By Elena Tamagno, TIWP Student
I can hear cracking and creaking in the floorboards at the base of my bed every night. I can hear my parents above me in their room, and I can hear my sister’s hushed snores from across the hall. I know it isn’t them. The cat is curled up next to me, her grey tail resting on her little nose. Light from passing cars throw a dance of yellow and black across my ceilings. I can hear motors in the distance. The noises around me aren’t distracting me, or at least they aren’t distracting me enough. Creak, creak, creak. I’m high up in my loft bed, I could hear them coming up the ladder if someone was trying to hurt me, right?
I’ve never believed in monsters under the bed. But I have an active imagination, you know? I tend to sleepwalk. I always have the weirdest dreams when I sleepwalk. That’s why we bought the loft bed, so I don’t wander. It was probably my sister playing a trick on me. She always did this, opening my door at midnight and trying to make it seem like a ghost. Or she would knock on my window with a stick, trying to make me scream like a little baby. Still, the cold air of the night made me feel like I was a little kid again, tucked between two pillows, trying not to let myself get scared. I pulled the blanket up over my ears, blocking out the noise. Creak, creak, creak. I kept expecting some purple monster with twenty eyes to peer over the bed.
It felt like hours. I looked at the clock and it’s red letters flashed 2:53 a.m. back at me. I was so done. I knew it was my sister again. “Sarah, please, please just stop,” I whispered into the darkness, out of pure desperation to get some sleep.
“Who’s Sarah?” I heard, in a voice that left shivers going down my back. It was ice cold, and it felt like those suffocating vines in the amazon that can kill thousand-year-old trees in a week.
What was that?
I know it was stupid, but I jumped off the ladder and ran to my light. I flicked on the light switch and the yellow-orange light filled up the room, brighter than sunshine. There was nothing. I must’ve been dreaming. Something shimmered near my desk, and I thought I saw my pencil move back into its place in the container I kept on top. Whatever, I must still be dreaming.
The creaking had stopped. So I shut off my light.
I went back to bed.
I woke up, and my room was cleaner than its ever been. I’ve been known to sleepwalk. I must’ve sleep-cleaned.
At least it looked nice.
While I was sleep cleaning I must have also spray painted that smiley face on the back of my door.