She strokes the talisman beneath her pillow. Outside, the wind howls and thunder rumbles. “Let tonight be different,” she prays. She kisses the rosary and sets it on the nightstand, as she climbs onto the musty, overstuffed mattress. Branches fling themselves against the battered house like pick-up sticks and rain pelts the bolted windows, as she clutches the covers. The shadow beneath her bed shifts, stirs. She dreams of icy lips on hers, of whispers and hisses in the dark. The storm passes, the room is still. A bony hand strokes her auburn hair and jolts her awake. “Abigail.”   

— by Debbie L. Miller

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