She watched as the dusty Hello Kitty lamp casts an eerie light on the wallpapered walls of her bedroom, creating silhouttes and making each nook and cranny come alive with suspicion. The heavy blanket was smothering her; the walls closing in around her.
Coming from a loud cacophonous household with a multitude of siblings who competed with each other to kick up a ruckus, hoping to catch the attention of her worn out parents, Sanne’s new abode was shockingly quiet. The only sounds that broke the silence were the creaking floorboards, the clanking of dishes and an occasional meow from her feline friend Yuki, the only reminder of her past life.
How long does it take for a place to become home? The dinginess was reminiscent of her previous home wasn’t it? So shouldn’t it bring her some comfort?
Sanne turned on her back and her unblinking reflection stared at her from the mirror mounted on the ceiling, as unmoving as the cold static air in the room. For a lack lustre apartment, the expansive ceiling mirror didn’t make much sense. But when you’re short on luck and have been unceremoniously chucked out of your house, anything is better than being out on the unwelcoming streets.
She tried to slow down the erratic beating of her heart and concentrate on the sound of Yuki’s rhythmic breathing from where she lay pressed against Sanne’s leg. In a life that had been tumultuous and showed no signs of steadying, Yuki had been a constant and assuring presence.
Yuki came into Sanne’s life as a small blob of fur, who often mistook her shoe for the litter box and the litter box as her bed. Her orange coat was reflective of her role in Sanne’s life; Yuki was literally like a ray of sunshine (mind the cliche) in what seemed like an endless pouring of rain.
If Sanne had thought that sleep would provide any relief she was sorely mistaken. One after another, nightmares played over in her head, projected onto her closed eyelids. In reality, Yuki wasn’t the only thing that accompanied her to her humble abode, the skeletons in her closet had crawled out and taken on a new and more daunting form.
She had barely slept for a few hours when she had the recurring nightmare: she was standing in the corridor outside her bedroom, rooted to the spot, unable to move. Time flowed around Sanne as a torrid river and all the while she stood frozen in that one moment waiting for the piercing pain that was surely to come. And when it came, she jolted, letting out a scream, reeling from the pain.
As annoyed as Sanne was with Yuki, she flopped back down in bed, running her fingers on the bit absently, wondering if it would leave a scar. I’d prefer your bite to whatever that was any day, thought Sanne, reaching down to stroke Yuki behind her ears.
She couldn’t risk falling back asleep again, the monsters that lurked in the corners or her mind were much more terrifying than anything she could ever fight in this world.
Sanne counted, as imaginary sheep leapt over an imaginary fence under an imaginary sky. As the 834th sheep made the jump, the sun started to come up, flooding the room with light. She couldn’t be more thankful, it had been a difficult feat reigning in her thoughts.
Yuki was circling the mat on the bedroom floor, eager to be let out after a restful nights sleep. When Sanne got up to open the door, Yuki shot out, making a beeline for the kitchen. It was amazing how fast Yuki moved when she was motivated by hunger, considering she was the fattest and laziest of siamese cats.
Sanne filled Yuki’s bowl with salmon flavoured cat food and started readying things for her own breakfast. The kitchen was perhaps Sanne’s favourite part of the house. There was a large skylight above, that flooded the kitchen with light and made the bright orange tiles lining the floor look even more jovial. Everything else was a stark white. It was always so loud inside Sanne’s head that she had learned to value the peace and calm outside. With a cereal bowl in her hand, Sanne headed towards the door, hoping todays newspaper would bring some good news to take her mind off last nights events.
Just as Sanne opened the main door there was a loud crash from the kitchen, she turned around to see what Yuki had done this time as she stepped out onto the porch where the newsman usually deposited her daily paper.
But instead of the solid granite porch under her feet, Sanne felt herself plunge feet first through what could only have been something resembling a cloud. Sanne let out a scream as she fell down through one tuft of cloud after another.
The last thing Sanne remembered seeing was the faint outline of Yuki’s head extending beyond the doorjamb, staring down at her, before dark tendrils crawled into Sanne’s vision and engulfed her completely.