Procaffeinations is a weekly series of short fictions, fables and fabrications, all written in the time it takes to finish that first coffee of the day. Mine’s a Steam Yard flat white with a sugared sidekick: A real one-two punch to Wednesday’s smug little face.
There is a monster under my bed. There always has been. When I was younger it would crawl up the side of my bed and sit atop my pillow, its legs astride my sleeping head. It would play with my hair and it would feed me little horrors, ready-made nightmares. It would sit there and suck the sweat from my fevered brow, growing fat on my fears.
But I’m older now and so is my monster. My nights are long and without slumber. Should sleep find me, all my little monster can muster are toothless terrors with neither bite nor edge nor threat.
I catch it every now and again, hauling its ageing, arthritic little limbs up my bedside. I help it up and we lie in silence until it catches breath and falls asleep. I think about ending my little monster’s laboured breathing and how easy it would be now.
But it seems to me that misery loves company, and sleeping with your demons is a far less lonely affair.