Injustice In A Dream

She drove in as if the devil himself was chasing her. We had been sitting on the porch, myself and a couple neighbors. We were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying the late afternoon breeze. It was a quiet afternoon, much like the one yesterday and the day before that. Out here, that’s how things are – quiet. We don’t bother nobody and nobody bothers us. Well except for maybe Kevin. The town drunk may walk past from time to time spouting his nonsense, but for the most part he’s harmless. Except for the power trip animals that roll through looking for something to be wrong, someone to correct.

We all jump to our feet as another car pulls in behind her. The driver is out just as quickly as he pulled in. Shots ring through the air and we all drop to the ground. Someone on the porch yells and wood splinters as bullets connect. Glass breaks, my little girl in the back seat screams. I watch in horror as his sporadic aiming sweeps across even the back seat.

She’s out of the car now, her stomach red and wet. “Please.” She begs him through tears. “Please, I didn’t do anything wrong.” He turns to look down at her, his gun now aimed at her head. A sparkle of sunshine blinds me for half a second as it dances off his badge. I decide enough is enough. I don’t know what happened, but I know anything my beautiful wife has down couldn’t deserve a power hungry maniac covering our home and bodies in holes.

“I’m sure there’s just a misunderstanding.” I say standing up with my hands above my head. “You keep out of this!” He spins toward me, the barrel now in my direction. A lump grows in my throat and anger boils my blood as I listen to my daughter’s screams and my wife’s pleas. The officer points his gun back down at her smooth brown face once more.

“I didn’t do anything.” She persists. “Of course you didn’t do anything. You people never done anything.” He responds in unadulterated racism. She turns again and tries to army crawl across our dirt drive, desperate to get away. I take a step forward, but one of the neighbors puts her arm across my chest. “It won’t do no good.” She whispers. 

My baby screams more and even through the windshield I can see her tears soaking the front of her shirt just as the blood does her momma’s. I’m about to push the neighbor’s hand away when another shot rings out. The officer casually walks back to his car and pulls out a notepad. I presume he’s about to document a false case of resisting arrest. 

Blind rage grips me. I go into the house. Judy follows me. “Albert, what are you doing?” I’m fed up with this mess. Every couple of months that damned officer finds some excuse to beat a man just because he was born with the wrong color skin. He never gets in trouble because it’s his word against ours. I’m tired of sitting back and watching the violent world around me without taking a stand. I go down to the basement and unlock my red cabinet.

Judy gasps and out of the corner of my eye I see her shaking her head. “No, Albert. Please.” She grabs my arm but I shake her off. “If he can do it, so can I.” I say as I load the bullets into the magazine. When that one is finished I move onto the next one. I finish the two pistols first. 

“He’ll kill you.” She says trying to reason with a sane man gone mad.”We’ll call the sheriff’s department and tell them what happened.” I grab the rifle next and fill it’s clip up. I make sure there’s one in the chamber of each before putting the pistols in my bag and the rifle on my shoulder. I start to walk back up when I see my gutting knife and decide to grab it as well. I push past Judy’s tears and snot covered face. 

I get upstairs and the officer is starting to pull out. He is 50 feet down the road before I pull my rifle to my shoulder. There’s a whoosh noise and the sound of gravel spitting before he steps out of his car. He crouches behind the trunk. “This ain’t a good idea boy.” He shouts and I respond with another shot. He rolls on the ground and makes it to a tree. He lets off a shot in my general direction.

I start walking toward his tree and respond with another shot of my own. He isn’t daring to peek out. Just as his hand shoots out to give another blind shot I release another round and it catches the bark of the tree right next to his hand. He snatches it back. “I’m an officer of the law! You’ll die for this!” He shouts. You can hear the anger, fear, and disbelief in his voice. “And you won’t get to kill anyone else’s wife.” I am close now and pull out my hand gun. 

A twig snaps beneath my boots and he realizes how close I am. He jumps out from behind the tree with gun raised. Click, click, click. A smile creeps up my face and he looks at his gun in complete terror. He pulls out a pocket knife that was stashed in his belt. I shrug. Now I may not have as much practice with a gun as he has, but I grew up fighting with knives. He may have too. I guess we’ll find out.

I can still hear the screaming of my baby girl who will now grow up without a mother and maybe even a father. I hear Judy hushing her. I turn a little to try to see if she’s getting her out of the car. The coward uses it to his advantage and charges me. I jump back and his swipe catches my left arm. He swipes frantically. His movements are all over the place. It makes it hard for him to hit me, but also makes it hard for me to get a good opening.

