Sleep is something every human being needs to survive, to stay sane, but poor Ralph hasn’t slept in a long time. Every time he so desperately tried to close his eyes, to enter the land of sleep, the voices forced his eyes back open. They started as whispers but soon turned into a chorus of a thousand blood curdling screams, only subsiding when Ralph is fully awake again. Instinctively he always jumped up to look around for the source of the screams but soon remembered that the horrible noise was only in his head. Ralph has tried everything to fix this problem, he has been to regular doctors, therapists, hell, he even went to see a local shaman in his neighborhood in hopes of solving this but nothing has worked. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of the day or the dead of night, every time Ralph closed his eyes the screams started, immediately jarring him awake.

        This insomnia began one night three weeks ago when his friends decided it would be fun to pull a prank on him for his birthday. Ralph’s friends put a blindfold over his eyes and drove him to what was supposed to be his surprise birthday party but instead they left him in an abandoned house in the neighborhood, one that was infamously known as haunted to everyone in the area. Cursing his now former friends who had left him there even though they knew Ralph hated everything even remotely frightening, he immediately tried to leave but the front door wouldn’t budge. Though he tried turning the knob, pulling it with all his might, and even ramming it, Ralph could not get the door to open, finally giving up after an hour of failed attempts. Just as he sat with his back against the door in defeat Ralph heard the door click as it suddenly unlocked by itself. Needless to say as soon as the door unlocked Ralph bolted out of there and went home. Even though he saw no ghosts, floating objects, or creepy shadows in his time there the supernaturally locked door was enough to thoroughly rattle him. And it was this same night that the screams started.

        Ever since that horrible event Ralph’s life has been in shambles. He’s lost his job, he can’t eat, he can’t think, and most importantly he can’t sleep, all because of the screaming voices that followed him home that night. But if the body reaches its breaking point of exhaustion eventually, no matter how loud the noise, the body will force itself to sleep. This time as Ralph closed his eyes and the screams started up once again he didn’t jump up, he didn’t fall out of bed, instead his eyes remained closed. Even as the screams reach deafening heights Ralph did not stir. After all the sleepless nights exhaustion finally won out, Ralph finally fell asleep. A few hours later Ralph woke up to find that he couldn’t move his body, save for his eyes. As he looked around the room he began to notice a dark figure emerging from the shadows in his room. With now trembling eyes Ralph watched as the figure got closer and closer, its yellow eyes now shining in the dark. It’s at this moment he realized the screams weren’t the only thing that followed him home from that house. Those screams were a warning not to fall asleep, they were trying to save me…Ralph thought to himself just before his vision went black.

Back to Short Stories