There’s a sort of background hum to any home, whether you live in downtown, uptown or anywhere in between.
Power lines, devices, appliances, heating pipes, water pumps. You get used to it after a while and you no longer notice it but you do notice it when it’s gone. That sudden silence can wake you up more surely than any alarm clock and that’s what happened to me the other night.
I woke up with a start and it was pitch, fucking, black. For a moment I thought I’d gone blind. Sure, it gets dark in downtown, but not that dark. Everyone has to see. There’s always a standby LED or the sodium glare of the streetlights, the flash of passing traffic. This time, nothing. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face.
I tried to swing out of bed to find a torch or something but… well, you won’t believe me, but the floor wasn’t there any more. My foot found nothing but empty air and I had to scramble not to fall off the bed. I was terrified. I almost shat myself. Was it a nightmare? It didn’t feel like it.
You’d think the amount of time you spend in bed you’d know your way around it, where the pillows were, how the sheets or the blanket are folded over, how big it is, but you really don’t know at all. I was fumbling around like a newborn, clinging to the bed for dear life when I felt someone else there with me.
I didn’t feel them exactly, not to start with, but I was aware of another presence, another weight, pressing down on the bed, shifting when I shifted, breathing when I breathed. I reached out again and a hand touched mine, our fingers interlaced but it was cold where I was warm.
I spoke to it, I said ‘Hello’ and… it said ‘Goodbye’ in this mocking, sarcastic tone… but it was my own voice. I reached out with my other hand and… it touched me… intimately. I’m not making this up… it.. it… felt like my own hand, it moved like my own hand and… Loa save me… I…
It stole it. It stole ME. It took me away but I can still feel it… they’re doing things to it. To me. They’re taking ME and putting me inside things. Making things. Bad things. What woman is going to want me now? How am I supposed to take a piss? When are you going to let me out of here? You can SEE I’m not lying… do you want to see? LOOK!