Red Eyes

We lie in bed
I spoon her
She asks me to rub her butt
Something about this
always helps her relax
especially before going to bed
We decide to have
one last smoke
before going to sleep
We go out there and smoke
Then we go to bed
I resume spooning her
She falls asleep
pretty quickly
I lie there and listen
to the sound of her
steady breathing
feeling her body compress
and decompress
in my arms
Then I hear a click—
It’s the sound of the door
becoming unlatched
In this silence the sound is
sharp and jarring
Fear quivers down my bones
The door eases open
Someone’s there
Outside the door it’s all light
Just a giant wall of white light
The light grows as the door
opens even farther
First I see the floating red dots
appear in the light
They are bright as lasers
A young girl with
bright red eyes slips
out of the light
and enters our bedroom
I can’t make out who the girl is
The only girl in our house
is my stepdaughter
but right now she’s
sound asleep
in her own room
When she was younger
and my wife and I started dating
sometimes she’d come in to our room
at night
wake us up
because sleeping in her own room
at this age
seemed to be a new experience
for her
But tonight
the strange girl enters the room
She’s small
maybe 12 years of age
My wife is still asleep
It’s strange because this kind of intrusion
is more likely to wake up my wife
since she’s much more
of a light sleeper than me
I peek over my wife’s prone body
The girl looks ghostly and
All I can make out is
her translucent silhouette
and two bright red orbs shining
where her eyes should be
I watch, with a heaping curiosity
Although I can’t make out the
young girl’s face
I know she is smiling
I know she is happy
I can tell from the way she moves
She moves fast and slippery
with an almost radiant skip as she
moves closer to the bed
She doesn’t walk
or run
She slides and stutters
as though caught in the beam of
a flashing strobe light
Her movements are inhuman
robotic but fluid
She slips on to the bed
My wife is still asleep
beside me
her back facing me
her stomach rising and falling
with smooth, deep breaths
The girl slowly lurches toward me
She leaps over my wife
then sits down on her
like my wife is nothing more than
a bench———a prop
in the scenery
The girl stares at me
It’s unsettling
like those red emerald eyes
are x-rays that can see
through every layer of my shadowy
I’ve never felt more exposed
I sit up and look at her
She is gone
I blink a few times
wondering what had just happened
when I realize it was only a dream
I grab my phone off my bedside table
Check the time
It’s 2:30 AM
I lie there in bed and try to
go back to sleep
but something about that girl’s
probing eyes
keeps me wide awake
So I go downstairs
I cannot erase that haunting image
from the back of my mind///