Dying in My Sleep

I am uneasy, filled with dread, my heart is heavy as it some times is when I am taken with one of my moods. I walk back to the farm cottage. This small holding with its dilapidated graves in the south eastern corner. Forgotten nameless souls who might as well never have walked this planet. The days are shorter with the approach of winter, the sunset bloody with the demise of summer.

With the dusk, that time when all shape and colour begins a slow surrender to the dark of night, all certainty becomes fudgy, my unease grows and I am afraid to look over my shoulder for what might be following me.

I enter the dark cottage, and curse yet another power cut. I light a fire in the hearth. I also light some candles. I am filled with uncertainty and dark expectation, sensing the presence of the shapeless thing that has pursued me for as long as I can remember. I feel it in the dancing shadows behind the the flickering candlelight.

I lie down in the bedroom. I keep my eyes open allowing my mind to wander, fighting off the drowsiness that seeks to engulf me. Enveloped in the silence of my solitude I lie… It is futile… I drift off, for how long I do not know. I wake up with a start, soaked in a feverish sweat. It is quiet as a grave, dark as a coffin.

A dark form hovers in front of my bed, near my feet. The night is thick with terror. The dark formless, black powdery thing speaks…

“David” my name washes hoarsely towards me from this thing. The sound of a beast, gravely and lip less it explodes from from the faceless formless shape. It has no substance, yet it is present, a black coalescing nothingness, it knows my name.

I want to rise up and run, but my my body is disconnected from my brain. I want to scream but I am not in command of my vocal cords. I am aware of every erect hair on my entire body. I am a cornered rat. My heart beats uncontrollably. I am suffocating with fear.

Finally my body connects and I am filled with a rage of terror and swing out my arm in defence as the formless shape gropes towards me. My blow sweeps uselessly through the shape as if it is composed of nothing but wind. It merely separates into two black powdery clouds, writhes and coalesces again.

It is drained of true substance, black as ink, a vapour.

Jerking and billowing it grabs me by the ankles and starts to pull me from my body with great force, like someone ripping a letter from an envelope. I slip from my body. I desperately grab hold of my shoulders hanging on to my body by my fingertips.

I find my voice and scream with all the force of my lungs. My throat raw, desperation roars through my lips and the form is gone. The moonlight streams through the slit in the curtains, an owl hoots, the rats scurry about their business on the pine ceiling. Who said dying in your sleep is peaceful?

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