My eyelids open blink open. Unusual. No lines no dark eye bags. My alarmed pupils dart around the empty room. Shapes creep behind the doors, illuminated by the harsh moonlight. The bright colours of my childhood bedroom are muted behind a dark veil. Something rustles below my limp body and it bangs forcefully against the wooden frame. I wasn’t meant to hear that.
I wake to the echoes of a thunderous storm. Soft light seeps through the closed curtains. The dim crescent stands alone in the menacing purple sky. My arms struggle under the weight of the blanket, trapping me like I’m its prey. Shapes float around my white walls, mimicking monsters I’ve grown to stop believing in. But, they’re here and they’re not afraid. I need to leave. The bathroom: it has a lock. Stupid idea. Where there’s light, there will be shadows. Where will I be safe?
There’s a polite knock on my bedroom door. A savior or an enemy?
“Come in.” I try to sound assertive but my voice shivers uncontrollably. A hand wraps around the handle and the door bursts open. The figure towers over my bed and lets in a blinding light. I cover my eyes and feel a large hand wrap around my wrist tightly and pull me from my trance. He pulls me into the hallway and I slap the door forcefully behind me.
“What was that?” I panic.
“An evil has occupied your shadows”
I sink to the floor, back against my door, head between my knees.
The only thing visible is his worn converse. I look up.
“Who are you?”
“The Doctor”, he smiles and lifts his hand for me to shake, then helps me to my feet. I wish he would elaborate but there isn’t time to chat. How can he be so nonchalant in a time of crisis? My hands shake erratically between his. I stare at him, trying to make sense of this. There’s a darkness in his eyes as if the monster speaks through him. He blinks and it shifts to blind hope. I’m unsure whether to put my faith in him. I’ve been forced into his supernatural world and he’s all I have. He feels my hand still within his and he begins to question me on my beastly pet. Once I start, the words accelerate inhumanly till I reach the nightmare. He lets go and stands taller and straighter. He asks for my help, although I don’t know what I could provide.
We have a skeleton of a good plan and we begin right away. Harsh yellow light spread through every room of my small apartment. CD player, radio, and tv infect the dead silence. My legs tremble and don’t physically allow me to move forward. I go against my survival instincts and grip the handle of my bedroom door. The door bursts open and ice hits the entirety of my body and moves through it painfully slowly. Broken screams screech like a siren and he cuts the power completely. The ghost is comfortable again and I fall to the ground. My vision blurs and I see the outline of the man shooting a light towards the front door. Warmth creeps back into my very soul, thawing the corruption and anguish it caused.
I’m in my bed. I feel his elbow resting on the soft mattress. He sleeps peacefully and comfortably considering the position he’s in. Strange. My eyes dart around the room. I hurry to push the blanket off, scrambling to bring my back to the headrest. He stirs awake. The window’s open and a charming breeze flutters the curtains.
I cry, “Where is it?”
“I disintegrated it through sonic radiation. A trapped ghost materialised in this dimension. The longer it stayed, the more insidious and bloodthirsty it became.”
Disbelief clouded my expression and he chuckled at the sight.
Now I was awake, he seemed ready to leave. A soft hand rested on my forearm as I set my feet on the glazed wooden floor. Embarrassed, I look down as he starts to compliment my skill and courage. What he says next is unbelievable. Although I’ve physically seen it’s true, I still doubt whether I’m only hallucinating.
My final freedom. My return to a mundane life. I risk it all to travel with him through time and space.