Monday, 27 February 2017

Last Night I Woke To Find A Stranger Sitting On My Bed

During my post for yesterday I said that a story idea had popped into my head and that I would allow the story to be written at some point during the day.  This is that story.  It begins with someone waking up to find another someone sitting on their bed.  That is the only thing the story has in common with the ideas in my head this morning.

This is a first chapter.  Whether any more chapters are ever written is something I cannot know at this point.  I would like to write more.  Because at this point I don't know who either someone is.  While writing this neither of them told me the answer.  So don't write in and ask me to tell you.  I expect if I wrote more the answers would come.

Here it is.  Chapter one.  It has no title.  They haven't told me that either.

A picture of the end of my bed. Taken by a stranger.

I woke up in the night with a start to find her tickling my toes.

"Ah, there you are," she said with a look of relief on her face.  "I thought for a minute there you might be dead."

I backed away, fear and confusion combining in an unholy mess, and pressed my back up against the wall.  Pulled in my knees to my chest and stared at her.  Too scared to speak.  I wasn't in the habit of waking up to find a stranger sitting on my bed.

"Now, now, there's no need to worry yourself over me.  I'm not going to hurt you my dear."

At that I must have looked closer to terror because she said, "I shouldn't have said that should I?  That's what they say in fairy tales isn't it and then they eat you or kill you in some curious manner or imprison you or force you to work for them for a million years or trick you into sleeping for a hundred.  I must heartily apologise for my breach in positive language skills."

She looked at me and smiled warmly.  "Come my dear.  I did it again didn't I?  I can't help it.  You see I don't think they properly trained me for this job.  I was meant to gently raise you out of sleep or wait for you to wake up naturally.  But when I saw your eyes were closed and couldn't hear snoring sounds I didn't know what to do.  What if you had been dead?  They wouldn't have been pleased with me.  So I couldn't resist.  Anyway, your right foot was already exposed.  Tip time: If you keep your feet covered up you won't get so cold.  Where was I?  Any idea?"

I stared at her some more.  Began to relax a little.  She was a very strange stranger and her long blue hair was an awful mess of curls and knots.  She wore a dress made of purple bubble wrap and a mixture of rainbow colour bracelets all the way from her wrists to her elbows.  What she was doing on my bed was beyond my comprehension.  How she had got into my house was another question.  But I had to admit that it was probable she wasn't going to transform into a giant goblin and gobble me up whole or drag me into the kingdom of the gnomes.  Whoever she was, I didn't sense any danger.  Nevertheless I continued to stare at her silently.

"No idea.  I don't mind.  Sometimes it's better to have no idea.  Sometimes it's better just to take it all as it comes.  I myself lived without a clue for many years.  That wasn't my fault of course.  And it wasn't my choosing either.  It was an enchantment that did it and I never found out who enchanted me although I have my suspicions.  I know it wasn't a human so it can't have been you.  Not that you would have wanted to trap me in such a cruel way.  You hadn't even met me.  Unless of course I make some error so awful that you seek revenge and can find a time mistress to try to stop me being here in the first place.  Did you do that?  Oh, silly me."  She let out a big laugh as if it was the funniest thing in the whole world.  "You wouldn't know.  You haven't done it yet.  I'll tell you know though.  If you are going to be considering cursing me in the past there's no point.  It won't stop me.  Of course it won't.  I'm here anyway.  But it wasn't you.  I don't think.  I believe it was either one of Rose, Rose or Rose.  You probably don't know them because they don't live in your bedroom.  They're triplets.  Identical and their parents couldn't tell them apart so they all got given the same name.  It's ever so confusing.  Yes, I was enchanted.  Now I'm just enchanting as I'm sure you can tell.  Do you like my dress?  I made it myself.  I like purple.  I found the material blowing in the wind one day and had to carefully paint each individual bubble in a slightly different shade of purple.  It took ages.  And the enchantment was hard to break.  Not only was I clueless but my cluelessness reset itself every day.  That's why I was clueless for so many years.  But I'm not clueless now.  I have a clue.  Even if I did wake you so rudely and call you my dear.  I think I've explained myself properly now.  Any questions?"

