Slumber

The door was left open only a crack.

Barely wide enough to notice, but just enough to let a finger width in.

On softened hinges the door creaked open, closed with a soft click, blocking out the sudden strip of light as it returned to its frame.

The sleeping figure in the bed remained unaware, prone. Unable to feel the intense gaze on its face.

Pad. Pad. Pad. Bare footfalls on piled carpet creeped up to the side of the bed.

A clammy hand reached out to tug on a sleeping forearm.

A swaying motion slipped her from her slumber as the movement lulls her awake.

The child, bright, blond hair, cornflower blue eyes, blinks up at her with expectation, thumb sucked repeatedly into slickened mouth.

Mummy,” she hears, and her skin recoils in horror, heart pounding as though trapped hummingbird in search of an escape.

She hadn’t been dreaming it at all.

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