After a few of his wild slashes I yell and bull into him like I’m tackling a quarter back who hasn’t released the ball yet. His knife jabs into my collarbone. We fall to the ground with a hard thud that knocks the wind out of both of us. I’ve barely caught my breath again when I start pounding my gutting knife into his chest. I know his hands will be cut and bloody from trying to stop the knife.

Images of my wife laying in the dirt, begging for her life fill my vision. I stab harder. Blood is spirting from his mouth and all I hear is my daughter’s screams. All I hear and see is the injustice of what has happened to my family, what has happened to dozens, hundreds, thousands of families before us. I’m not my own anymore. I’m theirs. I’m their justice.
This was taken from a dream I had last night. It was a pretty intense dream, but also interesting that I was the guy in the dream and not the female.

Confusion and Hope

I feel tiny, insignificant. I’m one in millions. I have no formal education to hone and sharpen my writing. I have only years of sitting at my computer typing or of setting pen to paper. I write what I feel and what inspires me, but is it even any good? Is it even worth the effort? A few months or even a few years later I review my previous work and shake my head at the spelling and grammatical errors. How could I possibly think I’m any good?

Feeling defeated and inadequate, I scroll through my reader. I open others’ blog posts. Suddenly I’m confused. They have thousands of followers, but here is a grammatical error. There is a spelling error! Yet their followers remain…I continue to follow. Why? I continue to read their work because the overall message is more important to me than the tiny mistakes in the middle. 

Is it possible I’m not so terrible? Is it possible I am better than I think I am? Is it possible that I have a fighting chance in a world full of “me’s”? Could I stand out even for just one person? Could my writing have the potential to inspire or cause reflection in even just one person?

As much as I know the author of the post may cringe, seeing those small errors gives me hope. When I’m at my lowest and thinking I couldn’t possibly be talented. Hope fills me when I see that others are making the same mistakes as me. Maybe through time and perseverance I’ll make it as a writer, as an author!

I’m Weak

I have insecurities. I fight them with all I have, but I don’t always win. I fight them with the words he says. I fight them with the look in his eyes. I fight them with the tenderness of his touch. I fight them with the passion of his love. I go into battle, but don’t always come out victorious.

Some days I feel crazy. I feel like there are two people inside my head. One is saying “what if” and the other is saying “there is no what if”. One is angry and violent, confident and sure. The other is sad and anxious, unsure and vulnerable. My outward self is something else entirely. That side of me is a mixture. She’s confident and anxious, happy and honest. I try to let the outer bleed into the inner, but it doesn’t always work.

It’s amazing the physical toll a purely mental battle can take. After yesterday’s battle I just felt tired and weak. I didn’t even want to eat the lunch I had heated up 30 minutes before. I forced myself to eat close to half before dumping the rest. I just wanted to go huddle in a dark corner and become invisible. I wanted to be held. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to punch the walls. I wanted to sleep.

Maybe one day I won’t have to fight these battles, but I’m still too weak to see when they day might be. I feel so many emotions in the battle and although I feel I’m fighting hard, I’m always left in the midst of destruction. Tired and bruised I lay amongst the rubble. Maybe the next battle won’t be so bad.

The Tub

Terror begins to fill me. She’s locked me in the room again. I pace between the two doors trying them in turns even though I know they will not open. She’s back and making me lay down. She runs a brush through my hair just like she always does before…I want to get up and hide, but she keeps pushing me back down. 

She tells me she loves me, yet she tortures me so. She is speaking in her “soothing” voice. She’s trying to calm me down and, I have to admit, it’s working a little. She stops brushing me and I come to my senses. I rise up, ready to run, but she grabs me again.

No, not there I try to say, but only a squeak comes out. She mimicks me chuckling. As she lifts me, I cling to her. Maybe if I hold on tight enough she will realize how scared I am and not go through with it. She tries to pull me away from her body and laughs when I reach for her shoulder, her shirt, anything I can hold onto.

“It’s OK. You’re fine.” She keeps saying over and over in that soothing voice she uses. It’s not OK. I won’t be fine. I’ll die. I just know I’ll die. I look into her eyes and try to gain sympathy there. I see her resolve fail for a moment. “Aww, it’ll be fine Buddy.” She says again, kissing the top of my head before she puts me in the water.

