By Christopher S. Silva
I felt a twinge when I touched it. The bed reminded me of what happened.
Our house was large and warm. We’d lived there for many years and my wife and children loved it.
That night we went to bed and like many nights I read to the boys and watched as they slowly fell asleep. I tucked them in, pulling the blankets high and kissed each of them on the forehead. Quietly, I turned off their light and smiled at the dim glow of the night light shaped like a teddy bear.
I stepped into the hall and moved towards our bedroom feeling good and tired. My wife was reading in a small dim circle of light from our bedside lamp. I went to my side of the bed and asked how she was doing; she simply smiled a kind of sensuous grin and turned off the light.
We separated in a gasp, my pulse thrumming, our love sealed in a kiss. We both dozed off into warm darkness.
The scream woke me with a start. It was the children! I was out of bed running fast towards their room. I hit the door hard and was shocked, knocked back by the blinding light!
I got up with a roar and dove at the open doorway and chilling light, again deflected. My wind knocked out and ribs stinging, I was unable to rise. The door slammed with a loud crash. Tears, fear, and pain. I got on to one knee gaining some leverage and threw myself at the door with all my might. I hit it hard-whump, blunt stars, heat then blackness.
I woke hurting all over, trying to stand, wincing in agony. My hands were burned and blackened. In anguish, I forced myself to my feet kicking the door open looking in. Empty, nothing, two small beds with blankets ruffled, no sign of my two beautiful sons.
Screaming my wife’s name and running to our bedroom, my stomach sinking close to retching, our bed too was empty.
In two short steps I snatched up the phone, shakily hammering nine-one-one. Sobbing, address forgotten, screaming for them to come, for anyone to come and help me. You must help me find them!
The bed was big and looked comfortable and I felt a twinge when I touched it. The room had soft lighting and soft walls; they said it was soft just to be sure I wouldn’t do anything foolish, like hurt myself.