At 1am I’m in your bed.
You awake and we lock eyes. Panic clamps your vocal cords squeezing out a strangled howl. You fall to the floor, drag yourself backwards getting tangled in the curtain. It wraps tightly around you, a paisley print sari, a futile protective shield. A slice of light from the lamppost outside casts your shadow on to the ceiling, it quivers, grows and turns inside out… who’s the monster now?
At 2am you’re hiding.
Crouched behind the chair that wears your best jacket; on your haunches clutching the empty tweed sleeves. I hear your rapid shallow breath; a fist of fear squeezes your lungs wringing out wispy smoke trails, the warmth of life evaporating in the room’s icy chill. I roll onto my side, a domino effect; you adopt the brace position …what are you afraid of? What do think I will do?
At 3am terror twists your mind.
You are the third wise monkey, sitting at the foot of the bed; knees pulled to chest, shoulders hunched, hands clamped across your mouth …are you holding in a scream?
At 4am I beckon to you.
My palms upturned, fingers curled, pulling you closer, inviting you in. You accept and lay next to me and the mattress vibrates as fear rattles your bones. My presence here has made the bedding damp with cold; I watch the goosepimples race across your throat.
Face to face, heads on pillows, you are petrified still, not even a blink. And then you whisper, to me, your voice no louder than the beat of the butterfly’s wings; “What do you want?”
“To rest:” I tell you, my breath blowing icy barbs that sting your cheeks.
Your hand reaches for my face, that need to feel if I am real. Under your fingers I crumble to dust and ash that swirls and scatters, a former life, now dirty fairy dust.
At 5am I’ve found another resting place.
I pour myself through an open window and hover above the floor. The bed is tiny, but my bedfellow wears a huge smile and Winnie the Pooh pyjamas. He gurgles with joy, so happy to see me! I could be his new playmate, or perhaps his imaginary friend for years to come.
I levitate and swirl then blow icy kisses on his rosy cheeks; he chuckles for more, chunky arms reaching high above him.
I think I will be happy here.
Denny Jace has been writing since June 2019 She writes Flash Fiction and Short Stories and is building up to her first novel. She lives in Shropshire with her husband and two (grown up) children. Most of her days are spent reading her stories to Maude and Stanley, her two faithful dogs. Her stories have been highly commended, Winner of Retreat West Micro Flash Fiction 2020 and published in Ellipsis Zine. Twitter @dennyjace
Image via Pixabay