I look around for an escape route. She seems to have every exit blocked. When I move toward one, she pulls me back toward her. The water rages as she sprays me. It soaks through and into my very being. I plead with her, begging her to let me free. She keeps reminding me it’ll be OK, but I know otherwise. I know this is what will kill me. I start to shake as understanding, like the water, sinks into my bones.

She keeps me here in this tub for what feels like eternity. I wait for that final moment, but it doesn’t seem anxious to come. It eludes me, but at this point I’d rather just accept my fate. At least then I wouldn’t be in this goddam tub! After hours, maybe even days, she lifts me from the tub. I try to run, but she holds me firm. She wraps me in a towel and holds me close. “Good boy.” She says nuzzling against my face. “Good boy, Gus.”

And that is the story of each time my cat gets a bath. I imagine that’s what’s going through his mind anyway.

Martha

Martha McCobb was always a quiet woman. The women she worked with whispered about her, speculated about her, but even after attempts, were unable to discover anything about her personal life. The men she worked with noticed her with a pinch of curiosity, but found it easy to dismiss any questions they had. During the warm months of the year, she took her lunches at the picnic table in the front lawn under the shade of her wide brim hat. During the colder months she ate quietly at her desk, turning page after page.

She was a woman of routine. She woke up at precisely 6:30 am on workdays and off days. Two over easy eggs with a slice of toasted rye and a glass of water were the only items on the morning menu. On workdays she left for work at exactly 7:32 am. 18 minutes later she would arrive at work. It would take her 3 minutes to walk from her vehicle, through the lobby, and to the kitchen where it would take her 2 minutes to put her ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge and pour a cup of coffee with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of creamer. It would then take her 2 minutes to travel up 3 floors and past 10 cubes to her own desk, leaving 3 minutes to start her computer and login. She always took the stairs, less chance of interaction.

After work she drove the 18 minutes home, only stopping for gas on Wednesdays. Once home, she would make dinner then sit on the one chair in her living room, next to the only lamp, using the only dinner tray. She would sit in that chair until 9:00 when she would get ready for bed, asleep by 9:30. Dinner was the only thing she truly took joy in. She planned her meals on the first of each month. Every Saturday she would shop for the meals of the following week. Dinner was the only variant in her life. She liked to try new foods. Martha was only truly happy when she was in the middle of her kitchen. From 6:30 am to around 6:00 pm her life was more bland than most people could tolerate. 

Her mom had passed away in a vehicle accident when she was 19. She had just started college and even though she had been left an inheritance enough that she would never need to work again she kept going to classes. It was a means of coping. Martha continued her education, graduating top of her class, and then it was only natural to move into the work field. She didn’t have any other family to spend time with, she didn’t have grandparents to look after. She closed herself off to the world when her parents died and focused only on school and work. Her mother had been a cook at a local restaurant and she remembered nights spent hearing her mother’s voice carrying through the walls as the smell of sauce carried through the air.

She has never known her father and her mother didn’t like to talk about him, so they didn’t. For all Martha knew, she had already met him and never known it. She clung to the memory of her mother and continued to cook using recipes written on index cards.

Tonight she was cooking a single filet of tilapia with a side of asparagus as she sipped a glass of wine. She hummed as she stirred her butter garlic sauce.

There was a knock on her front door. Her humming stopped. She looked at the clock on her oven – 7:56 pm on Thursday. There was another, more insistent series of knocks. She opened the door as wide as the chain lock would allow, letting the night air drift in.

“Yes?”

“Let me in, quick.” The woman on the other side looked frantic. She had a bruise over her left eye and blood under her nails. “Please!”

“I don’t know you.” Martha responded trying to look passed the woman.

“Lucy! Where the hell are you?!” The slurred voice of a drunken man could be heard down the block. 

“Please!” The woman begged.

“Fine.” Martha opened the door, closing it quietly, locking the deadbolt and sliding the chain back into place. She pressed her ear to the door and heard the man’s voice carrying loudly. Looking through the peephole she saw him staggering down the road. She watched as he moved out of view, unaware his Lucy had taken haven in the home of a recluse. 

As Martha turned back around she was wrapped in the arms of the woman.

“Oh thank you!” Martha wasn’t sure what to do so she just lightly patted the woman’s shoulder. “He’s only like this when he’s drunk. He’ll be fine in the morning once he’s sobered up.” Lucy stepped back and looked around the sparsely decorated living room. “Woah… You must live alone.”

