The following is an excerpt from the beginning of my short story House Guest, the oldest active story in my opus, so to speak. It will be the first entry in my upcoming collection Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Enjoy!
William Harrison sat up in bed, awakened by a particularly frightening nightmare.
This was all too common an event for him, though he’d thought it was becoming less so. His pajamas were slightly damp with sweat, but that was as much because he was using too many covers as that he was frightened by his dream. He’d had far too many, sometimes far more terrible and vivid, dreams in his life to let himself be bothered all that much by this last one. In fact, as was usual, he couldn’t even remember what the dream had been about now that he was awake.
He blinked sleep from his eyes and looked around the dark room, first noting that, according to his bedside clock, it was just after three in the morning. Surely that was the loneliest time of night…the soul’s midnight, he had heard someone call it once, though he didn’t know why.
His bed was too big. He noticed this acutely in the near blackness of his room, the pale rectangle showing vividly against the surrounding dark. For the past several months, he’d slept in a bed that was little more than a cot, and the king-sized mattress he lay on now was far, far larger than that. To add to—and to worsen—its relative size, his wife, Melissa, wasn’t there with him. And, of course, neither was Tammy, their four-year-old daughter, who would sometimes crawl into bed with her parents during the night, when her own nightmares, or just her darkened room, became too frightening. Continue reading