For the second night in a row, Lyle slept badly. Usually, he didn’t have trouble at his mother’s house. Once again, he had a nightmare that woke him in a cold sweat. Luckily, he didn’t disturb Annie when he woke up, choking back a scream. Panting, he sat up in bed, shivering. The room felt uncomfortably cold, though he knew the air wasn’t on all that low. Each suite had its own thermostat, so he got up and checked theirs by the light of his phone. It was on seventy-eight, which should have been comfortable and not cold. Hugging himself, he got the spare blanket out of the closet. By the time he’d spread it on the bed, the room felt even colder.
Goosebumps rose on his arms and he thought he could see his breath when he exhaled. Believing it was only his imagination, he crawled into bed and snuggled up with Annie. He was just falling asleep when he felt the bed give as if someone sat on the outer edge. Knowing it wasn’t his wife, he felt behind him. There was nothing there, but the sensation of someone rising made him scoot closer to Annie.
“Whoever—or whatever—you are,” he whispered. “We don’t want any trouble. Just leave us alone.”
Murmuring his St. Michael prayer, he rolled over with his back to his wife, staring at the opposite wall until his eyes closed.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes