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  • mariokiefer

Still, I was not afraid.

I was asleep when the shadowy figure at the foot of the bed began to move.

He (She? It? I really don’t know) moved across trailing his arm behind him and lightly touching the bottom of my feet through the down comforter that covered them. I clearly felt the caress, but I was not afraid.

To the figure, I said, “Go away. Leave me alone. I am trying to sleep,” and the thing stopped to look at me, but I could not see its face through the shadows.

I slept in my preferred position, my back toward my partner while my eyes, although closed, still gazed upon the emptiness between the bed and the wall. From that emptiness, another shadowy figure emerged, and it moved to the edge of my bed. There were two of them now. Still, I was not afraid.

Shadow No. 2 sat on the corner of the bed then reached down to touch my face.

“Go away, “ I said. “I am trying to sleep, “ but the figure ignored my plea and stooped down as if a kiss to my forehead might mark me as its own; and I knew that I must wake.

Three times, I tried to rise, and, three times, I was dragged back to my prone position; held by some unseen glue that adhered me to slumber. Still, I was not afraid.

When Shadow No. 1 joined Shadow No. 2 at that visitor’s side, I knew that I must rouse myself.

“Go away,” I said. “I am not telling you again. Do as I say! I am done with you, so be gone demon!”

The shadow reached forth.

I cried out, “I . . . said . . . be . . . gone!”

My eyes fluttered open to reveal the glowing numbers on the clock; 1:24 AM, those numbers read. No longer did I see the shadows, but in the stillness of the dark, I felt their presence.

Awake now and free from the apparitions of my slumber, I could not find the path to return to the Land of Nod.

And, I was afraid.

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