A Tiny Sleepwalker

Steps echoed from the hall but no intentions on where they were going were able to be detected. They were light, and slid ever so slightly, so they must be my little brothers feet dragging down the hall. His room is only a door away from mine, with the bathroom in between. I wanted to assume he was going to the bathroom but he kept walking.

My next guess is downstairs to get some water or something, but they stopped right outside my door. What could he want? It’s 2:00am, and he should know I wouldn’t be up when we both have school tomorrow. I don’t even play my games this late on school nights, I’m just up scrolling on my phone. I think the weirdest part about this is that he’s just standing there, on the other side of my slightly open door. I can see his petite shadow, still as the night. I can barely hear his breathing, steady but deep.

The next thing I hear as I’m inspecting his presence is a light collapse. His body just dropped to the floor. What the hell is wrong with him? Of course, with me being a protective older brother, I instantly shoot out from under my covers and across my room to the door. If I open it too much I’ll hit him, so I slowly creak it open and glance down at him. He’s completely unconscious, but his breathing is still steady just as before… He looks okay, but I’m not entirely sure.. so I picked up his 6 year old body and carried him back to his own room. He must be sleep walking or something.. but I’m not too sure, so I hobble back to my room, grab a blanket and pillow, and fell asleep on the floor next to his bed for the rest of the night.

The next morning I woke up to his annoying alarm beeping loud and obnoxiously. It used to be mine, but I hated it, and our mother had issues waking him up for school, so I figured it would be perfect to make sure he gets up. I glance over at him in his bed as his eyes begin to bat open.

“Terrance, why are you in here?” He asks innocently but with a hint of confusion.

“You were sleep walking or something last night so I stayed with you in case it happened again.” He looked even more confused which probably means he doesn’t understand what sleep walking is. “What did you dream last night?” I ask, hoping maybe it could explain why he went on his little adventure just hours before. But the only reply I got was his eyes darting around and him dismissing my question by trying to tell me ‘nothing’ while a look that almost looked like shame shadowed his face. I wasn’t about to force it out of him, so I decide I’ll let Mom and Dad deal with it from now on.

We got ready for school and walked to the door together, but I asked him to wait for me at the bus stop so I could talk to Mom. He’s a decent little brother, and pretty independent for a 6 year old, so he just nodded his head and walks out. I make my way into the kitchen where my mom was wrapped in a robe and sipping what I assume is her second cup of coffee.

“Hey Mom, did you hear Reid walking around last night?” I asked casually.

She pouts her lip and rolls her eyes up as she thinks about it. “No, not that I remember. Why? What was he doing?”

“I think he was sleep walking, but he just fell when he got to my door, and doesn’t remember it at all when I told him about it this morning.” I explained while she continues to sip from her mug.

“Huh, I might take him to the doctor then, I don’t want him falling down the stairs.” She replies with a loving but concerned tone.

“Yeah, that’s what I was worried about, too. I have to go catch the bus, but I figured I would let you know before I left.” I say, ending the conversation so Reid doesn’t have to ride the bus alone. She quickly thanked me and sent me off to the bus stop.

She ended up being able to make the appointment for him that same day, so she picked him up from school and brought him in. They got out right before my school day ended so she picked me up from school, too.

He was sitting in the back of the car with his arms crossed and had a Stern look on his face. When I got into the car and reached for my seat belt, he blurts out, “Thanks Terrance. Now I have to take pills at night. Tattle tale.” I glance at my mom and she coos,” Sweetie, it’s for your safety and your health. It’s not that bad and it’s not Terrance fault. I heard you walking around, too, and it’s my job to make sure you’re okay.” He just huffed and sat quietly the whole ride home. Meh, he’ll get over it eventually.

That night he took his first dose after dinner. To try and make him feel better about doing it, mom made a fancy microwavable dessert for him to wash it down with. He’s almost too easy to win over when it comes to sweets. We watched some TV together and then it was his bed time. I decided to stay up a little late and play on my XBox to try and make sure he stays asleep, but by midnight I figured he was okay and went to bed.

The next thing I know I wake up the my door creaking open. The first thing I see is Reids little sillouette standing in the door way.

