• Wait for the Sun


    She’s six years old, and It is coming for her again.

    The room is far too dark for her liking, her bed suddenly far too narrow, leaving her toes exposed to the end of it, her vulnerable arms forced to tuck close to her torso. She shrivels in bed, drawing the blanket, up over her legs, to the underside of her green eyes and she hovers in anticipation. Off in one corner, the pink and blue dresser her mother and father made for her, the one with the hearts painted right on the door sits menacingly. Across from her equally pink and blue bed, a plastic vanity with plastic makeup sits. The mirror facing towards her.

    Her light switch is across the room. It’s dark, and she realizes that her nightlight is out. No, she notes, as she looked to the plug where it’s supposed to be. It’s just plain gone. She’s terrified now at this point, of the grey, bleak air in her room, the cold that she feels creeping towards her. Something’s there. Hunched and waiting for her to make one, little mistake. In a flash, she can’t take it anymore, she surges to the end of her bed and springs off it, little hands groping for the lamp on her small dresser, the little porcelain pony lamp with all the legs broken off because she dropped it (and she was very sorry she did afterwards).

    Click! She turns the light on, and all the darkness melts away. Creeping… slowly… back under the bed
    . Then, little six-year old Amelia woke up from her nightmare. Her first thoughts to run to her parents room and demand to get into bed with them.


    She’s six years old, and it’s coming for her again.

    The room is far too dark for her liking, her bed suddenly far too narrow. She knows this situation, it’s the same one she’s been in for half a year now. Every night, nightmares, every night her poor parents growing more and more stressed. She knows what to do, and she bolts to her light and clicks it on, to combat the creeping grey and black in her room.

    But…The light won’t turn on. She’s confused, sitting there pressing the button back and forth wanly. She’s still clicking it when the darkness begins to come from underneath her bed. So, instead, she screams for her dream-parents,
    and in reality, she’s screaming for her real parents. They come, and they wake her, and they hold her trembling body tight and promise her there won’t be anymore scary things coming to get her.

    And she believes them.


    She’s six years old, and she’s worried now. She knows It is coming and she’s catching on that it’s adapting. Her nightmares are evolving, perhaps with her overactive imagination. Perhaps It is feeding off of those thoughts, perhaps it truly is a monstrosity. She wants to cry. She doesn’t get out of bed this time, but she calls for her parents. But It has already taken care of them, It has sunk into her dreams and given her a babysitter with a penchant for talking with her boyfriend, while her parents go out and have a grand old date while she sits at home.

    She hides under the blanket this time, and she counts to ten with her eyes tightly closed. Then she forces them open, and at the same time she’s doing that in her nightmare,
    her reality is waking too. She forces herself to wake up, and the runs, crying to her parents again.

    Things are getting worse.


    She’s six years old and running out of things to do to combat It. That night, she meets it head on, with fists flailing as It creeps out—seamless and shapeless from under her bed. She thinks It is in so much shock, when she hits it, screaming that she won’t go easily that she simply wakes up as It lets her go. That night, she stays in her own bed, and curls back up among her pillows and stuffed animals with a content little smile.


    She’s six years old, and It is waiting for her as soon as she falls asleep. It’s no longer completely shapeless; there are eyes watching her at the foot of the bed.

    That night, she loses the fight.


    “We can’t keep doing this,” Her mothers said softly, her hands on the steering wheel and her eyes bagged with unrest. Besides her in the car sat her father, nodding in agreement. They were worried, immensely. In the back, Amelia tilted her head and nodded like her father, infatuated with imitating him. “Amelia, honey, we’re going to bring you to someone who can help you fight off these scary dreams.” Her mother continued to say, and Amelia, the bright brunette girl she was perked up and proudly spat out what she knew her mother wanted to say.

