A Matter of Mattering

A Matter of Mattering

I had doubts. When the nights came, the bedroom walls pulsing out like ripples growing further and further away from my bed, those doubts amplified to the beats of my hollow heart.

Echoes, I called them. The echoes of a misspent life had come a calling. They would never leave. No matter how hard I pressed the pillows to my head, those residual murmurs remained. Sweeping in across oceans of night, they haunted my island self. There was nowhere to hide. I didn’t deserve to.

Time: a relative concept, more so still to the timeless. I was timeless, a salient detail my demons knew. There would never be respite from my tormentors. Never!

When sunlight came sweeping through my curtains like filtered candy, I opened my eyes. Another night over. Another night done. Breathe, my mind said. Breathe, it repeated, as it was wont to do at each new dawn. Just breathe.

One hopes for evil to pass, prays for it even. One imagines those doubts dissipating like broken clouds to never regather. And, sometimes, when the darkness was dismissed for the daylight hours, I thought it possible. I’m me again, my brain promised. I’m me. That’s when the voices came.

’You don’t really matter,’ they said. ’See you tonight.’

Of Dreams & Ghosts

Author’s Note: I wrote this immediately after reading a post by my good pal the wonderful Sue Vincent and her struggles with sleep. I hope you enjoy it.


When one is small, the night terrors seem all the more fearsome, bigger, unavoidable. The act of sleeping becomes a nightmare that one will do anything to avoid. Anything!

The beauty of youth lies in the length of the days and the innocent belief they will never end. The sun will rise to hang in the sky seconds dragging to minute, minutes to hours. Years never enter the equation. This is the way of things. The moon, however, is a fleeting visitor. This changes with time.

As an adult, the days shorten and nights increase. The inevitable slide toward death sees the daylight hours hurtle by at a rate of knots, the nights drawing out in their passage to one continuous darkness. For a child of nightmares who grows into adulthood, this is the worst time of all. Not everyone sheds the fears of youth. I think she knew this.

She came as a gathering of dust motes illuminated by the moon. Of no discernible distinction, more cloud than woman, she accumulated each night in the deepest recesses of my subconscious. I did not know her only of her. Neither did I dread her though some might have. She was the nightly reassurance that someone, anyone watched over me.

I did not shake the nightmares overnight. I wish I had, but that would be a lie. They were weaned from me like a child form its mother’s milk. A gentle coaxing of one soul from here to there with whispered affirmations and unseen smiles. She was so kind. No, that is wrong. She is so kind.

So, who is she, this woman with the opal eyes, this misting nymph? I do not know, I never have. All I can tell you is this: there are things we do not understand, and she is one of them. Neither do I wish to understand her. There are times when it is better to just close one’s eyes and dream.

The End

50 Word Stories: Midnight

They came at midnight inveigling their way into the hearts and minds of our small town like crows a farmer's field. One day our dreams were of golden laughter, the next, tempestuous, obsidian waves. The daylight never returned. If this document, written or imagined, reached you, then you're there too.


This dripping heartbeat
Pitter-patters on the windowsill
An uninterrupted rhythmic thrum
Like mice in clogs
Or ballerina sparrows
Practicing whilst the curtains remain drawn.
It soothes the soul
All this water,
All these cloudburst tears
Easing a mind when nothing else will;
I’d let it pour across my soul
If I could,
Purge these pre-rainfall misgivings,
These personal hates and self-doubts,
These nightmares.
It is respite,
But soon the rain will stop;
The mind will not.

Open Your Eyes

The motion of these memories, dreams,
they sway, churn like ocean waves;
I hold my breath and ride them.

There are flashes of recollection,
snippets of presumed realities,
things I would turn from, but I’m unable; they haunt me.

When sleep terrifies more than day
and darkness is a shroud, I remember her words:
open your eyes. Just open your eyes.

I have, but still they’re closed.

The Interior

There are doors I would not see opened
Corridors best left untrodden
Cobweb strewn landings etched in black
That creak on windless evenings like old mens’ bones
They haunt me these nightmarish visions
These places where ghouls roam by moonlight
And creatures nip and tear, then scuttle away on broken limbs
They play at me like background music
Whilst locked in an elevator trapped between floors
Yes, they trouble me, chip at my consciousness
Like ants carrying pieces of my mind to their queen
Locking me in and others out bit by tiny bit
I fear them, though it’s I who hold the key
To the worlds locked in this mired mind
An interior others would best see not revealed