It’s not real.
It took a whole week to convince yourself, a week to drown out the whispers from the dripping sink and the coffee machine. Your steaming mug isn’t talking to you, honest.
By the time the work week is over you’re convinced you’re safe. As you leave the office and step into the parking lot, a quick glance at the lake behind the building proves your denial is correct. It was never there. That strange, shadowy figure that followed you home through every rain storm isn’t there, and it certainly had never been outside your window staring in.
Still, you can’t help but clutch your keys between your fingers like a weapon, walking quickly to your car. Just a few more steps and you’re safe, the sun bright overhead, leaving no room for any terrifying thoughts.
But a hand brushes down your back a moment later. You’ve made it to your car, you’re so close. So why is it standing behind you, it’s warm and wet body pressed against your work rumpled shirt?
Oh yes, you remember in muted horror, it rained this morning.
There’s a puddle at your feet, moving over your shoes and seeping up your legs and body. Water shouldn’t feel like this, the liquid oily against your neck, putrid and slimy as it pushes past your lips, down your throat. You should have paid more attention to your surroundings.
Denial doesn’t protect you when the creature is real, instead, it makes you easy prey.