Despite having all of the lights on, there were shadows surrounding him, dancing on the edges of his vision. They moved slowly, sending tendrils toward with grasping hand trying to grab him before the tendrils thinned out, the hands breaking off and disappearing.

He lay in bed, staring straight ahead, afraid to turn his head at some, while taking his eyes off others. He didn’t move — not to eat, not to pee, not even to curl up, seek the warm embrace of himself. He just stared at the wall, examining every crack in the paint, noticing the way it bulged slightly in the middle, wondered about the stain of unknown origin in the corner. The outlet, two scared faces stacked one on the other, staring. Did they stare at him or at something even worse behind him.

His blankets had become hard and heavy, not allowing him to move. His arms had filled with lead, too heavy to lift. His eyes hurt from so much staring. His muscles were stiff from so much lying. His stomach was sick from so much emptiness. He cried. WIthout moving his head, without closing his eyes, he cried. He might not have had the energy anymore to move if he had wanted to. He was too tired to sleep.

He waited. Waited for the shadows to move fully into view. Waited for someone to knock on the door. Waited, for something to change.

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