Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
And look….they’re still there!
He had been my husband. I had selected him before he even noticed me. I had singled him out as a suitable item to acquire for he was obviously a useful tool to have at my disposal. He was good at DIY, predictable, solid, hardworking trustworthy and stocky built. Quite handy really, certainly fit for my purpose at the time.
Living frugally until he could buy a property at knock down price before it fell down I had him almost rebuild it from the inside out. I confined ourselves to the small living space of a single downstairs room. I was exact with my specifications and kept him busy till it was completely finished to an admiral polish.
Then, on cue and according to my schedule the children came. They grew and eventually off they went trotting to university, careers, families and timely children of their own, like well ordered toy soldiers all in a neat row.
My husband. My children, my house, my plans, efforts ideas and energies had made it all happen. He was merely instrumental to my purposes, successfully so, till that Goldilocks thing came along.
With her sweeping hair she had gathered him up and whipped him sheepish into a whirlwind romance. Like a hapless spinning top he whirred and purred to her delight. He was blinded by her so dazzling teeth that caught him dizzy and dazzled to a stop in her bite, giddy to delirium between her lips and legs, till he said I do and to me I don’t.
His eyes now were unusually bright like a seriously stupid, happy puppy dog eager to please. He laps up her attention, such a hungry, neglected stray. Doubting his own prowess, his middle aged spread and bald head makes him self conscious against the respective glow of her youth.
I had given him everything. I had made it all happen. Made him everything he is today. Without me he would be nothing, revert to a stuttering snot ridden apology of a human being with his out-moded second-hand shoes, clothes too big and trousers secured at the waist with old rope.
Now he had foolishly given all that I made of him over to that. Now ‘that’ lay in my bed, in my house with my husband. I still wear the ring. I will never give it up, never release him, nor let my grip on this house and all its contents, including the inhabitants go. Mine all mine.
I will scatter my foul influence over their heads with ready enthusiasm and they will toss and turn, disturbed in their sleep. They already wake bleary eyed and without rest after dreaming of an indistinct haunting, a vague figure poised at the periphery of their senses, watching, waiting for the ripe moment to strike.
Strike I will, with all my vengeance primed, but now I wait. Wait, for that apt moment, the ideal opportunity for my hungry vengeance to wreak its havoc on what will be their helpless, lifeless bodies. I love hating them. Their hair will fizzle and fry when I burn their remains bit by slow meticulous and popping bit, in the spitting fireplace I had once designed and had him build to my express standards.
I hover over them both and suffuse their sleeping frames in a long slow whiff of fetid breath. Their own breath catches, their rhythms are disturbed, they start then settle back down closer together. I move closer still, prising myself between them and spread a heavy dream of falling from great heights to a broken, painful dying below. They wake momentarily with a violent shudder.
Oh, only a dream they think! They turn toward each other in the dark of the room and the warmth of the shared bed, they snuggle closer seeking reassurance. I allow them to think I am just a dream so they can snuggle and drift, slowly and gently flow back into imperceptible sleep. I am in no hurry.
I welcome these small opportunities to work my damage piece by minute and deliberate piece. I can unravel them both with ease, at a pace that suits me…in my time not theirs.
In the light of the new day breaking through the gap in the curtains, they wake to brush the night’s strange sleep from their eyes like unwanted memories. I know however that my quiet, stealthy, constant streaming of foul atmospheres, the pouring discomforts of my malign presence and my always watching will wear them thin. For now I let them be. I can wait.
I make ‘almost’ noises in the background, drumming so constantly soft they cannot quite be heard for certain. I can easily grind them to distraction and pare them apart with my hatred. It simply takes a little time and application. I have much time at my disposal and a plenititude of devious means.
They age already, the pace moves faster in their world.
Now they begin to take each other for granted, get on each others nerves. Soon they will stop trying to please each other and let their appearances go and bad habits be witnessed. Too much familiarity will breed the contempt I need. Like water, dripping on to rock I am wearing them both… quite away from each other and their sensible selves.
They are further down the line now of disintegration. They hate this house, my house. They are convinced it is haunted. Oh yes, I agree, it is haunted alright, but they are the intruders, the unwanted ones, the gate crashing guests that will not leave yet. Well this party is over my friends, time to clear up and chuck out all the unwanted detritus collected over the years and that means you….
The flames of the fire in my own built hearth unexpectedly hiss and jump to lick the air with tongues reaching, seeking further fuel. Shadows loom large and dance on the walls and ceilings, the lights go out suddenly it is black. All black, darker than the deepest pitch and we are all together as the rooms close in. My hate is bigger than myself, I cannot hold its reins, its blackness bucks and paws the air and turns to me and my floor comes to meet my roof and we are all contracting, pinching inwards and pressing tight together into an unelected embrace. We merge unwillingly into one tiny wee, infinitely small dot……a mere quantum of no matter, no matter at all in the whole universe.