Nightmare Fuel

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I’d been looking forward to this evening all day. I’d given my new mattress time to expand and settle and my god was I ready for a great night’s sleep.

The evening shift had been a nightmare, so walking through my house I swear my bedroom was almost glowing, my new mattress sitting proudly on the bedframe. All it needed was the new duvet set I’d bought as a payday treat.

‘Bella!’ I call for my cat to join me, she loves biffing at the sheets as I make the bed, diving inside the duvet and refusing to move when I’m finished playing.

No response. Typical.

As I grab the new sheets from the hall, I can see that she’s had a to-do with the old mattress. It’s leaning against the wall, only now it has fallen victim to my mini predator, innards and safety tag laying on the floor nearby.

Making a mental note to clean it up later, I move into the bedroom to set up my paradise for the evening.

As I begin to unravel the bedsheet, I hear something moving in the hallway.

‘Bella, leave it alone’ I sigh, assuming she’s gone back for another fight with the mattress.

Turning my attention back to the bed, I lean across to pick up the corner of the mattress, and I hear the door creak open - not unusual when your cat has privacy issues.

The light flickers, and I turn, expecting to see Bella.

Instead, all I see is Him.

He has no name, yet he’s always there in my dreams. He has an expressionless face, wears black overalls, and chases me each time through the same old farmhouse. Yet this isn’t a farmhouse and I’m not asleep.

I’m just standing there, looking at him. I pinch the outside of my thigh, to check I’m definitely awake, the pain snapping my brain back into action.

Most adults would probably confront an intruder, not me. Like a child, I dive onto my bed, and pull the duvet up to my face.

A few minutes go by, and I hear movement in the hallway again.

I bring the duvet down to my neck, to see if I’m delirious or if this is really happening. I slide off my new bed and take a step towards the door, leaning to see into the hallway.

He’s ripping open my old mattress.