It begins with me questioning a child about what that doll is.
What are you doing with those things? I ask
I draw back the bed covers and the child fights back with a guilty, protective resistance.
Let me look under the mattress. I peel the heavy thing back and see . . . an array of odd bits of teeth and hair surrounding a waxen figure. Voodoo.
The child swings its body over me, pinning me, now, savagely, beneath the sheets and quilts.
I struggle to free my hands caught-up under the weight of it all. Finally, I manage to get one hand out and forcefully pull back the child's eyelid and eyebrow, and as hard as I can, press its skull.
At that instant, I find myself flinging back real covers in my real bed. My cat, having been asleep on top, scoots -- or is thrown -- off the bed.
Awakened from sleep, from a nightmare, I stumble around the now-lit bedroom, as my cat nervously skulks around the bed, peering at something underneath it.
When I get on all fours, I peer, too.