Chapter Description: Katlynn wakes up in the middle of the night.
Chapter 16: Curious
BONG! BONG! BONG!
Katlynn woke up in a fog. Literally. Her entire room was filled with a thick, unpierceable, soupy mist. For a moment she was positive she was about to die. House fire. Inferno. The screams of people burning alive and the crackling protests of cheap wood set ablaze.
This is how I die.
No heat, though. No acrid stench. No sizzling, flesh or otherwise. Just mist. Katlynn shook the cobwebs out of her head and rubbed her eyes, thinking that this might be some kind of trick of the dark.
When she opened them again, she caught the briefest glimpse of the smoky stuff retreating; actually retreating under her door. The heck? Peeling back her pink comforter, Katlynn slid out of her bed and walked to her door.
Her bedroom light was on before she opened the door into the living area. That hesitation cost her seeing where the mist had gone, (assuming there had been mist) but the added light helped her catch a small detail. She caught a glimpse of a shadow, just behind the old grandfather clock.
“Hello?” she whisper-called into the darkness. “Anybody there?” Breath held, she walked out and towards the couch, nightgown flowing gently behind her. Please don’t be a burglar. Please don’t be a stray cat. Actually a stray cat might be neat; Mom would have to let them keep it. How would a cat get in here anyways?
She exhaled when she finally reached the couch. “Tommy?” Her brother didn’t stir. Her hand shook his shoulder. “Tommy, get up.”
“Huh?” Tommy said, sounding sleepy. He let out a loud, almost cartoonish yawn. “Oh. Hey sis. Is it time for school?”
Her eyes still not fully adjusted to being awake, Katlynn had to squint to make out the time on the microwave. “It’s a little after midnight,” she said. “What are you doing on the couch?”
Tommy didn’t move. “Tonight’s my night for it,” he said. “Remember?”
If she hadn’t been so sleepy, Katlynn might have laughed. Instead she was just confused. “Night for what?”
“Sleeping on the couch.”
It was all she could do to just shake her head. “Okay,” Katlynn said. “I think you’ve been sleepwalking buddy.”
“Buddy?” That seemed to wake him up.
“Come on,” she said. “Go to bed.” Liking a zombie, her brother shambled off the couch and started dragging his feet with her behind him. The only problem was he was going to the wrong room. She grabbed him by the shoulders. “Wrong room,” she told him before steering him in the right direction.
“Wrong room?” Tommy echoed as she steered him towards his own bedroom.
Katlynn pushed him a little so he’d walk faster. “We haven’t shared beds since we were little, remember?” She walked ahead of him and drew back his Spider-Man bed sheets. “In ya go, little guy.”
Tommy stopped and looked up to her. “Little…?” He said, his eyes still squinting. “I’m…” He stopped and looked at her. Even in the darkness of his room, she could tell he was confused based on his posture. His gaze started at her feet and then traveled all the way up her body until he’d just made eye contact with her and kept going.
“Bigger than you...?” Another comment that would have gotten at least a giggle if not for how sleepy she was. He was, too. Otherwise Tommy would never have thought he was taller than her. She was a few minutes older and a few inches taller. That’s how it’d always been.
“Y’know what?” he said, climbing into bed. “Never mind. I’ll figure this out later.”
“Deal,” she said. “I’m gonna make fun of you for sleepwalking tomorrow, too.”
“Okay,” he said. “Whatever.” He was snoring before she left his room.
Great. Now he was sleepwalking. At least the bed was dry when he got back under the covers. Tomorrow morning? Fifty-fifty shot. Thankfully her little twin had gotten good enough to where he could do the laundry himself; even if Mom still helped with making the bed.