“My name’s Martha. And yes, I do.” Martha said extending her hand.

“Sorry, I’m Lucy.” Lucy took Martha’s hand and gave it a firm shake.

“How long before you can leave?” Martha said abruptly causing Lucy to take a step back. 

“Um. I guess an hour or so.”

“Fine. You can have a seat, I’ll be in my study.” Lucy looked at Martha as if she was the one intruding.

“That’s it. You don’t want to ask questions, know who I am or what is going on?”

“I know your name and that’s all I need since you’ll be leaving soon. It’s none of my business what’s going on and judging by the blood under your nails you can obviously fight back enough to get away from whoever that is.” Lucy looked down at her hands as Martha started to walk back into the kitchen. Lucy followed her and began washing her hands in the sink.

Martha went back to cooking her single serving meal, but she snuck a few glances toward Lucy when she could. Lucy was a bit shorter than Martha and in contrast to Martha’s brunette waves, Lucy’s hair fell in straight blond strands. Martha’s green eyes connected with Lucy’s blue for a second before she turned back to her food and part of her wanted to ask all those questions, but her introverted ways held her back.

Lucy announced she was going to watch TV in the living room and disappeared around the corner. Martha carried her meal into her study and read a book while eating instead of watching TV like she normally did. 

At 8:45 Martha stood and walked into the living room.

“I think it’s time for you to leave.” Lucy jumped at the sudden presence of Martha.

“Oh, yeah, OK.” She stood and moved toward the door. She looked through the peephole. “I guess he’s probably calmed down a little by now.” She turned back to Martha. “Thanks again. You didn’t have to let me in and I just wanted to say I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome.” Martha replied simply. Lucy shrugged and, after unlocking the door, slipped quietly outside. Martha watched through the peephole until Lucy was out of sight before locking the door. She turned away and was in bed by her usual 9:00.

A Simple Thank You

I just wanted to write a quick thank you to my followers. I know 100 is probably a very small milestone for most blogs, but it means a lot to me. At a point where I am struggling because I am not a full-time writer (as I want to be), knowing there are a little over 100 people out there who like my writing enough to want to see more is a definite encouragement. Thank you! 

For now I’ll keep working my 8-5, boring work week and maybe one day I’ll be able to be a full-time writer!

I Dreamt of…Misunderstanding?

What is this dream I dream? What does it mean to see him again? What does it mean to be the way we were 10 years ago?

We smile and tease. We playfully smack the other’s arm. We talk about nothing and find excuses to touch. I wonder if the others notice. I wonder what our friends would say.

I don’t know why I’m dreaming this dream. All romance with him has disappeared. I don’t feel what I had felt for him, yet he haunts my dream. I don’t want to dream of him. 

Bustle says:

Acording to DreamBible, dreaming about an old crush in a positive context means “you may be experiencing good luck, new opportunities, or a really enjoyable experience.”

Are new opportunities in my future? Is there some good luck I’m not seeing? I’d say I’m pretty lucky in general, but nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

Auntyflo.com says:

Being enticed by an old lover or flirting is an indication that you need more affection or that you are not being understood.

We did flirt a lot in this dream. Do I need more attention? No. Hubby gives me plenty of attention. That can’t be the answer. That part about being understood though… That may be the key.

I actually had the thought last night. The thought that some do not understand. The thought that my thoughts are not understood. 

I could tell them my hip hurts, but they’d say “It was 10 years ago, stop trying to get attention”. It may have been 10 years, but my hip aches like it’s been only 6 months. They don’t understand how the images of that day still haunt me. They don’t understand that I can’t hear or see an ambulance without being washed in a wave of memories, bad memories.

I could tell him how it hasn’t healed fully, but he won’t understand and will say “I don’t get it, how hasn’t it healed yet? Have you been doing what you should?” I’ve been doing everything I should, the skin is just taking a long time to heal. He doesn’t understand how the pressure makes me feel. He doesn’t understand how frustrated I feel.

I could tell them I’m overwhelmed. I could say that I’m tired of being his lackey. But they wouldn’t understand. They’d say “Things have been slow lately and he hasn’t made you get him something lately he couldn’t get himself.” There may not be anything urgent right now, but there is plenty to do. So many things to get caught up on while the coals are smoldering and not blazing. And yes, yes he has asked me to do things he can do himself. They don’t understand that I pick up the slack in the wake of his laziness.

