My eyes open with a start. Heart racing, chest rising and falling frantically in time to my panicked breath. I scan the room. Listening, fearing; searching out the noises – the noises which come only at night.
Somewhere – somewhere near I hear it. Hear them. Scurrying, scratching, wings flapping. How do they get in? What do they want? Why doesn’t anybody else hear them?
Creaking, bumping, thumping.
I screw up my eyes. Bury my face in the sanctuary of my faithful pillow. I desperately think of summer. Holidays by the beach. Splashing in the water. The cabin. Picnics. Laughter. Smiles.
I wake again just as the dawn light begins to slant through the half-shut blinds.
Turning I see my wife. In her arms is our son – both peaceful, snoring, oblivious.
My heart beat is back to normal. The tension continues to drain from my body. The night sweat on by back becomes a morning chill.
I lie there happy, safe in the light of a new day. However, I know they will be back.
The noises. The terror. The darkness.
There is no escape.