Bedtime Fiction

“Don’t you remember? Can you even see when you are sleepwalking?”

“I am trying to remember officer, but it is difficult. My eyes can see when I sleepwalk, but I am not really very aware of what is around me. My mind generates images that my eyes don’t actually see. I once fell down the stairs in my sleep, picked myself up, and headed back to bed. When I awoke I was quite surprised by the blood on my pillow. My mother wasn’t though. She had heard me fall, got up and apparently she guided me back to bed, and washed the first flow of blood from my head. That is what she told me anyway, and I had no reason to not believe her. . I must have been able to see. Otherwise I would not have been able to get back up the stairs without falling again.””

“What do you recall then from your walk in the woods last night? Anything come to mind?”

“I do recall dreaming about running in a race in the track in my old high school. I often dream about that as I was on the track team.”

“Anything other than just that sir?”

“Well, as I told the other officer on the phone this morning, when I heard the news about the little girl that went missing, I do have a picture in my mind of seeing a little girl with very long hair that was a bright red. She looked kind of like a slightly younger version of Anne of Green Gables. I told the other officer that I was not completely sure that was what I saw. My wife and I had recently been on vacation on Prince Edward Island, and visited the home of the author of the book, Lucy Maude Mongomery.”

“Now did you see anyone else standing close to her?”

“Well, officer, this might sound strange, but I think that I saw something that looked a lot like a bear.”

“There are no bears in these woods, sir. You are a visitor here I understand, staying at one of the hotels on main street.”

“I’m sure that’s true officer. But now that I am putting more thought into that sleep-walking vision. I believe that what I might have been looking at was a fairly big man with a thick brown coat on.”

“Now we are getting somewhere. I will call the little girl’s mother, to see if she knows such a man.”

The Police Officer Calls

“Ma’am, this is officer Jenkins. I have been talking with the man who thinks that he saw your daughter last night, and called us when he heard the report on the radio,. Now this is going to sound like a very strange question, but I want to know whether you know a big man with a brown coat.”

There is a brief silence as the woman contemplates the question.

“Well, I used to know a big man, my ex-husband. I don’t know about the brown coat though. I never saw him wear one, but we have been separated for two years now.”

“Do you know where he lives now, ma’am?”

“I am afraid that I do not know that. We haven’t communicated with each other in months. And he was never one to do much in the way of providing information.”

“Well, give us his name, and any other information that might prove useful in finding him.”

“His name is Christ Jenkins, but I don’t even know his current cell phone number.”

“Okay ma’am, we’ll see what we can find out about him. If you can think of anything else, just give us a call.”

Back to the Sleep-Walker.

Once his conversation with the police officer was finished, the sleep-walker headed back to his hotel room. He was anxious to tell his wife about how his sighting of the little girl has proceeded. He knew that she would want to know everything. He was also searching through his mind for a reasonably accurate picture of the man who looked like a bear when he first envisioned him. He had no luck in that regard, but he would keep on trying.

He and his wife had dinner, the table talk being all about his sleepwalking adventure, his conversation with the police officer, and his still failing attempts to conjure up a clearer image of the ‘man who was a bear’. His wife asked some good questions, but he still was a few answers short of being definite.

That Night

That night he hoped that he would do no more sleepwalking, but there was a restlessness in him that sometimes would be followed by his late night wandering. Sure enough, not long before midnight, still dressed in his dark blue pajamas, he got up and began the zombie-style walking like he had engaged in the night before. He passed by a few people who stared in dumb wonder, but did not say anything, thinking that he was probably drunk or stoned.

He went out the back door, as he had the last time. Again, like the previous night, he proceeded through the parking lot  But this time he saw something before he hit the trail to the woods that he had travelled on before. He again spotted the bear, but this time he rapidly changed into the figure of a big man wearing a brown jacket. The man was carrying something in both of his arms. The sleepwalker saw the red hair again. The difference this time was that the shock of sighting both man and child once more woke him up to where his mind saw clearly what his eyes beheld.

He turned around sharply, but not before he got a good look at the number on the front license plate of the car the backseat of which the man was placing the little girl  Then he moved quickly to and through the back door, heading for the reception desk. He took a chance and asked the male receptionist to call 911, but not before he told him, “I have just seen the little girl that disappeared. She is being kidnapped’. Fortunately, the receptionist overlooked that the man asking him to do this was in his pajamas, and did what he was asked to do. He was new at the job and did not want to anger a guest.

The sleepwalker got on the phone, and told the officer on the line who he was and that he had seen the kidnapper about to escape, taking the little girl with him. Guided by the license number, the police were soon on the scene and caught up with the man and the child. 

The radio report the next day said that the man was the girl’s father, and that she had been rescued with the brave assistance of a tourist staying at a local hotel. No mention was made of his sleepwalking or of his dark blue pajamas.

July 24, 2022 23:26

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