The creepiness of the suggested statement freed Pheobe from her sluggishness. Finally her sprinting legs were actually carrying her away from the mysterious dust-born creature and towards some form of safety.
Only she wasn't alone.
Emerging fully from the darkness, the dust creature followed. Her father had always taught her to face her fears head on, only this fear was one she was not willing to face. Not here, not now, and certainly not alone.
Drawing on her surging adrenaline, she raced faster towards her bedroom. The faster she ran, the faster the footsteps behind her came. A strange panting now started behind her, panting that under any other circumstance would demand concern and care from Pheobe.
But not this time. Not this night.
Taking the stairs two at a time, she reached her bedroom and slammed the door behind her. Twisting the metal key, she locked it, but not satisfied the rusty lock would keep her predator at bay, she set about making a barricade, dragging the larger pieces of furniture in front of the door.
The door rattled in its frame, as whoever was on the other side grappled with the handle. Pheobe stifled a screamed and stepped away from the door, fearing that it would only be a matter of seconds before the creature would be standing face to face with her.
Suddenly, a shrill cry filled her ears. The door was still.
Shaking, she removed the key from the lock and peered through the empty keyhole. When she plucked up the courage to open her eye and survey the sight before her, she found nothing. There was no dust creature, no Mrs Appletree. Nothing.
The only difference Pheobe noticed was the streak of dawning sun that grazed the carpet through the half-open curtain. An odd grey pile lay in the streak of golden sunlight, a pile that looked remarkably like year-old dust...