Do you know I am here, Mother? Do you sense me as I sit at your bedside watching your eyes staring sightlessly into the darkness? Now is the time of dreams and nightmares, when the clock strikes three, when you can’t run from Night’s army of terrors … when you can’t – you couldn’t - run from me.
I visit you often at this hour, slipping into the house, just to watch you sleep. No one else comes to see you, the woman who condemned her own son; they abandoned you long ago.
But I care.
I trace the smile carved on your face, gently stroke sparse wisps of hair; a son’s loving touch.
Do you hear me whisper in your ear as mice scuttle across the floor and the door creaks on its broken hinge? They freed me, Mother. Said I was officially cured. No threat to anyone, to society, to you.
So I hold vigil, fighting the exhaustion that claims me, the terrors that turn me into their unwilling instrument. I will protect you, Mother.
And always I fail and I watch myself place my puppet’s hands around your throat, and press … again … again … and again.