unable to move I gasp, turning tumbling down rabbit holes meant to not be remembered at dawn
Pulling up behind my darkened house in their shiny black El Camino, bass booming—a thunderous storm descends upon my unconscious fragile form. I don’t hear their footsteps as they scribble scramble through the muddy murky darkness toward sleeping me.
wondrous whispering willows lean in to reveal secret truths, sacred words hidden behind the cloudy half-lit moon
Steadfast friends, The Sand Man and The Grater share midnight missions of messy madness. Sneaking in at night’s exact middle, they come silently ruffling my soft, warm blankets. Unknowing, I am fully helpless to the whims of these nighttime lurkers.
when did missing sunshine turn my insides colors, making a mockery melody moment within my comfy covers
They simply divide and conquer, each moving around my room to deliver their own precise brands of nightly justice. The Sand Man sprinkling dream dust into closed eyes, invoking silky soft dreams of rest, while his counterpart sharpens his claws.
don’t be afraid little ones they say as monsters lurk under billowing bed sheets with cutting wits
I’ve never seen The Grater’s form, but I’ve felt his silver touch as he comes to dance with my worries. It seems rather unfair he’s allowed access when the doors and windows are so carefully locked with shiny brass deadbolts.
nothing blends into something, twist the knob, turn the handle, flip switch after switch without the keys
He presses his shiny sharp grates into whatever skin he can reach, slipping under the quilted comforter held tight by my sweaty fists. The words come with him—frightening little whispery repetitions singing songs of my insecurities/fears with feverish unrelenting cruelty.
he’s never coming back to you you’ll be left alone with dark silent shadows under creaking floorboards
The Tooth Fairy has seen his lumbering shape peeking out from the sheets—flashing silver eyes and sharpened talons. She folds her transparent wings tightly together, snatching at long ago lost baby teeth—forever forgetting her pouch of golden coins.
shivering, shaking, my body fights back but movements do nothing to protect openings—internal portals of pain
Heaviness, his tell-tale calling card, will linger around me when I finally fully wake from the night. Throwing off blankets, I yawn as the echoes of his work stick tight on red, raw skin. Failure feels immediate and imminent.
tomorrow always comes without command or permission, blasting hazy new thoughts refracted backward, inward, outward toward light
Breath deeply. Stretch. I mustn’t stay still for the poison will set and I’ll stay in bed. Fight to the shower to scrub the sticky words off with fragrant suds, washing his work down silver drains back to the darkness.
shake awake fingers, dance to life toes, and say farewell to nightmares until fractured, the moonlight returns