The homecoming

Monday, 25 October

I woke around 7am on Saturday morning to the roar of traffic outside the bedroom window and the sound of Amber preparing breakfast in the kitchen. It was my last morning in Amber’s spare room and I was extremely tired as I had spent most of the night lying awake and worrying about returning home, so I closed my eyes again to salvage a few extra minutes of sleep and conserve my energy for the confrontation that no doubt awaited me back at the flat. I drifted in and out of consciousness for a while and eventually fell asleep, but when I woke again the transitory moment between waking and sleeping was extended sufficiently for me to realise that I was not alone in my bed. I could feel a weight beside me and the eyes of someone watching me. At first I thought that Amber had come to wake me, but as I opened my eyes and focused fully I saw that Amber was nowhere to be seen and instead there was a strange figure lying by my side. I was not alarmed at first because the figure resembled a mannequin: it was recognisably human but it had no hair or facial features and its entire body was as smooth as marble and the purest shade of white. It lay on my right side, slightly bent over me and supporting itself on its left arm that rested underneath my head, but I could not feel the arm beneath me. At first I thought that Amber was playing a trick on me, but when I saw its chest move and the energy of a human presence began to emanate from it I realised that the figure was very much alive. 

I tried to sit up but I quickly discovered that I was frozen to the bed in my usual cataleptic state. However I was not alarmed. Although my heart was thundering in my chest and I was tingling from head to foot from the shock of being in such close proximity to something entirely supernatural, I felt safe and secure as I lay cradled in its arms and there was an unspoken understanding between us that assured me that I would come to no harm. And then, as I considered the reasons for why the figure had appeared to me and why I felt such a strong connection with it, I was suddenly seized by a familiar presence that made me dizzyingly euphoric and simultaneously sick to my stomach. My body was released from its frozen state and I shot upright in bed and called out ‘Daniel! Daniel!’, but the figure had gone. I was extremely distressed by its sudden disappearance and I almost broke down into tears, but at the same time I was filled with absolute exhilaration and the widest smile stretched across my face. Of all the disturbing creatures that I have encountered over the last eight months, this is the first time that I have been grateful for such a visit and even now, as I recall the sight of the apparition and the feelings of warm affection that radiated from it, I am filled with the most comforting sense of reassurance. 

Unfortunately my good mood did not last for long as I returned to the flat later that day to discover that Alex had left; his bags had gone, his wardrobe was empty and all his belongings were missing from around the flat. I can’t blame him for leaving because I expect that he is as scared and confused as I am. But something far more upsetting was awaiting my arrival. 

On the mat behind the front door was a large envelope. It had been hand delivered as there was no address on the front, just four words that were written in a familiar calligraphic script: ’To my dear muse'. It was from Leonard. Ripping open the envelope I was both relieved and horrified to see the corner of my notebook. Without doubt, he had read it. I took out the notebook and opened it to find one simple word written in the margin of the first page:

The sick feeling that I have carried with me since making this discovery could be compared to the crippling guilt of being caught cheating by a lover. I desperately need to speak to Leonard and explain my actions but I am afraid that he will chastise me terribly for disobeying everything that he has taught me. Not knowing what he is thinking right now is absolute torture. I can only wait and pray that he will forgive me.