Four A.M.

Here is an odd short story I’m currently rewriting.  Enjoy.

I cannot sleep.  Here I am in bed, I am warm and comfortable yet again there is no sleep.  It’s not like I am not active during the day.  I eat a well-balanced meal, drink plenty of water get my exercise.  Still I can’t sleep.  This is crap!  I could try reading I guess, but I know it won’t help.  Been there, done that.  I’ve been a lot of places and I’ve done a lot of things.  Still I can’t sleep.  Counting sheep won’t help, I’d just lie here and wonder why I can see sheep jumping over some stupid little fence.

Okay, a deep breathing exercise.  Breathe in while counting to four, breathe out while counting to four.  Breathe in, 1,2,3,4 … Breathe out, 1,2,3,4 … Breathe in, breathe out.  In then out, then in, and then I am still not friggin sleeping!  Soothing music may do it.  A little Bach with nature sounds. Hmm…I can hear birds, a babbling brook, the wind.  I’m concentrating way too much on what I hear and not letting the sounds relax me.  It’s my mind, it just won’t calm down tonight.  As if it is on overdrive thinking of other things.  I should feel exhausted.

I don’t know what is so different tonight than any other night.  Except no sleep.  I was really active today.  I went for a morning run at the park, bought some groceries for the week, washed my car.  I even scrubbed the kitchen floor and vacuumed the living room carpet.  I saw a couple of spots on the wall in the hallway and scrubbed them off, then wound up washing the whole hallway including the laminate wood flooring.  Because you know that if you see one spot then wash it, you see everything else that is dirty in the same area and you have to wash that part too. So I did.

This no sleep thing is irritating me now.  I have other things to do tomorrow and I would like to feel rested when I get up to start my day.  Insomnia.  Is it called that if you only have two or three sleepless nights?  Okay, soft music, deep breathing…… start sleeping, come on body, just let go and sleep.  What the?

What is that noise?  It sounded like a door handle jiggling.  There it is again.  I know I heard it!  Great, just great!  I can’t sleep and some a-hole is trying to break into my home!  Not tonight buddy!  Not tonight.

I’ll just bring my little pick axe with me to the kitchen.  We’ll see who surprises who tonight, mister I am trying to break into someone’s residence.  Slowly, I’ll go so slowly.  And there, I can see the kitchen from where I am.

I have to creep down the hallway a little more to actually see into the kitchen.  No lights, I want this to be a surprise attack.  Slowly, slowly.  One baby step at a time.  I can still here that door knob being turned and jiggled.  I know I have good strong door and lock, still…..

One more step, just one more step and peeky, peek into my kitchen.  And then crawl on the floor to the sink area and looky, look out the window since I actually remembered to pull the curtain on my kitchen door tonight.  Almost to the sink and… It stopped.  Whoever it is stopped.  What to do, what to do. Should I sit on the floor for a minute or look out the window?  What if whoever is out there is looking in right now?  They would have to stand on something since my window is not low enough to just look into.  Hmm…… Now what?  The door in the living room, are you kidding me?

Now I have to crawl back across the floor and into the living room.  Maybe a little sleeplessness is a good thing.  Okay, slowly make my way into the living room.  Did I lock that door?  I know I checked it before going to bed.  But, did I lock both locks?

Sometimes I don’t.  I mean this is a really safe neighborhood.  At least I thought it was.  Anyway, I’ll still leave the lights off, surprise whoever it is. If that person gets in that way I’ll just jump up from behind the door and swing my little axe.  Maybe I’ll yell “off with your head” while I do it.  Ha!  That would be funny.  A little messy though,

Especially since I cleaned so much today.  Crawl, crawl slowly.  One more little slide and I’m in the living room.  I know I pulled the curtains shut in here before I went to bed.  I don’t like the thought of anyone looking in after dark, it just gives me the creeps.

And it stops as soon as I get in here!  What the hell is going on?  First the kitchen then the living room?  Where to now my would be criminal?  Where are you taking me next?

At least there is no basement.  The bathroom!  The window in the bathroom, someone is scratching at it trying to open it.  That dumb ass is really persistent.  I cannot imagine what would be so important in here that someone would try to break-in.  I don’t have high-end electronics, a wall safe, expensive artwork, or anything even close to being stealable.  Stealable?  Yeah I am tired.  I’m making up my own words now.

Okay.  The bathroom it is.  No crawling, no stealth just walking in there and wham!  I’ll nail the creep on the head.  This has ceased to be fun and is now pissing me off!  I am tired and have a full day planned tomorrow, or rather today, so I need to sleep.

“Here I am dickhead!” I yelled as I jumped into the bathroom from the hallway.  Slipping  on the stupid little rug in front of the bathroom sink and I went down hard to the floor.  Crap!  Hard enough to knock the wind outta me.  Hard enough to make me see stars.  Preety lil’ twinkle twinkles, look how they swirl before my eyes.  I feel like someone should be able to see those stars just like in a cartoon.

