MASKED INTRUDER (Pt.1)

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TW: Breaking and entering/trespassing, assault

Synopsis: You're always hearing things in the walls coming from little holes around your house. You find that the noises aren't being caused by rodents, but by a person.

Word Count: 2500

It had always been there. When you were alone dancing in the kitchen, watching a movie in the dark, and even when you showered. It was there, staring through little holes in the wall. You duck taped them out of fear of rodents getting in, but that never did anything; the tape would always be removed by the morning.

But you thought it was just a persistent rat, a ghost at worst. Even with the uncomfortable looks from your friends and the bumps in the night, you always chalked it up to a rational explanation. That was until you looked into one of the holes. It was out of sheer curiosity, a guess only to see if maybe something was crawling around, causing your paranoia. You got the house for cheap, and thought maybe the owners were skimping out by giving you a termite-filled house. But termites aren't what stared back at you.

It took a moment for your eye to adjust, but as soon as you saw it you jumped backward. The image of another eye stared back at you through the darkness, unblinking and unwavering. It was there before you even looked. You had unknowingly made eye contact with a person in your walls.

Once you stumbled away from the hole you couldn't see the face behind it anymore. Whether it was gone or not though, was impossible to tell. It looked pitch black no matter the lighting, and you didn't dare shine a flashlight in there.

So, what were you to do? The house existed for decades with multiple owners so something living there without their knowledge would be a difficult feat; especially since you hardly left the house. You only bought it a few months ago; the owners never mentioned anything about the holes, nor the walls rumbling. It was possible the... person, could have gotten there right before you did. Or maybe, they wanted you to find them, unlike the others.

Questions raced through your mind, but you didn't dare utter them or speak at all. That afternoon you stayed quiet, not talking to anyone. You wouldn't dare leave during the day out of fear that the thing behind the walls might move from its spot, making you even more paranoid. But you found yourself panicking once the sun set.

Where were you to go? Anyone familiar lived at least an hour away and you didn't have any money to afford a hotel, clearly showing from how little you paid for this living space.

So there was no other choice-- you didn't leave. You rationalized with a bottle of medicine in hand and internet research. There were a multitude of stories like yours-- people, voices, even faces appearing from the walls. You weren't crazy. It was so relieving to find that you weren't alone in this situation.

But the relief didn't last long. Once the sun was gone and dark crept in through your windows, the bumps started again. It sounded like clanking and stomping as someone moved around from behind the wall beside you; the hole in the living room where you resided became far eerier. You were used to the empty spaces but now it made your heart race. You avoided making eye contact with the dark gap.

Even with deep breaths, the feeling of being watched was overwhelming. At least you had the reassurance of knowing that if they wanted to hurt you, they probably would have done it earlier.

You ignored the sound of nearby breathing and shut your laptop. Getting up, you kept a tight grip on your phone and walked to the shower. It was best to just do your normal routine. You desperately clung to believing that if you forgot what you kept seeing and hearing, everything would go back to normal.

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