Wednesday, July 27, 2005


He stood up from his bed, beads of sweat streaming down the sides of his face. His breath was coming in quick, labored gasps making a wheezing sound that seemed to fill his whole head with noise. He could feel his heart beating in heavy thuds that joined the raspy wheezing in a kind of orchestra from hell. He heard the baby crying and suddenly he was filled with anger. He turned and saw the soft, sexy silhouette of his sleeping wife under the covers and got the compulsion to hurl something at that figure. The baby uttered another desperate wail, urgently demanding attention. He knew what he had to do. He moved across the room, slowly, a deliberate step at a time. When he got to the door and opened it, the wail got louder as if instantly magnified. He, on reflex, turned back to look at his wife even though he knew what he would find. She lay there uninterrupted, the blanket gently rising and falling as she breathed in her sleep. He had often marveled at her ability to remain asleep no matter how much noise he was made. He turned back towards the opened door and walked down the hallway towards the baby's room.

He opened the door, smelling the sweet light scent of clean cotton and baby powder. He took a step into the room and was instantly enveloped by the blue light he had installed in the room three months ago, just before his wife and the baby came home. He walked over to the horse shaped, wooden rocking crib that stood in the middle of the room and took a long look at the squinted face of the crying baby, wondering how such a little creature could make such a loud noise. The baby, on sensing him, opened her eyes and stopped crying. He stood there for a moment, his anger dissipating, gazing at the angelic face that stared back at him and thought he had never felt love for anything like he felt right now. He wanted to hold her and reached down into the crib. Suddenly the baby let out another screeching wail and he, in shocked surprise, quickly pulled his hands back but in doing so lost his balance. He fell backwards arms flailing and hit his head on the wooden floor. He was immediately filled with a sharp pain that seemed to radiate from the small of his back into the rest of his body and let out an anguished moan. He lifted his head and looked at the crib feeling the blood pound in his head. The baby was still screaming and he felt his pain turn to a blinding rage. He got up slowly the rage spreading to occupy every inch of his body and he reached into the baby's crib. He grabbed the blanket and stuffed it into the baby's face. He could hear the muffled cries get a little more desperate and after a moment, the frantic movements beneath the blanket ceased.

He walked towards his room clutching the stake knife that he had just gotten from the kitchen drawer. He pushed the door open and stood there watching the rhythmic movements of his wife. His eyes burned with rage and the pounding in his head seemed to get worse with every second he watched her. She was the cause of the pain and the pain had to be stopped. He let out a wild yell and lunged at the sleeping figure, the knife pointed out in front of him…

Andrew sat up in the bed in that confused state just before waking up. He blinked for a second then it all came rushing back in. It was that same dream again. Damn it, this was the eighth time in three weeks that he had had that exact dream. He wiped his forehead with his left hand and it came back damp. He looked down at his sky blue pajamas and saw that they had turned dark with perspiration. He let out a troubled sigh and looked around the room. Outside, the sun was rising filling the room with golden rays that seeped through the curtain edges as if trying to peek in.

"Honey what time is it?" asked his wife stretching and turning to face him. He had married Judy ten months ago when they found out that she was pregnant but he had been planning to anyway. He was a senior partner in a law firm and that afforded him a comfortable lifestyle. All he had seemed to need was someone to share it with and now with Judy and the baby, all that was coming true.

"Huh", he responded slightly dazed.

"Are you okay?" she asked the urgency creeping into her voice as she noticed the sweat drenched pajamas. She quickly sat up and reached for his forehead with the back of her hand, deep lines appearing on her brow. "Do you have a fever?"

"No just a bad dream" he responded sullenly pulling away from her. He was feeling guilty about the dreams even though he knew he wasn't responsible.

"Another one, isn't that the third this week? Maybe you should see someone about this."

"Damn it Judy I don't need to see anyone, I'm fine!" he said his voice rising an octave higher. In truth he had been pondering the same thing but that might have meant also opening up to Judy about the dreams. He didn't want to do that. Who knows how she might react, after all she had only known him for a year, and how well do you really know a person after only one year. He knew that he could never do such a thing but how would she know that. With all the crazy stuff happening in the news these days anything was possible. She might get scared and end up drawing away from him. God knows he wouldn't be able to take that. No, she mustn't find out about the dreams.

"Well don't shoot me for caring," she said a little perturbed herself.

"Honey," he said reaching for her as she was about to get off the bed. "I'm sorry, you know how I'm an ass in the morning". He pulled her close to him and she didn't resist. "I love you very much".

"I know I love you too it's just that I'm worried about you".

"No need to, I’m fine," he said. "Cross my heart." But even as he said it, he wondered if he truly was. The first couple of times it happened, he had thought it the result of too many late hours in the office and even cut back his days to three a week from a rigorous six day schedule. That didn't help, if anything it seemed to increase the frequency of the dreams.

He stood up, walked to the bathroom sink and splashed water on his face which made him feel a little better. He straightened up and peered into the mirror on the wall above the marble sink. He noticed the deep, dark circles forming around his eyes and knew he had to do something. He had to do something very soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Stories to keep you up at night

Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated by the things that scared me. A nightmare, a horror movie, dark abandoned houses, know things everyday people worry about. What was that? Regular people aren't scared of elves? ......uh, I didn't, you, it's just that..............ahem. Well screw you, those pointy eared yokels scare me, big deal. Moving on. I was talking about my fascination with the phobias. I've always wondered, what it is that scares me about the things that scare me? And it seemed, no matter where the thought started, it always ended up at things beyond my control with the potential for some sort of physical harm. I'm scared of things that I know I have no command over that I believe could hurt me in some way. If this doesn't sum up any and all of your fears, quick, call a shrink - you are crazy!

I've decided to explore this domain of fear by writing a series of short stories about, well, things that hide in your closet at night with an axe - for lack of a better word.....or words. These will all be original stories, that I'm yet to pen (with the exception of part 1 of story 1) and any similarity to anyone's personal experience will be truly coincidental. So please don't go calling the cops talking about I'm stealing thoughts from your head,..........besides, I know the mayor. These stories will come in sections with each story probably having about four parts. I promise not to drag them too long, well, I'll try since I don't know what'll write until I write it.

Feel free to offer any and all criticism, I promise I won't send my 7'2" friend Paul to pay you a visit and find out exactly why you don't like my work. What? I promise!

The first part of the first story, Lucid Dreams, is already written and I will post it soon. Thank you for your time. Enjoy.