I have to get up!  Gotta see who the crap is trying to get in through my bathroom window.  Not only see who, but how.  I mean the window in here is up as high as the kitchen window.  Wow, my head is actually buzzing and ringing now.  At least the twinkling lights are gone.  Okay, move body just get up.  Get ready to defend!

And, nothing.  I get up and there is no one standing in my tub looking at me or laughing at me for my oh so ungraceful fall.  Just nothing, no noise, no person, no thing.  Now what?  Besides getting something for my head throbbing.  I don’t hear anything from anywhere.

Maybe that person saw me fall and is right now laughing so hard they have no more breath.  Or maybe that person is rolling on the grass outside laughing.  I’m going to look.  I’m going to see if there is anything to see.  Step into the tub carefully, do not want to fall again.  I don’t see anything.  No one is there.  No rolling, no laughing, no one trying to catch their breath.  Just nothing.  This is creepy.

Heck with it.  I’m going to get some ibuprofen and an ice pack from the kitchen and then just go back to bed.  Whoever it is can just kiss my ass!  I’m tired of this game.  And I’m just tired. Maybe I’ll get some sleep now because I have a slight concussion.  Oh well, whatever.  Back to bed.

Why is my window open in here?  Where is my little weapon?  Shit!  It is still in the bathroom.  Just back up and go get it.  Don’t turn around just back up and get it.  One step, two steps, three ..

Before I can go any further I hear something in the dark corner by my dresser.  I strain my eyes to look but I can’t see anything there.  “Who’s there?  I have a gun and I’ll freaking kill you!  Just leave now, go out that window and you can go.  But if you try to hurt me, I’ll shoot you, I promise that you will die here tonight!” Bluffy, bluff that may sound tough but I am really scared here.  I think I even peed a little, wonderful.  Just about crack my head open in the bathroom and now I wet myself.  Slight movement from the corner, raspy breath.  Another shuffle.

“I mean it!  I will kill you!  Just go.  Now!” What the hell is there?  I should have turned the lights on before I left.  Now I can’t because I turned it off on the lamp itself instead of the switch.  I am so screwed if this bluff doesn’t work.

“You’ll kill me?  Me?  You don’t know who I am do you?  Surprising.” Says the shadow from the corner in a voice that is thick and sticky.  “Come in, I’ll let you turn on your little light.  Then you’ll see who I am.”

It thinks I am stupid.  “Do you really think I’m that stupid?  I come in and you’ll do something bad to me.  You’ll hurt me.” Why doesn’t it leave already?

“Scared of me?  You’re the one with the gun.  Right?” Dumb bitch.  Doesn’t remember me.  I had dinner with her earlier tonight.  “Come in.  I promise I won’t hurt you too much.  At first.”

“Fuck off!  I swear I am going to kill you.” I take a step back as it moved out from the corner.  It moved a little faster than I anticipated because something was grabbing for me.  So for the second time tonight I find myself on the floor with my head hurting but this time someone is holding onto my ankles.  “Let go of me!”   I’m screamming for my life.  “I am going to kill you now!” I wish I really did have a gun, I’d empty it into whatever has a hold of me.

“You already tried to kill me!  I guess you should have checked a little better, or maybe dug that hole a little deeper.” There it is, that is what I wanted to see that fear in her eyes.  “Now what are you going to do?  No gun, no phone, no pick axe.  No hope.”

With that he hit me hard against the floor and I started to see little stars again.  But through that haze of misty and twinkly lights, I remember the last thing I saw that night.  The clock on my night stand.  4:00 a.m.

***                              ***                                          ***                              ***

“And that is the last thing you saw?  Your clock?  Huh, and I thought my death was a crap hole event.  You got me beat Francine.  I was just shot in the chest.  I deserved it though I was trying to rob someone.  But hey, a least now you are among friends.”

“Friends?  I am among friends?”  I think not.  “I’m stuck in some kind of cosmic, karmic joke.  Stuck here in between worlds.  A gray misty place where I can see the world through a little window but I just can’t get to it.”  I need to get out.  Get back to my life.  It wasn’t much but it was mine.  “I mean really what did I do that was bad?”

***                  ***                              ****                            ***

Four o’clock in the morning.  I have been writing for a few hours already.  Huh.  It doesn’t seem like it.  Oh well.  Turn off the computer, make sure the doors and windows are shut and locked, turn off the lights.  Time for bed.  Comforting sleep take me away and show me pretty things in my dreams.

“What was that noise?”

(c) 2009 Joelle Wilson all rights reserved.  No part of this post may be reproduced or copied by any means without permission from the author.

2 thoughts on “Four A.M.

  1. Hmm, very interesting… Do you read much Stephen King? This had a S. King feel to me, in the voice, and with the creepy at-night tension. I do think you can trim out some of the stream-of-consciousness, though.

Comments are closed.