Ann-Marie Spittle

NIGHT TERRORS

IWVPA Club Recognition of Outstanding Non-War Related Writing: October 15, 2005
Awarded: October 15, 2005
Dark night
Pointless night
Shadows swirl like tendrils of a sea beast
Pulling at me
Hard to breathe as they grip me
Hand moves
Light switch under my fingers
One last push against unresponding muscle
CLICK!
And there is nothing
Only the sweaty crumpled bed sheets of the battlefield

I try to pacify my child within
That the monsters have gone
And will not come again
That it is safe and warm
And no one can harm it
That works for a while

But once the light is off
The unseen one returns
Sneakier this time
It creeps and crawls under cover of a squeaking wardrobe
A scratching sound ensues
Ancient fears circle within the shadows
That the moonlight has missed
Slow flapping wings of oppression
Catch my face
Breathing is hard
As the creature lands and begins it torment
Sharp fingers pull and prod
Leaving me bruised and battered at the intrusion

Harder this time to move
Pinned down by the unseen weight
Prayers I have not uttered since childhood
Spring to my lips in earnest
And the invisible bindings that held me
Disappear and the tingling stops
I am free
Shaking hand reaches for the light
The CLICK! Echoes through the emptiness
I breathe again
But this time I do not make the same mistake
And the light stays on
The unseen one is banished
For tonight at least
To the dusty corners of my private cell
That holds my secrets
And my dark self