“Hey buddy.” I grumble, still half asleep. I’m so tired it feels like there’s sand in my eyes so it’s hard to focus, but just like the night before, he’s just standing there, except this time he opened my door. “C’mon little man, you should be in bed. I’ll walk you there” I try and reassure him as I flip my blankets off of my body and swing my legs over the edge of my bed. I can’t help but feel slightly creeped out, but I have that feeling aside so I can help him back to his room.

As I walk up next to him, I gently reach my hand to his soft blond hair to guide him back to his room by his head. But as I touch his head, I see him swing his arm from my peripherals and I feel a sudden and intense sharp pain in my leg. What the hell?? My eyes shoot down to where the pain is and I see a pair of my mother’s shears stabbed deeply into my thigh.

“REID, WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” I scream as my blood slowly soaks through my pants. His only response is a light giggle before gripping his little fingers around the scissors again and ripping them out of my leg. The pain set in and an instinctual groan echo’s out of my mouth and through the hall.

My mother comes rushing out demanding to know what’s going on, but freezes in her steps at the sight of what I just had to go through. Reid isn’t even fazzed by her presence, and just giggles again. It’s such a creepy but innocent giggle, as if he’s playing with friends or watching one of his shows.. what is he doing..

My leg is hard to move without increasing my pain, but I try to hobble towards him to confiscate the scissors.

“No, Terrance, I wanna use these.” He kindly announces just before he swings the shears open and slices my arm. The pain took a second to hit me again, and it’s not as excruciating as my leg, but blood comes dripping and then pouring out from my new wound.

“What the hell is your problem, Reid?! Snap out of it!” I scream with pain causing my voice to tremble and crack.

“Baby, please, put down the scissors and go to bed.” My mom tries to calmly coo, but terror resides in her tone.. “Baby, come here, come to mommy. Everything will be okay, just give mama the scissors.” She pleads, inching her way closer to us.

He just repeats he eiry little giggle, and fiddles with the blades of the scissors. I’m too scared to try and take them from him again, and I’m in so much pain it’s hard to concentrate on helping him. All I can do is plead with my mother, “Reid, please. You hurt me, look how bad it is, just give mom the scissors so you can go back to bed.”

He looks up from the shears and tilts his head while looking at our mom.

“Okay, mommy, I’m sorry..” he apologizes as he holds out the scissors. I watch as they dangle and swing from his little finger.

“It’s alright, baby, everything will be okay. Don’t worry.” She reassures him as she picks up her pace towards him.

Right as she gets close enough to grab the scissors, he let’s out a childish roar leaps at her with the shears gripped in his hand. I couldn’t watch but I had to do something. I leap towards him with all the power I can muster up, and tackle him before he hurts our mom. While I wrap my arms around him and condemn him to being squished into my chest, I can feel him biting and fighting against me. My mom quickly reaches for his hand the shears are in and rips them away from his evil fingers.

Right as she does this, his body goes limp, he breath becomes deep and steady, and I don’t feel a fight within him anymore… I can hear my mom weeping but she just stands there in terror, looking around at all my blood splashed and dripped around the hall.

I had to get so many stitches… And Reid had to be evaluated and locked up in a children’s mental hospital for a long time… They would watch him as he slept, and dose him with sleeping aids, sedatives, and antipsychotic medications. His therapist was able to convince him to draw pictures of his dreams ever morning, and what he drew gave me chills. I wasn’t supposed to find them, but my mom has kind of been a bit out of it since the incident and left them in a folder on the kitchen table. I got home and found it… Decently illustrated for the hand of a 6 year old, the folder was filled with blood, gore, and evil.

He was killing anything from stuffed animals, living animals, his family, friends, teachers, even himself. His therapist would go through his dream from each picture and label each being he was killing. Where did this come from? How does he even understand this level of violence and horror?

He’s a normal boy by day, but once he falls asleep, he’s a monster. I love him and all, but that night will forever haunt me… and those pictures make me fear exploring our back yard. I imagine finding torn up animals… or worse, the neighborhood kids that have been going missing…

  • Yara Hawkins

    A little wordy and unfinished sounding butgreat flow and the last note ….very nice!