It was just starting to get cold when she first noticed the strange things that seemed to happen to her only when she was alone. Some leaves still lined the sidewalk, but all other hints of Fall were gone. An average day's high temperature was in the low forties. The air smelled fresh and crisp, like it always did when it was snowing or getting ready to. Boots were beginning to replace tennis shoes; Winter had nearly arrived.
Melissa's bus dropped her off at the end of the street she lived on, which was just a few walking minutes away from her home. In those few minutes odd things sometimes occurred. There were no witnesses to these accounts, despite the fact that about a dozen other kids also got off at her stop. Each time she saw something out of the ordinary or was attacked, no one else was ever on the street. Her house was one of the farthest ones away from the bus stop, and only a couple of kids lived farther down the street. She usually kept up pace with them. However, it seemed they were always ahead of her when she encountered the creatures she knew only as the Invisibles. And no one ever turned around and looked back. In the air hung the attitude of "If-you-turn-around-I'm-going-to-kill-you."
She thought about telling someone, but of course they would think she was bonkers. Prove it, they would say. But how could she possibly do that if there were no witnesses? All it would take is one person, someone who doesn't even have to talk to me, to be there by my side. Their presence alone would protect me, Melissa thought. It was the only time she wished she had siblings.
This thinking about her situation had distracted her, and yet again Melissa found herself trailing behind everyone. She increased her speed. Managing to almost catch up to a girl a grade ahead of her, she breathed out a sigh of relief. One more day of safety, she thought, and started up her front steps towards the warm house.
Finding the door locked, and therefore, the house empty, Melissa ran around the house to the back door since she only had a key for that one. The attacks had only happened on down on the street before and just out of sight from her house. Still she didn't hesitate when making her way to the back of her home. As she was fiddling with the key she heard something peculiar. Footsteps, loud ones. They sounded like they were coming from the alley behind her garage, which she couldn't see from her position. She ignored them, but her heartrate picked up. Probably one of the neighbors, she told herself, without really calming herself down.
Then as the sound of footsteps ceased momentarily, she turned just in time to see a strange sight. The gate in the very corner of her backyard, that opened to a path that led around the garage and out to the alley, squeeked open and shut by itself. Melissa jammed the key into the hole so hard that she could've snapped it in half. Turning it and pushing the door open, she ducked inside. She could hear that the footsteps were halfway to the door. Yanking the key out and slamming the door shut, Melissa barely waited to hear the reassuring sound of the door clicking which ment it had successfully locked, before running up the stairs and into her room.
She grabbed for her phone to call 9-1-1, but stopped abruptly. They can't help me if those things get in here! No one can. She slowly started back down the stairs and leaned over the railing to see if anyone had entered without her hearing it. Again she corrected herself. I'm dealing with invisible...creatures. How could I tell if they were in here, if I can't freakin' see them?! Melissa walked back upstairs and gazed out her window. She noticed the gate opening and closing again, as her hunter left without its prey. Wierd, she thought with relief and confusion. But then again, she had seen much, much weirder.