I huddled against the closet door, hands over my ears. It was cold outside, and I could feel it through the walls almost as though they were windows, but there was no way I would risk going back into the bedroom.
They weren’t allowed in there. It was my room. I had told my parents I needed a lock for the door, but they had just shrugged me off. Not that I could blame them, it did sound kind of stupid. Until Rick threw one of his parties.
Our house had a perfectly good basement, I didn’t know why they couldn’t go be disgusting in there. I sighed and kicked out a leg. Carefully. If I hit the wall too hard, they’d hear me. There wasn’t a lock on the closet door, either. The only reason the closet worked was that they were all too messed up or preoccupied ot realise the room had a closet.
Thinking that made me feel too skittish to stay as I was. Very slowly, so as not to make the door creak, I lifted my weight away from it. Cold as it was, I would be better off with my back to an actual wall.
Coats and dresses brushed against my face as I crawled into a corner. It seemed to take a long time to reach it. Once I had, my own clothes obscured my vision so much that I couldn’t even see the thin strip of light spilling in from under the closet door.
Sighing, I got up on my knees to pull down one of my winter coats. It had a halfheartedy repaired tear down one side, but it was clean and the zipper worked. More importantly, it was warm and didn’t itch.
I had a hard time wriggling into it in the small space, but in the end, I managed. I started to lean against the corner again, but then I figured I might be able to curl up on the floor. I kept my shoes under my bed, which meant the closet floor was decidedly clear.
On the other side of the door, someone laughed. A high, shrieking laugh that almost sounded like a scream. Then there was a bang. The closet door shook.
I pushed myself up on one arm and held my breath.
Almost a minute passed. I had to start breathing again, or risk passing out. At least I was already dressed to run outside. The only trick would be getting past all of them. They’d only follow me as far as the stairs, really.
I pulled myself into a crouch, still waiting. Part of me wanted to cry. The rest of me wanted to beat up that part. Rick wasn’t ever scary, even when he was completely off his head. His friends were almost as harmless. I shouldn’t have been so terrified.
Something snagged onto me from behind. I was too keyed up to scream, but that didn’t help me tear away from whatever had caught me.
Shaking, I turned around. A large grey hand had dug its fingers into my coat, and was beginning to pull.