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Fur and Feathers

Krista Joy

Copyright 2012 by Krista Joy

Published by Lost Feather Press – Smashwords Edition

Alyce lay awake. Her hearing became extra sensitive and a spider, who thought she was creeping unnoticed above the door in the blackness, sounded like a woman in stilettos.

She had blown the candle out in the hope of her own light being extinguished for a few hours, but insomnia was setting in strong and hard. She could smell it in the air, feel the sweat bead on her forehead and naked arms, and the tingle in her dry throat. The threat of tears that might come out of frustration was beckoning, when the thoughts refused to switch off and lie dormant.

Secretly she hoped the cat would come crying to be let in, as she did sometimes, usually when Alyce was sound asleep, awash with colourful dreams. But not tonight. Where Alyce lay awake the cat was getting a sound sleep, perhaps in a shrub somewhere in the back garden below. Sometimes she would come scratching at the window of the dormer bungalow, startling Alyce into a temporary state of childish fear, but then, after being let in, would curl up on the scratched-to-pieces rag rug in front of the ornamental fire place and doze off once again, purring so softly it almost formed a lullaby.

Alyce would have killed for that lullaby. For any lullaby, so long as it was anything other than the maddening silence of a sleepless night where the rest of the world might as well have been stone. She envied everything in the room that was lifeless. Just a few hours, she pleaded, just a few hours of release.

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