Sunday, August 31, 2014

Night Light #StorybySunday

She lay in bed, like she did every night, staring up into emptiness, counting a steady stream of nothing until she fell asleep. If she fell asleep. Some nights this was all there was, the gentle in, out of her breathing and a frustrated 1, 2, 3, 4... until the sun started to creep in through the window.

She had lost count four times somewhere around 3,246 but her eyes were still stubbornly staring and there was not a single yawn threatening to escape from her lips. That was when she saw it, when she sat up, twisted her body around and titled her neck at a curious angle to stare at what shouldn't be there. A thin thread of light slipping in underneath her door. There were no muffled or whispered voices, no near or distance footfalls; only the light.

She tried to ignore it. She told herself to close her eyes and go back to her counting. She knew that was what she was supposed to do. Ignore the light that shouldn't be there. She tried.

The floor was cool against her bare feet as she slid out of bed and out of the room and down the hall. The house was almost entirely dark. There was a light, somewhere, that was struggling to make its way towards her but she could not make out its source. It was so faint she still could not even see her feet hitting the floor in front of her.

She walked toward the light because she couldn't think of a reason not to. If she could not make her body want to sleep than she might as well use it. Creeping through darkened corridors towards an unknown source of light was preferable to boredom. Anything was better than lying on her back staring up, unblinkingly, at an infinity of nothing. Again.

The light did not appear to be growing, nor did it diminish, it remained a constant question, a whisper she needed to lean in just a little further to hear. She kept walking. The path was clear even though she was ever unsure of what her next step should be.

She paused once; she stopped. She thought that maybe she should turn back. The girl turned around. Her feet fixing themselves in place, she twisted at the hips to get a look behind her. There was nothing there, only darkness like a wall. Even though somewhere inside her she knew that was where she had come from, she was afraid. The fear sent chills through her arms and she turned back towards the light. She didn't know where she was going or how far she had come, only that she needed to go forward until she figured it out.

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