How am I doing so far to compel you to read on? (a suspense writing tactic I’ve been working on; tossing out the bait, hoping for a bite).
Let me set the scene for you: Early morning, say 4ish. I’d been asleep a few hours. The bedroom is dark-no lightning or piercing lights from night fishermen’s boats sweeping across the windows. It’s a still, storm and wind free evening. I wake up. A wisp of a dream lingers, like being behind a car when it makes a sharp turn leaving only its rear bumper visible. I don’t remember what the dream was about but I feel calm so it must have been pleasant, or at least not a mare of the night. (interesting word, “nightmare”. It combines “night” with the Old English word mare or maere which is an evil spirit.)
Now the scene is completely set: dark, calm, quiet, earlyyyy morning hours, wake from an assumedly pleasant dream, settle back in to a couple more hours of the same. Eyes closed, pillows all just right, hair knot anchored in place…or so I thought. A strand has escaped and is blowing around on my forehead. Too comfortable to go through the trouble of stuffing it back into the hair tie, I brush it aside and again, tuck in for a little more shut eye. Not two seconds later the dratted piece of hair has drifted back, but onto my chin. And then my mouth. Nose. Eyebrows. Daintier than dandelion fluff, as weightless as a sprig of dental floss. And moving in a very deliberate manner. No haphazard caught in the fan’s current swishing about way.
If that had been you, would you have been able to go back to sleep? Even after yanking off the sheets and blanket and remaking it with clean everything, I didn’t want to get back in that bed. I did, but only for about eight minutes. Just couldn’t get past the creepy crawlies and shuddering possibility that the now very dead, never to be heard from again spider might have friends and family lurking about in other parts of my bedroom.
Nights like this, which are blessedly very few, are how I catch up on my reading.