Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!
Clara often felt a rush when proven right. Tonight two of her fears were proven correct, but this time all it did was make her worry.
It seemed that the fruit of victory could be just as bitter as it was sweet. Unfortunately that bitter taste in her mouth would not settle until it travelled the pit of her stomach.
Now was not the time to worry or cower. Action was called for and Clara had it in her mind that hiding under the bed would prove to be advantageous.
Before the moon rose over the tree line Clara had stashed away a kitchen knife under her mother’s bed. Over the last few days her mother’s mental state had severely deteriorated; so Clara could have hidden a suit of armour, horse and squire under the bed without arousing suspicion.
Her sisters would have normally been a concern and would have said something if she had walked by with an axe. However, that type of weapon would need space for a swing and anything that thin had to move with finesse.
Since that man had left without putting much opposition she assumed it would not put up with any real opposition. Tonight she would be putting her theory to practice and wondered how it would play out.
Under the bed she hid in a dark room with nothing more than the silvery moonlight to illuminate the room. Just above, her mother breathed laborious, oblivious to the threat lurking outside.
Once the moon had travelled to the top of the window she heard a sound downstairs. At first, she thought her mind was playing tricks on her. Ada’s ghost stories late at night certainly did little to help.
However, through her jumbled thoughts she visualized the bolt catch being slid back. A moment later the door opened slowly causing a long creaking sound to echo throughout the home.
Clara waited and sure enough a soft thump was heard going up the stairs. One thump, two thumps, a squeak followed by a pause then a third thump. Their visitor had no trouble at all finding their way through this house.
As the steps approached mother’s bedroom they paused just out the door. Like earlier Clara heard the creature smell the air followed by a series of smacking lips. She swore she could hear it drool but doubt remained about this being real.
Clara opened her eyes and noticed two shadows under the door. The other side of the door seemed to be aglow in a vastly light. So powerful was the light, that it spilled into the room. This worsened once the door was cracked open.
Being basked in a hellish light, filled Clara with an intense desire desire to run out of the room. She fought the urge knowing that would be foolhardy. Instead she chose to hold her breath as the silhouette pushed deeper into the room.
Once at the foot of her bed she could smell it. The creature reeked of dirt and rotten meat. Why had she not sensed this before?
Clara gripped the wooden handle of the knife while she shifting her weight to prepare for an attack. Clara knew what this creature sought, it sensed how close her mother was to death and desired to feast on her decaying flesh.
Unfortunately the shift caused the floorboard beneath to creak. For a moment there was silence, it was as though time had stopped even as her mind raced. Was it aware of her presence? What should she do?
Quick as a flash Clara was greeted by long sharp teeth, a long thin nose and those glowing red eyes. In that moment she realised that those eyes had been the source of the hellish hue painting the room.
Clara could not help but stare into those glowing balls of fiery inferno. That was when the world faded to black.