Editor's Note: Other entries from Story Slam will be published daily through until Oct. 23
It’s only the first night of summer camp and I’m already sick of trying to sleep in this crampedbunk bed. Who thought that this was a great idea? Sleeping in a cabin in pitch black with noelectronics allowed, knowing well enough, that people online think that I'm dead. I rolled trying toget comfortable and my bed squeaked. A complaint replied to my bed’s squeal. I decided to juststay still not to wake anyone else up.
It wasn’t too late until the darkness started to consume me. I was scared of the darkness andthe silence. What was everyone doing? Where was the noise? Gosh, where was my phone? Ohyeah, everyone was sleeping and my phone is probably tucked into bed at home. I tried to rest,to forget I wasn’t at home in my comfy, warm bed hiding under the blankets. But now thinkingthat made sleeping here impossible.
It seemed like hours had passed since “lights out," but really it had only been a few minutes. Ihad now made a pattern of the different pitches and speeds of the other peoples’ breathing inmy cabin. Someone had a stuffy nose and the sound of sniffing was added to my pattern. Threegirls snored and many others joined in with slow and low purrs. Sniff, snore, purr. Sniff, snore,purr. Sniff, snore, purr. Tap.
Tap, tap, tap. The pattern had suddenly been broken by a loud tapping. I was now sitting up,frantically looking around into a void. Tap, tap, tap. Was the noise above or below me? Tap, tap ,tap. Behind me? Tap, tap tap. Where is it?! SOMEONE MAKE THIS NOISE STOP! I hadn’t evennoticed but I was now curled up into a timid ball, while the darkness engulfed me, making me itsown delicious meal. The taps had turned into thuds. They seemed closer, louder. Thud, thud,thud. My own thoughts started to scare me. A monster? The apocalyptic? A ghost? I questionedmyself, what is that noise? A whisper soon interrupted my thoughts. I didn’t believe anythingabout ghosts but the whisper was too real and in the dark anything was possible. The whisperwas persistent. It formed itself into a word. A name. MY name. The ghost spat out my name,hissed it even then returned to the horrible banging. I couldn't take this anymore. I screamed.
The thuds stopped, the whispers disappeared but a million sleepy girls woke up. Seems like Igot the whole dorm awake. Murmurs and complaints filled the darkness.
“Go to sleep!” Snapped one.
“There's no ghost,” groaned another.
Then my own name was called a final time. It wasn’t a whisper, it was a familiar voice, rightabove me.
“I was just asking if you'd come to the washroom with me. You know its really scary on the waythere...”
Little giggles escaped. The voice came from the top bunk. The taps and whispers came frommy timid friend, simply scared to go to the washroom herself. I agreed to go on the journey, myface hot with shame as I slipped on my shoes.
The full article on Story Slam 2019 is seen here.
See Ryan Matin's 'Beaucoup de Stress' here
See Ross Green's 'A Loonie for Your Thoughts" here
See Rebecca Genovy's 'Honourable Mention' here
See Jenn Tatton’s ‘The Gathering Storm’ here