heavy.

Apparently I had left the light in the bathroom on. Good thing I came down now or else I’d have to hear Mom lecture me about wasting electricity when she wakes up.

I grabbed my phone, turned the bathroom light off, and closed my eyes again. I made my way back up the stairs with nothing out of the ordinary going on.

When I reached the top of the staircase, I opened my eyes. The light from my room lit the small hallway. I had shut the door when I left my room so why was it open now?

I still felt like I was being watched, so I looked into my parents’ room. Still asleep. I had made so much noise, how were they still asleep?

I better not wake them now after I’ve made such a ruckus already.

When I walked in my room, there was a man sitting on my bed, holding Sammy. Before I could scream, a hand wrapped around my mouth and a woman whispered, “We’re not here to hurt you, Alex.”

The woman removed her hand from over my mouth and walked towards my bed. She was wearing all black and had long brown hair.

The man holding Sammy was also wearing all black. He had brown hair and green eyes with a short trimmed beard, plus pretty light skin. He looked young.

The woman turned around and I could see her tanned skin and brown eyes. She looked like she was Vietnamese, while the man looked partly French.

“Alex Bishop,” the man began, “I’m Michael. This is my partner Felicia. We’re here because-”

And that’s when I threw up.

The two intruders, Michaela and Felicia, exchanged glances and then Felicia left. Michael continued. “We’re here because you’ve been on our radar for quite some time now.”

“On your radar? Who are you?” I managed to choke out.

“Your uncle, Sergey Bishop, told us about you and how he taught you how to code and hack into particular mainframes.”

My midnight “snack” continued to empty out of my stomach onto my rug. Uncle Serge had died over a year ago. They said he had a brain aneurysm. He was more like a father to me than my own dad.

“Who do you work for?” I asked.

“We’re a United States government organization, bettering the world by eliminating the bad guys and if you’re skills are anywhere near your uncle’s, then we could really use you.”

“And if they’re not?”

“Then after your year of being a recruit, you’ll graduate to field agent, cleaner, medic, or guardian. But for now you’re on the path to becoming our technician. Do you understand?”

“Uncle Serge is dead,” I whispered. “How can he work for you?”

“His death was faked. Yours will be too.”

“I don’t have a choice in this, do I?”

Michael shook his head.

“What about my parents?”

“Felicia is filling their minds with the memory of you running away tonight. A note and your shoes will be found on the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow. Your father’s credit card will show that you bought a one way transit ticket into the city.”

“That’s sick…” I mumbled. I couldn’t leave my parents to go with these crazy psychos.

“They’ll be fine, Alex. You’ll forget about them in no time at KAE.”

“Let’s go,” Felicia said behind me. I felt a sting in my neck, then a cold liquid flowing through. Then everything went black.

 


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