You Were Supposed to be Asleep

WARNING: Towards the end, it’s kind of… graphic. Viewer discretion advised!

After a solid two hours of trying every technique to fall asleep that I could find on the internet, I at last set the laptop down and dragged myself up the stairs, lazily rubbing an eye as I entered my own room – the last door on the right-hand side. The second the handle turned and I took one step inside, I froze; something was very… off, and it chilled me to the bone.

I couldn’t quite place it as my eyes trailed groggily across the room. Damn it, I was energetic just ten minutes ago! What was it?! In response to my urgency, adrenaline seemed to course through my body, making me suddenly alert as unyielding alarm bells began to ring continuously all around the confines of my head, but for the life of me I could not figure out what was so horribly wrong; the blanket and pillow were just as tumbled as I had left them, a week’s worth of laundry was still piled up carelessly in the far left corner, the curtains…

Then I noticed it. Pale moonlight had flooded my room as the curtains were now opened and, though I might have missed it if my glasses were off, there was no mistaking that the lock was suddenly off my window and it was open, if only just a crack.

Panic soon gave way to anger and I quickly shot my arm out to the side, opening my desk-drawer and pulling out the knife I kept handy there. Logic might dictate that if there was still any intruder here, they would have jumped me the second I crossed the room’s threshold, but the suddenly-chill air seemed to warn me of something beyond logic, as if speaking in an age-old tongue with the primal instinct of survival within me.

Any other man might have called out to whoever’s there – then again, any other man might be a fool. I remained frozen, allowing my eyes time to adjust to the darkness of the room and until they did, I never stopped shifting them back and forth in an attempt to catch the slightest movement. Seconds ticked by, each one passing with my heartbeat which seemed to hammer at my chest and roar deafeningly in my ears, lending inexorability to the momentous passage of time which seemed painfully slow, as if running from inescapable destiny within a dream.

At last, my eyesight adjusted and the room was entirely empty, though the gut-sensation that had been saving lives since the start of life would not leave and my guard would not go lax – to the contrary, I found myself clenching the knife tighter as I held it rigidly in front of myself. Despite the furniture, there was no place for a person to hide within this rectangular room. No place except…

The bathroom. The door, however, was open and I crept towards it, peeking my head inside.

Nothing. There was the wash basin, the mirror that hung over it, and the shower curtains which were drawn. Sighing to release the pent-up tension that had built within me, I look down for a moment to lay the knife down next to the faucet for the wash basin.

It was only a moment, but it seemed to stretch out for a decade and when I looked up, a strong metallic scent in the air made my throat catch and my eyes water, heart racing once more and sweat reforming upon my brow. I opened my eyes and another decade seemed to pass but – quite unlike the last time – my heart didn’t race and my body wasn’t so hyperactive; to the contrary, my heartbeat felt like it stopped dead in its tracks and my entire being seemed to freeze in that instant.

All the while, the wind picked up behind me and the door slowly creaked shut, but still I couldn’t get myself to budge. I couldn’t even move my eyes which were fixated at the mirror in front of me, trying to make sense of the gruesome sight I beheld.

There were two candles lit on either side with solemn, consistent flames; the walls, once pure-white, were now splattered dark red; the mirror, once clear and scratch-free, bore a torrent of silvery scratches all across the surface, at the epicenter of which were splattered words – barely legible – that read:

You were supposed to be asleep.

Laughing hysterically, I seemed to actually wave at the words as my sanity left me forever…

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