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Cold Presence

by

Kim Knight

"This is insane, man!" Devon said. "I mean, how exactly do you think I'm going to believe all of this? Are you sure that you don't need a doctor or anything?"

"I knew that you wouldn't believe me. No one in this world will believe," Liddy stammered. "God, Devon, I'm so scared. I don't know what to do. It just feels so cold when it's around, and when I'm sleeping, itů"

"Now you're scaring me," Devon interrupted. "I'm just going to go now. Maybe you should go call that old doctor of yours andů"

"Just get out!" she screamed. "I don't even know why I tried telling you!"

He got up from the stairs that they were sitting on and moved towards the door. It always hurt him to see her cry, but he couldn't help her this time. He truly believed that she had lost it this time. As he opened the door and stepped out, he softly said he was sorry. The thunder of her sobs was too loud for her to hear his last words as he walked away for the last time. She was truly alone.

Liddy, soaked in her own tears, ran hysterically to her bedroom. She flung open the door and threw herself on her bed. She thought that maybe crawling under the covers might give her some security, but she was wrong. She looked up at her clock; it was only 6:30. There were still a few more hours before darkness came... before it came. She clutched the old ragged teddy bear she'd had since she was a kid for comfort, but she knew that it wouldn't help.

She sat up and tried to contemplate her situation. She just couldn't believe that her best friend of fifteen years didn't believe her. No one knew her as much, cared for her as much, or loved her as much as Devon did. Watching him walk away was like having someone ripping out her heart for a prize. And what about her parents? She couldn't risk telling them, or they would send her back to that horrible hospital. She wasn't like those people there. They were all crazy; she was telling the truth. Where were her parents anyway? They should have been home by now. Then she knew, as she knew once before and as she knew that it was too late. The sudden darkness explained everything. It had gotten them, just as it had gotten Devon. They were gone.

She ran down the stairs and to the door. It was getting closer, but she wasn't going to let it get her. She flung open the door and ran down the stone path. She cried out in pain as she tripped and smacked her knee on the cold wet stone. She got up as fast as she could, limping her first couple of steps. She ignored her pain and charged on. She ran up the steps of her neighbors' house and began banging on the door. It was too late; she knew that it already had them. She ran up to all the houses, hoping for some chance that they might still be alive, but it had already been there. She ran into the darkness of the night to the small woods that led into the next town.

If she could just make it into the next town, then maybe there was some hope of her making it. The dead cold began to creep around her. She screamed but knew that nobody would hear. The coldness that it brought was too much; she gave up.

"Dr. Moore?"

The words broke through Stacey like thunder. She was snapped back to Dr. Breckin's office in the Smiths Mental Institution. The man's tired but pleasant eyes stared at her for an answer. She smiled weakly and said, "I'm sorry, doctor. Where were you?"

"Yes, well, your credentials say that you graduated at the top of your class. I like intelligence. I believe that intelligence is the key in this business and in life," the doctor boasted. "You're young and smart and deserve my most challenging case as your first. The patient's name is Lidia Summers. She was found in these nearby woods just last year. Her family is dead and Devon Bradley, a friend, was also found dead the same night."

"That was a pretty big bomb dropped on that girl," Stacy replied. "I can't imagine how it feels to lose so much in one day."

"That's not all. It gets stranger. It seems that the entire street that she lived on was found dead. She was the sole survivor. Naturally, one would think that this girl was a murderer, but everyone was checked out and seemed to die of natural causes. This girl, unfortunately, suffers from paranoia. No one can get out of her what really happened that night. This is where you come in, my dear; you now have your assignment," Dr. Brekin announced.

"I don't know if 'thank you' is a strong enough reply, Sir..." she said sarcastically as she left.

"Now look what you got yourself into, Stacy. What's this girl's room number anyway?" she said to herself. "There it is; it's two hundred and one, and just down the hall. Well, here goes nothing. Wish me luck!"

She stared upon the curled up mass of blonde locks on the cot in the corner. It was disturbing to watch the girl rock back and forth in hopes of comfort. The only sound in the room was the soft whimpering that she made.

"Hello, Lidia," Stacy said softly. "My name is Dr. Stacy Moore, but you can call me Stacy."

Liddy pulled her head up slowly to look at the doctor. She stared into the doctor's eyes.

Stacy felt the dark, cold fear reflecting in the girl's eyes. At that moment, she got the feeling of turning right around and running from the room. It was crazy; she was a psychiatrist. This was why she got the job. She was there to help, not run away.

"Let's talk about why you're here, Lidia," Stacy said. "What happened the night before you came? It's okay; I'm only here to help."

There was a long pause. Then very softly, almost under her breath, Lidia whispered, "It came."

"What?" Stacy replied. "I'm sorry, dear, but I didn't hear you."

"It came."

"What came? What are you talking about? Why is it so cold in here?"

"It's too late."

"What did you say?"

"It's here."

The security guards ran down the hall towards the terrified screams; but it was too late. There was nothing more left but silence.

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