    “You’re bringing me to a therapist! I know!” She was intelligent for her age, and had known from two years old what she wanted to be when she grew up. A paleontologist. She’d even spelled it and given the Oxford definition of the word when her mothers playfully, skeptically asked her if she even knew what that meant. Amelia loved dinosaurs; she had toy dinosaurs where other girls of her age had Barbie’s. Oh, sure, Amelia had Barbie’s too, but hers ended up as food for her T-Rex toy. She was really quite proud of herself. “And she’s going to put me on a couch and ask me all sorts of strange questions about my life.” Amelia declared smartly, and brushed her bobbed hair back as the car pulled into the parking lot.

    She was out and bouncing around her father and mother in a flash, making sure that her young, three-year-old brother was safely held before she let anybody move. Then, she led the way right into the therapist’s office and hauled her nose up above the counter. “Hi! My name is Amelia Jeannette M—“ Her father hauled her up at that moment, and her surname huffed out of her mouth as she giggled and held onto his neck as her mother filled out paperwork, her father helped and she tended to her brother in the meanwhile.

    It took only five minutes for her therapist to walk out and introduce herself. She was a classy woman, older and gentle in her smile and the lines of her face. Her hair was wavy and pulled back into a soft bun, a beautiful grey suit and pencil skirt and the sweetest grey eyes Amelia had ever seen. “My name is Grace, you must be Amelia.” She introduced, extending her soft, wrinkled hands down to the little girl. Amelia shook hands with vigor, and was instantly off to find Grace’s office. Such an excitable little girl. Grace apologized, and excused herself and told Amelia’s parents that she’d be back in an hour.

    Grace joined Amelia in the hall, and guided the little girl into her office. “Hey, where’s the big couch? Where do I lay down? When do you ask me about my Oedipus complex?”

    “Oh my, you’re a precocious girl.” Grace said, in shock suddenly over the little girl’s knowledge of things that… well, a six year old girl shouldn’t be worried over. Amelia wandered the office and nodded, she clearly understood what the word meant: “Mom and dad are good at answering questions I have.” She explained, “They don’t sugarcoat things. Can I play with the dollhouse?”

    “Of course you can play with the dollhouse, Amelia.” Grace said and ushered her into making herself comfortable. Instead of books and severely-shaped desk and couch, Grace’s “office” was a playpen for children. As a child psychologist, she needed to have a room where the children would feel comfortable to begin to talk to her. Already, she was judging Amelia’s reactions and trying to determine what was going on with the little girl. She gave her time to play, making a few notes and answering questions before she nodded and called Amelia over. “Will you tell me about your bad dreams?” She asked, and watched the flicker of fear on Amelia’s face.

    “They’re not so scary.” She muttered, taking a seat criss-cross-applesauce style on the floor. She was defiant to the nightmares, it seemed. “At least… in the daytime they’re not so scary.” She shrugged her shoulder, “It’s always in my room, and it’s always in my bed.” She began, and Grace eagerly gave her an ear to talk into.

    “Okay, so it goes like this. I wake up in my room and I know, I just know it’s a dream. I’m not going through the dream like it’s… just a dream. I’m in control, I move myself, I think for myself… but it’s a dream. And always, there’s… It.” Before Grace could ask what it was, Amelia dragged over a piece of paper and some of those newfangled markers that changed color when you drew over them with the special white one. She began with the white one, invisibly drawing a picture: “It has to be a surprise.” She explained, and once she was done, she skillfully went over the lines again and drew out some creeping terror that lurked under every child’s bed and Grace nodded.

    “That’s not it.” Amelia then said, which made Grace’s brow pull together in concern. “That’s not It.” Amelia repeated, stressing the word. “Ihis is what everybody else I ever talked to sees. This is mine.” She drew over a second piece of paper, put her hand on a marker and poised it over the paper. Then she pulled back, capped the marker and held up the untouched, white sheet of paper. “That’s my nightmare, Miss Grace. It’s Nothing at all.”

    “I need to see her a few more times,” Grace told her parents, “She’s a bright and inquisitive child, and there doesn’t seem to be any problems with her at all. I just want to give her the tools to help her deal with the nightmares, at least until she grows out of them. Don’t worry, they always grow out of them.”



