Become a Fan
By Lady Soliloque
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
8 year old Daniel awakens from a nightmare.
The sound of his name pulls him from a dreamy sleep instantly. His eyes are wide against the dark as he forces himself to remain perfectly still. He can hear himself listening.
The covers are oppressive, pressing against his face and capturing his breath as he squeezes his eyes closed, fear pressing around him. He fights the urge to curl into a ball as he fights to breathe as quietly as possible.
Invisible. Iím not here.
The pit in his stomach tightens, pulling him further down into the dark of his imagination as a thousand gruesome images flash through his mind. The covers are stifling, the air stale from his breathing, hot from the closeness of cloth to flesh.
I have to look. Itíll get me. Itís not real. Itíll get me. Thereís nothing there. Itíll get me. I canít move. Itíll get me.
His foot twitches and he freezes again instantly, stifling a yelp. He holds his breath.
Go back to sleep. Itíll get me. No, go to sleep. Itíll get me. Itís right there, at the foot of my bed. Itíll get me. I can yell for Dad or Mom. No! Itíll get me first!
He could hear his Dadís voice in his head. For the last time thereís nothing in here. Stop being a baby and go back to sleep. He opens his eyes, straining to see through the blankets. The meager light from the generic nightlight plugged in across the room flickers, causing the shadows to dance momentarily.
Thereís nothing there.
He tries to swallow, his mouth is dry. His tongue, feeling so thick and sticky, darts out to lick the cold sweat running onto his lips. He freezes again, waiting, listening.
Itís there. I can feel it watching me, waiting. Thereís nothing there. I have to check.
Hands trembling, he slowly pulls the covers down, inch by inch. Pausing momentarily, he squeezes his eyes shut and takes a deep breath, and pushes the blankets off his face.
Itíll get me!
He waits, listening with his eyes squeezed shut, knuckles white around the blankets that are just under his chin.
He opens one eye, then the other.
Thereís nothing here. My room. My things. Itís all in my head. Itís gonna get me.
The bright red numbers on his baseball alarm clock read 4:16am. He looks past it, over his dresser to the closed window. The sheer blue curtains covering the night sky move slightly. He stares at them, his breath catching in his throat.
Itís just the air conditioner stupid.
The nightlight flickers again, and goes out. Shadows move. He jerks the covers back over his head, breathing hard.
Itís there! Itís gonna get me!
Nothing. The sound of his heartbeat grows loud in his ears as he waits.
This is stupid. Iím being stupid. Stupid stupidstupid. Iím seven years old now!
This affirmation of his age helps the terror subside, as he embarrasses himself into pulling the blankets off his face. He still keeps his eyes closed as he sits up in bed. He opens his eyes, focusing on his hands as his eyes adjust to the dark.
ďIím not scared.Ē His voice sounds small and distorted in the vastness of the dark. He takes a deep breath and slowly looks up.
The shadows are so deep and long in this dark that he can barely see the outline of his bedroom door. Everything in its place. Closet doors shut, bedroom door shut, clothes scattered on the floor and across his desk chair. Backpack hanging from the doorknob waiting for the morningís rush for school.
My room. My things. Thereís nothing here but me.
He takes a deep breath.
ďSee, Iím not scared.Ē Snuggling back under the covers he smiles to himself as he closes his eyes and slowly enters the twilight realm.
ďIím not scared at all.Ē He murmurs sleepily, lingering in that warm place between the conscious and the subconscious.
Heís falling, falling into himself. The sound of his name echoes through his thoughts and he jerks into consciousness breathing hard and fast. Wide awake now his heart stops, and his mouth opens in a silent scream as a voice whispers directly into his ear.
ďYou should be.Ē
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