I screamed, my voice reverberating off of my bedroom walls. The creature- a mottled green beast with gangly limbs, vicious curved claws and deadly looking fangs that dripped an acid green slime onto my bed sheets- loomed ominously above me. Where had it come from? What did it want?

My mind was racing through thousands of possibilities when it lunged at me. I gasped and rolled to avoid its vicious assault. A ripping sound shredded through the night as my pillow was obliterated into fragments right where my head had been moments earlier. I flung myself off of my bed and commando crawled out of my room in record time. I had a few seconds head start ahead of the animal, and I tried to think of a safe haven. First I had to check on something.

I sprinted through the house, the sounds of pursuit echoing behind me. I dashed out the front door, intent on reaching the ancient wisteria tree.

I flew across the front lawn, reaching the blossoming tree in record time. I inspected the lowest bough on the tree, searching. I groaned, knowing my work was cut out for me. The knot in the branch had disappeared and instead a black wormhole was spinning in its place. The portal had been opened.

Heavy breathing alerted me to danger. I spun around, prepared to flee but sighed with relief. It was just Rose, my younger sister.
“What are you doing out here?” She inquired, her tone disapproving.
“Nothing. Go back to bed-“ My sentence cut off with a panicked gurgle as I lunged for her. “Rose!”
But it was to late. Her shrieks shattered the calm night as darkness painted over her figure, struggling in the monster’s strong arms.

My vision went completely black, except for a strange ball of rutilant light, hovering in the far corner of my eye. The portal?

Around me voices murmured hushed concerns. My mother’s was the shrillest.

“But what’s wrong with her? What happened?” She shrieked.

I managed to open my eyes, and found that I was lying in a lumpy hospital bed. Mum and dad were in chairs beside me, deep in discussion with a doctor. Several nurses bustled around the room.

“Mum? Dad? I-“ The words stuck in my throat. “Where’s Rose?” I exclaimed.

“Shayla!” Mum squeaked. “Everything’s fine, whatever you saw- you were just hallucinating. The doctors think you might have eaten something. Rose is fine, of course…”
She babbled on like this whilst I pondered what she meant. Hallucinating? But the portal was real. I had fought monsters that emerged from the other realm myself! Had last night really just been the result of my imagination? It had seemed so real…

“We’ll let you get your rest. Night, honey.”

As I pulled the covers tighter around me, something green flashed in the corner of my eye. I turned my head and my breath let out in a whoosh. The monster!

I squeezed my eyes shut.


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