"You Wake in a Darkened Room"

You wake in a darkened room. You see nothing at first, but you wait. Light bleeds into the corners of your eyes. It’s dim light, barely there – a shadow of light. Dark forms rise around you from blackness. A spidery fan on the ceiling wavers into your perception. You try to focus on one fuzzy leg, one warped fan blade, but everywhere you look immediately blurs, though the fan moves sluggishly. A long chain dangles from the unmoving center of the fan, swaying eerily with the rocking blades.

You throw your legs over the side of the bed, untangling yourself from the twisted sheets. You make your way to the door, picking and shuffling around the sprawling furniture. The hall is lightened a little by the wide bay window overlooking the balcony. Even so, you have to feel your way gingerly, tracing your fingers first along the banister, then the wall.

In the bathroom, you open the switch, flooding the tiny room and momentarily blinding yourself. Blinking rapidly and squinting, you turn on the faucet and drink from your cupped hands. You see the toilet behind you in the mirror.

You were afraid of it once. First, you refused to flush it at night, leaving the gurgling monster to be vanquished in the safety of the morning sunlight. Years passed and you were still scared, but braver – you were no cowardly child. You would poise yourself, ready to spring into action. You would flush and sprint into the dark hall, slamming the light switch down and pulling the door closed with a whoosh of cold air that would chase you to your room. Your heart wouldn’t stop pounding for minutes after you had hidden yourself in the sanctuary of your quilt.

You see a roach dart form under your soap dish. You slam a rolled Reader’s Digest across it’s back, wipe the remains from the granite counter, and drop the mess into the toilet. You flush it, pushing the handle slowly and deliberately, watching the broken bits of roach swirl into oblivion.

You walk out, listening to the sighing and gushing of water in the tank. You turn off the lights, and leave the bathroom door open behind you. The hall is completely black to your eyes, so recently accustomed to a lighted space, and you make sure to close your bedroom door.

The End

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