His breath came out like a whisper, passing over his lips louder than he wanted. Sullivan heard it down the hall, the scratch of its nails sharp on the linoleum floor of his office.
He had no idea what it was but once he heard the screams, his instinct was to dive for the cover afforded by his desk. As he hid, his heartbeat quickened, the fear of knowing next to nothing pounding loudly in his chest.
Deep down Sullivan was a coward, but that was okay. He didn’t need to be the hero. In fact, he was happy to hide and hope.
“Hello? Can anyone hear me?” The voice was tentative, quiet, almost a whisper but still loud enough to be heard by the creature stalking them.
Sullivan wanted to shush them but didn’t dare risk giving up his location. Instead he squeezed himself into a smaller ball on the cool floor beneath this cheap mass produced desk.
A shrill scream rang out as it pounced, one of his co-workers coming to a horrific end. The sound of it eating reverberating through his body. It was close. Too close.
Sullivan felt the need to move, his body twitching with the pent up fear and nervous energy of its closeness. But he stayed, knowing that movement would attract its attention. But he wasn’t stupid, least of all today.
With his eyes squeezed tightly closed, he heard the huff of its breath as it sniffed out its next meal. It was a quick succession of sounds that made him release his bladder as the shame of it washed over him.
In that moment Sullivan knew it was over. He knew the creature would find him now, especially with a warm, fragrant trail to lead the way.
He smelled it as he felt the warmth of its rank breath on his face. Opening his eyes for the last time, he saw for the first time what had sought him out. It was a thing made of nightmares, evil incarnate in a misshapen form.
Sullivan opened his mouth the scream, but no sound came out. The last sight he saw was the sharp rows of teeth descending over his face. Then thankfully there was only darkness.
It moved away, hunting for its next meal, listening for the sounds of fear, reading the anxious energy in the air, smelling the stale but pungent odour that oozed out of the pores of the frightened.
Copyright © 2015 Julianne Snow