Dormant

It’s been a while since you slept in a single bed, and to be honest you aren’t entirely sure how you got here, but here is where you are, and here is where you’ll be for the foreseeable future.

Moonlight casts shadows through the strip of window and bathes the bare grey floor in a pale half light, right between the desk and the wardrobe.

The night is unbearably silent, and yet, crushingly loud; every wind-rustled leaf, every passing car, every disembodied voice floats past and surrounds you like an invisible shroud as you try to identify each and every noise, make sure that all is okay.

This is the third night you’ve kept a careful watch on the ceiling, and you try not to document all the sounds of the previous evenings but of course, you have no control over what you think.

You know that the apartment above you went to bed twenty minutes ago and the one to your left will be watching overseas sports for another hour. You hear the occupants of your own accommodation sigh, shuffle, turn over and make their pillows comfortable.

You know the moment that you’re no longer alone in the room.

The air becomes charged, like an extra-heavy element has been added to saturation point and is weighing it down, pressing into you like it wants to deflate your lungs. You feel the watching. You know the direction it is coming from even if you’re too scared to look, and the entire room is filled with the electricity of nervous tension. The only thing louder than the nothing you hear is the staccato of your own heartbeat, suddenly sprung to life like a bird bidding for freedom.

What is to be gained by just watching?

Why are you being watched? What’s the motive? Is this the effect of some long-forgotten cause?

When is something going to happen?

The night swells with ominous intention and you are lifeless, limbless, helpless. This is what happens when you stir the monsters from their dormant state beneath the bed.

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