Winter Glimmer

FIRST DAY OF WINTER
I have been afraid of the dark for as long as I can remember. My parents always let me leave a light on during the night, which they would sneak in & turn off. This would only make the situation harder when I would wake up in the darkness. There would be screaming in my mind during those few terrifying seconds reaching out to turn it on in order to chase the night away. Most of these nights I would escape my bedroom, sneak into Leo’s room & sleep on the top bunk. His quiet sleeping noises were always a comfort.
 
Now it is dark outside so early & for so long that the nightmares are here again.
 
I feel fear & it has been so long. I am afraid of the way they move, appearing in the space between breaths, stilted walk & always a backwards-kind-of-forwards. Never uttering a word that I can decipher, only distorted static.
 
Through the day, in the light they appear at the most unusual times, always quietly before I have realised they are there. I spot the ‘flash’ out of the corner of my eye & see them there in their death. Why always the dead? Why not the living? Are they there? Mum & Dad used to say it was my overactive imagination –
 —Always “overactive”
 —Never “just perceptive”
Where is the distinction?
 
The nightmares are never a comfort even though I pine for them if they are gone too long. Never wanting the nightmares so much as needing them. They are what made childhood my own world. Now they only come when it is truly dark. Every night, a cold haze swallows them, stilted by my bedside, if it were not for the lamp I am sure they would envelop me & I would gladly join.
fear_of_the_dark

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