The Beauty We Kill Within by Trevor Gering

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The Beauty We Kill Within
Alicia awoke in the darkness, eyes wide open, her pupils darting to and fro, observing the light forsaken room. She was drenched in sweat and not a muscle within her body could move. She felt as if she were pinned to her bed, held down by some unnatural force. The room was deathly silent. Alicia could hear nothing but her loudly beating heart in the vast space of nothingness. Her blood ran cold in terror. Her soul became aroused with alarm. Something was in the room. She clenched her fists with all her might, fingernails digging into her pale flesh. Chills continually crawled up her spine like a thousand tiny, unseen spiders. Her paralysis slowly began to melt away like winter ice. Again, she could move, but the presence was still lurking deep within the darkness, watching her through unseen eyes.
Reaching for the lamp on her night stand, Alicia attempted to turn it on, but the power seemed to be out. She got out of bed and ran across the dark room and flipped the light switch to "on", but no light. She began to panic. Alicia stumbled over to her closet and groped through her shoes and clothes for some kind of light giving device. In the very back shelf, she found an electric lantern she had never used before now, and was thankful she had found it. Quickly, she turned it on and swung her arm across the view of the room. Nothing was there, but her soul was far short of reassurance. She would have to make her way to the basement, where the circuit breaker was. Although the darkness was partly gone, that feeling was still there. Alicia was at the third story of her house and began the descent.
Lantern in hand, she left her room and began to walk down the stairs. Upon the walls, the pictures and paintings of her dead relatives seemed more real and more uncanny than ever before. She looked up and stared at her grandparents, great grandparents, uncles,aunts, and oddly enough, they seemed as if they were staring right back at her. As the light was passing the wall of pictures, Alicia thought she had seen a picture of a girl she didn't remember hanging up. She shined the light back at that spot, but nothing was there. She shuddered and continued to walk, blaming the incident on her overactive imagination. She soon came to the bottom of the stairs and gazed into the front room. Nothing stirred. Or so it seemed. There was an erie calm about the house, a strange sort of tainted serenity, unrest masked by a deep silence. She began to feel more relaxed. KLANG! The noise had come from the kitchen! Alicia ran as fast as she could, getting ready to face whatever she might see. She dashed into the kitchen, sliding as she almost fell upon the tile floor. There was nothing there. She shined the lantern on the floor. There was a pot that had fallen from the stove. How could this happen? She wondered.
She began to call out to a visitor who she wasn't even sure existed. "This isn't funny! Is this a joke? Look, it's over, You got me! I won't get mad." She looked up to the ceiling fan, slowly, but surely, it began to move.

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