Nightly Visitor

Nightly Visitor

Each night she comes to our bedroom, crying. My husband doesn’t wake.

‘Mummy?’ Her voice is thin and pleading.

‘Mmmm?’ I fight the pull of sleep.

‘I had a bad dream.’

I lift the covers and she scrambles awkwardly across the bed and slips in between us. I don’t open my eyes.

‘I love you.’ Her breath slows as her little body relaxes against me.

‘Do you want to talk about it?’

She begins to cry again, and I immediately regret asking.

‘I dreamed I died.’ She panics and I reach out to comfort her.

My hands grasp empty air.

We can get through this

‘Abigail visited me again last night.’

My husband reaches across the dining table to hold my hand, pity and concern lining his face.

‘Honey… Like the counsellor said…’

I snatch my hand away, my eyes burning with anger. I’m not hungry anymore.
On the way down the hall I stop outside her bedroom, leaning heavily against the door.

A moment later he joins me, his warm arms encircling my waist.

‘We can get through this. You know we can, right?’

On the other side of the door a young girl giggles as a toy train chugs lazily around the track.

He heard it

His body stiffens so I know he has heard it as well.

Such innocent sounds, and yet…

He draws away and his thoughts are clear – is it possible to catch crazy from your wife?
One nervous hand reaches for the doorknob. An icy fear shudders through my soul.


Mid-giggle, he soundlessly opens the door.

There is nothing to be seen.

No train tracks.

No little girl.

He sighs deeply and walks away.

He doesn’t see the toy train lying awkwardly on its side, half hidden beneath the bed – its lonely wheels still chugging along in some desperate, hopeless journey.

She’s back

She’s back again.

Little sniffling noises draw me out of the depths of my dream, and I reach across to shake my husband awake.

She stops me with one word – ‘Don’t!’

I freeze – the panic in her voice frightens me. I withdraw my hand and feel her climb onto the end of the bed. Perching near my feet, she hums a tune that sounds vaguely familiar.

My eyes strain futilely against the inky blackness.

For a long time, she says nothing. I can almost pretend she’s not there.

Then she speaks.

Six terrifying words.

He’s going to kill you too.”

Written by Alanah Andrews

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One Comment

  1. Chithra Nageswaran August 7, 2017 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I gasped, for a second, at the last line..! And I mutter “oh God! ” short, subtle, yet deep!

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