Company in the Dark Atheer M

When you’re closing your eyes and drifting to sleep, escaping to dream world, little did you know of the silent little creatures rising , lurking around?

And as you rest upon white sheets and warm blankets, do you feel the constant chill in the air? on your back, cold and unfamiliar hands?

She for one did

Two little words..

“ It’s bed time”

left her bones chilling, legs wobbling like a burning flame on a candle wick.

But that fear was only hers to keep. She was barely 3.7 ft but every night she would prepare for a battle, a battle she was well equipped for. Jade stones? Checked an earplug? checked, flashlight? Checked. The countdown would start as soon as the door squeak shut.

Tall closets stretched to white ceilings, a lonely bed laid in the dark room. Was it strange? That sounds seemed amplified in the dark? A ticking of a wall clock, tick tock. Drips of the bathroom sink. Drip drop.

And the little squeak when the clock strikes midnight. A dim of light came from the door hinges, she hid under her blankets, ear plugs in place, and watched a silhouette of tall figures as they tiptoed on the floor. She’d place the Jade stone upon her heart, and repeat “nothing will harm, nothing will harm” in hopes that it’ll begin to decelerate

She watched as drawers, closet doors, opened one by one.

Anger crept in place,

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH HER STUFF.

Not even they!

But, Fear. Gripped her throat too tightly for vocal cords to vibrate, for legs to move from place. Perhaps her brain reached the maximum capacity of fear, did it shut to maintain functions? As the next day she’d wake up, never remembering how or when she fell asleep.

She’d walk around the room slowly, looking for any finger prints. Everything was perfectly positioned, not even a trace.

She’d take her valued possessions and hide them at random places in the house. The cabinet under the kitchen sink, her father’s coat pockets, underneath mattresses, couches, and rugs. Her mother would yell every time a cleaning round happened. “ Are you playing treasure hunt with someone ?! “ but she was rather the haunted and no treasures for her to win.

In mornings and afternoons she ran after dandelion seeds, hopped on one leg and skipped a rock or two, she played as hard as she could, “ Sleep might come before they do, if I’m tired enough “ she thought.

And indeed it did that day..

As she slept deeply, strange noises disrupted her sleep. She slowly squinted her eyes open, shivering as she heard it perfectly now, coming from her right ears, just as close to her shoulder.

*MUNCH MUNCH NHYOM NHYOM TCHK*

“It’s …chewing on something? “

“My right arm is it? Did it get the back of my head? “

She slowly began to turn..

THROB

THROB

THROB

“STOP, DON’T If you look it, it will never leave you alone, it’ll haunt you forever. it’ll ..Ask for your.. blood?

Yes. Sacrifices. Daily..

Or perhaps …it’ll take over my ..body?

No no

A soul ..

it needs a soul you know you’ve seen it on dead dark, they collect .. souls

Children souls !

My ..

soul?

THROB THROB THROB

THROB THROB THROB

The sight she saw, as it, stared right back at her left her confused, bewildered.

And rather,

very much amused!

“My grandmother’s bread? I forgot to hide them yesterday “ she thought and chuckled as she held her hands as if to make sure it’s still there.

Two other creatures popped up, climbing the bed table “ Dambfus Shhhhhh, we told you to be quiet “

“Terry, you have to shhh too . The thing, is looking right at us !“ said the tiny creature to the other

“Don’t ...Be. Afraid “she said

As soon as she spoke, one of the little creatures spewed a flickering dust from a tiny wood-pick, as they grabbed the chubby one. A glimpse of light sparked as they disappeared, they were as fast as will-o'-the-wisp, and she quickly began to drift.

Waking up, unsure how she slept again, but remembering clearly, the little one munching on her bread.
She kept a diary of their quirks and habits, and in one of the pages, you’d find, Lorry. the one that likes to climb up bookshelves, slowly inhaling it’s smell so deliciously as he begins chewing on covers. Another with a little screw, on one hand, Snippey , tinkering with any electrical holes. The chubby one, of course, Dumbfus, leaving bread crumbs all over the kitchen floor (he easily became a friend as she unwrapped him plastic papers from candies and peppermints ). And then there was Levy, Thatcher, and Terry and many many she stumbled upon.

As she for now was,

the one lurking in the dark.

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