The removal van arrives late, so by the time I have everything moved into my new room, the sun has long since set. It has been a long day of driving, about eight hours in the car travelling to our new home. I decide to sleep at an earlier hour than usual, as I will most likely have to wake up early tomorrow morning to help my parents with the unpacking. For tonight, my bed is an uncovered mattress on the floor, underneath a window that permits a few beams of soft moonlight into the room. Bright enough to make out shapes, not bright enough to distinguish anything. In the darkness, the boxes containing my possessions transform into shadowed beings. One by the door, one at the foot of the bed, one in the far corner. I feel a few pangs of fear, but nothing more than usual. I never have been good at adjusting to new environments. After tossing and turning for an hour or so, I slip into unconsciousness.

Later that night, I have an attack of sleep paralysis. I am lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, and I cannot move. I notice a shadowed figure standing over me, and am immediately gripped by a gut wrenching fear. The figure is indistinct, and I can pick out no features upon its body or face. It begins to murmur, an almost silent torrent of words that I cannot understand. My fear begins to lessen immediately, as I realise this is simply a dream. This is an example of what I meant by not adjusting well. I often suffer from sleep paralysis when I sleep in new locations. After what must be an hour, I come to the realisation that I can move again. The figure is gone, and I am freed from my “night terrors”. As I once again slip away into sleep, it occurs to me that I have never realised that I am in a moment of sleep paralysis until after I am awake. I dismiss the thought, as I am now exhausted and wish to catch at least a few hours shut-eye before the morning light.

I awake the next morning to find myself facing the wall. Although the room is still dim, a few shafts of golden sunlight filter through the blinds, illuminating the space. The first thing that I think of is the sleep paralysis last night. It was strange that I knew I was dreaming, but I guess I’m just getting used to it. As I roll over my eyes are drawn to a particular spot. The far corner is empty.