Featured Challenge #18 – Sounds – Text #1

An Eerie Night 

By Hailie Andersen

If you want to listen to the author reading her text, click here.

It is nighttime. I am lying down in bed, starring into the void of the ceiling sheltering me from the starry night out. The Alpine chalet is really old. It is breathing past and life. Its wooden panels are creaking. I can hear the burning wood crackling in the fireplace next door, and my friends still chatting in quiet voices. Familiar tones, laughs, and whispers in the dark.

I cannot sleep.

I have gotten used to listening to music to short circuit my overactive mind, and lullaby me to slumber. My phone died, when we were out hiking taking pictures of the breathtaking sceneries, of this intense moment we were sharing. I laughed about it, and about the wonders of technology then. I am not laughing quite as much now. I have put myself in a tight spot. Technology has become a way of life, an addiction. Without electricity in this chalet, I cannot recharge my phone, nor reboot my mind.

I am forced into technology rehab. There are worst things than being awake at night in a chalet on a nice weekend out of town after a wonderful day out, exploring the countryside, you would tell me, and I agree.

The unfamiliar sound of the wind blowing through leaves and branches, whistling, is keeping me awake and still. I can hear my own breath. Slowing inhaling and exhaling out of my tensed chest. My lungs are aching, I can feel the pressure of the air coming in and going out. My mind has been granted breath again. Thoughts I had forced out are rushing back in. Leaving me no choice but to face them. I guess it is now or never.

I look around, and see no escape plan. I close my eyes, and you are there. Handsome figure bright as day. I open them, and the shadows and lights cast by the random relics around me patch you up. Eyes. Closed. Open. You are there right beside me. I do not know why I left you. My want of flight overtook my addiction. One silly fight after another. It all weighed in. I just could not take it. I loved you. I love you still. Your shadow is there beside me, strolling by my side, day in and day out, your touch, a remembrance, an ever-absent feel.

Part of me wishes you there beside me, and the other brandishes the relief of us parting. I choose to look ahead not back and turn to the window. I can see pines tops dancing in the dark; shadows of a life bristling in slumber, or bright awake chasing in the jet-black light.

I hear an eerie sound, an elfin howl, musing sign in the chaos of my mind, calling me back to life, and breathing me good night. I trust in it. The weight on my chest is gone. The shapes around me now appear as they are. I close my eyes, and feel a soft, cold breeze caressing my skin. It brings me peace. I trust in my future, and cherish the hours of my past. Mind appeased, I drift to sleep.

If you want to listen to the author reading her text, click here.




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