General Fiction posted March 7, 2018

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Death visits during the night

Good Night

by Beck.fenton

I sit up all day in a blue chair with a blanket to protect my skin from the stiff vinyl. I nap as often as they let me. Someone is always waking me up for one thing or another.

"Time for your meds."

"Do you want a snack, dear?"

"Time for the sing-along."

All these interruptions irritate me, but I can do nothing more than glare at the intruder who dared disturb me. I'm not very good, I guess because they are after me all day long. Meds, meals and afternoon mayhem.

They even bring children in to see me. Children with sticky hands and wide eyes. Children know why I want to sleep all day. They know the monster that only comes out when it's dark and people are asleep. Unaware of what they fear the most. So I wink at them to let them know that I know it, too. They usually back away as if I will bring it into being: as afraid of me as that monster.

I try to delay ending the evening meal. Taking my time sipping cold decaffeinated coffee sweetened with imitation sugar, until they take me away to my room at the head of the stairs. I like my room. It's right across from their break room. I can hear people come in and out all night. Bits of conversation and muffled laughter float in and I can ponder on what they are saying.

This one has in-laws coming to visit, that one has a date and all have a hard time staying awake. I can't trust them to protect me at night. They come in to check me twice almost every night. See if I have wet myself. I have never wet myself, but they check anyway. Some nights, when it's busy, they skip checking me. They know I don't wet myself.

I indicate I want to get up and they always say, "Wait until it's time."

I don't have time, I try to say, but my tongue refuses to spit out the words.

Sometimes I see the door to the stairs open. All I ever see is a big white pillow in the arms of someone. Something. I can hear the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind of a dark cemetery slowly moving down the hallway.

And the pillow goes into a room and I can hear the startled gasp at the sight of the visitor and the responding grunt. I've counted nine times that I have heard this played out since I have become aware of the monster with pillows. Once it stopped outside my door. I opened my eyes as wide as I could. I brushed the hard plastic cup of water off of my night table onto the floor, making a nice loud tinkling drumbeat.

My people came rushing in to see what the noise was and to check if I wet myself. Pillow monster edged back out of sight and no one was chosen that night. That was the only time it stopped for me.

If I stay awake and listen for it, I can make it leave me alone. That fact I have proven.
I will not die tonight. Take my hand in the daylight and I will float away with you. But I refuse to be taken in the night by a pillow-wielding figure of Death.

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Artwork by Photopeb at

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