Death chants in my head. A guttural drone runs through the walls and seeps up to the ceiling. My own heart, an ominous drumming and throbbing synchronised with the oppressive voices. The walls become bubbling, hot sludge…patches bursting violently at random to release terrifying Orcs out of the black womb. The drone crescendos, rising in pitch, joined by the threatening chorus of Saruman’s priests awakening such evil in their native tongue. My eyes turn in their sockets, and I simmer in malignant demand for blood. Surges of ashen power plunges my brain into a musical cavern of terrifying calm. My ears, cupped as they are, in their cosy noisy shelters, suspends me faithfully in this world. A familiar whine brutally disrupts my pleasurable viewing, and I am left with only the fading harmonies of the priests. My eyes blink in irritation to the light. The drone ends and it is Spotify greeting me with its latest music. I budge under the weight of a hand upon my shoulder.
“Go to sleep…”
“Huh?” Who else.
“It’s 1 o’clock…go…to…bed!”
I look at my great-aunt, dressed in only her knickers and a saucy singlet that said: I’m in Miami bitch. Her eyes are barely open, but she manages to find the energy still, to tell me off for not going to bed. Her skin, a ghostly glow as she shuffles wearily back to her room.
I check the time. Indulged for far too long once again. I flick that thing to my right, and my room becomes that cavern of darkness once more. And my great aunt’s voice become the defeated mournful whispers that trail in the wake of restless ravenous Orcs.
Only sleep will end the terror for these souls.