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She thought the text was a joke at first. “I’m your best friend, and you don’t even know me!” it read, the white space behind the text glowing comfortingly. Arienne laughed, wondering how whatever friend had sent the text had managed to make their number show up as “XXX-XXX-XXXX”.

Wanting to retrieve the current novel she was reading, Awake, so that she could settle into the couch for a late night of reading, she started up the stairs to her bedroom. She had just reached the top of the stairway when she heard something ram into the front door once, twice, and then burst it open and ran into the living room in a split second. It roared triumphantly as she stood paralyzed, a monstrous and inhuman scream.

Her phone lighted up with another message. “But you will soon.”

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