Eliza awoke to the sound of breaking glass. As she shot up into a sitting position, she was dazzled, blinded by light. The moon shone into her room like a celestial spotlight, bleaching her vision.
Glass crunched. Her window had been smashed clear through. Eliza shook her head, shedding sleep. She must still be dreaming. What could possibly drop through the window of an apartment on the 19th floor of a building?
Cold air pouring in from outside hit her like a bucket of ice. Eliza shivered. Maybe this wasn't a dream after all. Pushing the covers away, she moved to get out of bed. Whatever had happened, she'd better start cleaning up after it.
Musical whispers of sound ghosted through the room. On the floor, glass fragments shifted. Eliza froze. There was something else in the room; An animal maybe. Eliza began to worry, despite all her self-directed urges to keep calm. What was she going to do? What if, God forbid, the thing were rabid?
She looked back towards the window, her heart stopping instantly. A gaunt shadow rose slowly before her bed. The swollen moon illuminated the figure, transforming it into an ethereal shadow-puppet. It was eerily beautiful, in a way that sent chills down Eliza's spine.
There was someone in Eliza's home!
Eliza tried hard to hold back all the thoughts struggling to surge through her mind. It was no good. There was someone in her apartment and if she just stood back, who knows what would happen?
Eliza Panik did what she did best. She panicked.
Like lightning, she snatched her cell phone from her end-table and lobbed it as hard as she could at the intruder. There was a harsh yelp of pain and the shadow swayed. Right on target. Grabbing the next object her hand found, the T.V. remote belonging to a small set near her bed, Eliza chucked it, her fingers crushing the buttons as she plucked it up.
Calm light flowed into the room, the shadows rising back into the third dimension. Eliza gasped. The intruder, now attempting to lean on the foot of Eliza's bed, was a young woman. She shuffled her feet on the glass-coated floor for want of leverage. Lifting a hand, she rubbed at a bright mark on her forehead and winced. "You throw hard," She muttered in a gravelly voice, "That actually hurt."
Eliza shrieked, the sound piercing through the night air. Now not only was there an intruder, there were stains on her perfect blue comforter! The woman seized, her eyes wild with urgency. "Be quiet! They'll hear!' She hissed. Who is she afraid of hearing? Eliza wondered, the police? Neighbors? People who would help her?
She had readied herself for another scream when her eyes found the source of the black, inky stain spreading across the foot of her bed. She fell breathless. The substance flowed straight out of a massive gash in the intruder's gut. Noticing Eliza's gaping stare, the intruder shrugged. "It's not so bad," she said, "It's just a flesh wound."
Then she grimaced, eyes rolling in their sockets, and sunk heavily to the floor.
For the second time that night, Eliza shrieked.