The Slide

My desk is strewn with bottles. It started with wine and now there’s gin and bourbon. As my money dwindled, I went to cheaper and cheaper. Who knew how far your change can go with a supermarket own brand.

Why?

It helped me sleep. It held me unwind and it helped me forget. There is no forgetting. Never. I look at my prematurely aged hands and I know I’ve wasted everything. All my goodwill and all my energy. The thing will return tonight, and I will probably die from the fear. Even if I don’t then maybe tomorrow. Sober for a week and it’s now making itself known and making up for lost time.

Two years ago, I suffered with sleep aponia. It was dangerous and led to hallucinations when I started to sleep then when I started to wake up. It was usual according to my doctor. Completely normal and here’s something to help you sleep. He passed me some little pills. They made the hallucinations worse, so I didn’t take them.

He arrived soon after.

I was going about my routine, teeth brushed and ready for bed. As I lay there waiting for my sleep, I could feel the room change. It felt heavy as if a storm were about to happen. The temperature dropped and then gone; I was asleep. I had felt a presence but then I dismissed it. After everything previously, it was normal. My doctor said so.

It happened again the next night and the next. I would feel as if I was on the edge of something, then gone.

It troubled me. This wasn’t normal.

Finally, he showed himself. He was a tall dark creature. He filled the room with ice and his face, it was so pale and beautiful yet terrifying. I have tried to paint it or draw it, even describe it but it always end up with too many eyes and teeth. This man was beautiful.

He wanted me. He wanted me to go with him. He scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t move. I could see my breath in the room. He wanted my breath and every time the respiration blew a cloud of steam, he looked at me with hungry eyes.

This is when I started drinking. The sooner I fell asleep, the less likely he would show up. He wanted my heat. He wanted my body. He wanted something from me, and I wouldn’t let him have it. He never spoke but the fear drove me further into the drink. It was a glass of wine at first and then onto something stronger. I lost my job a few months ago. I’ve been living on my savings. I’m looking at my eviction notice and wondering if maybe this was what he or it wanted.

Maybe this is best. My teeth are brushed and I’m shaking. Probably the withdrawal. It’s time for bed.

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