Anya stood in the police station, her report scrutinized under the furrowed gaze of the officer in front of her. The man looked up at her, scorn easily written in the wrinkles around his eyes.

"There's someone in your pipes?"

She ignored his disbelief. "I can hear them talking. I mean - I don't know where they are, but they must be in the house! I can hear voices when I turn on the water."

He said nothing, only glared at her until she eventually left the station, shame burning in her chest.

Back at home, she stared at the bright tiles of the bathroom. Finally gathering her nerve, Anya turned on the shower and stepped into the tub. For a few minutes, despite her apprehension, everything was fine.

Then the whispering started.

It came up through the pipes and curled around her ankles. Anya tried to ignore it, tried to tell herself it wasn't real. Except, she could almost make out the words.

The drain rattled and a finger squeezed itself up through the small hole.

She didn't scream, didn't make a sound, but was out of the bathroom and racing down the hall in moments.

She reached the front door, still naked and dripping water. Pausing for just a moment, she grabbed her phone and wrapped the blanket draped across the couch around her shivering frame. Anya ran, bare feet numb on the cold ground, and pounded on her neighbor's door as she dialed 911.

They showed up ten minutes later, told her there was no one in the house, that the shower drain was intact. That what she was claiming was foolish.

She wasn't foolish. Anya booked the hotel immediately after the police left and packed up the most important things from her house in a suitcase. Pausing on the front steps, she tilted her head and thought maybe she could hear the hiss of the gas stove she had left on, the crackle of the candle she had left burning.

When she came back the next morning, to the burning ash and blackened beams of her house, her neighbor was standing out front. The older woman spotted Anya, let out a wordless exclamation, and then gathered her in a hug.

"I thought you were in there," she all but sobbed into Anya's breastbone. "They say it was steam building up in the pipes, but it sounded like someone in there screaming."

Anya processed the news and looked up over the woman's shoulder at the smoking rubble. Smiled.