Short Stories

Fearful Symmetry

Fearful Symmetry

This is a story where every sentence has to start with the same letter. I’ve chosen – A.

Night Terrors

A child lay in his bed, he was sleeping but he was also moving. A while back his mother had taken him to a specialist to ask why he moved, why he was always sleep-walking.

“Ah,,,,” the doctor said, “…it is the night terrors. Andrew will move when he is asleep because he is gripped in the worst nightmare you can imagine.”

Andrew’s mother stared at the doctor disbelievingly – don’t sugar coat it for me – she thought. Aloud she asked if there was anything she could do.

A reassuring smile appeared on the doctors face. “Actually there isn’t, just keep an eye on him.”

And that was that, Andrew’s mum brought him home and she would check on him every night. Awkwardly she would stand in the door and watch her son writhe on the bed, wishing there was something she could do.

Andrew knew when she was there, but he never told her. Amazingly it wasn’t nightmares that bothered him, but the fact that he would dream he was asleep. Always aware he knew when his mother looked in on him. Andrew never slept, not really, but he found himself twitching as his body slept. Astral projection was what Google had told him. Andrew wasn’t certain.

Aware he was outside his body one night he watched his mother come in and go to the window. Autumn was here but the air was muggy and warm. Another summer his mother had said that morning, and now she walked to the window tugging it open. Andrew floated toward it, watching the landscape. An alien world of greys and blacks. Although the street lamp wasn’t working he could see everything because of the moon. Andrew’s body moaned and mumbled in it’s sleep – “no don’t go.”

Andrew’s spirit looked back and watched as his mother pushed his hair out of his face.

“Andrew, if only you would sleep well,” she said sadly. And then she cried.

Andrew watched from the window and then grasping the frame he slipped outside. A sigh escaped the body and Andrew stopped twitching, breathing deeply the body stilled.

A smile lit his mother’s face and she stood to leave. Andrew watched her go, a ghost in the moonlight. And then, smiling at himself, he let go of the window frame allowing himself to drift.

Andrew looked back and saw a line of light between him and his body, grasping it he pulled and he moved closer to the window. A lifeline, he thought and turning from the house he floated away, wondering what he could see. After all, it was a long time before morning.

18 thoughts on “Fearful Symmetry

  1. This is bloody amazing. I am awed and humbled by your creativity. No, creative genius. Wow. Spell bound. Amazing!

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