Denayra paused as a faint sound caught the corner of her ear. It was gone now, and did not repeat itself. What was that? Some sort of soft scratching, like insects in the walls.
Mystery noises were in Denayra’s top ten pet peeves, but she knew there wasn’t really anything she could do about them. She hoped that time would fade the chill down her spine.
She opened her closet and rifled through the collection of bright tops and bottoms. Tonight was her sister’s bachelorette party, and Denayra wasn’t close to ready. Finally, her fingertips grazed a blouse she’d nearly forgotten about–the deep red would look amazing next to her freshly colored dark mane. Skinny jeans and strappy heels–in gold leather, of course–would complete the outfit, plus accessories.
Denayra smiled to herself as she stepped out of her sweatpants, amused by the thought of her baby sister getting married, but her face fell when the small noise repeated itself.
Of course it waited until I’ve given up listening, she thought to herself. That’s what scares people.
It took a much larger effort this time to move past the recurrence, but she made it as she moved on to her dresser to pick through her jewelry box. She smiled again, remembering the family friend who had gifted it to her when she was a teenager: she always had sunflower seeds, she only wore Birkenstocks, and she laughed too loudly. Denayra had always admired the woman’s self-confidence. It radiated from her like stink from a wet dog.
She bowed her head, concentrating on the search for the elusive black opal earrings. Another chill washed over and through her; Denayra froze, amethyst in hand. Again she heard the sound–the whisper-soft marching of a thousand tiny legs, the bloated-belly feasting of a thousand tiny teeth, the paper-thin tickle of a thousand tiny fingers.
The party wasn’t even a vague memory anymore; nor was her sister, the family friend, or her jewelry box.
The whisper cleared into words:
“Come to me, Denayra,” it caressed the inner workings of her ears with its velvety richness.
“Come to me now. My soul demands it.”
20 minutes writing, 8 minutes transcribing and editing. And I pick #42.
The darkness has become my enemy
It’s not that I simply can’t sleep; it’s not only that. The creeping whispers come to me when I’m almost there, when I’m looking over the edge of oblivion. They come, and they stay. The fingers of aberrant thoughts twist and turn, writhing their way through the dry gray matter of my brain. They grasp at my synapses, leaving their greasy wet fingerprints on every facet of my being. Every part of myself is dirtied and broken.
I don’t remember anymore what it’s like to sleep peacefully, to sleep deeply, to lie restfully in my bed without disturbance. I don’t remember what it’s like to look in the mirror and see myself as I remember me, the snowy whites of my eyes glistening with health, the hair on my scalp mussed from sleep, sweet sleep. I don’t remember what it is to have pleasant dreams of castles in the sky.
I don’t remember.
I’m so tired.
I just want to sleep.
I can’t sleep with these horrible things prancing around in my head. I feel them push and pull, working their way inward until they find a quiet corner to set up shop and work on tricking me into believing that they’re my own thoughts. I rip out patches of my hair, scalp still attached, trying to distract them, trying to make them stop. But it’s too late for me. It’s too late to be free.
You should go to bed now, while you still can.