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‘Holy Head of the Unsleepers, no!’
I pull the sheets into my clenched fist as my eardrums pulsate from the squeaking sound. Today is the day I kill them.
Every morning I wake up to that thought. It’s like I made the extermination of Borebees my only life’s mission.
I hear a smash coming from downstairs and I know they’ve broken something again. It’s so loud I can almost feel the broken item’s pieces stabbing my eardrums.
After the smash they start screaming again. Their pitch is so inhumanly high I’m not even sure why anyone outside, well, deepest pits of hell can even register that frequency.
The squeaking makes itself comfortable in my ears like an uninvited guest, overstaying the welcome.
I realize it’s not the noise that unnerves me. It’s the contempt behind it. This is the Borebee laugh. I would take it more lightly if it were moaning, or an expression of pain. I would excuse it if they couldn’t help it- like an annoying cough in the middle of a class.
Half-awake, I stare at a cluttered bookshelf in what I wish was silence. I try to think of this morning’s strategy when a thick book catches my eye. Kzinta Spokorof’s Encyclopedia of Endangered Species.
That’s it! Today, I chase Borebees away with irony.
My bed creaks as I get up. It’s as if everything around me is after my eardrums. My room is small, and ceiling is very low. My friends nag about it all the time, but I myself am too short for my age and this is probably the only place I feel normal.
Few transparent balls hang from the ceiling on a thick, long rope, but they still don’t reach my head.
They are called dreambubbles. My mom says that in the old days they were used as dream catchers, but today they are dead and purposeless. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I try and listen to see if magick is alive inside, but nothing comes.
I never knew magick. I don’t even know what do live dreambubbles sound like, but I always imagined it as a heartbeat. Sometimes I think I feel it for a few seconds, but the feeling is gone as soon as I begin to process it.
Bubbles are currently pale blue, reflecting the paint on the walls. Not much can be seen of the walls though, since the room is almost completely wrapped in cluttered bookshelves. Sometimes I read books. But more often, I use them to scare away Borebees and bring about silence.
As I approach the bookshelf to pick up my weapon, strange sensation fills my ears. Something feels off and I freeze in place.
Out of nowhere, this thing happens. The most unnatural, unusual thing; that thing I don’t wake up to. That thing I haven’t woken up to in years. It can’t be…
My grateful ears say it’s fine, but I distrust them. Borebees don’t simply stop screaming. They go away when I face them. When I… when I chase them away.
That’s strange. Someone else must have woken up before me, and got out. Until now, I was sure people just considered Borebees my job, since I am the alert one in the neighborhood. A single whisper can shock me awake but the lot in my street-they can slumber through wars.
I wish to continue sleeping for a few more hours now that it’s finally quiet, but a gut feeling informs me that something’s wrong. So I follow the feeling downstairs.