Bedside Table – Sunday Photo Fiction

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.

© Al Forbes

© Al Forbes

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.
It isn’t.
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.


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27 Responses to Bedside Table – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. What a terrifying way to wake up in the dark. That is excellent. Definitely up there with your best.


  2. mandibelle16 says:

    I enjoy how you build suspense CE. It’s alarming and Erie that the table and glass are not there. I’m wondering what happens next? Hugs CE! 😊


  3. Jade M. Wong says:

    Whaat? The water’s not there? Well, that just brings up a whole lotta questions, doesn’t it?

    Great writing!


  4. James says:

    The water’s not there or the whole table vanished?


  5. Ah! there you go again, laving us all palpitating and salivating for what comes next. Ceayr, well done one again.


  6. Anja says:

    Drinking too much again?


  7. Sometimes when you forget to do something your mind gives you a gentle nudge. Well, mine does!

    Mine is a story for children!


  8. Dale says:

    Funny… I have a glass of water on my nightstand as well… I would be totally freaked out if it (they) were suddenly not there…
    Great suspense, sir!


  9. Vaidehi Soni says:

    What’s coming next?You left all of us in suspense. Great work. 🙂


  10. The Voice says:

    Great suspense story, CE. And getting to hear you narrate it was a treat. (Not sure if you’ve been doing this. It’s been a while since I’ve been to your blog. Hope to hear more.)


  11. Need to know what happens here 🙂 I love your writing, always sleeps with a question in your mind.


  12. Iain Kelly says:

    So many possibilities to what has happened. Drugged and burgled perhaps? Or all just a dream. Enigmatic writing as always. .


  13. Very taught writing. Liked it.


  14. sailajaP14 says:

    Would love to know what happens next. Very taut and gripping.

    Liked by 1 person

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