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The following is a short piece of fiction I wrote for StoryaDay 2011. I made a few edits and decided it was a perfect treat for my all things dark week. Enjoy!

Playing Tricks

Mother’s don’t sleep. Their minds may be in sleep mode, but it takes only a small shift in the air, a whisper or a whimper for them to be on their feet. Tonight, it was the creak of the door. I pulled back the comforter and let the small form squirm its way into my narrow bed. The ritual complete, I closed my eyes and tried to find the dream I’d left behind.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

“Sammy, stop moving.”

A small hand curled around my index finger and squeezed three times. I. Love. You.

“I love you too, sweetie. Go back to sleep now.” Before mommy’s brain explodes. All I wanted was one night of uninterrupted sleep.

“But, m-m-mommy?”

“What’s wrong, sweet pea?”

The fear in his voiced forced my eyes open. I let them roam, waiting for the darkness to reveal my bedroom. Dark shapes slowly took on familiar forms. A tall chest of draws loomed on the opposite side of the room, alongside my antique writing desk. Next to the bed the clock flashed 3:33 a.m. I was going to feel like hell in the morning.

“Mommy?” Sammy sat up, raised his arm and pointed into the darkness.

“Mommy, what is that?”

“It’s just the dresser. Lie down and go to sleep, Sammy.”

“No, Mommy. What is that?” He shook his hand as he pointed into the darkness. He pointed at nothing.

I held back a shiver and the overwhelming desire to hide under the covers. He must be dreaming. What else could it be? I sat up, prepared to take him back to his room, when movement caught my eye.

“Mommy, what is that?” His arm followed a dark void as it drifted across the room.

I blinked and held back the whimper swelling in my throat. This is silly. Our imaginations were playing tricks on us. At least, I thought so and then the darkness opened its eyes.

The Darkness has Eyes

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