The Sleepwalker

[This is spicy because it describes a bloody scenario. When I wrote this one, I was beginning to give in to the darkness that was trying to escape. It is this story that made me realize I needed to separate my horror from my lighter themed writing. Some of you may relate that certain people may not want to read this type of fiction, nor accidentally run into it after reading a feel good fantasy short. Hence, why I am putting it here. I hope you enjoy. Trigger Warning: Suicide]

“Oh … Oh my! What have I done?” Terrence wailed. He looked at the knife glinting from the moonlight that was coming through the bedroom window. His knuckles were white from clenching the handle of the large butchering tool from the block in the kitchen. How had he gotten it? What he done with it? Aside from the bluish white light of the full moon barely illuminating his and Lynn’s bedroom, it was mostly dark. He was breathing hard, yet he was still overwhelmed with the need to come fully awake. He felt like he had just woken from a slightly bad dream, only to be thrust into a full on nightmare.

“Lynn! Lynn, wake up!” Foreboding came upon him then. “Lynn?” He could see the shape of her lying on the bed, but the darkness shrouded her and protected him from the instant realization of what had just occurred. But it was coming. It was coming slowly, and surely. His fingers went numb and his knees weakened. He dropped to the floor and the knife slipped from his fingers and landed with a muffled thud on the carpeted floor.

Terrence looked at the palms of his hands. They were ghostly white in this light, but he could feel something drying on the backs of his hands, and come to think of it, on his bare chest. Suspicion was beginning to take his mind in a direction he didn’t care for, but the suspicion would prove to be correct and, somewhere deep inside him, he knew it. Turning on the bedroom light would reveal all, and he simply was not ready to do this yet. Instead he called to his beautiful wife, his best friend of twenty three years. His confidant; his lover; his everything.

He had warned her, but she wouldn’t have it. “I don’t think it’s safe for you to sleep in the same bed with me. What if it happens again?” He had asked her. “Don’t be silly. What are the chances?” Was her rhetorical reply. She didn’t care. Nothing was going to keep her out of his bed. “I can’t sleep with out you. It’s just a phase, you’ll see.” She was convinced of this. About six months ago, Terrence’s sleepwalking spells had become violent, and two nights ago he had struck her. It was the only time her gentle husband had ever physically assaulted her and he hadn’t even been aware of it.

Terrence let his hands drop into his lap as he sat their on the floor in his Target brand boxer shorts that Lynn had bought for him. The memory came to him then about what she had said to him as they climbed into bed together. She sidled up to him and put her arms around his waist and listened to his heart. She was wearing one of her satin nighties alternatively to one of her soft cotton nightgowns. Terrence knew what that meant. It was her way of saying he was getting lucky tonight, without having to have an awkward conversation about whether or not she felt like it. She had come up with this system over a decade ago and it was unspoken. It only took two or three times for Terrence to catch on.

With her ear against his bare chest and her curves wriggling against him, Terrence was beginning to worry less about climbing into their bed together. She knew he was feeling horrible about what had happened the night before last, and had been trying to convince her to allow him to sleep on the couch. “You know what?” She asked. “What?” He asked back. “I love you so much that I just can’t be away from you. I know you feel the same, so why don’t you quit apologizing to me, and come to bed. Trust me, you won’t regret it.” And he didn’t. At least not until they had fallen asleep after their love making, and he woke up again hours later, holding the knife she had used to carve roast beef, or pork bellies so many times over the past few years.

“Lynn, wake up. Honey, please wa …” He couldn’t finish. He was fully awake now. The adrenaline had done its job. He understood what had happened, and wished on everything they had built their lives on, that he had just gotten up and went to the couch. She would have been mad, but… but

Terrence picked up his mobile phone from the night stand, where it had been charging. He pressed the phone icon and the dialing pad came up on the smartphone screen. He dialed 9 1 1 and let his thumb hover over the green receiver icon. He had a thought then, and hit the sleep button on the side instead. What will I do? I can’t live without … He couldn’t even bring himself to finish the thought. Instead he reached for the knife that he had dropped on the floor and began to slice his left wrist. Starting at the bottom and working his way up his arm. Eviscerating the veins in multiple places to make sure he bled out quicker.

He made short work of it and quickly switched the knife to his other hand. It felt unnatural in his left hand, but he didn’t think he could screw it up too much, and God did it hurt, but the pain in his heart had dulled it considerably. He began working his way up his arm, when all of the sudden he heard a blood curdling scream as the the room was flooded with light.

He looked up and saw Lynn standing by the light switch. She was screaming. He looked down and saw blood spurting from both of his arms and slowing by the second. “But your… your…” He tried to get out the words but black and white dots began spotting the air and his voice failed him. Lynn lurched to him and knocked the knife out of his hands and grabbed his wrists and did the only thing she could think of. She clamped her hands over the wounds in hopes she could stop the flow of his life’s essence from adding to the pool already spreading on their cream colored carpeting. “WHY?! Why did you do this? I can’t live with out you!” Lynn asked.

He had to get it out before he lost consciousness. “I thought I killed you. I couldn’t go on with… out…you.” Then Terrence lost the battle to stay alert and blackness engulfed him.


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