She couldn’t be seen by the eye, but you felt her through your skin.

Alone, there in the stairwell, you stood, feeling her move through you. Scurrying down the stairs was not an option for you at this point, remembering to breathe was the trick.

It was as if she moved through you slowly, knowing she was the one to have made you stop dead in your tracks. Funny; dead is what she was; but you, you are very much alive and your racing heart is proving it.

At first, you feel her from behind, but you are afraid to turn because you might actually confirm her ghost, and that scares the hell out of you, more than just her presence does. She glides up behind you and slowly enters you through your back, your chest moves forward as you feel her enter you. Will she take you this time, will this be the last time your heart pounds so hard in your chest she creates your fear of a heart attack? Shut up! Shut up! She’ll hear you! Don’t let in! Don’t! She cannot learn your fears, they make her stronger, they are what she feeds upon.

At this point your right hand tightens around the banister praying she doesn’t push you down the curved staircase and onto the hard wooden floor, the fall won’t kill you, which means she’ll be back for you later. Your other hand reaches for the wall. She has you now, standing right where she wants you. Breathe! If you hold your breathe she stays longer. You know this! Focus dammit! 

You feel her through your legs, they start to shake. Hold! You can do this, you know the routine, she moves through and she’s gone. You can do this, just focus and breathe. The hairs on the back of your neck begin to stand, you move your head ever so slightly to get the chill out, it travels down your shoulders, your muscles begin to shiver to ward of the cold, you exhale slowly to let her into you, you know you have to, if she doesn’t come in, she doesn’t leave. She consumes you, your shoulders, arms, your legs, you tighten upstanding as rigid as a soldier, breath. Something settles within you and without moving a muscle your eyes scan the walls of her shadow.  It’s gone, it’s not there, she’s in.

You exhale again only this time you do it slowly keeping your mouth open as if you were sighing from relief. Its halfway over, just keep telling yourself, its halfway over. Repeat it over and over again in your mind, halfway over, halfway over. As you exhale you can see your breath in the cold air, your muscles continue to shiver, you begin to feel her tugging at your insides making you almost sick to your stomach, you softly try to whisper “get out, god please get out of me”. That’s it! Now you’ve gone and pissed her off!!  You can’t say that word, not that name!

You feel your chest suck in and your shoulders hunch forward, Christ! Look what you’ve done! She’ won’t stop now! You grab the railing with both hands and pull yourself to it as you slowly sink to your knees. No, no, no GETUP! C’mon, you halfway through remember! You’ve got this! You begin to whimper, your eyes tighten up from the cold tears, Jesus, she’s winningPlease get up, please. You feel the plush carpet on the staircase under your knees as your hands slide down the wrought iron rails, you hold on tightly as you feel her press you up against them, as if you’re behind a jail cell, and she’s the one who’s put you there. You have let her consume you and now she’s trying to kill you, your hands shake, you continue to cry and you plead for mercy. The cold tears pull at your skin, your neck and jaw muscles become stiff from sobbing, your mouth dry yet you see the saliva spit from your lips as you beg for her to stop.

She has you pinned up against the railing, she can do anything now, you’ve sunk to your knees, you have submitted yourself to her, she has full control and now she is going to play. She likes you here, in this spot, crying, begging her for mercy, for your life. Your chest gets tight and heavy, you grab your t-shirt over your chest and clench it in your hand, the pain is sharp and it cuts at you like a knife, you try to remember to breathe.

You try to swallow in between your gasps of cries, your throat becomes tight, rigid like. It feels as if it is numb, you can’t function to swallow. You stretch your head up and back thinking this will help you, you try opening and closing your mouth, c’mon you can do this, just a bit longer! In the back of your throat saliva pools, you quickly try to lean forward to stop from choking but you feel a coldness come across your neck as if a hand is slowly running across it, you push forward once more, the saliva rising, but nothing!  You start to cough, the water gurgling in the back of your throat causes your muscles to try to swallow but they can’t. You reach up to grab the handrail but there is nothing there, your neck doesn’t feel like yours, it’s cold and numb like you are touching someones else’s. You begin to scratch at the skin, you can feel yourself panic. Stay calmshe’ll let go, she’s just playing remember?

Your mind is losing, fear is winning, my god you are going to drown here, in your own saliva, aren’t you?

Your fingers are cold, too stiff to move, you claw at your throat but nothing. Move! You can get away from her! You grab the cold railing that is now wet with condensation, you pull and push against her force to get out of her grasp, whatever it takes, your hands slip, you choke again more saliva comes out, its thick, you try to spit it out but your exhausted and your body no longer belongs to you, it’s hers now. She’s inside of you, and you’ve submitted to her. She likes you like this, this is the furthest you’ve let her go. She continues to surge through your body, suddenly your forehead smacks against the cold railing, blood trails down into your eye and across the bridge of your nose. You begin to cough, saliva pouring out, your gagging to get air, you feel your jaw muscles take over as they wretch your mouth wide open as you forcefully vomit against the spindles, saliva, and blood splash through them onto the hardwood floor below you.

You can breathe, you continue to cough, you are able to move, Crawl! You slowly start to crawl down the steps reaching up to feel your throat, it’s wet, you look at your hand;  My god the blood, what the hell has she done to you? You look behind you at the step she had you kneeling on, the carpet is covered in blood, you glance at your shirt that has blood spattered down the front, your jeans are soaked with blood at the knees. You feel your throat again, it’s raw, pieces of tissue lie beneath your fingernails, you try to speak but there is no sound, just pain, you hang your head heavy as you become weak and dizzy, you lay on the steps, halfway through, halfway through runs through your mind. You’re tired, you can barely swallow, but you’re breathing. You begin to think you wouldn’t rather be, that she would have tormented you and finished the job.

You know you will have to face her again until she wins, and you end up, well; dead.

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