Author: Emily Kinsey

A high-pitched scream tore into the night air, and Jules, leaning against the battered frame leading into her little brother’s room, uncrossed her arms and reflexively placed her hands over her ears.

“Mom, can’t you get him to shut up?” Jules asked. “He’ll wake the neighborhood.”

“He has nightmares,” Jules’ mother said over her shoulder.

“He is a nightmare,” Jules muttered.

“Hunter, sweetie, come out, it’s time for bed,” their mother said, kneeling on her hands and knees, trying to coax her son from the inner depths of his bedroom closet. “You need sleep.”

“I can’t sleep, the Grey’s are coming!”

“Nothing is coming, Hunter,” Jules said from the doorway. “Mom, seriously, the neighbors will call the cops.”

“Hunter, honey, you want your blankie?” their mother asked. “You’re not too old for your lovey.”

“No!” Hunter shouted from the darkened closet.

“Hunter, enough,” their mother said. “Get in bed! Nothing is coming for you, baby, I promise.”

“You’re a liar!” Hunter yelled.

“Honey, I am not a liar. Why would you say that?”

“Because that’s what you say every night!” Hunter shouted. “And it’s a lie! They come every night!”

“Who comes every night?”

“Aliens. The Greys.”

Their mother leaned back on her heels, distracted. “I had a dream about this last night.”

“Déjà vu,” Jules whispered. She felt it too.

“It wasn’t a dream,” Hunter pleaded, emerging from the closet. He looked older to Jules, wiser than his eight years. “And it’s not déjà vu. The Greys are coming. They come every night. Each day repeats itself, and I’m the only one who remembers.”

“Hunter, dial the crazy down to a zero, okay?” Jules said. Goosebumps prickled her arms. “Nothing is—”

The room was suddenly encased in a blinding pale blue light. The wall to Jules’ left billowed and pulled apart silently, disappearing into the night sky.

“Prepare yourselves, what comes next is the worst part,” Hunter said as the room was enveloped in white mist. He darted from the closet and sprinted past Jules. Grabbing her wrist, he pulled her into the hallway. Jules quickly lost sight of her mother in the thick mist.

“Get away from it!” Hunter shouted to Jules.

“What have we tried?” Jules asked. She no longer doubted Hunter.

“Everything,” Hunter said, backing down the hallway and eyeing the intruding mist. “Knives, baseball bats, the fire poker, UV light, water…they’re invincible. They hate loud noises, but the mist deafens all sound. They come in the mist.”

“What do they do when they catch us?”

“Use your imagination.”

Deep dread hit the pit of Jules’ stomach as she thought of her mother. “What do they want from us?”

“Not us, Jules. You. They want you.”


“I’ve tried everything, but they just restart the day over again. They told me last time…it’ll stop if I give them you.”


“I’m sorry; I just can’t live another day like this.”

Staunchly, Hunter grabbed his sister and pushed her into the mist. He heard her muted scream as she disappeared into the vapor, and saw a thin, gray claw clamp down on her wrist.

“There, she’s yours!” Hunter yelled into the white abyss. “We had a deal! Now leave me alone!” The mist growled in response, and Hunter, who knew what each growl meant by now, nodded in silent satisfaction. He watched the mist retreat into his bedroom, where it slipped outside. The wall slid back into place, and Hunter was left in eerie, beautiful silence.

“I did it,” Hunter whispered. He fell to the floor and cradled his head. “I’m free. It’s finally over.”