Victorian Silhouette

Having written here before (Sleeping Disorder, October 2011), I would like to share another tale. I wrote more about the specifics of who I am in my last entry and I wouldn’t mind writing them again, but they are quite boring. Personally, I would rather cut to the chase.

I don’t recall how long ago this took place, but ever since my first true encounter, I haven’t slept on the top bunk of any bed. Now, on the lower bunk, I had set up all of my stuffed animals to surround me, plugged up any cracks or crevices close to the walls and wrapped myself in my blanket every night once again. I was determined not to come face-to-face with any crawling figure that happened to live beneath my sanctuary. My television had a habit of turning on at the same time every night and my brother and I hadn’t really figured out how to turn off the timer yet. Truthfully, we didn’t know if it was a timer or not, we only assumed that for no other explanation as to why we woke up to a blue screen every morning.

Like any good ghost story, I woke up in the night hours, shaken out of a dream by the sound of a click when the television turned on. I made a promise to myself that no matter what happened, I would forever remember I was awake. The classical music I had left playing in the evening hadn’t been turned off and it played gently in the background. My room, save for the blue glow of the T.V., was dark. My stuffed animals were not stuffed animals anymore, they had changed into a human-like audience, blurred and contorted by the blue light. The yellow wall I was facing, nearest to me, held the silhouette of a woman dancing to the music. I could see her shape clearly on my yellow wall and with the help of the light; she had a Victorian dress and bonnet, but I couldn’t see her real figure dancing behind me. The sudden image of her scared me more than anything, and being young I didn’t know what to do with myself. She just kept dancing and dancing to the music on my wall, but my childish self didn’t have enough courage to turn around. I was afraid what I might see would be the thing that had climbed on my bed. What felt like hours crept by as I lay watching her, along with the audience of stuffed humans.

Slowly, but surely, I came to realize she wasn’t doing anything or going to do anything to me. Actually, after I came to my senses, I felt a cooling aura in the room. It was like watching a toy maker build. Now that I had calmed myself, I wanted to look at her, but my body held me back. I couldn’t move at all, or will myself to, that is. So, I stayed and watched her circle a few more times before I began feeling antsy. My limbs had fallen asleep from not moving for such a long time, I wanted to watch but I also wanted to move. New fear cascaded through me and I called out for my father. She didn’t stop, but I was suddenly afraid of something, things were changing and shaking. I didn’t understand, and so I sat up as quick as I could.

Her silhouette dissolved into a square, a God’s eye my friend had made me was hanging from one of the wooden planks of my bunk. I had hung it there and forgotten all about it until she was gone. My animals turned back to animals and I shivered out of my bed.

"What’s wrong, sweetheart?" my father had asked me. I only shook my head to him in reply, still looking back at where the woman had been. He let me sleep next to him and mother that night.

When we were leaving my room, I caught a glimpse of one of my bigger stuffed animals, still humanized. It’s cold features watched me as we moved away. Then, it melted in my next step.

Submitted by Idola Kaine, CA, USA