Somnambulance

“Fear not little one, for I shall keep you safe until you can do it for yourself” the now familiar stranger, whispered gently. His strong arms lifted sleeping Joy from her bed and shielded her as he carried her through the doorway to descend the stairs.

The darkness within the darkness stuck to Joy like cobwebs but had no power now. Their fragility was no match for the aura of the rescuer and delicately dissipated into a soft blur, leaving a trail of tendrils retreating back into the bedroom they claimed as theirs.

In her sleep Joy could smell safety. It was a warm aroma, like a Summer’s day after the sun had baked the grass for several hours. Her dreams always illustrated the arrival of her nightly visitor with the same perfume. Beside the grass was a gentle stream determined to reach its destination against the odds.

The stench in her bedroom was different. At age seven Joy had only sensed that smell at a certain hour through the night, whilst she slept. Although she had never encountered death, her soul recognised the redolence of damp, rotting mould and decomposing bodies that would surround and attempt to suffocate her.

It would start every few nights, with the ting, pinking of the windows icing up and crackling and then the tap, tapping. The noise of the latch being forced slowly open by strong invisible hands announced the hour of three o’clock. Then silence as the once nailed shut window would allow the icy breath of the darkness into the room. The watchful blackness within the darkness would hold vigil waiting patiently until its dark matter gathered enough strength.

It was very interested in Joy. She possessed a pure soul and if it waited too long she would be too strong to snare. All souls are born pure but normally the purity of that soul is lost by about the age of five and retreats deep into the subconscious soaking up only superficial human experience. Their souls didn’t interest the darkness. Joy was special, she retained the ability to see aura’s and see what others didn’t. She didn’t have the same fears found in young children. She had no fear of what was under her bed or what might lurk in the closet. The openness of her soul invited trouble though, for as she lay under the bed to allay her cousin’s fear, the dark matter had noticed her bright energy and wanted her. She stood out like a neon sign in a black and white photograph. The frightened, angry, children were easy to get and attach to but Joy required a special effort. Much dark energy must group together to claim her soul.

The good enlightened souls could see her energy too and she had been assigned a very special guardian to oversee her care. This little one was special.

Her gentle guardian was ever watchful and intervened when the dark matter started to get too strong. He took his mission very seriously. On nights like this when the darkness was black inside he must carry her away. It would take the darkness a long time to recharge after trying so hard. Soon Joy would be safe and be able to keep herself from harm but she would learn this on her own, in time.

He opened the living room door and smoothly delivered Joy to the comfort of the settee. The darkness hadn’t the strength to reach her here.

He knelt beside her and whispered “your strength will guide you but be vigilant. The darkness can attach to things as well as people”

The light of the two auras gave the room a warm loving glow which stayed to protect when Joy was left alone.

“Morning sleepyhead. Been sleepwalking again?”

“No! That nice man came again” Joy arched out to hug her mother who was on her haunches, her concerned face within kissing distance.

Faith wrapped her daughter tightly, Joy’s face nestled into her neck, fitting into each other perfectly. “We’ll have to do something about that window of yours. I don’t think your dad can nail it shut anymore” although her words were lightly spoken she carried an unsettled feeling as if something was going on that she didn’t quite understand.

“Don’t worry mam! Everything will be alright” getting up and finding the kitchen was warm as the oven had been on a while. Her pressed uniform carefully folded over the back of the chair hogging most of the heat.

Sitting next to the cornflakes, waiting for their milk was a little yellow ornament in the shape of a face.

“Oh!” fell out of Joy’s mouth when she saw it for she knew it had been smashed when it fell off her window sill a few days earlier and here it was in its perfect form.

“Yes I found it at the top of the stairs, I nearly tripped over it. It’s a creepy little thing isn’t!”

Joy knew exactly what it was and her mum was quite right.

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