Bedtime Routine

Sandra’s quivering hand rose slowly to the awaiting switch. The bulbs around her room flickered softly when she finally did reach it. Immediately, she withdrew her touch, rubbing her hands together to create some kind of heat within her bloodless fingers. A tiny dribble of sweat condensed from nowhere, it seemed. It’s time. She shut her eyes and remembered the path she’d taken the last four years— as similar as she could make it to the path she’d had the eighteen before that. FLICK! Pat! Pat! Pat! Pat! Swoosh! She surged forward, only to be caught by the flocculent mattress beneath her.

“Damn,” said the boogey man, just as he had ten thousand times before.


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