Bedtime Story

“Ma, why don’t you tell me a horror story today?” little Aria asked me.


“Who put that into your head? Don’t you want to know what happened to the princess who kissed the frog?” I asked, caressing her forehead.


“But I want to hear a horror story,” she whispered into my ears.


I looked at him once. He was sleeping beside us, snoring every so often while Aria showed no signs of sleep. It was then that I heard the rattling of windows in sync with the chiming of the old clock.


“Who left those windows open?” I muttered as I got up looking at the window sill.


Someone then crossed my path and stood before the window, drawing the curtains apart and gazing down at something. With a heart shouting into the voids of its ribcage, I plopped down on the bed. Fear gripped me as I looked at the other part of the bed to find nothing but Aria holding the crumpled bed sheet.


“You scared her, Papa,” Aria said as she got down from the bed.


“There is no her, Aria. How many times should I say?” he looked at her intently and closed the windows hurriedly.


I fumbled with the table stand and tossed down a glass as I tried to get under the bed; the glass shattered.


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