Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Al’s photo this week is full of possibilities, from the quite mundane to the essentially enigmatic.
I try to find, as ever, a middle road.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and to see what others have written.
And click here to hear me read this 90-second story: Bedside Table
I waken with a start.
I am disoriented, feel a tiny shiver of fear.
Then I realise I am at home, in my own bed.
But I am aware that all is not as it should be.
The room is shuttered.
I lie unmoving in the pitch black, listening intently.
I hear nothing.
But the hairs on my neck are on end.
My mind is racing.
What disturbed me?
I am a light sleeper, trained to be alert at all times.
I do not think there was a noise.
I know my apartment is secure.
So what could it be?
I am rarely so tense, and never when I am here.
I breathe slowly, deeply, until I am fully relaxed.
Then, when I am confident everything is under control, I reach for water.
I always have a glass on my bedside table.
I do not need light, I know exactly where it is.
I pause, tensing again.
Is it possible I forgot it when I came to bed?
I don’t think so.
It is part of my unchanging bedtime ritual.
My hand moves down, feeling for the table.
It is not there.