There’s something predictable in human terror. I hypothesise that if I were to don a white lab coat and find enough volunteers, I could arrange a scale from nought to ten corresponding to frightening instances and guess reactions at each stage. At level nought, just a handshake on the terror scale we reach four and we’re told we have cancer. At level six a loved one is abducted, then we’re thrown from a plane for seven. At eight we look outside the shower and for the first time in our lives it doesn’t vanish when we turn to face it, but its fingers stick against the opaque curtain. Nine
Here I am again, this time with the moon so high I can see my room in ink blots. He’s in the bathroom, but it’s so tiny, I’ve no idea how he can fit. He’s watching and will soon unfold from the cubby-hole to meet me. I could try to climb out the window, but I know it will just stretch on forever, as hopeless as trying to crawl back into my mother’s womb.
I can’t face him.
He’s coming now. I saw him move. The moon melts from his grin and the air is thick. I’m drowning. So just shut my eyes. Surprise when I feel his hands around my neck.