(Note: My original plan for this blog was to avoid fiction, but I’ve decided to try a new idea. Occasionally, when the mood strikes, I’ll post an on-the-spot piece of fiction based on the daily prompt. My rules: It has to be written quickly, in one sitting, with no major rewriting, just minor edits for spelling and typos. I’ll start with a minimum of 250 words, to possibly be adjusted later. Ready, set, go!)
It moved between blinks. She was sure of it. Her eyes were aching, burning, but it was a minor irritation compared to what she suspected might happen if it got too close.
The space was lit by the backwash from the computer screen and a small lamp in the opposite corner of the room. Whimsically, stupidly, she’d put a blue bulb in the lamp. It cast an eerie twilight glow over the dresser and part of the wall, but it was useless as a source of light.
Her eyes screamed at her to blink, but she refused with a soft curse that she immediately regretted. Would it move if she made a sound?
She made things worse as she strained to see it clearly. It was standing (crouching?) in the corner, where the meager light couldn’t reach. She could almost make out the line of a shoulder, hulking and oddly shaped. Her muttered imprecations didn’t seem to have affected it.
It was crouching. She was certain that it was crouching. That was what beasts did, wasn’t it? They crouched. They stalked you, moving slowly and threateningly through the trees, and then they crouched.
And then they sprang.
That she was sitting in her home office made no difference to whatever-it-was, obviously. She considered reasoning with it. This isn’t the woods, this isn’t the wild. You don’t belong here, can’t you see that? You should go back to where you belong, and do your hunting there. She had to suppress an hysterical burst of laughter, containing it behind her lips, jammed shut against the involuntary quivering of her body.
If she laughed, she might blink.
If she blinked, it might spring.
Why would it leave? There was meat right here for the taking. She didn’t dare look away from it to find a weapon. What would she use to defend herself, anyway? The mouse pad? She imagined picking up one of the small speakers and throwing it at whatever-it-was, only to have it fetch up at the end of the cable and spring back. With her luck, she’d end up hitting herself in the head with it. Why didn’t I get wireless speakers?
That little nugget of stupidity in the face of mortal danger overcame her self-control. A bray of laughter forced its way through her lips, and she was overcome by an uncontrollable fit of terrified mirth.
And she blinked.