I’ve Written You a Letter
By Winter Balefire

They say if you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream. I can only hope as I lie awake, you’re sleeping soundly, because I spend my entire day dreaming of you. So maybe tonight, just for a few moments, I can visit you under the moon and tell you I still love you. There is something about 3 AM, something happens. It’s like a key turns and unlocks this place inside that we forget about. When it’s dark and quiet we can hide, no one sees us, no one hears us, and we roam through that door. We find pictures of people we miss, letters of things never said, and we feel that ache in its purest form. We stay for a while, trying to sort through the clutter, until it’s too painful and we recede back into the protective darkness.

I’d like to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like a burning ember? At any moment you could either have your flame revived again or be extinguished completely. That in between is a tense balance, you need something more than to exist in limbo, don’t you agree? 

Sadness is a funny thing, sneaking in like a child on a playground late at night, building your thoughts into oddities as it swings from the delicate strings of your emotions. Regret gently rolls down your face as sadness continues to play, sliding down your soul, creating that empty feeling in your chest. I wish it would quit finding its way here. Yet, here it is and here I am, battling this ‘entity’ of sorts. I’ve lost myself to a type of ‘demon’ This is really the only way I can describe it to you. As I write this I know it can hear my every thought, it knows what I’m going to write before I do. This ‘entity’ has been coming around for quite some time, it seems to be growing stronger. I know this may be difficult for you to understand, but I feel like I may completely lose myself soon, does that make sense? I’m not sure of my own thoughts anymore. What am I doing? I hope you read this. These words may be the last bit of me I have left to give. I have tried so many things to rid myself of this overbearing presence. 

Everything is different now. I’m going to try my best to explain to you what's been happening, or at least what I can remember. For example, do you remember that song, the one you said was mine? I can’t even listen to it anymore; it just doesn’t sound the same. A once happy melody is now sorrowful. I swear this thing has taken over everything I once cared for, everything that once made me happy. I went to my favorite spot the other day, the one you and I used to visit. I was certain the sound of the waves and the warm sun would soothe me, but there it was, I knew it, everything grew silent. I felt cold, like I do at this very moment. This was a different type of cold. I didn’t shiver or get goosebumps, it was like I was cold on the inside. Please, try to have an open mind as I tell you these things. Nothing even tastes the same anymore. That bottle of wine you gave me is now like pure poison running down my throat. I used to enjoy sipping a glass as we discussed the day, now it's just too bitter. I remember willfully taking in the aroma of your cigar smoke. I would watch as it trailed from your lips as if a piece of your spirit were escaping. I’d watch it twirl and twist in the air, it was almost beautiful, like a phantom dancer. Now, it turns my stomach. Oh, and the sound of a piano, especially ‘Moonlight Sonata’, makes me want to tear my ears out. I remember listening to you play and the world would stop, time meant nothing, the old and new worlds collided as your hands moved along the keys. I know this sounds bizarre, please just stay with me till the end of this. Remember how I loved candles? I preferred them over any other light source. Now, they just don’t burn the same. The flame quickly shrinks away as if it too were hiding from this horrid thing. I simply don’t light them anymore. Darkness always finds me regardless. Can you understand yet?

This ‘entity’ or ‘demon’, whatever it is, first came to me in the Fall. Horrible isn’t it? We loved that time of year. You were born in October, weren’t you? I remember the amazing smell of firewood burning in contrast with the cool breeze, it was comforting. Pumpkins and cinnamon seemed to invade every storefront and that was just fine with us. You always dressed as a pirate on Halloween, you said that was the only time you could be your true self. Wow, I think this is the first time I’ve smiled tonight. You did seem quite comfortable; I always knew your soul was from another time. You do have an old soul; you know that? I can tell, it’s all in the eyes. I could never hide anything from those eyes, you knew things, even before I knew them. Maybe that explains why it was so difficult for me to sleep some nights, after we’d talk. I would stay awake and analyze what we said. You and I once had a long talk about reincarnation. We both felt strongly this was not our first life, but I could tell you didn’t remember me as I remembered you, the pirate, and the rebel. The trouble with being an old soul is you feel everything deeply because you’ve felt it before. You know how important time is, so you hate wasting it, you know you can’t get those moments back. You grow tired while others are so busy playing games, guessing and wondering. However, the most heart-wrenching part is when your soul recognizes someone you once deeply loved and still do, yet they no longer remember you. Too many centuries have passed. That’s the trouble with being an old soul, not everyone stays awake throughout their lives. Our conversations were like tiny puzzle pieces that I would later put together, even though the final picture was always different from what I originally anticipated. I hate when that happens.

