At night, I lie in terror.
The clock ticks its way to 3 a.m. and all my ghosts stand tall, surrounding the place of my dreams.
I see feathery carcasses on the floor: mangled remains of monstrous black birds, their wings slashed and guts spilling onto the grey marble.
I see what looks like a woman, with a powdered face and rust painted lips. Then she opens her mouth and out comes a deafening voice, not man nor woman, not human. She keeps her vigil every night, right next to me.
I hear the lock of the door snap open and shut throughout the long night. Visitors come and go and leave trails of hellfire behind. I hear them working on the formica counter: do demons need food too?
And often times, one of them stays behind and sits on the sofa next to my bed. He stares. When I lie paralyzed by sleep, my own body betraying me, his blank eyes like windows are all that I see. The darkness in them cuts off my air.
They make sure I can’t breathe.
I feel them on me. A silky haired head next to my feet. A ceramic white skinned child flops and rolls under my yellow quilt. I’ve never seen its jet hair but I feel the inky colour stain my legs. I can never see it come daylight.
I smell them. It’s a sticky grey vapor, like congealed wet cement. Come night time, it starts hardening around me; poured into the fissures of my subconscious.
Do good dreams stand a chance?