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Misadventures in Late-Night Writing

(Disclaimer: I already know I watch too many scary movies… lol)

Am I the only writer who enjoys those precious hours where the whole house is shut down, quiet, and you’re off duty from any and all domestic duties? I like to call this stretch of time “The Sweet Spot”. It’s prime writing time; the time when I tend to do my best work.

However, the other night, solace was the one thing I didn’t find.

It was late… or early (4:30 or 5:00 a.m.) I was up doing what I love most – writing. I’d stared at the computer screen for too many hours to count and the bright, white Word doc had left me just shy of legally blind as usual. But none of that mattered at the time because I was in the zone. Nothing could stop me. Not even the threat of losing the ability to see. Nope. It was just me, my characters, and the stillness of night.

That is, until this happened.

Screenshot_2014-11-03-09-18-05-1

Yup. I looked up and saw this troubled young lady standing in the doorway of my bedroom. Perfectly still. Quiet.

Now cut to me panicking and scrambling to will my burned-out retinas to rapidly repair themselves so I could see through the pitch blackness of the hallway, trying to make sense of the figure standing there.

Still, all I see is this…

Screenshot_2014-11-03-09-18-05-1

My first reaction was irrational. In my head I hear, “Throw something at it!” Stupid, right? But it’s late, I’m freaked out… just… give me a break. My next grandiose idea was to tip my laptop that way to shine some light into the hallway so I can see better. Didn’t work. Now I see feet. Feet and a long, white dress (see above image). So my heart’s really racing now.

I’m practically shaking, fumbling around on my nightstand, trying to turn on the lamp. As I’m scrambling, I hear the softest, sweetest, “Mommy?”

I pause.

“Mommy? I can’t sleep. Can I get in bed with you?” the creepy, corpsey girl asks. It takes a few seconds, but I soon realize my imagination, the late hour, and my tired eyes have all deceived me. There was no creepy, corpsey girl standing at my door. Nope. Just one scared six year-old wearing her Daddy’s old dress shirt that she adores and wears to bed as often as possible.

Okay, I feel pretty dumb by this point. My heart slows and the sound of her soft, padding footsteps fills the air. All fear has subsided as my bed depresses when she climbs in and gets as close to me as humanly possible, pressing her chilled feet to my skin.

Hmm… good thing I didn’t throw anything at her like I originally planned.

This incident made three things clear:

  1. I need more sleep
  2. I need to stop watching scary movies
  3. My children either need to identify themselves when walking through the house at night or wear those little bells around their necks like cats. I’m cool with either option.
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