450 words. Inspired by true events.
I had always thought myself sensitive enough to absorb vibes around me, with the ability to easily tell if something was off about a person, thing or place. So when I had arrived at a guest house with my company a couple of states away for a volunteer programme, everything was fine and dandy. It was newly renovated, fully-furnished and had an all-around warm and welcoming vibe.
But during bedtime, something changed.
I had trouble falling asleep. It was warm, yes, owing to the fact that this homestay place had just been opened, therefore air conditioners had not been installed yet.
I looked around the darkness around the room and kept my senses open for strange vibes. Nothing. Was my colleague and room mate having trouble falling asleep as well? No, she was fast asleep and snoring, at that.
New place, that’s why I had difficulty sleeping. Or so I thought.
Between finally and successfully falling asleep drenched in sweat and discomfort, I jerked awake all of a sudden.
Everything was dead silent. I couldn’t hear the fan and the insects outside. Even my colleague’s notorious snores, which had filled the room earlier, were not present.
As I got up to switch positions, I realised that I couldn’t move. Something, or rather, someone was holding me down so hard and squeezed so tight that I couldn’t even bring myself to lift my shoulders. Or my hands. Or my head.
My heart was thumping. My eyes were darting around. I looked to my room mate who was still sound asleep.
“Help me,” I tried to call out, but I couldn’t even manage that. It just came out as a groan, as if my mouth had been sewn shut.
I struggled against my invisible bonds but after realising that this wasn’t working, I started praying.
I had only begun the first sentence of the Our Father before I heard a girly, flirty – coquettish – giggle ring throughout the room before the pressure on my person.
I was able to move, and immediately checked whether it was my room mate who had snickered in her sleep earlier – and consecutively broke the spell I was under. It turned out that it wasn’t her, and that she was, in fact, snoring still.
Two thoughts went through my mind after the whole episode.
One, was that I had just experienced some form of sleep paralysis. Two, was that perhaps this … thing … wanted to greet me as I was the only one awake at 2.36 a.m. (I checked). That could explain the cheeky giggle and my subsequent release after my furious prayers – as if she was saying, “Hey, take it easy. I’m only saying hello.”