That Thing That Goes Bump In The Night Isn't What You Think

Photo by Greg Rakozy

It’s late. You’re tossing. Turning. Shifting around in those uncomfortable sheets. Shouldn’t have eaten this late you think to yourself. The temperature of the room feels heavy and overwhelming, like the room itself is having trouble breathing. It’s 3:00am now and you’re still lying there with your eyes chasing the ceiling fan around and around. All you want to do is SLEEP. For God’s sake all you want is SLEEP. But the mental to do list in your head keeps filing through your brain, reminding you of all the things you didn’t complete today. Should’ve done more you say to yourself.

Failure, you whisper.

Soon your eyes begin to droop. And you drift–


With squinted eyes and numb fingers you fumble around for your glasses, making sure what you see isn’t really what you think you see.

But it is.

Someone, no something is in your closet.

With its breathing so calm you think maybe this isn’t the first time it’s been there. Crap. You see its long boney fingers wrap around the front of the door knob and you swallow hard. Your mouth is dry now and your palms are producing little beads of sweat. You’re unable to move. Paralyzed.

You breathe quietly to balance the rapid beat of your heart and wonder if it hears you.

You wonder if the erratic rhythm of that thing inside your chest will give you away. You open your mouth to scream but there is no sound, only pulses and rippling vibrations. Am I under water?

The door creaks open a bit wider now.

You don’t look. You don’t want to.

With the covers over your head you hope by some miracle of a chance that this thing isn’t real. That it can’t see you. But the door is squealing again and this time it’s wide open. This time it’s coming for you.

The stench of rotten eggs and half eaten rodents fill the air. It’s coming closer now, inches away from where you sleep. It slowly peels back the cover you’re using to hide your cowardly semblance. You should stare it in the face. You should stare it right in the face and yell THIS IS MY HOUSE! But you can’t and squeeze your eyelids shut, dodging your fears like you always do .

Weak, you whisper. Gutless.

Little bursts of light start to form in the space between your eyes and closed lids making you dizzy. You linger there for as long as you can though, not wanting to face reality. You wish you could just sleep and escape to the distant worlds created by your subconscious. There everyone knows you. There you’re in control.

There I’m not afraid.

But soon you're forced to open them.

It’s standing there in all of it’s brilliant luminance, so bright you almost have to shut your eyes again. The smell is gone too. Your windows are open now and there’s a cold crisp breeze filtering through.

You shiver as you pull the covers away from your body and inch over to the edge of the bed, observing it from afar. Curious but cautious.

It seems to respond to your movements, shifting and refracting it’s own light, illuminated by some foreign source.

You stand and walk closer.
One step.
Then another.
A few more now.
Soon you’re close enough.

Holding your breathe as you raise your hand towards it, you touch this being made of light. It responds, bending and stretching, leaking rays of light as it electrifies you for one transient moment in time. The jolt is so powerful that it causes the room to crumble around you. You jerk your hand away only to find yourself falling through what’s left of the floor.

It feels like God just spilled a jar full of marbles and lost the lid. They’re spilling out everywhere and now you’re up to your neck in this mess. You arch and stretch your entire body, trying to squeeze every inch of your 5'8 frame into saving yourself from drowning.

Don’t be a coward, you say.

Soon you get a grip on your footing and realize that this sea of marbles is just one big glimpse of you. In these pictures of yourself you stand taller. You’re confident in the way you speak and think, and creating things that only you could create. Your dreams are concrete and full of life and they no longer exist as ghosts in your mind.

They no longer scare you.

So you sit here in this moment, with you and this thing.

With you and your Dream.