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Home: The Toast

Official reports have recently confirmed what you have long suspected: that the dim and as-yet-formless shape hovering at the foot of your bed or perhaps just outside your closed (but locked? Did you lock it? Is it locked, or is it unlocked?) window is very real and the only thing keeping it from moving any closer is your constant, wakeful vigilance. Were you to relax this watchfulness even for a moment, the shape would almost certainly land heavily on your bedspread — its blurred edges sharpening and resolving into something resembling a face — and work its towards your heart.

As long as you maintain this unceasing situational awareness and heightened level of anxiety, you will almost certainly be safe, and the shape will almost certainly not move. Unless you look away even for a moment. Or if you look directly at it. Do not look directly at the shape, which is now radiating thick, palpable waves of ill will directly into your lungs and eyes. Do not allow the covers to budge even one millimeter from their current position. Were you to lower them below your chin, you would find yourself entirely defenseless. Somehow — scientists aren’t sure how, exactly — these strategically placed covers are your best and greatest protection against the shape, which may not be conscious but is certainly capable of basic things like loathing and intent and desire and planning and already knows your name.

terrorLuckily for you, however, your unflagging terror and inability to fall asleep are the shape’s two greatest enemies. The shape will never go away, of course; it will return every night as soon as everyone else in the house has fallen asleep and you are without distraction or protection, and it will slip horror into your throat, but at the very least you can make sure it never gets closer to you than it is right now. It is vital that you never let it come one inch closer. It is vital that you never let it touch you. Why you cannot say; you do not need to know why. Stay awake and stay alert, and the shape will keep its distance.

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