Have you heard the noise? You know, the one in your bedroom. Sometimes it's clear, easy to hear, but sometimes it's just quiet enough that you can convince yourself that you made it up.
Well, you know it's real. We both do.
So what can you do about it?
First of all, move your bed up against a wall, preferably into a corner. Corners are where things hide, which means if you sit in one, there's one less place to worry about. Pile your pillows against the corner, and stuff the edges of your blanket into the dark crevice between your mattress and the wall. The gap seems small, but you can never be too safe. Wrap a blanket around yourself and sit in your new lookout.
So, when this is all done, and you hear the noise, what has changed? Nothing? No, now you have a place to watch. When you hear the noise, you can peer into the shadows by your dresser, the pools of darkness inside your closet, the line of emptiness under your bedroom door. You can watch them, and if it helps, you can pretend that you are the thing to be feared.
Minds are easily swayed, under the right circumstances.
But now, the noise may be outside your window. It might be behind a door, out of sight. It may be under your bed. Places you can't see. And if you can't see, you can't know. That's dangerous.
When it's daytime, you might be able to remove your bedframe, to eliminate the space under your mattress. Until it's light outside, keep your feet under your blanket, as far from the edge as you can. Watch, listen and stay vigilant. If you're fortunate, you won't notice yourself falling asleep, and you'll wake up the next morning safe and sound. If you're less lucky, you'll feel yourself drifting off, and your fear may be the only thing to jolt you awake.
Sleep brings with it oblivion, rarely penetrated by anything. But even when you sleep, you still hear things. You hear the noise--and deep down, you know what it's capable of. That's what nightmares are. But you already know all this, don't you?
Stay safe, stay awake, stay aware. You know what to do.
Next time you hear it, you'll be ready, won't you?