Suspended In Time
Today's Sunday Scribblings prompt is "suspended reality". Here's my story...
Awakened by the sound of a doorbell, her eyes pop open in the inky darkness. A quick glance at the alarm clock on the nightstand tells her that it is 2:30 AM... again, as she knew it would be.
Sighing softly, she quietly slips from the bed where her husband sleeps soundly. He didn't hear the doorbell, he never does. At first she used to wake him, and he would oblige her by walking down the hall and thru the living area to the front door, peering out the window to see... nothing. He'd return to bed grumbling, "You were dreaming again, go back to sleep."
After a few nights she quit waking him, she was aware that the sound she heard was not the usual sound made by their doorbell, it chimed diffently, with two heavy tones. She wondered if he was right, if the sound had been part of her dreams, but something told her otherwise. It always woke her up, and always at 2:30 AM, no matter where she was in her dreams at that time. She would lay there for awhile, waiting to hear the bell ring a second time, but it never did, and eventually she would drift back to sleep.
The doorbell continued to interrupt her slumber nightly until finally she grew brave and slipped quietly from the bed to check it out on her own. She peeked out the window into the moonlit night and saw that no one was standing on the porch. Opening the door for a quick glance around, she was startled by a swirl of damp mist that quickly moved across the porch past her and seemed to disappear into the house.
Whirling around to face whatever had entered, she found that there was nothing to see... but she felt a presence and knew she was no longer in the room alone. She sensed no evil, but still she shivered, knowing it was now or never... then she settled slowly into the rocking chair and waited. Before long the matching rocker beside her creaked and shifted too. Her cat stood at full alert, staring directly at the empty chair but not bristling or making a sound. Then it came near, curled up on the rug at her feet and returned to it's sleep. She took that as a good sign. For what felt like maybe a half hour , they sat there together in the silence, the visitor and her. She noticed a faint scent of tobacco smoke in the room, though no one she knew smoked a pipe.
Just as she found herself growing sleepy, the chair beside her creaked and she felt a breeze float past her toward the door, which opened ever so slightly, then closed gently. Bewildered, she locked the door and returned to bed. Settling in, she glanced at the alarm clock... 2:30 AM, just as it had been when she first awoke.
Now her visitor came almost nightly, except on the night they had a party with friends staying over, or the time they were up late watching old movies. Her husband never heard the doorbell, never wakened, and she never told him about her visitor, knowing that he would never believe.
Finally the night came when she went into labor, the first pains of childbirth making her cry out in the night at exactly 2:30 AM. Soon they were on their way to the hospital and a daughter was born into the world. She named her Mystery, though her husband protested that it was a bit weird.
On their first night home from the hospital, she sat in the rocking chair in the early morning hours nursing her new daughter when she heard the front door open and close as it had so many times before. She didn't bother to check the clock on the wall, she knew what time it had to be. A warm breeze swirled by, the rocking chair next to her creaked, and then a bright glow radiated forth and enveloped her and her tiny new daughter. It was the most beautiful soft light she had ever seen; it felt like a blanket of love, though she couldn't explain that very well, even to herself.
The glow faded, and the rocker creaked one more time. Once again the door opened and closed softly. After that night she was never again wakened by the doorbell or her visitor, but she knew for certain that her child was destined to lead a very special life.