Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prompt: Wraith child

I’ve known Jesse since we were four. His family moved next door to mine, and I chased him under the moving truck while they unloaded. I’d never seen tires that big. He hid behind one and we went around and around until I turned back and ran smack into him and we fell down laughing. We’ve been best friends ever since. I knew he was afraid of the dark, but I never really understood why. Until tonight.

We had our first sleepover that first night, both in sleeping bags in my living room. By the time we were old enough that our parents said it wasn’t proper, we were old enough to stuff pillows in our beds and sneak in and out of windows like ninjas. Most nights, Jesse climbed in my window and we slept with our arms wrapped around each other. No matter how hot it was, Jesse always had to have at least a sheet over us, tucked around hands and feet. He would have preferred to keep our heads under the covers, too, but I can’t sleep with anything over my face, not even a light sheet.

I always thought it was for comfort. Jesse never talked about the nightmares that made him tremble and thrash in his sleep. I would just wrap my arms tighter around him and whisper in his ear until he calmed down. “I’m here. It’s okay. I’m here.”


“Cut,” yells the director. “From the top…”


Jesse’s been my best friend since we were four. Tonight he tried to kill me. Didn’t he? But then he saved my life. Ogodogodogod, did that really happen? Where is he now? He should be here…. No! Maybe I should go find him, try to help…Against what? What where they? What is he? Oh, Jesse, I don’t know…

“Jesse,” I moaned, dropping my forehead against my knees, pressing my back against the wall and tucking the sheet tight over my head as he always told me. How can this possibly protect me? Save me? But somehow, it always has. I just never knew the nightmares were real. Until tonight.

It’s all racing around and around in my brain, until I want to scream! I am so mad at Jesse—he lied to me! All these years? He knew…didn’t he? He had to have known. That he wasn’t …what? Say it, Annie.

“He’s not human,” I whispered, my lips brushing against my jeans. I clenched my arms tighter around my shins. And then the window rattled, and I tried to make myself even smaller under the sheet. Invisible to them as they were to us.

“Trust me,” I heard Jesse’s voice in my head, my memory. The first night he climbed in my bed and tucked the sheets around us. “We’re safe under here…”

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
~1 hour, interrupted

July word count

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