Post Classifieds

Night Terror

By Kristina Mehegan
On February 1, 2019

As a general rule, I was afraid.

I woke up every night with wide, dry eyes, struggling to discern the imprints my nightmares made in the grainy infinity of green and purple shapes that make up darkness. I wanted confirmation that they were only dreams, but my cruel imagination made my nightmares real in the starless, inky sky behind my eyelids.

After waking, I never tried to sleep again. I would force my heavy, warm, sticky lids open with great difficulty, keeping a winking flashlight trained on my threatening closet door. There were demons in there.

Worse than the darkness, though, were the little sounds that shouted from it. The house would complain; the floors would creak under ghostly weight, the breath of spirits blew in through my open window to upset my window shade, and creatures crawling in the walls tapped signals to each other through the radiator. I had to drown out the din for peace of mind, so I reached for my bedside table, grabbed my MP3 player with clammy hands, and lay in bed with music in my ears. I turned on a seven-minute song. Time seemed to go by faster while it played on repeat, and since my design was to stay awake until morning, this was ideal.

I lay there, trying to relax. There was something about the song that haunted me more than the threatening sounds that surrounded me in my bedroom, but in a strangely beautiful way. I knew every single word, but I didn’t understand them; the music was enough.

I stared upwards and became suddenly aware of the invisible eyes watching me from the ceiling. I pictured their faces--the demons. Their twisted lips, their green and grotesque faces, the curious creases that squeezed their pockmarked cheeks into some kind of terrifying leer. I pictured their black eyes--or rather, the eyeholes through which their demonic consciousness peered.

In terror, I realized that I had neglected my careful watch of the closet door. I sat up straight in bed and blinked at the circle of light my flashlight made on the wall. The door was still closed, and there was no evidence of change in the room. I breathed a sigh of relief and lay back in my bed.

The song was ending now. The last haunting notes were ringing out and fading into silence. Frightened of the sounds the room would speak once it was over, I started it again. The familiar first notes relaxed me again.

I finally became aware of my utter exhaustion. My eyes grew heavier than I could bear, and I wondered if it would be so terrible to close them. I tucked my blankets about me. I probably wouldn’t fall asleep, I thought, but I might as well be comfortable. I looked up at the ceiling again, and I didn’t see anything much; just the darkness looking down without a thought or care for my existence.

My eyes slipped closed, and I didn’t bother opening them.

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