It’s late

It’s late, or at least it’s late for you. It’s past your bedtime. The room seems more alive in the dark, than in the light. You get up, turn the light on, and then get back into bed and look around. That’s the curtains that are swaying, that’s the door to your wardrobe that’s casting a shadow over your bed from the light above the door. You try and remember it so that when you turn the light off it will all seem normal. You get back up and turn the light off. You jump back to your bed just in case there is something hiding underneath there. It’s okay when you get off quickly because then whatever it is as surprised as you are and the lights on. But when you’re making your way back the thing will know you need to get back into bed. You jump back in and look around. It’s okay now. You can make out what is the curtain, you can make out what is the wardrobe door. It’s all okay.

But jumping back onto the bed has had repercussions. They’ve heard you downstairs. One of them comes up to check on you. You can hear the steps approaching. You close your eyes tight and pull the covers up and try hard to lie really still. One of them, it sounds like dad from the footsteps, comes in. He notices the window is open and goes over and closes it and re-arranges the curtains. He walks over to the wardrobe and closes the door. He murmurs “Goodnight” under his breath, and then walks out of the room.

You sit bolt upright, look around the room, and again everything seems to be moving towards you. It all seems a lot closer than it would in the light. If the window is closed, surely the curtains wouldn’t be moving so what is that coming towards you? Something shimmering and hissing coming towards you like a sheet. If the window is closed it can’t be the curtains! What is it? You leap out of bed and run towards the light switch hitting it just in time to see… Nothing… There was nothing there. The window just wasn’t closed properly, it was just the curtain. You can hear your mother calling up from downstairs. Urging you to go back to bed. But will you turn off the light? You know you’re just being silly. But… But… But… You can’t help it, tears leak down your face and run salty into your open mouth that’s already whimpering and the heat of your cheeks heats your tears and makes your skin tighten. A lump in your throat rises, you know it shouldn’t your big and grown up, but it comes and once it reaches your mouth your bawling and all you want is your mother to come and rescue you. From what? From what it doesn’t matter, you just want to be reassured, you just want a night light in your room.

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