's 2018 Horror Write-off:

Shower at 3 a.m.

Submitted by The Distant Suburbs

I hate taking showers at 3 a.m.

For one thing, it’s just brutal on everyone around you, especially in a building like this, where every wall is paper-thin and most of them, it seems, are adjacent to someone’s bedroom.

At this time of night, where silence reigns, every single drop of water sounds like the impact of a bullet.

Of course I feel guilty about it. Trust me, I’d rather be doing anything else. But I also really, really need a shower. So tonight, I have to be THAT person.

And I hate it. Did I mention the silence, this very particular brand of 3 a.m. silence? How it forces you to hyper-focus on every single noise you make, every single splash of water? And you don’t even get to sing to relieve the tension. You feel like you are in a tiny, vulnerable bubble of obnoxious noise in a seemingly endless ocean of absolute stillness and silence. You stare at the shower curtain, and you think if you were to take a peek right now, there would be nothing but a black, gaping void.

So of course now there are three thin, green, impossibly long fingers worming their way into the shower, and they violently pull away the curtain.

I scream. The creature is sickeningly skinny, and even though it is hunched over, its head almost touches the ceiling. Its proportions are like a twisted joke – the width of its limbs feels almost reasonable, but then it just shifts a tiny bit and suddenly, seen from a different angle, the arm or leg looks as thin as a leaf. The creature is staring at me with yellow eyes the size of saucers, the pupils uneven, horizontal slits. And the eyes MOVE. They organically zoom in and out, like living camera lenses, making disgusting, cracking noises.

I scream, and I sink to the bottom of the tub, curling up in the fetal position.

The creature leans in, its unspeakable face hovering right over me.
It turns off the shower, and it says:

“Oh, YOU’RE upset, huh?! I see, I’m so sorry, except THIS IS ... MY ... SHOWER! This is MY home! Holy crap, what TIME is it, even? How the hell did you get IN? You better move your chubby little ass out of here before I call the police!”