Thursday, March 13, 2014


               My own scream wakes me with a start, confused… disorientated…terrified, I look around the darkened room.  The same room I sleep in everyday, but it’s different.  It’s dark, quiet… Its right there, I can feel it.  My eyes scan the darkness; dread rises up in my chest.  I try to pull back the panic as I draw the sheet and comforter over my head.  I leave just a small opening for my eyes and mouth. 
                I tell myself, “It was just a dream, a nightmare.”  Still my eyes search the darkness; it is too real for a dream.  I am awake now and it is there.  My breathing is heavy and my heart races.  I remember when I was a child and would wake with the same feelings.  I would huddle down into the bed sheets, trying to be small but it was there.  It knew I was there.  I’d try to remember the nightmare; something was chasing me, or catching me, or crushing me.
                It’s not real I tell myself.  I am alone I wish she was here, I would feel better.  She would whisper, “Its okay.”  Her soft voice would drive it away but she isn’t here. 
                My mind races.  Should I get up, reach for the light?  Light scares it away, it always does.  But I am safe in my cocoon of blankets and it is there.  Waiting, patiently for me to move, to panic … “It was just a dream,”  I repeat over and over in my head. 
                My breathing starts to return to normal, my heart slows, and I move quickly to the light and snap the switch up.  Light floods the room and it is gone.  I sit on the edge of the bed and look around…I am alone in the same room I sleep in every day.  I won, it’s gone.  It’s not there; it’s been forced into the back of my mind.  My rational brain takes control.  I get up, get a drink and head back to my bed, still warm.  I reach for the switch again as I glance around the room one more time.  It is not there but as I huddle back into the safety of my blankets I know it is waiting.

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