She stood in the doorway, backlit by the glow of the light coming from the hall. Quiet and lurking, she stood there like she was waiting, waiting for some unforeseen opportunity. It was the perfect setup for a scene ripped from the screen of a psychotic thriller.
She wore a long white gown that hung loose from her frame. Her stick like arms hung from the sleeves of her long gown, down at her sides, like dead weights. Her dark, long, scraggly hair hung down over her eyes and shoulders. Her thin legs peered out the bottom of the gown, naked and slightly out of focus in the dark room. Guys, my daughter is a total creeper…
My Daughter Is A Creeper, And Sometimes I Sleep With One Eye Open…
I caught all this from a glimpse. Something had stirred me from my quiet slumber, and I awoke to catch a glimpse of this being in my doorway, waiting, wanting.
My eyes could not focus. Had I been dreaming? My husband snored quietly at my side, unaware of the danger standing before us. I could hear my son rolling around in his bed, asleep and unaffected by the horror that hung in the house, waiting to errupt into chaos. I stifled the scream lodged in my throat. My heart thudded in my chest. Then I heard it …
“Mommy? I had a bad dream.”
It was my daughter.
How often had I asked her not to scare the living bejeezus out of me in the middle of the night? She is lucky I didn’t have the wherewithal to throw something at her. I was sure she was an undead creature there to, at the very least, hurt me while I lay in my bed.
“What the heck,” I exclaimed, after my heart returned to its rightful place in my chest.
“You told me not to come stand over you while you were sleeping, so I stood way over here. That way it wouldn’t scare you.”
Now, it’s quite possible I have seen too many horror flicks. I may just be a touch on the insane side, but anyone in my dark room, lurking while I sleep, is going to get hurt. It’s me or them, man! I swift shoe to their head is not an unreasonable response to a late-night intruder.
I take a breath to calm my nerves, then I quietly throw back my covers. I walk over to her, and take her by the hand, turning her body toward the hall that stretches to her room.
“Let’s get you back to sleep,” I softly say. “There is nothing in this house that is going to hurt you.”
“Mommy? Will you stay with me while I go back to sleep? I was scared.”
“Of course I will,” I answer in the most steady, sincere voice I can muster as we walk hand-in-hand back to her room.
Silently, in my head I add, “And tomorrow, we brush your hair and burn that nightgown!”