She sat on the overstuffed beige couch, legs pulled to one side; head nestled against her mother’s soft shoulder. She normally looked forward to the Sunday night ritual of watching re-runs of America’s Got Talent or The Voice. This evening all Justine could think of was the tick of the clock as it inched closer to the hour mark. A scowl, a lifted brow and a deep sigh brought no response from her mother who was captivated, eyes intently staring at the latest daredevil performer vying for a chance in Las Vegas. Click, click, click, sounded the clock’s metal hands as seconds turned into minutes; there was no escaping the inevitable turn of time.
It was always there. Stealthily creeping closer, beckoning her to acknowledge its existence, calling her to its side. Justine buried her head deeper into her mother’s warm body, hoping she’d find protection, yet knowing there was none.
“Come on baby, time for bed.”
The child’s eyes grew wide as she heard the clock’s ninth chime.
“Mamma, may I stay up just a little bit more, I’m not tired at all.” Justine conjured up the most pitiful, sorrowful face, wanting so much for her mother to give in to her wishes.
“Sorry sweetie. You have school tomorrow and we can’t have you falling asleep in class. Now go brush your teeth and wash your face. I’ll be there shortly to tuck you in.”
With a deep moan, Justine rose from the couch and padded into the bathroom located between her bedroom and her parents’ room. She could feel its presence waiting outside the bathroom door. Muffling a sob, Justine slowly brushed each tooth twenty times and ran the soapy washcloth against her pale white-skinned face, taking extra time to rinse the suds off and pat her skin dry.
Her mother called from Justine’s bedroom, “Honey, hurry up.”
“Okay Mamma, I’m coming.” Justine took a deep breath, exhaled and entered the light-filled room, hurriedly jumped into her small twin bed, sliding her thin body under the blue and yellow pastel colored sheets.
“Did you go potty?” asked her mother as she pulled the sheets over Justine’s body and up to her chin.
“Yes Mamma.” The young girl surveyed the room and finding nothing alarming, she snuggled deeper into the soft covers, ready to fall off to sleep. Her mother placed a kiss on her forehead, rose and walked to the doorway, stopping to look back at her daughter, blew her another kiss, turned off the light and closed the bedroom door.
Justine felt a weight settle onto the foot of her bed. Don’t look, she told herself. It’s not real. It’s my ‘magination. She felt the weight slink upward until it was right next to her face. She could feel a cool breath blow against her left ear. An icy hand touched her face and stroked her hair, as shivers of fear ran throughout her entire body. She was not going to look; not this time, not ever again. No one believed her anyway.
She shut her eyes even tighter, buried her head into the pillow and realized it would be there…today…tomorrow…for eternity.
Author: Monica M Brinkman, 2013
Visit Monica’s web-site: Meaningful Writings @ http://monicabrinkmanbooks.webs.com/