It is here. Out there in starless cold. Outside the window, see? No! Don’t draw the shade! It already knows. Don’t you hear that? Glass panes rattle under its breath, fouled with decay. It smelled me. From afar, over lake ice and valleys scrubbed of snow by bitter winds sweeping endlessly from the North–
It is here. Ragged lips. Tattered. Unclean. It gnaws them. Anticipating. Did I summon it? How did it know what I did? That I gave myself over to the cold and let–
It is here. That sound! Surely you hear it? Nails. Or…claws? Encrusted filth. Impatient. Scoring the glass, seeking my–
It is here. It is here! How do I reject its claim? What? Who am I that I should—
My god! It is here! Wait! I didn’t mean what I just said–
It is here! Please don’t–
It is here!
Copyright © 2015, Ilana Hulsey Rea. All rights reserved.