Word Count: 545
Warnings: Uh, angsty?
Summary: A young girl is haunted by a terrifying, spectral presence and tries to find her strength.
Author's Notes: This was written ages ago! I'm in the process of posting some old stuff just to get this journal a bit less dusty. Please let me know what you think. ;)
Louisa lived in constant fear of Janine. She had no cause to be afraid, for Janine did not exist--she could not, her very existence would defy the laws of nature. But rationality did not seem to be able to keep Louisa from quaking with terror as she slipped soundlessly between the sheets of her bed each night, and tiptoed around the lifeless apartment each morning at the break of dawn. Janine was Louisa's tormenter, always standing at her side, hovering behind her, a wicked grin contorting her features. Sometimes Louisa would hear footsteps behind her and whip around, eyes wide in panic, to see no one.
Very late at night, when she had been up late studying, she would catch sight of a shadow, Janine’s shadow, slipping away behind a curtain or the big chest of drawers in the dining room. Then Louisa would scream, but no sound would echo forth into the room. She, like her tormenter, was silent.
Frustration would eat at her nerves, helping the constant fear and anxiety, to break her down into a thousand fragments. She was no longer Louisa, she was simply a mosaic of little pieces of the girl she had once been, not entirely real and yet fully mortal. In the same hours of the morning, the piece of the girl most like Louisa's former self would wonder whether she was destroying herself--but then daybreak would come, and the rest of the house would wake up, and Louisa was herself once more, fears gone, smile plastered across her face.
The calendar hanging in Louisa the girl's room showed little black cigarette burns of pen for every day Janine had haunted the house, but still it seemed silly and unreal to Louisa at four o'clock, as she sat scribbling away at her homework and the wonderful, earthy smell of cooking tomatoes drifting down the hallway from the kitchen. As soon as the world returned to night, though, Louisa was gone, and Janine was back. The pieces of a girl lied in bed and shivered as Janine floated through the room, noose in hand. One foot would peek cautiously out from under the covers, and Janine would descend on her prey. The foot would dart back under the covers, two eyes would shut tight, and hands would pull the blanket up, shielding the sleeping mosaic of Louisa from Janine.
As had been inevitable from the start, one day Janine was gone. Perhaps she had given up on Louisa and decided to go torment another little girl. Louisa, confident Louisa, boasting Louisa, joyous Louisa, Louisa Louisa, smiled a cocky smile and drifted into the land of Nod. Sleep descended instantly on Louisa, but it was not a peaceful sleep. The part of Louisa that was not confident, or boasting, or joyous (except on occasion), but still Louisa Louisa, whispered that hadn't Janine won? But there was not a question mark at the end of bold Louisa's thoughts on the matter, so meek Louisa retreated into the back of Louisa's head, and tried not to be completely obscured.
Janine never did come back, but once or twice, as she lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling, Louisa wondered where Janine had gone. And then meek Louisa knew that in her way, she had won.