It was dark. Why was I awake? My eyes clung to the piercing light from the closet. I remembered not to let them wander to the shadows that would be cast across our vacant room. Night after night, we insisted that the closet light stay on. Why? Because we were young. It would keep us safe.

Without blinking, my eyes watered, and my heart began to race. A chill ran down my back. Why was I awake? I pulled the covers closer to my neck. The covers would keep me safe. Pushing the back of my head deeper into the pillow, I got the courage to drag my eyes across the wall toward my sister’s bed. If she was sleeping soundly, then surely I could do the same.

I squinted, and my breath stopped short. She was gone.

How long had I been alone? Is that why I was awake? I listened. Maybe I would hear her stumble back from the bathroom.

But the silence was strong.

The bed beneath me started to shake- My bed- My safe place.
Was she under my bed? But why? I held my breath waiting for her next move, but the bed stopped shaking. Was it just me? I was shaking. I must have made the whole bed move. I held on to that thought as I got the nerve to swing my legs over the side of my safe place. They would dangle, but only for a second. I Knew it took exactly 7 bounds to get across the room to our bedroom door. I could do it. I had to do it.

3 bounds would get me mid-way, but I wouldn’t stop there, I couldn’t. I had seen HER there before. Standing in the middle of our room.

4, 5, 6… 1 more leap and I would be home free! I could see the dim light from the hallway creeping under the door. My feet moved quickly as I managed to open our bedroom door and slip out into the hall. With my back pressed against the wall, I took a moment to breathe. My mind begged me to look down the hallway toward the outer attic. The bathroom was down there as well. We’d just be checking to see if my sister was in there. But I knew it was more than that. I had always loved the feeling of being afraid.

My head turned to look first, then my eyes followed. It was dark down there- too dark. My eyes locked themselves on the attic door, its thick white paint and dark metal knob. Without shifting my stare, I shimmied my way toward my parent’s room at the other end of the hall. And that’s when I felt it— a hand on my shoulder. I drew in a breath, preparing to meet HER. I looked up just in time… to feel my mom’s arms around me. I was safe.

… for now.

I’ve created this page to share the spooky stories that made me— the haunted me—

Do you have a SPOOKY STORY to share? Email me at — you know I want to hear it & maybe our readers will, too! – Abbie Richey Butler

(c) 2018 Abbie Richey Butler
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4 thoughts on “Bedtime

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  1. I used to think that someone or thing was watching me when I was in that bathroom by the attic. That old floral printed wall paper could have easily had peep holes to the attic without someone detecting them. I was probably using the downstairs bathroom, when you didn’t see me in my bed. 😉

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