He moved swiftly yet stealthily. With one blink of my eye, he advanced past the bathroom’s doorway to the hallway’s entry way. Blink. This time, he reached the kitchen.
It didn’t even seem like he was walking as much as he was phasing from one place to the next. Within another exhale he appeared in front of the small dining table. It was like the dining set was his last checkpoint before reaching the couch and cough, cough—me.
As for me… well, I was alone and confused. I didn’t understand how I went somewhere else by waking up in the same place. I was incapable of measuring how time was moving yet still. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. And, supposing I could, I wouldn’t have known why.
In a fractured moment, the figure glided behind the couch. A breath before, I did the only thing my naivete knew to do—I laid down hiding under the knitted covers. I held my breath as I stared through the netted-blanket’s holes.
He loomed his shadowy figure over me. I shut my eyes and clenched my body as still as my breath. I could feel his presence seeping through each gradient of my flimsy covering. The glow of his eyes barred into the layers of my clamped eyelids. And then, it happened.
With an echoed gasp, I awoke underneath the knitted covers on the couch. My body was still as clenched as it was when I was dreaming wide awake. My galloping heartbeat shivered underneath my chest, up my spine, and out to my skull.
My head swirled as I sat up and ripped off the covers. My small frame felt as if I was buoying on a raft stranded amid a turbulent sea. I was disoriented as I scoped out the living room’s interior and caught my recovering breath.
The furniture and fixtures were right where my mom and stepdaddy had left them. Yet this time they were without gradients. Suddenly, a sound.
I darted my eyes over to the bathroom’s doorway. But…nothing. The sound was but a pinto outside the window driving along the street below. Still, it was as if I could sense the lingering remnants of something or someone in the place before.
I heard my thoughts echoing back to myself inside my head. It was as if my cranium was a cavern as expanse as the room I was in.
“I had a bad dream; that’s all. It was just a bad dream. A very bad dream.” I made my best effort to reassure myself.
Yet my inner-being whispered, “Yeah…not so much.”