I lie in bed and know there’s something in the room with me.

I’m only 8; I share the bedroom with my brother, but he sleeps obliviously in his bed.

Something else is in here with us.

Springing out of bed, I run to my parents’ bedroom and wake them, but can’t explain what’s wrong. It’s not just some free-floating anxiety that’s manifesting as this disembodied threat. There is something I’m feeling, that I’m sensing, that has taken form in my bedroom, but it’s just beyond my understanding and imagination to conceptualise and articulate.

I sleep with my mother that night, while my dad sleeps in my bed.

During the day, I can dart into my bedroom to get clothes and whatever else I need, but I don’t stay long. Come the night, I can’t venture in there.

It’s waiting.

I’ve never had these experiences in that bedroom before, although sometimes during the day, I’ve thought I’ve heard things – thumps from behind the wall. Those noises could be anything, could be happening elsewhere in the house, or in the neighbourhood, and somehow being funneled into my bedroom through the walls, but it hasn’t felt like that.

One time, the thumps were so frequent, so loud and near – they might’ve been just on the other side of the wall – that I fled the bedroom and went back into the living room, although I didn’t tell anybody what I heard.

But I don’t hang onto that like I hang onto this.

I feel it’s still here.

So, for a second night, I can’t sleep in my bedroom.

My parents ask me what I think’s in there. I try to tell them. I want to tell them. Right in this moment, I think I can almost grasp the truth behind my terror, but now a new dread arises that I can’t identify it, can’t name it, can’t acknowledge it.

But that might be a rationalization, because another reality is that this is something ineffable that’s beyond description, something so grand and awful that language couldn’t capture it, and any attempt to do so would be a diminishment that others would only understand as juvenile.

Some other truth exists there, though, that in being a kid maybe my perception is far more open, that I can perceive things – even on the periphery – that adults can’t because their minds close to possibilities that everybody otherwise classifies as extraordinary.

And at this age, in this moment, I’ve made a connection to something that maybe, just maybe, wants to make a connection back.

That’s why I don’t want to – why I can’t – acknowledge it.

So I don’t sleep in my bedroom again. And again.

Then the threat dissipates. I don’t know why. The easiest answer would be that I move past it emotionally, or maybe it moves past me or, the simplest solution, the one most people would make, is that it’s an irrational fear that burns itself out.

I don’t know.

But I can sleep in my bed again.