Spare Bedroom (Flash Fiction)

There is a dim, blue glow in my spare bedroom. I can see it from down the hall. I saw it after awaking to nothing in particular, no sound or reason. No odd sensation. My eyes just opened, I looked, and there it was.

I didn’t notice it at first. It’s hard to see even now, even knowing it’s there, but it is. Whatever it is, it’s there. You’d think maybe it’s a night-light for a child, but I have no children. I live alone. You’d think that maybe it was something else rather innocuous, like a digital clock or maybe a computer, but it’s not any of those things. For the most part, that room is empty. And still, that dim, blue light is glowing. No, pulsing.

I’ve felt no reason to be afraid, but it’s beginning to wear on me. My mind has been searched and no solution is found. I do not know what could cause such a glow in the spare bedroom of my apartment.

Sometimes the light pulses brighter, or so I think. It’s hard to tell. Sometimes it looks as though the light moves, and this I can tell. The shadow cast on the floor from the doorframe changes its angle.

It’s moving, but there is no sound.

So, I slung my legs out of bed and sat on the corner, watching, waiting.

I had a friend stay over once, I’d say a month or so back. He slept in there on an inflatable mattress he brought with him. In the morning he was a little quiet, and it took him awhile to say why. At first I assumed it was just his hangover, but he seemed a little different than that. He seemed nervous, anxious to leave. When he finally did, he hurried when he gathered his things, as if he couldn’t stand to be in there. When I asked him what was going on, why he was in such a hurry, he almost started crying. He said he had a terrible dream. When I asked for more details, he rushed out without a word.

We didn’t talk again for a few weeks, and ever since then he’s been a bit strange.

While sitting on my bed, I cleared my throat to make some noise, to see what would happen. Nothing did.

So I’m standing now, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I can honestly say I’m a little frightened. As I move down the hall and come closer to the spare bedroom, I can see the light a little clearer. I can see a slight relfection on the door knob. The reflection is moving, and the shadow cast by the doorframe is moving, and that means the light itself is moving.

I’m closer now, standing just a few feet away from the open door, and now I can hear a sound. It’s hard to explain. It doesn’t sound quite like breathing, but it’s similar.

My muscles are tense. I feel stupid. I feel vulnerable. I keep wondering what the dream was that my friend had. I’m wondering why he was so eager to leave that next day. I tell myself I can find out quite easily by taking a few more steps, that I can see for myself right now, but I’m finding I don’t want to. Now I have this feeling that I never want to, and that I too want to run away.

I hear the sound again. It’s like a sad sigh. It almost shudders. I hear my own breathing too. I hear my heart pounding and I feel my knees trembling and I suddenly feel very lost and alone. I feel sad too.

Someone is in my spare bedroom. Whoever it is, they’re crying.


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