The first thing Dawn noticed as she came back to consciousness was that she was back in her own body, aching and cold though it was. Sitting up and looking around herself she found she was back in the old shed exactly where she had been when the vision, or dream, had come upon her.
Remembering the disturbing events of earlier and feeling a ghostly pain she reached up and felt where the knife had plunged into the strange female creatures chest, her searching fingers found no trace of any wound thankfully but then they brushed against the strange pendant still hanging from its chain around her neck. As her fingers touched it she felt a flash of heat and her mind shuddered as it recalled the alien presence from the end of the vision, recognising it now as being the same one she felt from the pendant but magnified and immensely more real.
Looking out of the ruined window of the overgrown shed she realised it was pitch black outside, shocked that she had lost the whole day to the vision Dawn jumped up and rushed through the silent village to get home, hoping no one had decided to notice she was not there already.
Darting passed the silent houses, avoiding the few lit windows as she went, Dawns thoughts were filled with fear of what Beth would do if she caught her out so late. As she came to the back of her home Dawn peered through the kitchen window, thankfully it was dark and silent so she slipped through the door and up the stairs, desperate to reach the safety of her room.
As she approached her door her heart sank as she saw the flickering light of a candle seeping from the bottom of it. Torn between a desire to run back to her overgrown refuge to avoid punishment Dawn took a deep breath and opened the door to find her hated step-mother Beth sat on her bed waiting for her like a loathsome spider waiting for a fly to be caught in its web.
Swallowing back the bile rising in her throat from the expression of glee on Beths face Dawn stepped into the room, the only thing keeping her from fleeing was the thought that Beth couldn't do anything truly cruel while her father was home.
As Beth rose to her feet and moved forwards Dawn was forced to circle away from her further into the room to try and stay out of arms reach. Too late she realised Beth was moving to block her from the doorway that same expression on her face causing Dawn to wonder what she was planning and why she felt a rising tide of anticipation from the presence that lingered still in the dark reaches of her mind.
Lips twisted into a parody of a loving smile Beth said "Ah there you are my dear, I was almost worried about you"
"Why the fact you hadn't returned home meant your dear father and sister had to leave without saying goodbye" She continued as her lips stretched into a grin of anticipation.
"It is such a shame you missed your cousins visit to tell us of your grandmothers illness, of course as soon as i heard she was on her deathbed I insisted that your father go to her side and take Jenny so she could see her dear grandmother one more time."
Eyes narrowing and head tilting slightly to one side as she peered down at Dawn with glinting eyes Beth carried on in the same sickly sweet tone "Of course he was worried you had not returned but I made sure he knew that I would find you… and take very, very good care of you while they are gone"
Trembling with apprehension Dawn could feel something had changed, yes Beth had always been cruel and nasty to her but it was always in a petty way, now it seemed something she was planning something altogether darker and crueller. Was this side of her always there hiding and waiting until Beth finally got her alone for enough time or was there something else influencing her mind and pushing her disdain and jealousy over the edge and into a pit of cruelty and hatred.
"I..I'll make sure I stay out of your way Beth, im sorry for being late back" Dawn said, looking down at the ground, fearful of what she saw in Beth's eyes.
She felt Beth move closer and then flinched as she felt a hand settle on her shoulder as Beth said "Don't worry dear, I want to spend plenty of time with you while its just you and me"
Dawn couldn't take it anymore, the feeling of those cruel pig like eyes above that twisted parody of a smile locked on her, intertwined with the mocking pleasure at her fear radiating from the alien presence still infecting her made Dawn bolt and slip away from Beth's hand as she dashed to get to the door and escape.
Scrambling through the door and into the hall as Beth started to lumber after her "Get back here you little demon" she said, her earlier falsely caring tone long gone.
Pulse racing Dawn started down the steep wooden stairs her only thought to escape her seemingly insane stepmother. Then without warning her left leg seized up, it was only for a second but it was more than enough to fling headfirst down the stairs. Pain exploding in her slender body from where it impacted that hard stairs Dawn felt everything slipping away as her head hit the floor as her tumble ended at the bottom of the stairs.
As everything faded to blackness all Dawn felt was fear as that twisted presence in her mind cackled in glee at what it had wrought.