    She’s six years old, and she’s been in therapy for a month now. Every Monday and Wednesday, she visits Miss Grace and talks about what happens. Though she still has nightmares, and they’re escalating. It plays cat-and-mouse with her. Letting her run out of her room, out into the street. She escaped a few times, feels a little less scared—and then It starts locking the doors.

    She can’t fight back physically anymore, because it’s got eyes now. Enchanting, red eyes that follow her even when she can’t see them. She just needs to make it through the weekend… It’s the last of her therapy, she’s not running to her parents anymore. She’s waking up and laughing at the nightmares, telling herself how stupid and silly they are, because that is a dream and this is reality.

    It’s Friday night when she faces the extent of It’s malice. She “wakes” in her dream, and instantly she scoffs and does her best to dissuade. She’s not scared, what reason has she to fear a dream. Though she does tremble, just a little, when she realizes that the end of her bed no longer has a footboard. She knows all the conventional methods of combat don’t work, so all she has left is her humor and her defiance. Something creaks and scratches in her room, and begins to wage mental warfare on her. Forgetting everything, she hides under her blanket.

    That was all It was waiting for. She feels the push at her back, shoving her into a sitting position, pulling the blanket over her, off her bed the same time something is firmly pushing her to the unguarded end of her bed. She can’t move, she’s paralyzed. Her legs dangle over the edge and she watches, terrified, waiting for It to reach up and drag her under. There’s nothing there, nothing but a gentle touch on her arm that reminds her of her mother trying to wake her. She lifts her head, and catches the sight in the mirror. Her little plastic vanity, with the spinning mirror sees all. Her eyes go wide as her arm lifts.

    It’s behind her; and with a mouth full of grinning, serrated teeth, It opens wide and clamps down on her arm, and thrashes like a shark as she screams. In her dream, she’s parted from her arm
    . In her waking world, her arm is in pain as if it was truly ripped off. But she doesn’t make a sound. She just bites her knuckles and counts to ten, breathes through the sweat and the tears and then grabs the one-eyed teddy bear next to her and buries her face into its rough back.


    She’s twelve years old, and Grace was right. There are no more nightmares, just strange dreams that involve a mysterious, romantic man who only just asked her what time it was. So, she woke up, looked at her clock and fell back to sleep to tell him that it was seven in the morning and she had to get up for school soon.


    She’s sixteen, and there are one or two nightmares. However, she’s older, and wiser and far tougher than those weak nightmares can handle. It has not come back; good riddance, she thinks proudly as she becomes Amelia, Monster Slayer at night and fights them powerfully, once more the ruler of her own dreams.


    She’s been overseas, proven her independence; she’s happy, and plagued by crushes rather than nightmares. She’s changed her room; the walls are blue now, the curtains yellow. Her bed has no headboard or baseboard, it’s larger and wider and full of pillows and blankets and that one-eyed old teddy bear still. The pink-and-blue dresser is gone, replaced with two closets and a window seat that served as more of a dump for her clothing than a place to sit and read.

    It’s Friday again, when she falls asleep, and “wakes” in her old room. At first, she’s confused, she doesn’t understand just what the hell happened. She hadn’t seen the room in years, she’d almost forgotten how small everything was. When she looks at herself, she’s sixteen though, not six. It’s been ten years since she’s had a dream like this. Like a drug addict who’d been clean for years, tasting just a hint of their old fixation, she feels the same sort of creeping gloom happen upon her. This time, though, she’s ready.

    In determination, she folded the blanket over the top of her head, her eyes narrowed with intent. There! She feels the push at her back, the pull of the blanket. It’s just like the dream from long ago, and she’s not going to let it happen again. She’s at the end of her bed, her feet touching the floor now, unafraid and ready to crush the grabbing appendages of It if It dares to touch her. She knows what’s happening, so when she feels the touch to her arm, she doesn’t even bother looking in the vanity mirror. She picked her elbow right up, twisting her body around. Her other arm was cocked and at the ready, her fist balled up and in a flash, she was lashing out at It. She wanted nothing more than to cold-c**k that monster’s damn face, if it even had a face. She wanted to make It fear her!

