A Nightmare.

Silence encircles me, embraces. Like strong arms wrapped around me, I listen to the still of the night.
It should be comforting.
Instead I feel trapped. Eyes wide, I look across the room at her.
A little girl.
She’s the same as she is every night. Her skin so pale it’s almost aglow, her dark eyes wide and watching, her long hair like a cloud of wild curls around her, her small frame like a little china doll.
I watch her, watching me as the clock ticks drearily in the background. The clock keeps time of both the moments passing and the beat of my heart.
Lying on my side, I look at her, looking at me. An eerie vision of innocence, untouched and untampered.
As moments pass, she begins to slowly tilt her head. I wonder then as I inch away from the edge of the bed to put some distance between us, if she looks at me in wonder or if she is assessing me for something.
Swallowing hard, I ask myself how long it’s been since she’s been there.
It’s the same every night, she stands there in the corner of my bedroom watching and I watch her in return. At first I had been so full of fear that I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Now, I can scarcely recall a time when she wasn’t there, standing eerily still, eyes dark and unblinking, and the fear has left and been replaced with… what?
Familiarity?
Still, I do not sleep.
The dark circles under my eyes are permanent now, it is the way she forces me to carry her with me outside of my apartment, out in the world. She comes with me everywhere, dark stains under eyes that can no longer see the world around her, instead they live forever in a haze.
The clock ticks, and I bite my lip as I watch her stand there.
In the dark, she slowly lifts her arm, reaching for me.
Familiar or not, my heart begins to race in my chest. This is not something I’m prepared for. We have lived just watching, perhaps waiting, but I was never ready for this to change.
Her lips part slightly, a cool breeze moving through the room.
I sit up in bed, suddenly afraid.
As she takes a jerked step forward, I felt as though her foot touching the floor caused the whole room to shake. Her movements were awkward, like a puppet, each limb being moved by strings. Her body seems uncontrolled, as though she herself is not controlling the weight of it.
My lips tremble as I watch her, she takes another jerked step forward and I suddenly realize how small the room is.
Frozen, I can do nothing but watch. Unknowing of what will happen if ever she reaches my bed before the morning comes.
Eyes wide, another step is taken, and another. The sound of the clock ticking seems to quicken, as though it is a timer on a bomb about to be set off.
So close to me all she has to do is reach out to take hold of me, but she won’t though… she is the same as every night, standing perfectly still, watching. But it’s not the same, as she isn’t standing across the room, she is standing right at the edge of my bed, the look in her eyes so different from the looks he normally wears.
Hungry.
The clock stops, with it, so does my heart.
I am overwhelmed as the silence dances around us, as we watch each other through the darkness.
Bounding forward, she grabs hold of my face and I scream.
And then, silence.
The slow ticking of a clock.
I open my eyes.
Silence encircles me, embraces. Like strong arms wrapped around me, I listen to the still of the night.
It should be comforting.
Instead I feel trapped. Eyes wide, I look across the room at her.
A woman.
She’s the same as she is every night. Her skin so pale it’s almost aglow, her dark eyes wide and watching, her long hair like a cloud of wild curls around her, her thin frame hunched and defeated.
I watch her, watching me as the clock ticks drearily in the background. The clock keeps time of both the moments passing and the beat of my heart.
Lying on my side, I look at her, looking at me. An eerie vision of something that seems so familiar.
Little hands reach out from behind her, pulling her back against the wall and stifling her screams as she reaches out to me. Her eyes fog over, a thick tear running down the length of her cheek to trail over the dirty little fingers that clasp so tightly around her mouth the dig into the side of her face.
I start in my rocking chair in the opposite corner of the room.
Every day I tell them of the woman who stands in the corner of my bedroom, a helpless look on her face as she stands there in her nightgown. She is a prisoner of something, dark circles under her eyes as she watches me for moments until she opens her lips to speak.
The words are never spoken though, they can’t be. Always stifled by the little hands, the person they belong to always hidden behind her in the shadows.
Nobody believes me though, they tell me I’m going crazy.
The clock stops.
Eyes wide, I slow the rocking of my chair.
And scream.
And then, silence.
The slow ticking of a clock.
I open my eyes.
Silence encircles me, embraces. Like strong arms wrapped around me, I listen to the still of the night.
It should be comforting.
Instead I feel trapped. Eyes wide, I look across the room at her.
An old woman, rocking in her chair in the corner of my bedroom…

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