Carolyn lay in bed, frozen.

Her muscles tensing, her brows frowning, her blood pumping, her ears whistling, her eyes searching beneath their lids. She was doubled up in a very uncomfortable position; yet she was petrified. She shut her eyes more tightly and curled up closer, her back to the door for fear that an instrument of ammuntion would harm her face. They were arrows, weren't they; the things the night-shadows brandished? Was it her or were those shadows really moving?

She lay there for a few terrible minutes. Then the nausea passed. In a quick movement Carolyn turned over, sat up slightly, propped on her lower arm, with wide green-grey eyes studying the darkness, unblinking. She steeled herself to peek at the door and the narrow strip of yellow light where it was not quite shut. She thought she saw a flicker of movement. She stared harder. Nothing. Her shoulder and elbow ached but it was less agony to endure than to risk being killed, or kidnapped, as had supposedly been happening.

Another painstaking few minutes passed. Carolyn relaxed and fell back on the pillows. It had been nothing. She had not heard a sound, felt a movement, or seen a flicker of anything. If she had it had been the noisy water pipes as usual.She scolded herself. There was nothing lurking in the cupboards upstairs. She was an idiot to suppose there was. She knew she never really did suppose so, and she knew that even when the phobia hit her, yet it was a petrifying thought to Carolyn, and she could not be cured.

She wished she could be as fearless as Anastasia. But Anastasia, she thought sneeringly, probably had an inner dread too, just like everyone else. And probably it was far worse than hers.

She was drifting back to sleep again, quite safe, she thought.

And then the black shadows really did move. Carolyn had hardly opened her eyes before they were gathered around her.

The End

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