He’s half-awake, lying on the duvet in the still, airless black of the tiny bedroom.
He reaches down, finds boxers sticky from the recurring dream. But there’s something else that’s woken the boy. A rustle? A click?
There it is again. Rapid, shallow breathing. He calls out, voice strangled with fear.
‘Who’s there? Who is it?’
The panting stops. He fumbles for the bedside lamp, flicks it on.
He gasps at the silhouette of a youth, standing by the wardrobe against the opposite wall, tugging towels from an open draw. His hair is drenched, ripped T-shirt dappled with black sweat pools.
The figure turns slowly, a bloodied kitchen knife in his hand and gazes down at the empty, untouched bed.