Laying in bed in the perfect dark of my room, a few more hours before sunrise, with my noise canceling earphones on, I feel as if any moment an arm is going to reach out of the nothingness and take hold of me with cold clammy fingers, claws digging into my flesh. It’s eyeless face will come within inches of mine and it will hiss with hot breath upon my cheek, its spittle stinging my eye. I don’t like to think much past that, as if my mind goes dark with the fear that there isn’t much that can happen beyond that. Because I will be scared to death long before the thing’s long dirty teeth sink into my flesh and rend it from my bones.
I don’t know why wearing earphones has become such a fear inducer for me, or when it happened. As a teen I could lay in bed happily listening for hours to Corey Hart, Phil Collins, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, etc. in complete surrender to the sound.
Now it seems that by cutting myself off from the the sounds of the outside world makes me vulnerable to an intruder, or more wildly, a paranormal event.
I suppose the obvious difference is that I am alone. In my youth I was surrounded by family in a large home in a small town. Here and now I live in an apartment on my own in a mid sized metropolitan city with a better than average crime rate and it’s share of sites, historical or condemned, billed as haunted.
And I am older, and I have made some enemies. Or, I sometimes imagine some kid I wronged as a kid myself has grown up with a killer grudge and my middling local celebrity has reached them and sent them over the edge and tonight is the night they are getting even.
Or there are always random acts of violence. And after the worst year of my life, after deciding this is the year that I turn it around, why wouldn’t the universe take this golden opportunity to complete its ultimate bad joke with a senseless death punchline?
I pull my earphones off. I think I heard something. It’s usually the upstairs neighbor doing who knows what at three in the morning. But it’s closer to five now. After five, actually. And the sound was closer. The door to the bathroom maybe?
Anyway, if I die now, thanks for reading. I love most of you. And if I don’t, please comment, share or leave me a message and let me know how I’m doing at this horror stuff.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try to sleep and dream without seeing that damned raven or the guy with the–