01 Feb Unknown Caller, 2:41 A.M
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The fourth infernal, mechanized tone was enough to shake me out of my slumber and force me to open my heavy, sleep-filled eyes. I remembered where I was, in my bed, under my covers, which just a minute previously had felt like the softest and most comforting thing in the world, but now felt like a straightjacket, restricting me and trapping me in. I kicked them off me, and reached for my phone, it’s harsh brightness assaulting my tender eyelids. I squinted at it, trying to see what it wanted.
2:41 AM. Call from unknown number. I sighed, cursing myself for bothering to see what it was. But, I had got this far, right. I swiped the green bar and raised the phone to my ear, muttering ‘hello’ in a less than polite tone. I waited for second, hearing nothing. I began to grow impatient, and was about to slam it down and try to get back to sleep when I heard very faint breathing over the line.
‘Hello, who is this? You think it’s funny to call someone at this hour?’ I retorted into the phone. The breathing slowly grew louder, like the person was coming closer to the phone. I noticed it sounded laboured and harsh. The person on the line sucked air in and wheezed, loudly this time, and whispered two words to me that sent shivers down my spine.
I jumped, having gone from grumpy to terrified in a matter of seconds. I leapt out of bed, unsure of what to do. Call the police? I lived in the inner city and it was a Friday night. No chance, considering it could easily be a practical joke. I stared at the curtain across my room, knowing what I had to do. I gulped, feeling the hair stand up at the back of my neck. It occurred to me to look for a weapon or something, but I was a college student in a meagre apartment and had very little to go for that could help me. I sighed, and positioned myself by the window.
I put one hand on the curtain, ready to draw it back, but at the same time terrified. I wondered what could be out there. Images from horror flicks flashed through my head, as I pondered a madman with a bloody knife standing just outside my window, giving me a toothy smile. I tried to put it out of my head, realising that that was ridiculous. With a deep breath, I withdrew the curtain in one fluid motion, exposing myself to the outside world and whatever lay beyond the relative safety of my room, and stared outside, my eyes furtively glancing from side to side. I saw nothing. Just my completely empty neighbourhood, as it always was. Waves of relief pulsated through me, realising it was probably just a poorly-executed prank by a friend trying to get a rise out of me. However, this was short-lived.
Suddenly I realised that even though my phone was on my bed on the other side of the room, I could still hear the breathing just as clearly as when my phone had been to my ear, emanating from directly behind me.