Saturday, 27 June 2015

Things that Happen in the Night by Shirani Rajapakse

The window appeared when it felt like it, or so it seemed. At other times it remained hidden. Like it covered its face with a veil of plaster.  The first time she noticed it was a few days after moving in. She hadn’t been able to fall asleep; there were too many sheep in her room jostling for space, along the floor, all over her bed and threatening to fall from the ceiling. She’d shooed them away and come to the kitchen to get some tea. The light shining from the outside had attracted her. Opening the small back window she had stared out at the strangest sight. Bizarre shapes floated above the trees like pieces of clouds hurriedly snatched from the sky’s laundry. Other forms glided closer to earth while outlandish figures slithered or walked with great difficulty. She had stared for a while then returned to bed, not quite sure if what she had seen was real.

The next morning the back window had disappeared. There was not even a trace of where it might have been. She ran her fingers all over the wall, scraping gently with her fingers and beating on the walls. But the walls refused to reveal its secrets. She thought she had dreamt it. Or maybe seeing all those sheep had done something to her mind. She’d checked the garden, but there was nothing to show there had been any party or that anyone had been outside. 

A week passed then a month and she had forgotten about the back window. It was as if it didn’t exist. She’d stopped counting sheep too. Waking up with a dry throat in the middle of the night she went to get a glass of water and ran into the window. This time she decided to explore. Sticking her head out she called to the crazy figures but no one bothered to answer. Lifting one leg and then the other she hoisted herself onto the window ledge and sat pondering her next move. A rabbit like creature scurrying by stopped to look at her. Its eyes were kindly and beckoned. Then it turned around and disappeared into a group of foam like figures.

She let herself down into the garden. The plants reached up covering her feet in soft leaves like fancy shoes. She took a hesitant step and another into the garden. The forms stopped to take in her presence as she wondered about. Someone offered her a drink in a tall glass shaped like a lily or was it a lily that had turned to glass? She took a sip and moved towards the tree that stretched out its arms to embrace her. And then she saw it. She opened her mouth to scream but all that came out was a hysterical laugh that sounded like a dozen hyenas. 


  1. Please tell us what she saw or why she was laughing, love the tension, kept me reading right through, love it

  2. Great piece...leaves me wanting more.