Cassia woke to the sound of a cold, shrill wail. It was a sound that made her skin rise, that made the hairs on the back of her arms stand on end; she scrabbled through the darkness until she found Laurel’s bed, shaking her to find that she was already awake. “Did you hear that?” Cassia asked urgently.
“Yeah,” Laurel croaked, hitting the lights. They waited in silence, listening until they could hear that same low, distraught moan through the walls. It was almost the same sound the wind made during a storm without rain, hollow and howling, as though death was knocking on their front door.
“Isn’t that -,”
“It’s coming from the bathroom! Laurel, move!” Cassia shoved her way past Laurel, panic rising in her throat as she recognised the distinct, birdlike timbre of the sound she’d thought to be the wind. Sprinting down the hall, Cassia tried the bathroom door, only to find it locked. She pounded on it once, twice. “Aspen! Aspen, are you in there?!”
Laurel stood in terror, watching as Cassia threw her shoulder into the door as the horrible wailing rose like a chill wind; she threw herself into that door until the lock splintered and it gave way, letting Cassia tumble into the bathroom with Laurel close at her heels.
“Oh my God,” Cassia breathed, her voice cracking at the sight.