The sun was only beginning to set outside, so the darkness surprised her. She could just barely see the walls of the entrance hallway, the only light from the house emanating from the living room to the right; the dull glow of a television set to an unconnected source. She only made it out with her peripheral vision, because she was afraid to turn from the most eerily dark part of the house, directly before her; the kitchen. A nightlight which had been always connected since her childhood for late-night excursions to the refrigerator was no longer plugged in. It wasn’t just unplugged, she could see its broken shards weakly reflecting light from the television.
Something was wrong. Sam continued standing there, in the unnatural darkness. She wanted to call out for her father, but she couldn’t open her mouth to speak. As the thought to retreat back outside and to a neighbor struck her, so did a sound. From the pitch black of the kitchen, and behind the counter, she heard a giggle.
An ice-cold chill went up Sam’s spine, and she moved her leg backwards to exit the doorway. When she did, she found that she had bumped into someone.
She let out the loudest scream her lungs would allow, simultaneously turning to attack the stranger.