Tag Archives: nightmares

Head Roll

“Harold, you up?”

He didn’t question me because he heard noise coming from my room. He asked because the noise coming from outside my room probably woke me. The shouting match. The yelling back and forth. I hate when my parents fight. 

I wasn’t worried about staying still. My body was in sleep-mode. I felt paralyzed from the neck down, but from the neck up I wanted to stratch my goatee because I had the covers pulled up to my chin. Lying on my left side, I wanted to rub my face across the pillow, but squinting at the full body mirror in the corner my dad’s head was still midway through the doorway as if he was waiting on me to say, “yeah, I’m up.”

“Is he up, gUerilla?”

That’s probably why they were fighting. Mom must forgot to take off her heels to hide her club-going before she stepped back in the house, and dad’s back must be bothering him again. Her head poked through above his. Yeah, mom’s drunk. She’s slurring her words. She usually pronounce dad’s pet name with O instead of U. And is she THAT wasted to not see where my bed is? Why is her head turned the opposite way in this weird angle? 

“Is bruh bruh up?”

I guess the fighting didn’t wake him; his growth spurt did and he wanted to surprise me with the exciting news. My little brother’s head poked through the doorway over mom and dad. 

My family knows I think before I speak, but thus far, I have given the impression I’m sound asleep. So, why the hell are they still hanging out in my doorway? 

It was starting to scare me! 

My dad needs a chiropractor. 

My mom is still looking in the wrong direction. 

My little brother’s a giant. 

After an intense, awkward 3 minutes and 23 seconds (I know this because of my alarm clock) the whites of their eyes and teeth disappeared into the darkness. 

I gotta lock my door. 

As I was TRYING to get up, my head rolled out of bed. 

If Your Blinds Look Like This …

Caption this photo.
Caption this photo.

If your blinds look like this, you need to mind your damn business.

But if your blinds look like this on an inconsistent row, someone is in yours.

I looked under my bed before I got out of it, afraid a cold hand would grab me by the ankles. I live alone. No one else has a key. Like a kid who hasn’t learned how to do the math in their head, I can count on my fingers how many people I invited over to my apartment in my 4 year residency here. All with 2 indexes and 2 thumbs to spare for a square.

I’m 5’10. Whoever this was, was at least 6’4. What could have they been looking out for? I stood on top of my paper shredder to match their height. I don’t see anything. Whoever this was has been in my apartment so long I need to ask for half the rent. You should see the wear and tear of the blinds. A few more bends it’s gonna need tape.

I look down and see what it was they were watching for: Me. We don’t have our own parking spots but whenever one outside my window is vacant I take it. It’s not a bad neighborhood but I like to keep an eye on my car incase I need to jump out my third floor window onto the entrance roof below, landing on top of my car as the jacker pulls off. Them coming to a hard stop. Skirrrrrt like a long dress. Me flying forward into a mountain of Hefty bags like the garbage man when no one’s looking. Wiping the dirt off my shoulders, chasing them on foot until I see a car I wanna steal and telling the owner who conveniently has one foot on the pavement, the other in the car that “I’m FBI. I need to borrow your sweet, sweet ride.”

Just when I tried to turn this slasher flick to an action movie it went right back to a horror …

I have lived alone long enough to know when I’m not alone.

Who turned up the thermostat? I’m getting goosebumps.

Who’s chopping onions? I’m crying.

Who left the oven on? I’m sweating.

Why didn’t I put a mirror on the wall I’m staring at so I can see behind me? I’m a bad decorator.

Whose hand on my shoulder? I believe I can fly!

The Shaky Room

My room stopped shaking.
That could only mean two things.
My mom stuck her head through the door.

“Are you asleep?”
“How come?”
“Thinking about dad.”
“He’s in a better place.”
“Fire takes you to a better place?”
“Well, why every time I touch the top of the stove when the rings red you spank my booty? Don’t you want me to go to that better place to see daddy again?”
“It’s not your time yet, sweetie.”

And with that, she started to back her head out the door.

But I caught her by a hair when I said, “I know what can put me to sleep.”
“What’s that, sweetie?”
“Read me a bedtime story.”
“Jody, you’re 6. You’re too old for that.”
“But you never read me one. All the other kid’s moms do. You never treat me like a princess.”

I sobbed.

And with that, she fully emerged in the doorway, came and knelt at my bedside.

She explained her reasons.

My grandfather was a highway serial killer. He use to climb through my mother’s window every night, where she lived with her foster mom, and tell her bedtime stories about a lonely king seeking a queen. The lonely king turned out to be him. The queens were the victims he abducted on the road. My grandfather killed the ones he deemed unfit to be a surrogate mother. My grandma died in a house fire.

I giggled. “Stop tryna scare me, mommy.”

She raised up, said she’ll be  back. I thought when she did come back it was gone be through the windows. Good thing my room doesn’t have any. She walked back through the doorway a few seconds later holding papers in her hand. They were drawings. I felt funny, because every time I asked for a coloring book she told me it was a “no, no” and every time I showed her what I drew at school, in Miss Belle’s art class, she ripped it up. Mom told me they were the drawings she did at my age every morning after grandpa’s story the night before.

And with that, she kissed me on the cheek, raised the blanket from my belly button to my chin and left.

My room started shaking again.

There were 11 drawings. They all looked the same. The king, the princess, the castle. But the queen always had a different face. I saw guards in 5 of the drawings. But the king always outsmarted them. Well, except in the last one. I like the colors. I wanna trace over them. They look so pretty. Ooooh mom drew a dog. I want one! He so cute! If I had a dog I would name him Max. We can play horse-see.

My room stopped shaking.

Mom didn’t pop her head through the door.

This could only mean the second thing.

I heard a man’s voice. “Are you heading West?”

Mom told him yes.

My room dipped a little.

I sure hope that fellow makes my mom happy on the way West because I don’t want her mad because then I mad. What makes these guys so special??? How come she takes them to a better place and they get to see my daddy and she not let me go???

Hmph. Pout.


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