The old hag-like woman who lives downstairs from me is in my room, curled-up on the floor in a fetal position. She sobs and complains about my television, too terrified to stare at the screen. At first, I am surprised at the sight of her there, but soon the shock gives way to a disturbing fear, almost as if I understand her despair and come to realize the unspeakable horror that she must have conceived on the TV. All this is gravely unsettling and when the terror reaches a climax, I wake up! The eyes are wide open. The body is paralyzed, pinned to the bed in panic from the chimerical visions of the nightmare. The mind, perhaps not fully awakened from deep slumber, hangs in a state of twilight, suspended in a lull, beyond wakefulness or the apparent consciousness of a dream. In the dark, I stare at emptiness, without the use of mind and body, half dead and alive. For a fleeting moment I experience an intense thrill in this state of merely being, like a ghost floating through ether. Dilated eyes, dry mouth and palpitations - an endorphin high!
Soon this blissful, ethereal peregrination fades away. I see the cherubic face of the hag’s daughter. There is a discomforting soreness in my mouth, which has perhaps been wide open for some time. The cherub’s beatific countenance, without the slightest suggestion, transforms into a menacing grimace and the eyes turn black; deep and dark like the eyes of the devil, like that antichristical priest from Carnivàle on TV. I gasp for air and spring upright on the bed. The half-conscious slumber is gone and I am wide awake, although disoriented and confused. As I make a leap for the light switch, I catch the dying sound of the echoes of a scream, reflected in the walls around me.