Free My Words

I’m torn in two.

The need to say something battles the need for peace.

I want to fight.

I don’t want to fight.

I want to educate.

I want to let them be ignorant.

I’m tired of the arguing.

Tired of the yelling.

Tired of the passive aggressive comments.

Tired of the closed-mindedness.

I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut.

I’m tired of them not listening.

So much is misunderstood.

So much is dismissed.

So much willfully unseen.

What was that about not being able to see your own privilege?

I want to be free.

Scratch that. I want my words to be free.

They stir inside me.

They are anxious to be heard.

I feel the flutter in my stomach.

I feel the pounding in my head.

They beat against my skull.

They echo in my ears.

They swirl in my gut.

My teeth clench in an effort to keep them in.

Maybe one day I’ll speak.

Maybe one day I’ll break the silence.

They think I’ve done this already, but they have no idea.

Maybe one day my words will slay the bubble they live in.

Maybe one day my words will spew.

Maybe one day my words will break the ground.

Maybe one day my words will get through.

Maybe one day I can free my words.

An Interview

His voice seems to drone on. It has the slightest rasp. You could smell the cigarette on him when he walked in and you know in 10 years he’ll sound like that old lady who used to live in the apartment next to you. He hasn’t coughed yet, so that may be a good sign for him. He’s making eye contact and answering the questions as professionally as possible. He’s at ease too. It’s surprising to see him lean back in his chair while giving a sales pitch. He is the owner of the company so maybe his experience has earned him the right to be relaxed.

My boss’s boss is asking the questions right now so the answers are mostly directed at her. This gives me the opportunity to scrutinize the man across the table. He’s confident, that’s evident, but every now and then his eyes show a flicker of doubt when she shows she isn’t impressed with his answer. She’s very straight forward, doesn’t hold anything back. Her frankness is making this process easier. The first potential partner was quickly put at the back of the list because they (a group of four) had a hard time reacting to her bluntness. He’s doing better and he’s completely on his own, no one to back him up or provide an answer to a difficult question.

His skin is light brown, very light brown. It’s the remnants of a summer’s tan fading during the gray autumn and coming winter months. Although I didn’t notice them at first, I do see freckles speckled across his face. They’re light and will probably be gone by March. His face is slim, but round on the edges. His eyes are deep set and I can’t help but notice his eyebrows. They are thick, peppered gray. They start at the same place eyebrows normally start, if that makes any sense. But it’s how far down they travel that catches the eye. They end at the corners of his eyes. Big, bushy, long-

“How do you guys feel about that?” Her question snaps me out of it. I look to my boss. He agrees that it’s a good plan. I nod agreement. He makes the decisions anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m just here as a courtesy. She wants me to feel included, but I don’t think it was his initial plan to include me. In fact I’m 95% sure if she hadn’t said anything to me, I would have been in the dark up until a partner was chosen.
The interview continues. He hands out examples of monitoring graphs and reports. They are impressive, exactly what we would like to see. He begins explaining this process. Those eyebrows. His gray hair is parted in the middle and moves freely as he nods his head. It looks like it may be soft, but considering it’s sticking out a bit, may also not be that soft. Those eyebrows. How do they even grow that long? 

I continue my examination of his face. His nose isn’t particularly abnormal. It’s straight sloped bridge ends at a rounded point above two normal sized nostrils. It’s probably slightly larger in comparison to the rest of his features but still not as impressive as his eyebrows. If you can stop focusing on his eyebrows and watch his eyes, you can see his mind working. When asked a question, he begins to nod and you can actually see through his eyes and into his mind. He’s processing. He is actually processing the question and when he answers, you know it’s not a premeditated answer. He may have anticipated some of our questions, but his answers are sincere and honest.

I listen to the points that are most important to me. The more technical answers and not the standard answers that we could have probably given ourselves. Finally the interview is concluding. I wonder if he is known for his eyebrows in his circuit of friends. Do his kids tease him about them or scorn him for passing them on? These thoughts bring up an even more important question – what am I doing? Why am I here when what I really want to be doing is writing about eyebrows like those? What am I doing?

Fear of the Dark

I can’t sleep tonight. I’m not sure why, but I’m more on edge than normal. All the lights are off, but my eyes are adjusting to the darkness. The muffled moonlight coming through the curtains casts just enough light to see shapes in the dark. I glance around the room. To my left, my nightstand and another source of ambient light – my alarm clock. To my right, my vanity and both open doors. One leads to the bathroom, the other the hall. Directly at my feet is my large walk-in closet and the larger dresser next to it. I can see the faint light of the stove’s hood light shining a dim orange on the wall of the hall. Why didn’t I leave the hall light on? 

