The idea comes at night, of course. It creeps up the stairs to the bedroom where you sleep, and you wipe it away, this thing which brushes the skin of your forehead. But it finds a way in, and whispers to you, ‘hush, hush.’ So softly, that you smile and think perhaps it is a dream.
But I am not.
What I am is a slow understanding, a recognition, dim at first, that … well, what exactly? What is it you imagine when you hear my footfall on the stairs and know that I am closer?
Is the monster yellow-eyed and fanged? Or is it more a wisp of a thing? Like an autumn fog which seeps into your bones?
Or would you rather have me tell you who I am?
Well, okay. If you insist.
I am inside you and always have been. The ghost of you which waits, laughing sometimes at ticking clocks and dreaming of the eternal. Until, there it is again, that idea which comes at night. Prick, prick pricking at your brain and whispering in your ear.
‘Soon,’ it says. ‘Soon.’