|12:35 am - nont nanowrimo but still some writing|
Work is hella busy, and is going to get worse, so no novel writing for me
but to try and get some writing done her e is a first draft, no editing short piece looking at how childhood and adult fears can sometimes collide
The sound of scratching at a bedroom window is not supposed to wake you at night. Especially so when the window is the one in your 8 year old son’s room, and you are warm in your bed, but now, suddenly wide awake, and beginning to chill.
You know there are a dozen explanations as to what it is , but your mind is immediately filled with pale faced children suspended outside a window scratching to get in, wolfish grins, yellow hungry eyes.
You know it was just a film, a piece of entertainment, You know the actors, the careers they had before and after . The internet is your ally in the sensible view that it was just a film, this is not, cannot be real.
And still you feel a chill, still you are reluctant to get up, logic now asking why should you, its all make believe, how foolish would you be, how old are you to believe such things.?
And then you hear it again.
As a child you would pull the covers up tight over your ears, as if a blanket were the ultimate protection. Hide your head in the pillow, and wait for it to stop.
But now you are no longer a child, you have a child, so you find yourself leaving your bed, not waking your partner, and you tread carefully out of your room and stand ear pressed against you son’s bed room door.
Now it is silent, and you feel terror at that lack of sound. Your hand turns the door handle, cold, metallic to the touch and you gently push open the door.
The curtains are closed, of course, and as you make your way over to the window you freeze and mouth a silent cry of agony as your feet find the lego, strewn like caltrops across the floor, from a tidying up never completed. For a moment you forget the fear, as it is wiped away by the pain in your foot.
And then you see the curtain ripple softly in the wind. You quickly glance into the bed and see he is still fast asleep, knees up , arms flung about yet face relaxed, as only children can achieve. You wait for what seems like forever to hear a sound of breathing, to know that he is alright.
You turn back to the window, and its moving curtain, evidence that a window you are sure was closed is now open. Again logic intrudes and you feel foolish stood there, staring at a flapping curtain.
You smile a liar’s smile to yourself and almost turn to go, to return to bed, and leave this foolishness behind. You heard something , you checked on your son, and now can go back to sleep, duty done, for the rest of the night.
The rest of the night.
That’s what gives you pause. Are you going to leave him for the rest of the night, window open.
You have to know, you have to make that step from logic to belief. There is no logical reason to open the curtain and close that window tight and locked this time.
There is no need to do that, as it would acknowledge such foolish thoughts, allow them power.
But you have known nights like this as a child. Racing from the light switch by the door to the bed by the window, jumping in before something white and dead clutches your ankles. And when you are allowed a nightlight, never using it, as it is better to lie in the dark afraid, than to reach out your hand to switch the light on, only to find other, colder fingers grasp it.
So you swallow logic and fear and pull back the curtains.
And nothing is there.
You quickly close the window, feel along the inner sill and find the key. Lock it tight and close the curtains without looking too carefully outside.
You navigate the lego and leave quietly, closing the door gently behind you.
Back in your own bed, you pull the duvet up to your neck and hunker down and try to sleep.
Sometimes it just needs belief to combat the things that scratch in the night. Just belief that they exist.