When I did sleep, it was a different kind of sleep. I was aware but not awake. This is when I first noticed, something. I felt such an overwhelming sadness, like there was a death only I was aware of. Whenever I would dream, it was always a nightmare. Sometimes you were in them, I couldn’t tell you why, but I’d see your face. You were always silent, almost hovering in the distance. Since this last Fall, things have only grown worse. I used to feel my best in the evenings. When the days grew short, my inspiration was endless. I would write poetry and recite it to the moon. Now, there is no more poetry and the moon doesn’t seem to glow the same anymore. I remember feeling safe in the evenings, now, I'm just filled with fear. I don't even know what I'm afraid of, to be completely honest. 

This ‘demon’ has done horrible things to me. Each night it arrives. I cannot avoid its visits; please know I’ve tried. This ‘demon’ brings me nightmares and visions that I can no longer pass off as illusion. I think tonight is one of the most frightening. I lie here, trying my best to relax, I was thinking of you, dreaming in a half-awake state of mind. Suddenly I could hear it making its way to me. A low thud, then another, each louder than the last. The rhythm matched that of my own heartbeat, now pounding. That thud, echoing against the walls, echoing in my head. The shadows in the corner of the room grew darker, blocking out even the light from the moon herself.  Suddenly, those shadows began to slowly move. I was paralyzed in my dreaming, half-awake state of mind. These dark shapes turned into a human form and stood by the side of my bed. I felt cold, my chest felt as if it were being crushed, my head was pounding, this form was all I could see. Trying to make out any features was nearly impossible, just a set of piercing eyes staring at me. This thing was silent, just hovering there. In a very strange way I just wanted this to be over. Whatever this thing was going to do, I was ready for it, anything to feel something different from what I was feeling now. Was it planning on taking my soul? There isn’t much left. Was it planning on completely possessing me? I don’t know who I am anymore anyway. Finally, with a gasp, I was able to move, I was able to breathe, but this form remained. I knew there was a familiarity to this being, I knew it was you. It's all in the eyes.

In reality, whatever is left of it, this was all my fault. I summoned this ‘entity’ in a way. I told you everything, my truth, I’m sure you knew before I did. I held my feelings from you for many years, the energy just circling and building. This energy amplified everything, music, wine, food, it was all wonderful, especially the Fall. Then, finally I showed you my heart, and you couldn’t accept it. I loved you, in indescribable ways, I loved you, but you didn’t love me. You said you couldn’t love me. Just when it seems I’ve finally forgotten about you, it’ll happen. A song will play; a scent will be carried in the air, and somehow, I know you’re around. I can’t rid myself of you, I can’t get away from this. I try only to discover I’m chasing behind it, this waking nightmare. I need to stop thinking of you because it’s poisoning me. I can feel my heart getting sick. Yet if this toxin is all I have left of you, I’m still hesitant to let go. So, what was left? You took everything I felt for you, you took my heart, my being, and you made it ugly and unrecognizable. I now mourn this death only I'm aware of. All that remains is this ‘entity’ formed by my now broken being. I invested so much into you, it took on a life of its own. Now I’m being haunted by it and I really don’t know when I’m dreaming and when I’m not anymore.

Which brings me to the reason why I’m writing you this letter. They say if you can’t sleep at night it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream, I know you haven’t been sleeping well lately. As I write this I can see the ‘entity’ is waiting. The form has changed into something so hideous, emaciated, grey, and rotting. I knew tonight would be different, this is its last visit. I’ll try to keep writing as long as I can. The ‘being’ is creeping closer, everything feels so, empty, the room, the bed, myself. This will sound completely insane but its wrapping its putrid hands around my neck, my ability to breathe is now compromised. This is important for you to know, they’re going to ask you about me. The thin fingers are running down my chest and have stopped right over my heart. I’m trying to finish this but its staring at me, it wants me to know this will soon be over. There’s that crushing pain again. My vision is getting blurry and my chest hurts. I feel as if it’s crushing me from the inside, the blood I’m tasting is my confirmation.

They’re going to tell you I died in my sleep, I wanted you to know the truth.