*Wordcount: 703 words.

He didn’t want to sleep. They always came when he slept. He didn’t know what They were, or why They had chosen him. He just knew that They would do more than just sit and watch him next time. He didn’t know what They would do, They wouldn’t tell him, but he knew it would be bad. Because They were bad. Scott knew They were bad, because They had red eyes. Things with red eyes are always bad!

His parents wouldn’t listen to him; they simply told him that they were just nightmares. But Scott knew better, even though he was ten he knew better. No one would listen to him, at school or at home, and his friends just laughed at him. Everyone told him that he was a big boy now; he needed to stop with these silly stories. His sister was the worst though, she was just a few years older than him and he used to share so much with her, but whenever he spoke about this she just ignored him and walked away. She had changed lately, spending more time in her room and ignoring him and their parents. They said it was just her growing up, but Scott knew it was more than that. He didn’t know what it was exactly, but he knew his sister. They used to talk all the time, and confide in each other. She would even tell him about her nightmares, which she told no one else about. In fact, the time they started growing apart was shortly after her nightmares stopped… And now she wouldn’t listen to him, and he didn’t think these Things would stop like her nightmares did. Scott couldn’t understand why, but he was coming to realise he was alone on this. They would come for him tonight, and his panic was growing as each second crawled past. It was late, and he was waiting for the words he had come to fear. He was not kept waiting for long, “Scott! Time for bed!”

He was going to try one more time, he was going to beg to not sleep or for help or something, anything! Scott was growing more desperate and more panicked as he climbed the stairs, thinking of what They would do tonight. He would try mom one more time she had been the nicest about this. “Mom,” he said, walking into his parent’s bedroom. “Can I sleep in here tonight?” She looked at him, and he could see concern in her eyes, but also sternness. “Sweetie, we’ve spoken about this. I know it’s scary, but the nightmares will pass soon and you will see that you were being silly over nothing! Come, give mommy a hug.”

Scott walked over to her, and hugged tighter than he ever had before. His flash of anger towards her had cooled, and now he was just afraid.
“Be a big boy for me, okay?” She asked, breaking the hug.
“Okay mom,” Scott replied. He was going to try.

He lay in bed, trembling. He could feel Them, just out of his sight. They were waiting for the right time, They always did. He had decided he was not going to let himself sleep; he noticed they came only after he slept and awoke again. So he wasn’t going to sleep, it was an easy plan for a big boy to follow he decided. However, the fear he felt all day had drained him. Eventually, sleep claimed him.

He woke up, frozen as he always was. He could only open his eyes, he couldn’t move a muscle or talk. He saw them, taking form in the shadows filling his room. They looked like shadows themselves, the only thing setting them apart were their red eyes. They came closer, crowding around him closer than They ever had. They starting clawing at him, leaving stinging pain wherever they touched, but when he looked he was not bleeding. Something was changing in him, he was feeling less afraid. He was feeling less of everything. Just before he lost consciousness, he caught a glimpse of one of the Things standing in the corner, red eyes glowing.
One that looked remarkably like his sister.


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