Drabble 4 – Photomania


Image Source: André Mouraux via Flickr.

It’s only just occurred to me that I no longer have to sleep with the lights on.

All through childhood, I needed a light somewhere. If you could see the light, nothing (ghosts, spirits, owls, moths, and demons included) could get you. You didn’t have to be in the light, you just had to see it. Those were the rules.

Now I turn off all the lights before I sleep. Sometimes a streetlight shines in through the bathroom window. Sometimes it’s too bright for me to sleep. I’m still afraid of the dark, though.


(noun: from Greek photos for light and  mania for madness)

an obsession or passion for light

Wax seeps into the spaces between the floorboards. It remains somewhere between solid and liquid in the heat, and she puts new wicks in mounds formed of months of drippings to light them anew.

A light burns out, and she replaces it with two. The low buzz of bulbs haunts the air always, but the flies sound different—the steady staccato, tink, tink, tink, of their bodies against glass.

She never quite sleeps, not with one eye open. She bathes herself in light and warmth, hovering in that place between sleep and waking. Anything to keep the darkness at bay.


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