Footsteps echoed down the hallway.
They paused as their owner peered into a room.
The door creaked slightly as they shut the door behind.
Stephanie could hear them as they searched for her, moving files and shifting furniture.
As if they thought she was hiding behind a desk.
She glanced around.
It was an ordinary office.
Nowhere to hide.
They’d find her quickly.
She felt a violent shiver go through her body.
She couldn’t let them find her.
She had to hide.
The footsteps were getting louder.
Maybe the person was in the room next door.
Ignoring the nausea and hoping they couldn’t hear her heart beat, Stephanie opened the door to the office.
Her hands were shaking as she peered into the hallway.
There were only shadows.
Shadows she could live with.
It was the people that were attached that she found so difficult.
Swiftly she ran to the next door on her tip toes, hoping her shoes wouldn’t squeak.
It was locked.
Swearing inside her head, she moved to the next door.
It was locked.
She could hear the other person.
It was a good thing they were making so much noise.
They’d be in the hallway any moment.
They’d see her, standing with the shadows.
They’d find it on her.
“Pull yourself together’ she muttered,’ they haven’t found you yet”.
As quickly as she could, she tried the next door.
A metal staircase stood behind, it’s silver railings tarnished.
Softly she closed the door, holding her breath.
They’d soon find her anyway.
It’s not like there were a lot of doors.
Her feet clunked on each step despite the tip toes.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no”, she whispered.
She could almost sense them as they heard.
She could feel it in her pocket, it’s weight bouncing against her leg.
She touched it gingerly.
It’s surface was still smooth and cool.
Maybe she could hide it? And then return for it later?
No, she shook her head, they’d find it.
The hallway on the next floor looked identical.
Except there were more shadows.
They seemed to chase her as she ran.
She could hear footsteps on the staircase.
They were still coming.
Each of the doors was locked.
Her breath was coming fast.
Her chest felt tight.
Bending over, Stephanie paused over a moment, her hands resting on her knees.
Her breath ragged.
Even if they appeared in the hallway, she didn’t think she’d be able to move.
The locked door she’d just tried creaked as it opened.
Stephanie stopped breathing as she stared at it.
It had been locked only moments before.
Or maybe it hadn’t been? Maybe she’d just been panicking.
She heard a man shout as they reached the top of the stair case.
They knew where she was.
She had no choice.
Stephanie threw herself at the door and slammed it behind her.
It’s sound echoed.
The room inside was dark. Only a sliver of light from the gap in the curtains shone through.
Stephanie tried to slow her breathing as she sank onto the floor.
She didn’t notice the cold and her breath that was now appearing in clouds in front of her.
The footsteps were coming closer, running down the hallway towards her.
The man on the other side tried the handle but it was locked again.
He twisted and pulled.
It wouldn’t move.
Stephanie felt tears run down her face.
They were going to get her.
The man shouted for his companion.
She could hear him running to join.
They both pushed at the door.
It still remained locked.
“We know you’re there’, one of them whispered, sending shivers running up and down her spine,’ and we will get to you”.
Their footsteps moved away.
They were trying to find something, anything, to break down the door.
What was she going to do?
It was still in her pocket.
Even if they found her, they couldn’t find it.
They’d know it was her.
Slowly, her legs shaking, she moved around the room, opening the curtains so the light of the moon could shine through.
It looked like a store room.
Shelves of boxes and files and strange, cylindrical pods lined against the walls.
Almost large enough for her to hide in.
A large box fell from a shelf, dust flying in the air as it landed with a thud.
“Who’s there?”, she gasped, her eyes wide.
There was no answer.
The door banged as the two men threw their weight against it along with whatever it was that they’d found.
They’d be inside soon.
She had no choice.
She looked at the cylindrical pods.
They were all closed. Sealed.
Faces looked back at her. One in each pod. Lifeless, their eyes closed.
“What the…’ she started to say but couldn’t think of how to finish.
Why were there faces staring at her?
“Hey, we’ll be there in a minute little girl. Don’t run away. It will be over soon”.
His voice was so soft, it was creepy.
The last pod made a clicking sound and then, as she stared, it opened.
The same as the door.
A cloud of white drifted out.
It smelt like disinfectant.
She could almost sense something push her towards it, as if there was a hand in the small of her back.
She could feel her legs march towards it but she had no control over them.
Something else was in charge.
The pod was clean and lined. It’s surface just as smooth as the object’s.
It felt soft as she lay back against it.
The door crashed open and two men stumbled in, their hair disheveled and their eyes glowing.
The pod started to close.
“Hey, there she is!”, one of them yelled as he glanced at her.
The pod closed with a click.
Stephanie watched their faces as she started to freeze, their eyes narrowed and glowing dark red.
The same as the one who now lay dead.
Her fingers clutched the handle of the blade still in her pocket.
The blood on the tip now dried.
These demons could wait a century or two.