Story #6 The Deep Sleep
The Deep Sleep
Estelle had never heard his voice before, not back when she lived in her home in the city. He had been there in her bedroom window for as long as she could remember and never once had he ever said anything or even moved for that matter. She was never so glad to leave that house and move to the country.
Except now, he had had found her once again.
Dread consumed Estelle. Her heart pounded and her eyes failed to blink. Paralyzed by fear she lay there as still as a mouse. Her breathing was heavy and she knew that he could sense her fear. He stood in the window, watching her, killing her with his silence. Screaming wouldn’t help her, although it would wake everyone in the house, it was useless, as only she could see him.
A few moments had passed and she remembered the crow. Maybe she could will the man in the window away, “Leave! Just LEAVE!” She tried with all her brain power to speak to him, but her thoughts seemed to hit an invisible brick wall and they fell short of reaching him. She looked around the room, her sisters were sleeping, and she didn’t want to wake them. She found the nerve to stand up and walk toward the window, stopping short of it by at least two feet. Her knees trembled at the site of him.
“I said to LEAVE!” she demanded in a seriously quiet tone. “Don’t you understand you have NO place here? LEAVE!”
His presence stayed right in front of her. She thought better of raising her voice and at the same time she would not be defeated. She tried again to will this figure gone, and once again her efforts fell short. “I am NOT yours. Never will I be yours!” She tried again to persuade him to leave. “Go!! Be Gone. Away from my Window!” Frustrated by his unwavering stance, she almost yelled, “By God, Just Leave!”
And with that he vanished.
The dread was lifted. She crawled back into her bed and fell asleep for what seemed like the last few hours of the morning. She woke up and the sunlight was filtering the room. Her sisters were already up and she was late to start her chores. She sat up and realized she was soaking wet. Summers could get especially hot, but she had no idea it would start this early in the morning. She was surprised by how hot she had to have been to be sweating this badly.
She pulled the covers back across to the other side of the bed and went to put her feet on the floor. In the doorway stood an older man, but she instantly recognized this man to be real. Quickly, she pulled the covers back across her body.
“Hello there Estelle,” said the man in a friendly, patient voice. “Good to see you are awake.” He brought in a bag and set it down next to her bed. He gave her a smile and a wink and then left the room. He returned a few moments later and her mother walked in, with tears in her eyes.
Her mother sat down on the bed next to her and took her hand. This was significant because her mother didn’t show displays of affection very often. It was fine at holidays and birthdays, but it just didn’t happen every day. She gave her mother a puzzled look. The older man, apparently a doctor, sat down in a chair next to the bed, picked up his bag and started with his stethoscope. Estelle had no words. Why was this necessary? She looked back and forth from her Mom to this doctor. She wondered where her sisters were and her father.
Had she been sick? She could only assume so. For how long? It was all very puzzling.
The doctor finished, excused himself from the room without saying a word. After he left, her mother, still on the verge of tears, took Estelle’s face in her hands, “Child, how do you feel?” Estelle’s eyes must have grown to a frightening large size because her mother just pulled her into her chest and held her and cried.
She hugged her mother back. She had no idea why her mother was upset. She began to fear that perhaps something happened to the others. Then her mother pulled away and whispered, “We almost lost you, Estelle. They said that you weren’t going to make it. You got the high fevers and you were in such a deep sleep. We never thought you’d wake again.”
Her mother helped her get up and sit in the chair. Estelle was surprised at how weak she was on her feet. Her mother brought in a bucket with water and a wash rag. She helped her out of her clothes and Estelle washed herself from the top down. Then, he mother brought her in clean clothing and helped her put those on. Her mother scurried around and brought in new bedding for her to lie on and a tray with some hot tea. She helped Estelle back in bed and propped her up into a sitting position with pillows. Then she went into the vanity and brought out a brush and started working on Estelle’s hair, while Estelle sipped her tea.
Her mother didn’t say much during all of this, she just hummed a sweet tune. She loved that no matter what; her mother always hummed this familiar tune. Then her mother took the tray away, lowered her pillows and told her to get some rest.
Estelle was sad to see her mother go, but she felt especially tired from doing very little. She didn’t recall too much of what had happened prior to getting sick, and she thought long and hard about what her last memories were before she fell asleep. Vaguely, she remembered it was raining and she found a book in the barn. The rest seemed a bit fuzzy to her.
It felt rather awkward falling asleep on such a beautiful day, but at the same time she didn’t have much strength to move, let alone keep her eyes open. She gave in to the heaviness of her eye lids and fell into another deep sleep.
**Estelle Picture by Vintage Duffee 2011, All Rights Reserved**
***The other images were found by using google search terms. Each picture is linked back to the original author in the original format presented.***