    Her fist went through nothing. Literally, there was absolutely nothing behind her. Her head rocked on her shoulders, eyes darting back and forth around her room, trying to find it. The hairs on the back of her neck were standing up, her teeth grinding together in frustration as she fought to control her anxiety and fear. Behind her, she heard her vanity move. The low whine of plastic over wooden flooring made her turn around even as her ears caught the low sound of a decidedly deep male voice saying: “Damn.”

    She raised her fists, and the lowered them, her eyes widening in confusion at the new addition to her dream.

    He was tall, far taller than her barely-five-foot frame. Perhaps six-eight and made of sharp angles and aristocratic features. His hair was black, and fell well past his shoulders, to the small of his back in ramrod straight lines. His bangs parted to the side, a few stray strands falling over his eyes. Red… eyes, that followed her wherever she moved, even if they weren’t looking directly at her. His skin was death pale; not white, just a violet grey with equally dead lips. He was striking though, for looking like a corpse, and the long cloak he wore over his hidden clothing seemed to mist at the edges. Like a chameleon, the bottom wisps of smoke and shadow seemed to leech the color from the floor and make it look like he was part of it. He was always part of it.

    “Who the hell are you.” Not a question, just a demand from her. He seemed to chuckle wryly, perhaps a bit hurt by the question.

    He pulled a hand from the confined of black cloth and held it up in what seemed to be the precursor to vexation. Drolly, he began to speak in mysterious tones, and there was real evil in his voice. “Dear, dear, sweet child.” He purred maliciously; and she finally caught a look at the hand he was holding up. Where human hands had a knuckle, a joint and then one last joint to their fingers and a knuckle-joint combo for their thumb… the dark man before her had one extra joint on every single finger, including his thumb. When he closed his eyes and his mouth split into a smile, she noticed his perfectly white teeth were off too. His canine teeth were longer, and besides them were a second, smaller pair.

    “I know you.” She whispered lowly, looking up at the dark man with sudden dawning.

    “I would think you should, love.” He crooned; and she could see everything about him. What he was, his personality, his meaning behind the word ‘love’, she knew the maliciousness in his gaze and the perpetual hunger in his stomach.

    “You’re It…” She whispered hoarsely, “My nightmare.”

    “NightMare. Two capitals. Sounds far more dangerous… don’t you think?” He was bewitching to watch, the way his face would contort into soft smiles and alluring smirks. The word made her sick to her stomach however. “Love,” And she shuddered visibly from the word, which she somehow suddenly know was what his kind used to indicate their claim on a future meal.

    “Love,” He said again and dipped down to place his handsome face right besides her, his hand rising to pet the underside of her chin. He was cold. She shuddered away from him, but he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back towards his broad-shouldered form and hissed like a snake: “No matter how far you run, or however old you get… I will always be your nightmare.”

    And Amelia woke up.


    She’s eighteen now.

    Over the years, Ameila had seen some pretty strange things in her dreams and her nightmares. And her NightMares. She’d gave Him a name: Roh. She learned of his species, lingering monsters that cultivated a delicious meal through romance, intrigue. Most of all, she knew very well that someday, he was going to eat her as well. Yet, he was kind to her, a perfect gentleman that she saw only in her dreams, and when she wrote him down on paper or told her story to a friend or complete stranger.

    Roh seemed to like Metallica and Enter the Sandman, and it was no wonder, the big creep... In her dreams (nightmares), she’d see him sometimes. Often he’d be away on trips, or something. Still, she had no idea whether he was real, or part of her imagination, or even some new design of dream that waited on the cusp of reality for the little push to bring him into the light. When she fell asleep, the first thing she did was check for him—half out of curiosity and half out of self preservation!

    Sometimes, the evil creature would appear part way through her wonderful dreams and terrorize her. That was his nature, and he did it with great dignity. She always came back though, and that was what irked her. He promised her dancing, to teach her and tutor her in her sleep (whether that really worked, she had yet to find out), he knew when she told the story, and he was always pleased when he was mentioned. Like a preening peacock, except he was a serpent. Tempting her with that damn apple.

    She’s eighteen years old, and she’s now, she's waiting for Him.