As I stare at the orange light I think I see something in the reflection of the vanity mirror. I turn my head quickly, but there is nothing unusual there. I should just get up and turn the closet light on at least. I dismiss the idea. I’m a grown adult. I don’t need lights to go to sleep. There are no monsters in the dark coming to get me. I pull my covers to my chin, another childish act. I pull my sleep mask over my eyes and try to sleep. 

Then I hear the groan of a floor board. I rip my mask off, but I see nothing in the room or what I can see of the hall and bathroom. It’s just a windy night. The house is settling. It’s an older house so that only makes sense. It’s not “colonial” old, just 80-85 years, but that’s old enough for a few creaks every now and then. I pull my mask back over the head and close my eyes.

I hear shuffling and the soft pad of feet next to me. My heart beats hard against my ribs. Do I pull the mask off or just let whatever it is kill me? I sit quietly and perfectly still. You’re an adult and it’s nothing. Get your ass up! I listen to my rational side. I pull my mask off and look over to find my cat sniffing around the night stand. I sigh as relief fills me. I also laugh a little at how ridiculous I’m acting.

I finally fall asleep. It’s a dreamless sleep. A deep, wonderful, restful sleep. Around 4 I slowly wake up. I slide my sleeping mask off and roll onto my side to check the time. I groan and roll onto my back. My eyes grow wide as a see her face. It blocks out everything else. I close my eyes. It’s just your imagination. I open them again. Her pale skin and dark eyes loom in front of me. I close my eyes tighter this time. It’s just the remnants of a dream I don’t remember. I keep them closed for another 10 seconds. When I open them her scared eyes continue to stare straight into mine. I’m not fully awake. I rub my eyes and smack my cheeks lightly. 

I open my eyes and she is still there. Her tiny body hovering on the edge of the bed. Her eyes look sad and she says nothing. I blink fast a few times and she disappears. I lay my head back on my pillow. I hadn’t even realized I’d lifted it. I unclench my fists and feel my body starting to relax again. I’ve never experienced a dream so real.

I sit up, still thinking about turning a light on. My shoulders slump and I run my hands over my face, rubbing the little girl’s face away. I am about to lay back down when an odd shape in the bathroom mirror catches my eye. I can see the full length mirror through the open bathroom door. Since the door that connects the bathroom to the hall is right next to the door that connects my bedroom to the hall, the mirror reflects a small portion of the bathroom door and the hallway. There is a tall dark shadow in the hall. A shadow I hadn’t seen earlier that night.

I close my eyes and shake my head, trying again to wake myself. I look at the mirror again and the shadow is gone. Get ahold of yourself woman! There’s nothing out there. I lay back down and nearly have a heart attack when my cat jumps up on the foot of the bed. He’s not allowed on the bed and he knows it. I’m about to scold him when he turns toward the closet and starts to back toward me. A low, slow growl starts. In the faint light I can see he’s crouching, but his fur is standing straight out. He’s in a protective stance and moving closer to me, but never taking his eyes off the closet.

I look up and see the dark shadow is now in my closet. I can see faint yellow eyes. I’m almost not sure they’re there. They are so dim. My heart beats harder. The hair on my arms and neck are standing straight just like my cat’s fur. It’s getting harder for me to breathe. What do I do? Do I ask who it is? Do I try to run? My cat is now against my side, still growling at this unknown shape. I am frozen. Fear freezes me. I feel completely paralyzed. If this thing were to throw itself at me, I probably would do nothing to stop it.

The eyes start to get brighter. I feel weight on my chest. I feel light headed as I struggle for air. I feel like something is pushing me back down on the bed. I resist as much as I can, but the weight is so heavy. I realize I’m breaking out in a sweat, but I’m not hot, if anything my room has gotten colder. As the pressure increases, my stomach churns and my throat burns.

My cat hisses and jumps in my lap. It’s as if he knows what is happening to me. I slowly am pushed back to laying on my pillow. My cat continues to growl and hiss in turns. I feel him back up on my stomach now. Don’t do that. I’ll be sick. I’m covered in sweat now and I can’t even see the shadow in my closet because I’m flat on my back. My arm tingles and I feel a hot tear run down my cheek.