Silvery, light shimmering through the thin curtains illuminates a sweet face sleeping. Wheat-colored curls sticking to a drool-covered chin. She smiles and a giggle erupts. Dreamland is good to her. Her mother reaches out and lightly, lovingly touches her daughter's face, unsticking the curls. She's reluctant to leave the nursery. There is an ominous presence outside the house, beyond the salt perimeter; she had frantically placed when she woke up that morning from a terrifying nightmare. It was so real. Her entire family watched in horror as she grabbed all the salt, screaming, "He's coming for Silvie, he's coming for Silvie!"
When she ran out of the salt, she hopped in the car and went to the store for more. Her grandmother was of the fey and had calmly watched the entire proceedings. She asked Jennifer to tell her the nightmare. Grandmother demanded a family counsel after dinner. She regaled them with a tale of a long-ago neighbor that had lost a child when the mother had not heeded the warnings. Her visiting parents merely shrugged their shoulders. They did exchange raised eyebrows. She could tell they were contemplating putting grandma in a home and committing her to the local asylum, again. She had completely lost it, seven years ago, when her son was
Moving to look out the window, pushing the curtains aside, she bathes in the subtle power of the full moon. Her eyes scan the forest beyond for the unseen threat, and then over the glistening ocean. A sudden loud, rustling in the bushes outside the picket fence overwhelms the imagined rhythm of the waves, drawing her attention back to forest. Eyes glow green up at her. She shudders and hopes the thin trail of salt-protection works. A tiny human-like shape steps out and flashes a wicked sharp smile. The four-fingered hand points an unnaturally long finger at her. It mouths something into the night air. Her brain freezes. There's a time-delay, like a bad dub-over, but she hears the message crystal clear in her mind. "It's only a matter of patience, dear one. I will claim the child that should have been mine, many lifetimes ago. You cheated me then, I will cheat you now. You will forget and lose diligence, and then I will strike."
She nearly screams as warm hands slip around her waist. At the last minute, she registers that it is her husband, Jared. Jared turns her around and lightly plants kisses all over her cold face. A feeling of safety envelops her. Her body molds to his. He tries to lead her from the room.
"What did you see my dear? Is the salt working? Is it keeping the monsters at bay?" His amused tone angers her. She balks at the doorway. She will not leave Silvie's side.
“Darling?” She glares at him. He throws his hands up in mock surrender. Was he only humoring her, fearing for her mental health again? He was there when she lost her baby and husband on the same day. Eric died rushing, trying to be there for the birth. It was the first rain on the season and he hydro-planed himself off the ocean-cliff road. Jared was the obstetrician on call, because hers was airport delayed while trying to return from vacation. He said it was love at first sight. But he knew it was the worst timing in history. He cursed fate daily. He told her that when she broke down and was committed, that he despaired he would never be able to be with her, his true love. It took nearly five years before they crossed paths again. It was when grandmother took ill, that they met and she felt the love spark in what she thought was a dead heart.
It’s best to let it go. She smiles and sweetly replies, "Nothing dear, just a beautiful fall night." She re-enters the room, sits in the nursing chair by the crib. His disappointed expression that she would, once again, not be coming to bed with him, hurts her. But she must protect the baby. If only he could believe her. That nightmare was horrific. The creature that wanted her baby, it would take it to the underworld, never to be seen again. The loss, she couldn’t deal with that loss again.
Grandmother's voice calls out, "Jared? Jared, honey, will you help me to my room." Jared loves grandmother and quickly heads down the stairs. She smiles in relief. Grandmother's timing is always perfect.