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Isabel Garcia Arnold

I sat up suddenly. It was the middle of the night and I’d had another nightmare. I was having them regularly now, and they needed to stop, quickly. I was so caught up in reassuring myself the dream wasn’t real that I didn’t realise I was swimming in a pool of my own sweat.

A sudden noise from the hallway snapped me back to my senses. Something was out there, hiding in the gloom of the night. I froze listening for any sign of movement. An unexpected wave of cold washed over me as I felt for my slippers at the side of my bed.

I couldn’t find them in the eerie darkness; I was going to have to go barefoot.

As quietly as possible, I crept out of bed. I could only just make out the silhouette of my hand in front of my face and I gulped down the terrifying thought of who, or what could be lurking in the dark corners of the house.

A shiver ran down my spine as I reached the end of my bedroom. I could always go back, right?

My soft, warm, safe bed was just a few metres away… but no. I had heard a noise and I was going to investigate. I don’t know why I was more scared of the hallway, I suppose there is something far more daunting about cold, wooden floorboards than fluffy carpets; more chance of being heard. Or perhaps it was the thought of the “thing”, if there truly was a “thing”, skulking closer.


More sounds. Coming from the room at the end of the hallway. Uh oh, my little brother Benji’’s room. What if it was a kidnapper? Benji was only three, they could take him away without him realising what was happening.

I could run to Mum and Dad. But they would only tell me there was nothing there, moan at me to go back to sleep.

I decided against that idea and tiptoed towards my brother’s room. The wind was howling outside like a beast, a large, fearsome, hairy beast… no, I needed to stop my imagination taking over. For the sake of Benji.

In our hallway there’s a large cabinet full of all the trophies and medals we’d won as a family. One of the achievements I’m most proud of is the golden baton I was awarded for captaining the winning team in a relay tournament at school.

I opened the cabinet and grabbed the prized object. This would make an ideal weapon as it was heavy, long and perfect for whacking uninvited guests who were trying to attack my brother.

I tiptoed across the hallway and reached Benji’s room. My breathing became shallow as my sweaty fingers nervously grasped the handle of his closed door, and pulled it hesitantly towards me. Clenching my fists, I peered through…

…to see Benji sitting in the middle of the room scoffing a gigantic bar of chocolate.

“Chocy!” he giggled.

“Benji!” I hissed.