Sounds of the Night Watch: A Cry In the Dark

Last night I woke suddenly, as if ejected from sleep.  I couldn’t see the clock over the vague hump of your blanketed shoulder, but it was the deepest ditch of the night.ghost

A cry had waked me – I was almost certain.  I had turned my head even as I opened my eyes, looking toward you, to see what was wrong.  What would make you cry out like that.  But it wasn’t you.  You breathed under my gaze, steady, unaware.

I stayed up on my elbows, listening hard to the night, but there were only the sounds of a sleeping house: the quiet tick of the refrigerator, the slow contraction of the wooden door frames, the secret movement of the air.  Sounds of the night watch.

I listened for sounds in the street, but there was nothing – no woman calling for help (and I had been sure the cry was female), not even a cat communing with the moon.

It was only when I laid my head back down and gravity loosened the tears at the corners of my eyes and pulled them across my temples that I remembered the dream, and that the cry had come from me.

9 responses to “Sounds of the Night Watch: A Cry In the Dark

  1. Very evocative. I like your style. In just a very few words you capture the scene very effectively.

    I had an experience almost like this once, but less dark. I shared a room with my brother and I woke in the middle of the night really pissed because someone had been talking loud and I had to get up early. It was only after a minute of glancing around the room and taking stock of the situation that I realized I had been talking in my sleep. I started talking again while falling back asleep and couldn’t stop myself.

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