"Oh, and what do we have here?" The masked man hummed to himself as he explored the house, snatching up trinkets left and right. "Well, don't mind if I do!" he smiled as he picked up a small golden carving of a bear. It probably wasn't real gold, but he was sure it could still fetch a pretty penny somewhere! Besides, he was going to kill the house's occupant anyway. She wasn't going to need those trinkets anymore! And since he knew she lived completely by herself, he knew there was no danger of being caught. Aside from her, he was the only one inside the house.

The only thing he had to worry about was the house settling. Every so often, he'd hear a bump or creak. Or he'd see something move out of the corner of his eye. Each time, it did spook him a little, but he refused to be scared by a fucking house, so he disregarded everything. He was a man on a mission, that was all he cared about. He was gonna kill this stupid, fucking bitch for turning him down and not even giving him a chance to prove what a stellar couple they could've been!

His gloved hand tightened around his knife, anger surging through him at the memory of that painful, humiliating rejection. Well, now she was going to know exactly how he'd felt that day. Justice would be swift and sweet! And there wasn't a damn thing she could do because he was already inside the house! But first, there was the matter of looting…

Thump!

"Shit!" The masked man managed to keep quiet, but he whipped around with his knife held high. His eyes were wild as they peered through the shadows for the sign of any sort of movement, but he saw nothing. He couldn't even tell what had fallen. But he refused to be so easily cowed. Instead, he grit his teeth angrily and stalked towards the noise. Still nothing! No person or object anywhere!

"Jeez, it must just be my nerves!" he was irritated with himself as he lowered the knife. A sense of urgency suddenly rushed through him, but he stubbornly ignored it. Instead, he turned around to head back to the living room. At the same time, a shadow turned with him. He stepped on one creaky floorboard on the way back, but he noticed that the creak sounded vaguely muffled. Ah well, all the better for him!

A bit later, the masked man found himself in the kitchen. Maybe he could indulge in a midnight snack while he was at it?

"Eh, why not?" he shrugged to himself, walking over to the fridge. Once again, the floor creaked, but he missed it as he opened the fridge door. He also missed the way the light from the fridge suddenly illuminated another pair of small, red lights on the opposing wall. Wow! This chick was loaded with food! The masked man was more than happy to go to town, taking a swig from the milk carton and stealing some of her leftover pizza and a cupcake he'd found behind a box of Chinese takeout.

"I'll dine like a king!" he joked as he raised a bottle of wine in a toast for himself. At the same time, the fridge light suddenly went out. The man jumped, nearly dropping the bottle. That, in and of itself, sent another thrill of terror through him as he just barely managed to adjust his grip on the bottle before it went crashing to the hardwood floor.

In his little scramble for the bottle, something clicked against the floor as if a bunch of little feet were running at him, but he was much to preoccupied with the bottle to hear it. And once he stood up again, the light in the fridge suddenly flickered back on. Nothing.

"Must've been some faulty wiring!" the man scowled at the light, but it didn't flicker again. The red lights on the opposing wall blinked again. At the same time, the man took a celebratory swig of the wine. It wasn't the best, but oh well. That would teach the house to mess with him!

"I'm the only one here!" he insisted softly, stubbornly. "There's nothing else inside the house with me! Except for her of course…"

But once the man was finally done eating, as soon as he shut the fridge and turned away, an unusually loud drone suddenly filled the air. It sounded like an electrical appliance, but nothing else was in use. The man paused in spite of himself and turned around, looking warily at the fridge. He slowly extended a hand towards the handle… Once he opened the door, the light illuminated all but one part of the opposing wall. The eerie drone continued. The man gave the fridge another wary look as he closed it, reluctantly plunging himself back into darkness. Five seconds after he'd shut the door, the droning suddenly stopped, but now the house felt too quiet… Only once did he hear a soft breeze, then it was silent again.

"Jesus," the man muttered, shaking his head, then he exited the kitchen, brushing past something as he did so, but because the thing was soft, he didn't even notice in his haste to return to the living room. That anxious urgency ran down his spine for a second time and, this time, he obeyed. Deciding that it was best to get things over with, he quickly began to climb the stairs.

Once again, something flickered behind him, but it was probably just a shadow. The door was right behind that staircase, after all. Perhaps some light had bled in through the surrounding windows and made the shadow move in a strange, unexpected way? Either way, he was too fixated on the task ahead to notice anything at all. And as he continued to climb, some of his old, sadistic confidence came back to him.

A twisted smile spread wider and wider under his mask as he made his way down the hall and towards her bedroom. He pushed open the door, and there she was! She lay on the bed, bathed in moonlight, not a care in the world. She looked so gorgeous and tantalizing… So sweet and innocent… And she was all his for the taking! In this moment, he could've done whatever he wanted to her! He fancied himself the prince who'd stormed the castle and was now hovering over his sleeping beauty. Only inches away, he stared down at her, hypnotized by her beauty.

"God, she's so fucking gorgeous…" He bit his lip under his mask. Once again, he tightened his grip on the knife, but his other hand was busy reaching into his pocket, searching for his phone. Once he had it, he stole a quick few pictures from the sleeping girl. He made sure to get multiple angles of her pretty face and body. These were going to be the crown jewels in his collection of souvenirs! All the while, that sick and twisted smile continued to spread across his face. It was pity he had to kill her…

"Alas, all good things must come to an end!" he sighed to himself as he returned his phone to his pocket. But right before he picked up his knife again, he took a quick, sweeping glance around the room. It was very typical of a teenage girl, pastel and pretty, well kept and feminine, trinkets and posters on every wall. There was a small mess of clothing on the floor, trailing out of the closet. The man suddenly got an idea!

He wasn't going to risk too much time raiding her room, just in case she spontaneously woke up, but that didn't mean he couldn't poke around for just a few seconds. He followed the clothing trail into the closet, wondering if she kept any fancy underwear inside. He knew there were normal pairs in her dresser, but what about something sexier? But no, the only thing hanging in the closet were Sunday dresses, modest and boring.

The man was somewhat disappointed, but he shrugged to himself before quietly closing the closet once again. Now it was time to kill. He touched the blade gently to her shoulder. Where to begin? Did he stab straight down? Did he slice her throat? Did he aim for the chest? The face? The eye? Did he have any time to drag it out, or did he have to make it as quick as possible? There were so many-

The knife slipped soundless from the man's hand as he was suddenly impaled all over. Something pierced both of his shoulders, and at the same time, his lung and heart were also impaled. And barely half a second later, there was a second attack. This time, his spine was shot straight through and he was impaled twice more in the torso and chest. His mouth opened, but before he could make a single sound, he was suddenly yanked backward. Once again, barely half a second later, his entire world went dark.

None of the spikes that had impaled him went all the way through his body, so he never even got to see what had attacked him. Instead, the next thing he was aware of was slipping headfirst down a warm, wet passage lined with razors. No, it was a throat lined with teeth. He screamed and screamed and screamed, but only the creature slowly devouring him could hear him as he was slowly crushed to death and swallowed down.

As for the girl sleeping only 10 feet away, well, she didn't hear a single thing. Although, just the barest of smiles spread across her face as she felt something tall and ghastly rise up and loom over her.

Come morning, all of her missing trinkets had been returned to their rightful places inside the house. And there was not a drop of blood anywhere! The girl woke up with a smile, stretching and greeting the sun. Once she swung herself out of bed, she noticed her closet door cracked open. She padded over to it and smiled fondly into the darkness before shutting it once again.

AN: Just wanted a story where an inhabitant is protected by the monster/demon/ghost in their home!