Chapter Four

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"Are you okay, honey?"

I flinched as my fiancé's voice broke the silence of my bedroom. The glow from the computer screen casted her as a shadow along the wall and I jumped at the sight. She flicked on the lights and I immediately shielded my eyes, groaning in annoyance.

"What are you doing?" she asked, concerned.

"Work," I snapped back at her, minimizing the Internet screen.

"Why don't we go out for dinner? I think we could both relax. You look like you haven't slept in days."

I hadn't slept in weeks. That damn creature. I knew it wanted me. Every night it crept closer and closer. Soon it would get me. I wouldn't let it. I would find a way to destroy it.

"I'll eat later," I told her. "I have work to do."

She stood there for a moment longer before sighing and shutting the door again. I almost felt guilty— but I was more relieved. She didn't need to be haunted by this thing too. And even if I told her, she would just tell me I was crazy, and once again suggest I make an appointment with my doctor. But at this point I knew a doctor wouldn't help.

I would have to fight this thing on my own. But first, I would have to figure out exactly what it was.

Googling nightmarish creatures brought up too many to sort through— it unnerved me to know that there was so many things out in this world that normal people didn't know existed. So I had to change my tactic.

Remembering the steal I'd bought the house for, I typed in my address.

Results came up instantly. News articles, weird, paranormal chatting forums. Something was going on with this house.

I clicked on the first news article titled Husband Stabs Newly Wed Wife to Death. A cold chill came over me. The article was short and to the point. One night while the wife was sleeping, her husband stabbed her multiple times in her chest, killing her. He then called the police at 3:00AM and told them his wife was dead. According to family and friends, they didn't understand why he had killed his wife. His record was clear and he had never showed any signs of abuse. The perfect, loving husband.

I clicked back and checked a different link. This one was on a paranormal forum. The topic of discussion was my house, with a picture of it at the top. I scrolled through the comments.

Again huh? What's this? The fourth time? – SpookyGhost30

This house is totally haunted! Why do people keep moving in? – HauntedHeartx

It's always the wife. Why not the husband? – BansheeScreams666

LOL. This is so fake. What a bunch of trolls. - GhostsArentReal

I heard there's a demon in that house that can only survive if it consumes human blood. Is that what's happening here? - QuestionTheUnknown

That's called a vampire - GhostsArentReal

My hands were clammy as I clicked back again, searching for more articles. This happened multiple times? Always the husband? It would be an odd coincidence if it was just a psychopathic spouse. But I thought about the creature at the foot of my bed and its sharp claws. As sharp as a knife. Maybe the husband wasn't the killer. Maybe that creature was the killer.

But why was it after me then?

That night I went to bed, hiding a knife in the drawer of my bedside table. There was no question that it wanted to kill me. I had to be prepared. As I waited for the creature, each noise set me off edge. I reached for the drawer every time, imagining there was someone in the corner, or a figure on the ceiling, watching over me.

It was 3:00AM when the warbling started. I watched with a cold gaze as my macabre friend climbed up my bed. The sheets sunk as it slowly glided over them, barely touching them. I maintained eye contact with it, still afraid, but also emboldened by the knife beside me.

What was strange this time though was that its head was down, and instead of lanky, greasy hair, beautiful brown hair cascaded around its shoulders. It was odd to see such a deformed body with such normal hair.

When it finally looked up at me, what I saw frightened me more than any other night.

It no longer looked like the devilish creature I'd come to know. It now longed like Emily. It was taking the form of my fiancée. And I realized it was no longer pointing at me, it was pointing at Emily. Maybe it'd been pointing at Emily all along.

For the first time all week, I panicked. I struggled to break free, I breathed as hard as I could, trying to warn Emily.

The Emily doppelganger smiled, baring its fangs at me.

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