I could hardly take in her story.  All that talk of revenge and spells was too much for me at half past three in the morning.  It might have been too much at half past three in the afternoon.  And as for her dress.  It was well crafted, I had to admit that to myself.  I wouldn't have thought a bubble wrap dress could ever fit so well.  Yet to my eyes there was only one shade of purple.  Struggling to make sense of her I managed to ask four questions.

"Just two.  For now.  Who are you?  And what are you doing here, sitting on my bed?  No, I take it back.  Another question.  I'm asking three not two  How did you get in?  I'm sure I locked the front door, the back door, all the windows and even the cat flap.  Are you a lock pick or something?"

She squealed and put her hands over her ears.  "Enough, enough.  Stop it right now.  That's four questions now.  I do wish you would stop changing your mind so abruptly.  It's very confusing and I'm not going to answer any questions if you carry on like that.  I'm sorry but that's just how it is."

To prove her point she stuck her fingers in her ears and started singing "La, la, la ..." loudly and without even a hint of a melody.  I wouldn't have even called it a series of notes.  I shook my head.  How rude.  To come and sit on my bed uninvited and not even answer any questions.  I could hardly believe it.  Trust me to get the one bedroom visitor who seemed to be a little unstable.  I changed that thought.  Her instability could have been much worse and she could have been concealing an unbreakable knife in that dress.  I could see she wasn't.  The whole thing was a little opaque.  Not transparent enough to reveal everything but the outfit didn't leave much to my imagination.

I leaned forward and gently touched her arm.  Looked at her with the kindest expression I could manage.  I think possibly my expression was mistaken for murderous because she closed her eyes and shouted "La, la, la, I'm not listening but I'm not allowed to leave."

I gave up and went to make two mugs of tea.  Leave her to her strange tantrum.  When I came back to the bedroom she was quiet.  Quiet and lying down.  Quiet and fast asleep cuddled up to my large teddy bear.  Great.  Now I couldn't go back to bed.  I put on my dressing gown and pulled a blanket from the cupboard.  Sat on my big bean bag and drank my tea.  Then I lay down and got as comfortable as I could without lying on my bed.  She could answer my questions in the morning and then I would see about lending her one of my own dresses.  My imagination may not have had to work hard but I had to work hard to not remember the outline of her breasts - and I confess I felt more than a little guilty for noticing them - or the way she smiled at me, or the fact that I would have loved to give her hair a good wash and then gently comb out all the knots, or the way I found all the odd things she said to be quite endearing.  Whoever she was, it didn't seem an altogether bad thing that she had appeared on my bed.

Presently I fell asleep.  I woke up with aches all through my back and bones.  I groaned as I turned to my side and remembered I was on the floor.  I could see from the clock by the bed that it was seven sixteen.  Quite respectable.  Then I remembered the stranger.  The stranger and her melodious voice and endearing giggle.  The stranger with her annoying habit of la, la la-ing.  I sat up and looked on the bed.

She was gone.

Perhaps I had dreamed the whole thing.  That seemed the most likely scenario.  A dream.  Far more likely than a blue, purple, rainbow girl coming through locked doors - and they were locked, I checked before breakfast - and rambling on about enchantments.  No.  Of course not.  She wasn't real.  Not real.  But vivid enough that I was able to fill two whole pages in my dream diary.  A new personal record.  I looked at the empty mug of tea.  I looked at the full mug.  I wondered why I had made two mugs but guessed I'd been sleepwalking.  I hadn't done that for a while.  Perhaps my dinner had made my head do funny things.  I wouldn't be buying that particular pie again.

Over breakfast I thought about my dream.  If all my dreams were similar I'd look forward to going to bed every night.  As long as I didn't end up sleeping on the floor.  She really had been quite pretty and had an amazing sparkle in her eyes and a cute way of playing with her bracelets while she talked, as if she was counting each of them in turn.  I decided that I would write up my dream.  Present it as a story.  So that's what I've done.

Tonight I will go to bed again.  Perhaps I will dream.  Perhaps I will dream of her.  Maybe she'll come and visit again and this time I won't be scared as I sleep and can find out who my brain thinks she might be.  Perhaps.  I can only hope.  I'm going to bed early tonight just in case.

I'll let you know.

[1696 words]

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