My imagination scares the hell out of me sometimes.
I often feel the urge to write horror stories because my mind is frightening, but it’s also for this reason that I will not write horror stories. My brain does not require further encouragement. I’ll stick to romance and fantasy, thanks.
But last night my imagination fought back. At least, I think it was my imagination.
My husband was away last night for work, so I had the bed and bedroom to myself. I was a little wired when I climbed into bed. Too much coffee during the day, perhaps? So I didn’t fall to sleep easily.
I had the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom around 1.30 AM but didn’t fully wake. Instead, I debated if I was going to wake up or stay asleep while in a semi-state of slumber. As I do.
Eventually, I decided I would wake up, so I reached over to my bedside table and turned my lamp on. Only it didn’t turn on. The room remained cloaked in darkness. I flicked the switch on my lamp again, on and off, on and off. Still, the lamp didn’t turn on.
My heart rate sped up.
A faded image formed beside the bed of a little girl, beside where I lay with my arm stretched toward the lamp. She was not quite solid, not quite see-through, and sort of hazy around the edges. I could see her clothed form, yet I could also see the bedside table and lamp through her.
My heart thumped hard, goose bumps sprung up along my arms. I fought for voice and said, shakily, “Get out of my room.”
She shook her head, eyes widened in shock of my frightened reaction and said in high, sing-song voice, “No, it’s okay. I’m okay.”
The intention I received was that she didn’t want me to fear her. Then she morphed with air in the room, slipped over my head and disappeared behind my back.
I woke up.
My body was tingling as the dream fought to stay alive in my mind and consciousness fought hard to rid of it. My heart was thumping out of control. My breaths were coming hard and fast.
I stretched for my bedside lamp. Turned it on. But the room remained cloaked in blackness. I tried again, on and off, on and off.
Hadn’t I just done this? What was real, what wasn’t? I didn’t wait for the little girl to appear before me. Instead, I squeezed my eyes shut and covered my face with my blanket.
Was the power out? Why didn’t my lamp turn on? It had never failed me. Was the dream real? A prediction? The small hairs on my arms and the nape of my neck stood on end. My heart was racing at a rapid pace.
After what felt like too long a time, I finally built the courage to throw the blankets back, climb out of bed, run to the wall and switch the main light on.
Gaze flicking around the room, I found nothing.
Needless to say, I didn’t turn the light back off. I didn’t sleep for many hours later.
Full disclosure: I’m one of those adults who are still afraid of the dark, so I can’t expect darkness in my dreams to invoke a different reaction. I’m also one of those adults who think hiding their head underneath a blanket will offer protection from the worst kinds of demons and murderers.