Strings On Me
When Gep woke from the dream, he could still see the giant leviathan bearing down on him when he closed his eyes. He reached his hand over and felt the cold half of the bed. He wondered if, tonight, his wife was also dreaming of monsters.
He looked at his clock but it confused him. Time didn't make sense anymore. It had been three weeks since it happened. Two weeks since the funeral. One week since he'd found the empty pill bottle and taken his wife to the hospital to have her stomach drained. He didn't know when she would be back.
He could feel the waves of what had happened cresting inside of him, and he sat up in bed in an attempt to keep from drowning. It didn't help much, and he rocked back and forth until he was afraid he was going to rock himself to pieces, and he stood up and paced the floor and ended up in the hallway, walking past the bathroom, toward the door of the other bedroom that hadn't been opened in days.
Hadn't been opened in three weeks.
The dream was overwhelming him, and he knew he had to see the empty room with his own eyes or he might start going crazy. He pushed open the door.
Moonlight streamed through the window, illuminating toys that hadn't been put away, and the small, empty wooden bed. It was as if the moon was mocking him. There were too many empty beds in this house.
What was it his son had said to him? In the dream? Maybe the dream was the first step toward madness, but he couldn't bare to let it slip away. His sternum ached like someone had hammered nails into it. It had for several days now.
Without really intending to, he lay himself across the pale blue sheets and settled his face into the pillow. It smelled of bubblegum toothpaste and M&Ms and the peculiar little boy dirt, and Gep knew that this smell would be what killed him.
In his dream he'd escaped the leviathan, holding the boy in his arms. He could still feel the wait of him. He could still feel the dent in the skull where the bumper had made contact.
When he finally began drifting off, the smell and moonlight pouring into him like chloroform, he heard an echo of the boys voice. "Papa," the dream had said. "Papa. I want to be a real boy."
Writing Prompt: If you were to write about a secondary character from any fairy-tale, who would you pick?
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