The First Night
I lay restlessly in my bed, exhausted yet unable to sleep. My bed is as cold as the winter air that surrounds me, yet I have no sheets to warm me. My pillow is coarse, my bed rough. I see only blackened silhouettes in the unwelcoming darkness around me, the angular shape of my wardrobe and doorway, and the jutted blades of the fan above my head.
I'm uncomfortable, but not because of the temperature. I'm afraid. I don't know why. My fear is justified upon the sudden eruption of a thin blade of light through the bottom of my closed door. The yellow slices through the blackness with ease, and yet brings no comfort. I'm in bed, in my own home.
And I live alone.
Who turned on the light? My heart races as fast as my mind, my throat dries and my skin feels as if it tightens around my bones. I want to draw fabric over my eyes and escape into sleep, and yet I have no sheets to bring solace.
My panicked mind begins to rationalise, searching for explanations. A power surge, some faulty breaker switch in my apartment complex. I determine that this must be the case, what else could it be?
I rise from my bed, colder than before, somehow. I move to my door, the light illuminating my feet.
My skin seems paler than usual. Maybe it's just the light.
I tentatively open the door, and find nothing. The overhead light in my hallway is on, nothing more. The switch is at the other end of the hallway, an architectural flaw for someone who dislikes dark hallways. I walk over to the switch, contemplate for a moment, and turn off the light. Blackness surrounds me, and I can only rely on memory to get me back to my room.
My heart races, and I walk quickly. I feel the air change around me, expand. I know I'm back in my room. Something is different. A noise, a cool air. I lay back down in my bed, and see movement in the darkness.
My fan is on.
Like the light before, it seems yet another appliance has animated itself. My fear almost paralyses me, but I know sleep will not come with the cold air belting down on me from above. I need to turn it off.
I rise once more. I grab my phone off the table at the side of my bed, using the light to find my fan switch. I catch sight of it in the small light, and go to turn it off. I switch the fan two spaces to the right, turning it off. I hear it slow down, and go to move back to my bed.
My heart stops as the light from my phone illuminates the figure on my bed.
It sits crossed legged, androgynous. It is naked, but has no discernible signs of gender. Just smooth, lily white skin. Its legs are long and thin, and at the end of them hang large feet. It has no hair, neither body nor head. It looks at me, its eyes white and murky. Its mouth is a thin sliver of flesh, and its nose is small and childish. It would be no bigger than a small woman, with most of its height coming from it's long limbs. Its arms are longer than is natural, wrapped around its body. Its hands rest on its own shoulders, so long are its wrists. The fingers have no nails, long things with rounded ends, like an amphibious creature.
I cannot move, I cannot speak. It rocks back and forth in front of me, locked into my eyes. It starts to hum, no real tune, just noises, like a child. My spine feels tight enough to fray as it uncoils its long arms from its body, and points at me. It stays like this for several moments, then a feint noise begins to emanate from its throat. A little rasp at first, and then-
-manic laughter erupts from its small mouth as it hurls itself at me, its fingers grasping at the air. Less than a second passes and it has reached me, and yet it makes no move to harm me.
It simply stands there, less than an inch from my face. Its eyes looked into mine, its spindly arms now hanging loosely by it's sides. Its mouth drops open, and it speaks. It's voice is soft, neither male nor female.
"Wake up." It whispers.
I feel my body collapse backwards, and I hit the ground. But it's not hard, it's soft, warm...
...I'm awake. I lay in my bed, light pouring in through the windows. My dog lies at the end of my bed, it's warm body against my feet. My heart still races, but I begin to feel calmer.
The nightmare was over. I can go on with this day. But that thing...the creature on my bed...
I remember every detail, even how it smelt when we were face to face. Juvenile, like a baby.
Never have I had such a vivid dream. And I cannot help but feel as if something is different. Something felt...unfinished.