Who's Who 15: Weathervane
I’m hearing things. Makes sense. I’m tired. I haven’t slept properly in days. I’m not even sure I remember exactly what sleeping properly means anymore.
I wonder what improper sleep looks like. Who am I kidding? It looks like this. Lying awake for hours, listening to the wind howling outside.
Christ, I need some sleep.
I swear the weather didn’t sound this bad earlier. I got home. I had something to eat, watched some TV. It was all fine. All quiet. I head up to bed, switch off the light and there it goes again. Whipping around the walls. Rattling the windows. It’s like it knows.
I should be able to hear that old wind chime I picked up at the antique fair. The night this storm hit, I was worried I’d lost it. I couldn’t hear it. I figured the wind had wrecked it. Next morning, it was fine. Every single morning, it’s been fine. No pots blown over either. The bins where I left them too. Every fence panel intact. How is that possible? Listen to it out there. That wind sounds like it should be tearing off roof tiles with its teeth.
I should never have checked the weather report. That’s where I went wrong. But I was running on empty. I needed to know it was going to stop. So I checked and that stupid website threw me for a loop. I’d had no idea this storm and me shared a name.
Not that it means anything, right? But it’s weird. We’re linked, the storm and me. The wind that’s blown over oceans and scaled mountains came to my door bearing my name.
There. Did you hear that? Tell me you heard that. I keep hearing it. Every night. Always late, or early depending on how you like to read your clocks. It happens at that vague point somewhere between midnight and a few hours before you have to get up. The sort of time when you don’t want to check the time. You just know, deep in your bones, that you should be asleep by now.
That first time, the day I bought the wind chime actually, I was dozing off and a gust slammed against my window. That’s when I heard it. Whispered in through the vent. My name.
That’s what I thought, but I’m tired. I’m exhausted. At work, people talk and I can’t follow what they’re saying. I got my hair cut and fell asleep in the chair. I couldn’t help it. It was so warm in there. The cover pulled over me. My head against the rest.
Maybe I heard it there as well? Maybe I’ve been hearing it at work too. Or driving home. I mean, it’s not impossible. This storm is everywhere, like it’s stalking me. Talking to me.
No. No, that’s the lack of sleep talking.
I’ve given in trying to get comfortable. Turning over. Pulling the covers close. Kicking them off. Flipping the pillow, beating it back into shape. Cursing the weather, lying there, stupidly believing I can force myself into drifting off.
Maybe that’s improper sleep?
There. Clear as day. I know I heard that. Just like I can hear whatever it is rattling off my window. Must be leaves or twigs. There’s plenty of trees around here. Although they always look fine in the morning.
Still, you have to admit, that does sounds like something being thrown at my window. Tapping at my window.
You know what? Screw this. I need to see just how bad it is out there. It sounds like the end of the world. I need to see the trees bent down to the ground. I need to see other people looking out of their windows, struggling to sleep. It can’t just be me. I’m getting out of bed, opening my curtains and…
Hey. There’s no wind out there. How’s that possible? I can hear it. You can hear it, right? Howling past us. Now look out there. It’s fine. It’s quiet. It looks peaceful.
That can’t be right. Hang on, let me get this window open.
Yeah, see. Granted, it’s cold, but it’s calm. So, why can I hear the wind howling around my bedroom? That doesn’t–
Something’s got my hair. Jesus. Something…something’s…It won’t let go. That grip. That cold, tight grip. It won’t let go.
My feet are being…I can’t…I can’t hold on. It won’t let me go. Take my hand, quick. Please. Please! Take my–