It looked like any other normal day. The sun was shining in the sky, the gentle summer breeze tangled Olivia's hair over her shoulders and she gave it an impatient flick. Surveying her surroundings, she tried to decide what was so off-putting about the first day of the summer break. She had just broken up for school for three months and yet something churning in her stomach prevented her from enjoying it as much as she should. It was more of a feeling; something was off. Her street was normally bustling with activity; children playing in the garden, neighbours talking over fences to one another and cars driving past doing their own daily matters.
But she couldn't hear anything. Everything was silent and deathly still. Frowning, she shrugged her shoulders and headed back inside. Her parents were both at work and she had the house to herself. She might as well make the most of it.
One of the guilt-presents that her father bought her for her sixteenth birthday was a massive music sound system that she loved. She didn't even care that the people next door would complain. Turning it up as loud as it would go, she selected a song from her iPod, plugged it in and lost herself in the thunderous beats that echoed round the house.
Little did she know though, the attention she was attracting. The very wrong kind of attention.
It started when she left her room to get a drink. She had the very distinct impression that she was being watched. The fine hairs on the back of her neck were standing on edge and she faltered in her her steps. A chill ran along her spine as she swiveled her gaze to try and determine why she felt so disturbed.
Someone was standing outside the window staring in.
She froze, like a rabbit caught in headlights her muscles refused to work. Heart pounding against her chest, she had absolutely no idea what to do. Were they looking at her? The flimsy blinds obscured her view so all Olivia could see was a dark shadow. An outline of a man. He was standing...funny.
He was probably drunk. It was only one in the afternoon, a quick glance to the clock standing above the fireplace confirmed this, but Olivia knew that sometimes the homeless people found themselves on this street begging for money. Personally she turned her nose up at all of them.
Overcome by anger, Olivia decided to shout at him to go away. It was one thing begging for money, but it was another thing to trespass.
She stormed through the open front door, round the side of the house and stopped a couple of meters away from the man.
The smell hit her first. It was absolutely rancid, clotted and thick it seemed to go down her throat and into her lungs. She gagged, covered her nose with her hand and took a few shaky steps back. But then she got a look at him. He was definitely homeless; his clothes were torn and muddied. But there was something wrong with his face. His face had a chalky pallor, sunken in eyes with yellowish bruises and a mouth that hung open at an uneven angle showing rows of dirty, red-brown teeth.
A moan escaped it's lips, haunting and guttural it seemed to slice through Olivia's consciousness and shake her very core. Something was extremely wrong here.
It couldn't have been a couple of seconds later that Olivia noticed the others. A couple of figures emerged from behind the high brick wall that separated her house from her next door neighbours and began to stumble towards her. The way they moved... it was like their limbs weren't working probably. They all shared the same shambling motion but the same determined speed at which they were moving. They weren't going overly fast but they had obviously spotted her. The man outside her window started to move towards her as well.
Olivia herself was frozen to the spot.