student afterlife by Simon Gibson

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As quickly as they had arrived and disturbed the slumber of the building, they were quiet, and after twenty minutes, it was peaceful once more. Hugh wondered if this would be a daily occurrence, and was almost tempted to see if anyone was still awake.

He opened the door quietly, so as not to disturb anyone, and saw that the light at the end of the hall was on once more, " maybe it was just a desk lamp on earlier" he thought to himself as he walked towards the door.

Just then, he heard a knock at his door.

Hugh turned round and saw that his door was closed, and that the light was on in his room.

Now he was scared, and rightly so, for such things did not just happen.

" Right, what's going on, who's pissing around?" he called out, but got no answer.

The light in the other room went off as he turned back towards his room, and just as he faced the door of his room, the light went off in there too.

There he stood, afraid and cold in the hallway, he started to shiver, as it was a winter night and the frost had started to settle on the ground. It was not just the frost which was causing this particular brand of shivering, for this was something which Hugh knew all to well as the shakes of terror, that stage before you scream in your loneliness and wait to see if the darkness leaves, and to see if you can ever stop looking behind you. Hugh looked behind him, and saw only gloom and shadows.

After building up some considerable courage, he went back to the room, thinking that possibly it was just a problem with the wiring and fuses. He had once lived in a flat where the fridge would just turn itself off at random times, and although it was not a frightening experience, it had prepared him for dodgy electrical incidents like this one.

Something was not right with the house, that was for sure, and as Hugh went back into bed, he closed his eyes tight and wished with all his will for morning.

Just before he drifted off, he heard a knock at the door again. He would have shouted some random obscenity at this point, for he had been scared stiff earlier and was not in the mood for an April fools first night. He made the best of his nerve, and waited to see if the knocking would happen again, he decided that it was a one off, and so turned away from the door and stared at the wall for a few moments. Hugh waited for his eyes to adjust to the half-light that was cast by the hallway light, which had been off a moment ago.

Hugh was now afraid, not because of the lights, or even of the strange things that had been happening ever since he had arrived at the house, but he was afraid because he did not know what was happening. He just had no idea of why the lights were coming on and off as if they had a mind of their own, and such a mind was surely intent on torturing Hugh until he either went mad or curled up terrified like a child on his bed.

Neither thing happened, and whist he was waiting to see what next would assail his mind, Hugh heard another knock, this time from downstairs.

He had only had a brief look around the house when he had signed up to live there, and as such, he was not entirely sure where the noise had come from.

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