I shared this short story I wrote in the Notes section of my Facebook page and I thought I would share it here as well.
Anticipating the Dark; a short story by Robin Janney
Water dripped from the eaves with a resounding consistency.
Each splash echoed slightly, or maybe that was just my imagination. Either way, it was strangely comforting.
I pulled the blanket closer, tucking it under my chin. The darkness was suffocating, surrounding me with no relief. I close my eyes and pretend it’s not there. Much good that it does me.
Instead, I listen to the dripping water. I try to match my breathing to it, but it’s dripping too quickly. I’ll never be able to sleep trying to breathe like that. I slow it down. Slow, deep breathes; counting drips in and out. 1, 2, 3, 4, hold for 1, 2, 3, 4, out 1, 2, 3, 4.
I can feel my body begin to relax as my heartbeat slows. And still I worry.
Am I alone? Will they come back for me tonight? If they do, will they at least let me get some sleep before disturbing me? God, please, I just want some sleep!
Starting over with my breathing, I try to think of happier things.
Picnicking in the part with Andrew. Throwing the Frisbee for him and laughing as he races after it and catches it with a flying leap. He’s very agile for his age.
Bologna sandwiches, with American cheese and just a touch of mustard. On homemade white bread.
A tall glass of lemony ice tea with a lemon wedge for extra lemony flavor and round ice cubes. Round ice cubes always remind me of Grandma and her homemade ice cream. I’m not sure why they connect in my memory, but they do.
The warm softness of the blankets covering me, though it is late May. The pillow cupping my head is nothing short of divine, not too soft and not too firm. The pleasant scent of the lavender sachet I have on the bedside table to help me sleep. It never helps, but I keep it there because I like the scent.
Suddenly I realize, the water has stopped dripping. How long since it stopped? In fact, I can hear nothing but the quiet buzzing of silence.
Then a sound, deafening in the stillness. The creaking of my door as it unlatches and swings open. Light leaks in, though I remember turning off all the lights. A shadow falls on me.