A Scary Story
I found it so hard to get off to sleep last night, twisting and turning under the ‘tremendous’ weight of the quilt. And it was so hot, it was so incredibly hot – I just couldn’t understand it.
It must have been well past one a.m. before I finally dozed off, only to be awoken soon after, by a fear, a terrible sensation that something was in the room with us, something skulking, ready to get me, and to snuff out my miserable existence.
I tried to shout, to scream, to let my wife, Breda, know of the danger we were in, but I
couldn’t make a sound, not the slightest utterance left my startled lips. Then I began
rising, floating out and away from the bed. It wasn’t far mind you, no more than a few feet,
but more than enough to send my already frightened mind racing into startled convulsions.
Shouting, sweating, shaking, trembling with fear I suddenly awoke, having escaped from
this terrifying dream – It was only a dream, wasn’t it?
Breda insisted that it was only a dream. She told me not to be so silly, to go to sleep, that
everything would be all right in the morning. And I tried, I really tried so hard to get back to
sleep, to the good pattern of sleep that I am so fortunate to enjoy. But I was just so
uncomfortable, where neither my right or left-hand side was an option to lie on. The only
way that I could find any degree of comfort was in lying on my back. And that, unfortunately, was where it all began again!
I relaxed and drifted off to sleep, restful sleep, and it was a nice sleep, but so short, so
incredibly short. I had barely lost consciousness when I heard something, something so
very close to my ear, so close I could hear its every word, speaking, mumbling, and
gurgling. I awoke; it awoke me with a start, and for a moment, a brief instant, I thought I
saw a figure, a dark figure, a form skulking away from our bed, to the shadows in the darkest corner of the room. Putting it down to my imagination and perhaps even to the two
drinks that I had enjoyed before retiring, I again closed my eyes and relaxed, returning to
But it returned, the voice, the speaking, and the mumblings, the unintelligible one-way
conversation awoke me with a start, and once again I saw a shadowy figure returning,
disappearing in the darkest part of the room.
This terrible process, this mocking torture repeated itself over and over again for the
remainder of the night, until the breaking dawn allowed me to asleep proper, and in
It rang; the alarm ringing so close to my ears told me that I had rested enough, that there
was a whole new day awaiting my attention. Yawning, I dragged myself out of bed, and
putting on my dressing gown and slippers I made my way across to the window, where I
opened the blinds. Yawning again, I inspected the day. It was a cold, dark, grey winter’s
morning. I wished that I had could have returned to my bed, to sleep, oh how I wished.
Something on the floor in the darkest part of the room, where I had seen the frightening
figure returning to again and again, suddenly caught my attention. It was a book. Bending
down, I picked it up; it was the book, the very same book that I had been reading in bed
the night before. But how did it get here? Scratching my head, thinking that was a
question too far, especially since I was so tired, I closed the book and returned it to its
place on my bedside locker. Then I saw its title, and I read it, it said, ‘Short, Scary Stories’.