It was a dark and stormy night. Cliché … but true. It was 3 am and a cold-front was moving in which brought moisture from the gulf, creating a long, mild thunderstorm. It all but guaranteed cooler weather tomorrow.
Perhaps the storm woke her from her dreams. But that didn’t feel quite right. Normally the storms were comforting, more relaxing somehow. No. Something else woke her. Something quietly nagged her. Still hidden, waiting.
She lay quietly in the dark listening to the thunder and the occasional wind burst that forced rain onto the windows. She snuggled back down into the covers enjoying the warmth. Yeah, she was just being silly. Must have just been thunder.
Just as she began to drift back to sleep, as the storm seemed to strengthen, suddenly she was awake again. She turned under the warm covers. What had disturbed her? That same nagging, burning feeling lurked in her subconscious. Like a sleeping giant threatening to pummel the small village.
Instantly her vivid imagination awoke. Was someone in the house? A ghost? Vampire? Giant alligator? Dang, she really should stop watching all the scary movies. Stupid Syfy! Ok. Think. She lay quietly waiting for something. A noise perhaps? No. Only silence. Wait. Was that something in the corner of the room? She blinked, tried to focus. The shadow appeared to move. She drew in a sudden breath just as a bolt of lightning lit up the room. The dark thin shadow that moments before was a zombie, was merely a jacket thrown over a chair. Not nearly as frightening as a zombie.
She sighed, relief flooded her mind. In the brief second it took to over-react to the zombie shadow, all her muscles were tightened into hard knots. One by one the muscles began to relax and she managed a half smile. How ridiculous! Suddenly she was glad no one else was awake to know how silly she was being. The horror movie marathons had to stop.
Well, since she was awake, she should use the bathroom. Her aging bladder wouldn’t allow waking in the middle of the night to pass by without a quick trip to the potty. Yet another sign that growing old stinks.
Well, no sense in delaying. Once she had the first thought of the need, it wouldn’t stop until she went. Experience taught her that it was best to get it over with early on. She quietly tossed the covers aside and padded into the bathroom. The rain was hitting the windows in a more consistent rhythm now.
Lightening brightened the room as she passed the corner where moments before the zombie stood. Watching. Waiting. Craving her brains. She shook her head as her feet hit the cold tiles in the bathroom. Her vivid imagination had gotten her good grades in school, but now she wasn’t sure it was an asset.
She finished and began the short, but chilly trip back to her bed when she stopped. A dark mass lay just inside the door of the bathroom. Even in the dark, she could see the long, narrow outline of the beast lying on the white tile of the bathroom. It was huge and dark in contrast to the white tile. It coiled near the doorway, poised…ready to strike. Her heart pounded in her throat.
How did a huge anaconda get into our house? Our bathroom? And how did it not attack her on the way in? Wait, what? Anaconda? Risking life and limb, she reached down and moved the black sweatpants the teenager left carelessly on the floor. Well, as frightening as a sloppy teenager was, it as the lesser of two evils. Tossing the anaconda to the side, she managed to find her way back to bed without fighting anymore monsters.
Back in bed, warm and safe she began to question how any sane person would automatically jump to anacondas and zombies. Seriously, maybe this was some sort of mental problem. It was 3am. She would ponder this another time.
She snuggled back into the warm bed. Suddenly, as if she had been struck by an unseen fist, she was thrown into a new horror. The feeling of dread began to build from the pit of her stomach. Oppressive, almost physical pressure began to weigh on her chest. The zombie and anaconda scares were nothing compared to this. This was real.
Her pulse sped up. Breathing became difficult. It felt as if her heart would pound out of her chest. The fear threatened to overwhelm her. She tried to combat the fear. Think positive, happy thoughts, but that didn’t help. Nothing would help drive the fear and hopelessness away.
Her eyes widened, she clung to the covers and took in a deep breath as the awareness sank in. In a few hours, the alarm would go off, and she would be forced to deal with reality. This was not a drill. Nothing would prevent this. Best just deal with it head on.
She resigned herself that it was beyond her control. She steadied her nerves and prepared to meet the beast head on. That beast? The shocking knowledge that today was Monday.
Oh…. The horror!