1 The Creak

The deafening chirps of cicadas are the loudest sound you can hear at this time of day.

*Creaks*

Nora wakes up to the almost silent but still audible sounds of a creaking door.

She's not sure which part of the house it's coming from.

Uncertain where the source was, she quickly grabbed the glow stick carefully to not make any loud noise.

As Nora was about to land her hand on the doorknob—which was dimly illuminated by the small glow stick she was holding—she heard a slow creak reverberating across the thin walls of the room coming from the pine floorboards.

The sound was gritty. It repeated with a very familiar pattern.

*Thud. Thud. Creak. Thud. Thud. Creak...*

Nora, behind the door and the thin plasterboard, stood uneasily trying to keep herself from making any sounds as the creaks grow softer as if it was moving away.

*Thud. Thud. Creak. Thud. Thud. Creak...*

The sound continues but softer this time.

Her slow and heavy breathing can be heard.

You can almost feel and hear her heart beating out of her chest.

As the creaking sound faded, so was Nora's unease.

She was able to get a sigh of relief as the sound finally stopped.

She looked at her mechanical watch and tried to read the time.

It was 4:56 in the morning.

The sun hasn't really touched the horizon yet.

The alarm won't be going off for at least another hour, so she tried to go back to sleep.

But right after what she heard, her thoughts wouldn't let her close her eyes because the last time she did, Roy, her little brother, was never seen again.

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