Waking Up Asleep

Author’s Note

I wrote this story years ago. While it’s not quite up to par with what I would write today, I still wanted to archive it on this site to really show the progression of my work. I’m not sure of the exact date or year that I wrote this story—that information is most likely lost to time—but I do know I was most likely still a teenager when I did.

Carson Alworth

Thank you for asking me to expand on what happened that night. I’d be glad to.

You see, my remarkable experiences began on a day quite similar to this. As I am writing this to you, it is a Friday. A Friday evening, to be more exact. The London air is cool and misty, with fog beginning to roll in through the streets while I compose this letter. Almost exactly the same weather as the day I had this remarkable experience.

As I unlocked the door to my house, all I wanted to do was rest. I turned the doorknob and walked in, setting my shoes in the shoe box to the left of the door. I set my car keys on the table to the right and walked into the living room. I sat down on the sofa and turned on the television. Bah. Nothing on but more depressing news. It couldn’t get more mundane than this. I thought I’d go to bed. For that was exactly what I really wanted to do, if truth be told. Go to bed, and sleep in. After all, tomorrow was Saturday. A day of rest and relaxation. No going in to work, no spending all day editing my papers, no constant buggering from my boss to get my work done on time. I wouldn’t even have to check the mail…or do any chores at all, for that matter.

I had gotten all of those done before I left to work today. Slowly I stood up from the brown couch. I felt as stiff as if I had been sitting there the entire day. The kind of stuff you feel after you’ve been moving all day, sit down, and then get directly back up again. I groaned. Well, time to head off to bed. I shuffled to the open door that led to the kitchen. I reached into a cabinet for a cup, and then went to the sink and filled it up with cold water. Afterward, I went back through the living room, into the hallway, and then to my bedroom. I turned on my lamp, put my phone on the bedside table, and then got in bed and turned off the light. I slowly began to dose off. Eventually, I began to slip from the edge of consciousness.

All of a sudden, I jolted. It felt as if a bolt of lightning had surged through me. I sat up and looked around, suddenly as alert as if I had rested a full night. But no – I couldn’t have fallen asleep for that long. It was still dark. I turned towards my clock, hoping for some indication as to what time it was, but it was no use – the clock was flashing 12:00. The power must have went off while I had been sleeping. Maybe hearing all the appliances and the heater go off was what had woken me up so quickly. I reached through the darkness for my phone on the bedside table. I couldn’t feel it. I groped for the lamp switch. I finally found it and flipped it on. The light came on, but it seemed brighter than usual, and it was flickering. My phone was nowhere to be seen, either.

I got out of bed. Maybe it wasn’t screwed in all the way. I reached for the bulb to try and readjust it. Suddenly I was thrown back with incredible speed and force, sprawling out on my bed. It felt as if a bolt of energy or electricity had surged through my fingertips from the bulb. But it hadn’t hurt at all. There was something wrong, and I knew it. I got quickly out of bed again, making sure to not touch the light bulb or the lamp. I walked quickly to the door of my room and opened it. There was my hallway, just like normal. Everything seemed to be normal. I peered through the darkness, progressing along the hallway. The lighted doorway at the end that was the kitchen seemed farther away than usual. I progressed slowly towards it, my hands outstretched so I would not bump into anything.

Suddenly, the light from the kitchen door went out. The power must have gone out again. That, or – I heard a sudden noise from the direction of the kitchen, and my heart stopped beating – that, or there was somebody in the house with me. I reached instinctively towards my pocket for my phone before I remembered that I hadn’t been able to find it. I heard another noise from the kitchen – the sound of loud, yet strangely grotesque, breathing. I had to get out of here and find somewhere to hide, and quick. I slowly backed away from the kitchen, keeping my hands on the walls for guidance. Eventually, I felt behind me (for I still was looking toward the direction of the kitchen door, where the noises had come from), an opening from the hallway into my room.

I was back in my bedroom at last. If I locked the door and stayed quiet, hopefully, whoever was in the house wouldn’t notice that I was there. I turned around and silently began to creep into my room, and then froze. I froze because there was a problem. It wasn’t my room. It was the kitchen. And there was somebody there, with their back turned toward me, looking through the door into the hallway. Looking through the same door I had just been backing away from. This was insanity. My hands felt clammy, and I felt like my heart was hammering in my chest. Perhaps it was a trick of the lighting, but the person looking through the hallway door seemed blurry, almost like condensed smoke. And then, suddenly, slowly, almost as if in a trance-like state, this person – this creature – began to turn around.

Because of what happened next, I’ve had to see several therapists…and believe me when I say, this event changed me forever; because it really did. It’s getting late though, so I’ll end the story here for now. Let me know in your next letter if you want to hear more.

Always your friend,

J. D. Everlin

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