I lie frozen, sweat beading on my skin, filling my nostrils with a salty tang. I know the time without having to see the clock: midnight, my nightly haunting.

Long fingered shadows creep toward me, inky black, binding me tight like a giant python. The taste of iron floods my mouth.

Shivers race over skin, my heart hammering hard. Still I’m paralysed. Even when those claw tipped fingers wrap around my throat. Even as I begin to choke, gasping for breath.

I concentrate on small movements, I need just one, to break the spell. Just one.

I twitch my finger.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
22 days ago

A wonderfully crafted story that engages all our senses and gives many nuances of meaning to the well-chosen title. Great writing, and an interesting take on the midnight prompt.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

Well done, Emily for building up so much emotion and tension!

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 month ago

I love this, Emily, especially as I’ve experienced that sort of thing a few times myself. Fantastic description. It would be interesting written in second person. I think the person would really feel as though they were living it! Great stuff!

Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
1 month ago

Perfectly paced with slow build-up of expectancy, then…bang!

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 month ago

You describe so well those feelings of sheer panic when we feel powerless, Emily. A gripping story, extremely well written.

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Heather C
Heather C(@heather-c)
1 month ago

“Long fingered shadows…” I love this line! Very creepy and you are such a great descriptive writer.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago

Emily, this is yet another story that has been skillfully portrayed, with the mounting tension heightening the sense of terror and powerlessness. Good work.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

A very creepy story with a bang. I love how you build the emotions and tensions, Emily. Very well portrayed. Well done.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Emily O'Leary
1 month ago

You’re welcome, Emily.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

Wow, Emily! Your story wakes up memories from when I had a couple of experiences with sleep paralysis when I was young. I was aware of being asleep, but unable of moving or waking up. As you write in your story, I knew that I needed to move just a little to break the spell, but I was unable to do it. Finally, with a big effort, I managed to move my tongue, which made it possible to wake up. This happened when sleeping in a warm and sunny room during daytime. It was very scary! Great writing!

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
23 days ago

Emily, this is so well-written and gripping. Like some others here, I have had dreams where I knew I was dreaming, but could not wake up, nor move any part of my body. You’ve described the feeling of helplessness so well. Great work!

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
22 days ago

Well done, Emily! Another gripping and well-paced story. I love the last line. Congratulations!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
21 days ago

Congratulations again, Emily. I am always happy about your achievements.

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Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
21 days ago

Congratulations, Emily on a well deserved win.

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