One Sleepless Night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young wife faces a restless night as she's haunted by an unknown disturbance in her home.

Submitted: June 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 02, 2017



The dim glow of moonlight splashes across my skin and grants my bedroom just enough light to cast eerie shadows in every dark corner. Surrounded by darkness, the taps and cracks of tree branches tickling the window send chills down my spine, but I’m comforted by the warmth and security from my husband’s body resting next to me. As my drowsiness slowly wears away, the cause of my arousal becomes intensely clear. A smell so horrible, so putrid, overtakes my senses, and I run to the window for a breath of fresh air.

"What is that…," I whisper to myself, scrunching my nose as I turn back to my shadowy bedroom. I watch the slow rise and fall of the bedsheets as they lay draped over my husband’s body. Seeing him, even just the back of his head while he sleeps, makes me lighthearted and I can’t help but smile. Despite the smell and the loss of sleep, it’s nice to see him during the week for once. Working the opposite shift of the person you live with is like living alone, except for the extra laundry.

Walking away from the window, the nauseous smell intensifies and I’m certain I’ll have no luck falling back asleep. So, tiptoeing, I set off on my adventure to find the source of my discomfort.

"Where are you," I say in a tired, sing-song voice. I feel along the walls, using them as a guide, and try my best to follow the smell that seems to have engulfed the entire house. Reaching the kitchen, I peek in the sink and rummage through a few cabinets. Coming out empty-handed, and still pestered by the disgusting smell, I proceed with my search and stealthily make my way to the bathroom.

The old wood floor creaks with each timid step into the pool of black. I shiver, the sinister darkness getting to me. Stepping into the bathroom, I quickly flip on the light and jump at the sight of my own face in the mirror. I glance around the small room, looking in the closet, the sink, even the toilet. But as I reach for the shower curtain, I notice my hand shaking. Embarrassed at myself for being so childish, I rip the curtain open to reveal nothing but cold, barren tile.

Turning back to the hallway, I switch off the light and am blinded by the immediate change in atmosphere. Tiny, colored lights dance across my vision, painting disturbing images as I urge my eyes to focus. Stumbling down the hall, I arrive back at my bedroom, my heart racing from the ominous thoughts created by the void of my dark home.

Quietly easing the door open, my vision has finally adjusted to the shadowy lighting. I step into the room and the sight of my husband still sleeping soundly quiets all of my adverse thoughts and I immediately feel at ease again. Climbing into bed, I stuff my face into my blanket, and lie there, listening to my rapid heart become slower and slower until I drift out of consciousness.


. . .


Feeling as if no time has passed, my eyes flutter open to my still-dark bedroom. I squint at the iridescent glow of my digital clock, noting the time with an exhausted sigh: 3:55 a.m. By now, the horrid smell has intensified to an amazing degree, making me feel a bit queasy. Deciding to check once more for the source of the stench, I lean over and kiss the head of my husband, careful not to wake him, and climb out of bed.

"That's funny," I say to myself as I saunter down the hallway, "he usually snores."

Once again, I scavenge our quaint home, looking through every drawer, every cabinet, every crevice. My exhausted mind races at all of the possibilities as I check under my living room furniture. Could an animal have gotten in and died? A busted sewage pipe? I yawn, near the point of giving up, but I know I’ll be cursed with insomnia if I can’t get rid of this smell. I wonder how my husband can stand it.

Rising from the ground, my knees covered in tiny impressions from dirt and crumbs, I am thrown into shock as I hear a sudden, thunderous peal. My heart is leaping from my chest and I cover my mouth to keep from yelling out in surprise, although I know it is only the chime of our grandfather clock. I laugh nervously at my unreasonable fear, but I can still hear my heart pounding in my head. Deeming the odor impossible to find, I grab a scented candle from a shelf and head back to the comfort of my bedroom. Maybe this will mask the smell.


. . .


Shhhck. The small, golden flame comes to life on the match and I speedily light the candle, taking in a big whiff. The lavender fragrance brings a smile to my face and a newfound calmness takes over me. I climb into bed once more and exhale a long puff of air. I am going to be so tired in the morning. For the third time tonight, I shut my eyes and pray for sleep, and within a few short minutes, my prayer is granted.


. . .


As I am lifted from sleep and my senses become aware, I plead that I am dreaming. I groan, throwing my feet over the bed to meet the shaggy carpet beneath, and fight the urge to scream. I walk past the smoldering candle, pulling at my hair as if it’ll help me realize where I forgot to look. I searched the entire house twice; where on earth could it be?

Arriving at the bedroom doorway, I see it: my last resort. I reach for the white cord dangling above my head, pull, and am instantly slapped in the face by a rancid smell stronger than ever before. Eyes watering, I continue to pull down the attic stairs. It only takes two steps to see the body of my husband rotting above me. Terror swells inside me and I’m frozen in place as I hear a man who is not my husband say, “Come back to bed, darling.”

© Copyright 2019 A. Rose. All rights reserved.

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