|Bedtime is supposed to be a happy event for a tired child; for me it was terrifying.
I was excited at the thought of being able to sleep in the top bunk, which seemed far more adventurous to me.
From the very first night, I remember a strange feeling of unease creeping slowly from the back of my mind. I couldn’t help but feel that my eyes were being slowly drawn towards the bottom bunk as if something was moving in the corner of my eye.
The bunk was empty, impeccably made with a blue blanket tucked in neatly, covering two rather bland white pillows. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, I was a child.
I fell asleep.
When you awaken from deep sleep to something moving or stirring, it can take a few moments for you to truly understand what is happening. The fog of sleep hangs over your eyes and ears even when lucid.
At first, I wasn’t sure what it was. Everything was dark, almost pitch black, but there was enough light creeping in from outside to outline that suffocating room.
As the last cobwebs of sleep withered from my mind, the noise took on a more familiar form. Sometimes the simplest of sounds can be the most unnerving, a cold wind whistling through a tree outside, a neighbor’s footsteps uncomfortably close, or, in this case, the simple sound of bed sheets rustling in the dark.
That was it; bed sheets rustling in the dark as if some disturbed sleeper was attempting to get all too comfortable in the bottom bunk. I lay there in disbelief thinking that the noise was either my imagination or perhaps just my pet cat finding somewhere comfortable to spend the night. It was then that I noticed my door, shut as it had been as I’d fallen asleep.
Perhaps my mum had checked in on me and the cat had sneaked in.
Yes, that must have been it. I turned to face the wall, closing my eyes in the vain hope that I could fall back to sleep. As I moved, the rustling noise from underneath me ceased. I thought that I must have disturbed my cat, but quickly I realized that the visitor in the bottom bunk was less mundane than my pet trying to sleep, and much more sinister, a jet black gargoyle.
As if alerted to, and disgruntled by, my presence, the disturbed sleeper began to toss and turn violently, like a child having a tantrum in their bed. I could hear the sheets twist and turn with increasing ferocity. Fear then gripped me, not like the subtle sense of unease I had experienced earlier, but now potent and terrifying. My heart raced as my eyes panicked, scanning the almost impenetrable darkness.
I let out a cry. And loo the black gargoyle dissolved underneath there and then. Later we did discover a black gargoyle mask. My parents buried it for good.