You heard it before you knew what was happening, before you were even fully conscious, opening your eyes to the dark and to the sound. A ghostly sob behind hypnopompic curtains, fuzzing into your dream like an alarm clock. And maybe it was an alarm, in a way. Not the ring-ring-ring kind, but an alarm of another variety. An alert, a Mayday signal from your subconscious, saying wake up and feel this.
You woke after the crying had already started, the pillow wet beneath your cheek. You tried to keep the noise down, so as not to wake him. Because you wanted to be polite in your grief, because you didn’t want him to ask. Because you didn’t know the answer.
But you also needed to get it out. Out of your body as if it were something you could retch up from your stomach and out your throat. It would come out heavy and hard because that’s how long it’s been sitting there. Shoved down, stuffed down, pressed harder and harder into a ball. Your own personal diamond.
What happened to you? What is going on in those delta waves? When did this start? You never used to do this, did you?
No. I didn’t.
Shannon Noel Brady is a multi-genre author of novels and short stories. Her blog muses on the craft of writing with pieces of fiction interspersed.
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