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Midnight Terrors

As a grad student, I moved in with my friend who had his own place. It was nice enough, except in my room there was no bed, so I slept on an air mattress. It beat buying a new one.

One cold winter night I lay fast asleep. I sleep better in the cold. Deeper. Must be a side effect of being Canadian. Anyway, sleep had overshadowed me like a thick fog. I was out for the count, and nothing would wake me.

Nothing, that is, except a gunshot.

Bang!¬†The noise was unmistakable, even at three in the morning. Screams erupted from across the wall in the apartment next to ours. The screaming was loud. Piercing. It¬†wouldn’t stop.

Somebody’s getting murdered, I thought to myself. Why can’t they be quiet?

The screaming continued, but as it did, I eventually realized that the screaming wasn’t actually coming from next door. It was coming from¬†me! My heart was racing a million miles a second. I was sitting up in bed, arms flailing, sinking lower and lower into the floor.

No. I wasn’t sinking. I was being¬†pulled. Something – some demon from an¬†unseen realm – was pulling me into his dark domain.

Finally, I stopped sinking into the floor. Eyes wide, I looked around the room, heart about to explode through my chest. Had it all been a dream? I was still on the ground, though; that part was real. As¬†I slowly came to my awakened senses, I realized my air mattress had burst, and my weight had slowly let out the air, causing me to sink. So it wasn’t a demon after all!

The next day, my roommate asked about the screams.

“I think our neighbor got murdered,” I said. And then I went to class.

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