Five in the Morning

It’s five in the morning and I’m lying here in the dark.
Something just tickled my face. At least I think that’s what woke me.
I am frozen... terrified... maybe even petrified. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I am scared enough that I can feel the pounding of my heart.
What was it? Was it some-THING or some-ONE? And what do I do now?

I reach blindly for the phone... then stop. No. I cannot... I will not... allow myself to freak out. I must be strong and deal with this on my own. But can I?
Pulling the covers over my head, I curl up in a ball. I remain in that position for several minutes as all sorts of possibilities run through my mind.
Then I shake my head as I realize this is ridiculous.
Maybe it was a dream... or just my imagination. If that was the case, I would feel very foolish if anyone else knew.

That means I have to get up and check it out myself... and to do that I must face my fear and force myself to move.
Taking a deep breath, I throw back the covers and sit up quickly... just in case there was anything on the bed.
Next I fumble for the flashlight which I keep underneath my pillow for emergencies. With my eyes squeezed shut, I turn it on. Then I open them slowly, turning the flashlight and looking around me without moving from my spot. I don’t see anything.

Kneeling on the bed, I check the sheets and pillow, fearful of what I will find.
Nothing.... I find nothing.
I shine the light over the headboard and night table also.
And there’s nothing there.
There is nothing that I can see and yet I KNOW I felt it. Something touched me.
Was it a spider? Could it have been the tail of some small furry critter?
Or was it something totally unknown and much worse? Like something from one of my worst nightmares.
Still, I know I have one of the most active and wildest imaginations possible, so...

Next step... get out of the bed and check the entire room.
I check the rug beside the bed before my feet touch it. It looks okay.
Then I shake my slippers and shine the light into each one... just to be safe.
Nothing there either.
I slide my feet into the slippers slowly and breathe a sigh of relief when I feel nothing else in them.

I reach for my robe on the chair... could something be hiding underneath it?
I pick it up cautiously... with the tips of my fingers... and give it several vigorous shakes.
Nothing falls from it but I give it a few more good shakes to be sure before putting it on.

I look down and I wonder... could whatever touched me be under the bed? Uh-uh! No way. I know what I will see if I look in there... beside the dust bunnies... I will see the eyes shining in the dark. They might be yellow... or green... or maybe even red... but I know they will be there... watching me...

And with that in mind all thoughts of checking the room or going back to sleep just fly out the window. That's it! I cannot stay in this room a minute longer! I yank the door and rush downstairs toward the kitchen and the coffeepot. I don't care how early it is. What the heck? It must be daylight somewhere.

When daylight arrives, and after I’ve had oodles of coffee to calm my nerves, I go back upstairs and make up my bed. While doing this I find a fluffy feather sticking out of the pillow. Was that what tickled my face?

How silly of me. I feel like a complete wimp. And yet... one never knows what strange things lurk in the darkness... especially at five in the morning.


Five in the Morning

Now retired, after 39 years as a Librarian, Fay Herridge is a voracious reader, avid family historian, and a love of writing. She also enjoys walking, gardening, knitting, crocheting and photography; and is active in church and community events. Her poems and stories have been published in newspapers and magazines. “Satisfaction comes when others enjoy my work while inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.”
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