The moon hung low in the blackness of midnight. Its brilliance shimmered across the turbulent waters below as the tide cascaded across jagged rocks. With each swish, a gentle breeze blew through the windows covered by floor-length, delicate lace curtains adorned with intricate scalloped edges. They waved rhythmically with the crashing tide, as if breathing.
Hunched over a dimly lit desk, in her cramped office, Alison rested her forehead in the palm of her hand, fingers entwined in her hair. With heavy, sleep-deprived, eyes she glanced out from under the brim of her glasses to peer through the slivered opening between curtain panels to glimpse the moon, but quickly returned her focus to the blinking cursor demanding her attention.
One of the panels flickered out-of-sync, drawing Alison’s attention to the window as a shiver ran down her spine. The dead silence that fell upon the room pierced Allison’s eardrums while she watched the curtains dip in slow exhale to form a frame around the silhouette of a woman in a distressed mourning gown.
Mesmerized, fear welled up, high into her esophagus, burning like flames bursting from hell as the oxygen was stripped from her lungs, rendering her breathless and unable to move or scream. The shadow lunged forward. With thinly pursed lips, her ashen-face scowled from under a tight, silver-streaked bun as her boney fingers clawed out Alison’s soul and poured it into the glowing monitor. Alison’s lifeless body slumped over her keyboard while the demanding cursor blinked to life.