A sound wakes Brennan from his tenuous slumber. He jumps up from his post beside the bed, knife in hand, and his chair crashes to the floor. His eyes dart around the room wildly, but the darkness that comes just before dawn is still thick and obscures anything not directly in front of him. He waits for the panic to subside, then reaches down and picks up his chair.
He wakes up like this every night, but he learned a long time ago that being afraid all night was a horror in itself, one he could try and prevent. He was still afraid of what was to come, but he had learned to keep his composure in the rare moments when all was calm. If he didn’t, he risked going into a panic attack like he had the first few times, which was worse than dying in a way, because you knew it would end, you just didn’t knowwhen. The only thing he couldn’t seem to change was the panic he felt when he first awoke. It seems his body knows that whatever it is that toys with him in the night is something to be feared, even if he wont admit it.
He brings the knife to his wrist and wearily speaks into the darkness.
“Whoever you are, whatever you are, leave me be. This ends tonight. One way or another I will be free of you, even if it comes at the cost of my own life. I can’t take it anymore. I’m terrified of being alone, but find no comfort with friends or even strangers. You hurt them just the same, solely for being near me. You haunt me throughout the night, exhausting me with fear until sleep forces itself on me. And I find no solace in my dreams. Just nightmares of what’s to come when the sun rises.”
His speech is met with nothing but the sound of his own quick, shallow breaths and the dull beating of his ever weakening heart. Lately he has taken to threatening to end his own life in hopes that it will bring his distress to an end, but he doesn’t think he can do it. It doesn't either.
He waits, for this is how it always begins. Something small, seemingly harmless, grabs his attention. Then, once he becomes hopeful that this night will be different, that’s when it begins. He doesn’t know what will happen next. Every night it’s a little different. All he can guarantee is that he will end the day scared, alone, and worst of all, alive.