The wind whistled softly, creaking through the window of his apartment. Soft echoes of rain falling outside were heard absently as he read on his couch. Then the scratching from upstairs started. He knew that there was hardwood floor in all of the apartments in the building, and you can always hear people walking above you, if they were wearing shoes. This was different though. This would be a long, slow, scratch. Three times, and each one seemed to stretch out across the length of the apartment. And stop.
He shivered. And went back to his textbook, he had exams to study for, papers to research. He had to focus.
Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. Then stop.
He heard a whimper, very faint. Did he hear it? He heard it, it was a whimper. He froze from fear. Was he just being paranoid? He could just be paranoid, it was that kind of night. Probably just the wind and the rain. Another whimper, he froze again.
Get up, and make sure your doors and windows are locked. Get up and make sure the door and windows are locked. Where is my phone? On the kitchen table. Get up and grab your phone, run to the door, run to the windows. Call a friend, invite them over, or invite yourself over.
With panic in his chest. he got up. Ran to the table, picked up his phone, looked at it. It was dead. He always forgot to charge it when he was studying. He ran to the hallway that had the front door in it and stopped.
The door was open.
Out of instinct he ran to it, slammed it shut and locked the door. He let out a breath.
Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.
It wasn't coming from above him.