Midnight Screams

I feel an odd presence as I write these words, a ghostly memory of a childhood dream stirs sounds in a room nearby. A drop from a table downstairs, like a cat knocking something over, quickening the beat of my worried heart. I hear voices yell and laugh outside the window, down the alley, off the street, down the avenue I don’t know. Is someone coming up the stairs? Weight presses down a creaky stair step and wind blows through my room a little. My skin prickles and my eyes dilate, trying not to look away from the computer screen while the trash bag near my open door begins to bustle. A flashback hits me with unstoppable speed, and I see myself running down a hallway lit in blue twilight; into a living room walking, suddenly confronted by a ghostly apparition as if waiting to pounce. Everything went white and I felt like I woke up.

Instead things rewound and began again down the hall. Even my feelings rewound to a sense of curiosity and ignorance. The pounce did not occur, and with hapless reassurance I walked into the kitchen ahead. The blue twilight around me suddenly disappeared, and the world around me went dark. I was four years old. Voices began to chatter, chitter-chatter in misdirection, desperate and growing in number. I couldn’t go anywhere; I was frozen stiff; so cold and so alone. I crouched into a ball, shook my head in between my arms, and whispered midnight screams to disappear evermore.