Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi

William

Part 4

It was getting closer. He knew it was coming, there was a chill in the air and he could hear the heavy breathing as it climbed the stairs to his room. It was his room that it was coming to, he knew that.

There were other rooms at the top of the house; his parents and his sister were sleeping peacefully in theirs. William was not sleeping, he was wide-awake and terrified, lying rigid in his bed and waiting for it to come for him.

A loud creaking noise split the still night air. He knew what that was - a step near the top of the stairs made that noise when something big, something heavy, trod on it. It never made a sound when he climbed the stairs, he was too light to worry it, but sometimes it did when his father walked on it. Sometimes, but not always. But it never sounded as loud as it did now.

He knew what he should do; he should get out of there before it was too late. He should take the only other way out and dive out of the window, hoping that the bushes below would break his fall. But he couldn't do it. He couldn't move.

He was petrified with fear, shivering and shaking and he broke out in a cold sweat. There was a sudden rush, a warm wet feeling. Damm. He'd pissed the bed, again!

It stopped on the landing outside his door, he could hear it breathing and there was a horrible, dead, smell in the air. The door handle turned, slowly and quietly. It turned back again. It turned again and again, fast and loud now.

Good! It couldn't get in, could it? He was so glad that he'd locked the door when he went to bed. Maybe he was safe?

The door exploded inwards with a sudden crash and a dark, bloody, something filled the gap. It could get in, there was nothing stopping it.

"No," William whispered. "No. No. No!!" he screamed. Now that he'd found his voice, he used it and he screamed at the top of his lungs, over and over again.

The light came on and a warm presence rushed into the room. "William! Wills, wake up. Wake up, my Baby. It's okay, it's okay, Sweetheart. I'm here, you're safe."

His mother lifted him up and wrapped her warm arms around him. He clung to her and sobbed over her shoulder.

"The Thing! The Thing was here. It was going to get me! Hold me, Mummy."

"I've got you, Wills. It's all right, there is no Thing here," she cooed as she cuddled him.

"Oh William!! You're all wet. You've wet the bed again."

She tried to push him off, but he was not letting go. "It scared me!" he protested.

"You're far too big to be wetting the bed," his half-awake father grumbled from the doorway. "What scared you, William? There's nothing here, there never is. We've got to do something, Sarah. This can't go on; there's something wrong with the boy."

"There's nothing wrong with him," she bristled. "He's just a baby and he had a nightmare."

"Again." he replied. "He is not a baby. He's six years old and he should not be wetting the bed and waking up screaming every night."

"It's not every night!"

"Lately it is. Every night and several times some nights. We have to get help for him, this can't go on."

"We will deal with it," she snapped. "We don't need anyone else involved. I'm a psychologist, for crying out loud!"

"You're an Educational Psychologist and I'm a Primary Teacher. This is not something we can handle ourselves. Forget your professional ego, this is our boy and he needs help. We have to do something for him and we can't do it ourselves. William needs a psychiatrist."

"He doesn't! That's a terrible thing to say. He's just a boy, he's very, very bright, he's got a vivid imagination and he's having bad dreams, that's all."

"That's all, is it?" Paul sighed. "Well, he's not dreaming now, is he?" He opened a drawer and took out some clothes.

"Here, Wills. You'll have to get changed. Why don't you put these on?" He laid a pair of black shorts down on the bed.

He looked at them in horror and he cringed away. "No. No," he whimpered. "They're black. I can't wear them, they're black! Take them away, Daddy."

"Okay, Son." He picked up the shorts. "No black clothes then. You need a shirt, how about this nice red t-shirt that your Gramma sent for you?"

He held up, spread out in both hands, a brilliant red t-shirt. William looked at it and screamed! He tried to slide around behind his mother as he bawled.

"Red! It's red. It's blood! Blood. No, no!!" He collapsed in tears.

"It's okay, Wills. It's okay, they're just clothes. I'll put them away."

He stuffed them back into the drawer and slammed it shut. "There. All gone now."

Sarah lifted the boy up and cuddled him as she glared over his head at her husband.

"He's not sleeping now, Sarah. If this is a nightmare, then we're all living it."

"All right, Paul. You've made your point. You can fix the bed and I'll clean him up and change his PJ's."

"Not red!" William cried.

"No, Darling. Not red and not black either. In the morning, I'll make an appointment to see a psychiatrist."

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