t had to be a dream, but I could have sworn I wasn’t alone. Something or someone was behind me. Not a mortal being, I decided. It was clear he had not entered and would not exit through that bedroom door.
How did I know it was a he? Yet, I did. No other possibilities seemed worth considering—not even the equivocal it.
Swarms of glittering lights flashed on and off inside of me whenever he departed or returned as if warning me of his presence. From head to toe, I could feel the fire, as if my insides were ablaze.
Lying on my stomach, my cheek against the pillow, I felt his hard, scaly skin caressing my neck and shoulders. He entered me, and all I could do was shudder—my chest tingling, my heart racing.
At one point, there was the sound of footsteps outside the door—my mother passing. I didn’t dare turn around, but he seemed to know who was there and what would ensue.
“She will see me,” he said.
“Can she?” I seemed to think he could dematerialize.
“She can see me,” he stated with certainty.
Either I managed to hide him, or he hid himself. I tried calling to my mother for help, but I merely struggled, gasping for breath. No words came until she was gone.
“How can she see you?” I asked in a haze.
“She can see me,” he said.
I supposed that, like me, she would see no more than a shadow in the darkness.
“Who are you?” I asked.
He didn’t reply.
Once I was surely awake, I sprang from the bed. Struggling to steady my quivering limbs, I scrambled for the light.
I sat on the edge of the bed, my head bowed and resting in my trembling hands. The alarm clock buzzed, startling me. Angrily, I slammed it quiet and glanced at the towering mirror atop my chest of drawers. Sweat trickled from my brow. It had seemed so real, and, for the moment, silence prevailed. No one was in the room except me. Nothing had changed. There remained only the conception of innocence with my frilly pink bedding, my Victorian rose table lamp, the sweet teddy bears, and my cherished doll. The old nativity plaque of the Blessed Virgin with Joseph and baby Jesus seemed frozen in time.
Proceeding to the bathroom, and, subsequently, downstairs to the kitchen, I switched on any light switch I passed. In a weird hypnotic state, I grabbed what I needed from the refrigerator and prepared a breakfast of coffee and toast. Before returning to the upstairs bathroom, I checked the locks on the front doors. I checked the stove. It occurred to me, I had developed some odd new habits to ensure my safety, and the safety of those around me. I knew no one had come in or gone out the door in the middle of the night, just as I knew I hadn’t used the stove, that no one else had overnight, and that my mother had made sure all was well, tidy, and clean before she went to bed.
Undressing now, I stepped from the brown and gold floor tiles to the Moroccan brown scatter rug and into the bath. Every now and then, I interrupted my shower to slide open the glass doors just enough to peek out, and my heart pounded.
Hours later, I took my road test.
The license examiner must have felt sorry for me, since I’d been too nervous to make a proper U-turn. He passed me anyway. I had taken the day off from school and work—to get plates and take care of other car business—all before a visit to Zuza’s dress shop, so that she could take my measurements.
Deadly Veils Book One: Shattering Truths was originally published as Deadly Veils: Book One: Provenance of Bondage copyright © October 2015 by Kyrian Lyndon. The revised edition, Deadly Veils: Book One: Shattering Truths was published in December 2016. Cover design by KH Koehler Design.