What Is It About the House at Night?

What is it about a house after the sun has retired for the evening? Why do the normal creaks and groans that are heard all day suddenly reveal the dread terror and fear within our primal selves? Why does the night’s silence raise the volume of our own hearts as we creep through its halls? Why do the darkness and shadows of rooms we feel so comfortable and safe in when the sun is shining become such foreboding spaces where evil lurks within and behind every shadow? For me, it’s one room in the house where I lived. Whenever I pass by its inky black recesses I feel a slight pull towards its doorway. Like a planet drawn inevitably by the gravity of some larger celestial body. I know there is no longer anything inside that room can hurt me, just a collection of books and maps and other objects brought home by the captain who built this manor. I spend hours within its sunlit walls, wandering around the shelves, perusing the ancient sailing maps dreaming of where they go. But when the sun goes to bed, the room becomes the place of my nightmares. I’m forced to relive that night so long ago again and again. I drift through these halls night after night but I always end up in this doorway at precisely 2:15 AM, which is the time of day that I died. I stand there and watch myself being attacked by the intruder and no matter how hard my fingers grip the frame I always am drawn into the scene to feel his fingers around my throat squeezing my soul out. I can still remember the rough feel of his coat under my hands as I struggled and tried to push him off but he was far too strong for such a little girl such as I was. The darkness of the room invariably becomes darker still and I lose myself until the next morning. Where I go during those hours I know not, all I know is that wake up again in my room. I wonder, as I wander the halls, how many more years I am to endure this nightmare before I reunited with my family.

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