I like a story I do…
A young boy is fast asleep in his bed.
It’s around 11:45pm and he is awoken in a panic by loud, banging noises. He thinks he hears shouts. Maybe a scream. From the safety of his upstairs bedroom, the sound is muffled and difficult to hear.
The house turns suddenly silent.
No muffled sounds.
From under his duvet cover, clutching his teddy bear for protection, he listens through the deafening silence, concentrating to hear even the tiniest of noise.
Then it begins.
A soft thud. Another. And another. Another. Another. Another.
Footsteps. Heavy footsteps. Not those of his mother.
The thuds reach the top of the stairs.
The boy, mute with fear, bravely peeks out from under the warmth safety of his duvet. He scans the dark room. His eyes fall to the strip of light under the bedroom door.
The thuds stop as two dark shapes break the beam of light.
His bedroom door open quietly.
A large silhouette stands.
The young boy’s eyes begin to adjust.
The shadow is carrying something. Over his shoulder.
It looks like… his mother.
The young boy watches silently as his mother is propped up on chair, eyes closed, head forward. The shadow then begins pawing, clawing, scratching at the wall. The boy, seeing only the shadow from behind, thinks it is writing something. The shapes the scratches are making seem to be dripping, oozing downwards.
The shadow abruptly stops.
The boy, still spying through a tiny space in his bed covers, sees the shadow begin to shrink, as if it’s sinking into the floor. The boy realises the shadow is now on it’s knees. The shadow begins to move backwards, out of sight. The boy realises the shadow is now under his bed.
Scared beyond belief, the boy does not move.
He can’t read the writing on the wall and he knows the shadow is under his bed. He pretends that he slept through the whole thing and hasn’t awoken yet. Maybe he’s dreaming. Maybe not. He lays still. His teddy bear as his guardian. Quietly hearing the subtle breathing from under his bed.
An hour passes. His eyes are adjusting more and more to the darkness. He looks at his mother on the chair. He looks at the floor. His eyes look up, following the trails of dark that have dripped down the wall. He tries to make out the words. It’s a struggle. He hears a shuffle from under the bed. He freezes.
He let’s out a whimper as his eyes finally adjust to the words on the wall…
“ I know you’re awake “