I lie in my bed, awakened and agitated. I had been in a deep, peaceful sleep throughout the night, yet something had caused me to snap out of my relaxed state. And I knew exactly what that something was. It was my dad, snoring. The snores were always so loud, that even with both my door and his door shut, I could hear his snorts from across the hallway. It was always as if over time, the volume would gradually increase.
I shifted over to my side and glanced down at my phone.
“Great,” I muttered to myself. “It’s 2am. And I need to be ready for school in 4 hours. How am I supposed to get some decent rest if dad keeps snoring like this?”
I attempted to ignore the sounds and go back to sleep. I tried covering my head with my pillow, but as I began to doze off and my grip loosened, the pillow would fall off the bed. I blocked my ears with my headphones, but even with them on, I could feel the hoarseness of his snuffling in the back of my own throat. Finally, after a half hour of failed attempts to block out the noise, I threw the sheets aside and walked through the blackness of the hallway. Even in my frustrated and exhausted state, I didn't want to wake him. He was still my father, after all, and I loved him. So, rather than barging into his room and ranting about how I couldn't get any rest because of him, I gently knocked on his door and opened it a crack. “Dad?” I whispered, peering my head in the dark room.
At that moment, the snoring ceased. I let out a sigh of exhaustion and continued.
“I can’t get any sleep with you snoring like that. I have finals in a few hours, so can you please try keeping it down?”
I paused to see if he’d mutter a sound of acknowledgement. No such response. He just kept on sleeping, without a care in the world. I didn't mind, though. The snoring stopped, which meant I’d be able to finally get some shut-eye again. I returned to my room and quietly shut the door before falling back in my bed, determined to close my eyes and slip into my dreams.
A few minutes had passed…before the snoring resumed. This time, they were much louder, more aggressive in sound. It was almost as if they were right behind my door.
“Fuck it,” I told myself. “I’m going downstairs to get the sleeping pills.” I got back out of bed and swung the door open…and there stood his silhouette, standing motionless, snoring right in my face.
You have got to be kidding me, I thought to myself, my fingers rubbing my temples. He’s sleepwalking now, too?
The house was almost pitch black at night, so I had to be careful not to jab him and wake him up. I didn't want to find out what sleepwalkers do when awakened. Once I found him, I placed an arm around his shoulder and cautiously guided him back to his room. Once he was back in the bed, I closed his door and proceeded to head downstairs into the kitchen, where I found the Ambien pills in the pantry. I tossed two into my mouth, took a swig of tap water, and tossed my head back.
Sweet relief. Now, even with the constant, blaring snores, I’d be able to get some decent sleep. I headed back upstairs and into my room once more. I laid back on my bed, my eyes staring at the ceiling, getting heavier overtime. Before finally dozing off, I took one last look at my phone, to see how much time I had left to relax. It was then that I noticed the “new voicemail” icon on the top left corner of the screen.
Curious as to who would even try to call me so late, I hit the speed dial for my voicemail. I put the phone up to my ear and was greeted by the robotic voice.
“You have 1 new voice message. To play your messages, press 1. To change your personal greeting, press 2. To activate more options -”
I hit the 1 key before she could finish. According to the automated voice, the message was sent to me at around midnight. That only meant that whoever this was, tried to contact me while I was still asleep. The voicemail began.
“Hey, kiddo! So it looks like you’re gonna be on your own for dinner tonight. I’m going out for the night with Pat, so I’m probably just gonna crash at his place. I just wanted to call you and let you know why I’m not home, in case you -”
I dropped my phone before the message finished. My eyes were wide with shock, and my body froze.
“If dad’s not home,” I said to myself, my voice trembling, “then who is…?”
I was interrupted by the sound of snoring, coming from inside my room. Except…I know now it’s not snoring.
It’s growling right next to me.
Written by Midnite Marshall