Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Sleep Lightly, Spooky Season, Writing

Sleep Lightly

Part One

I had stayed up too late. My Dad had been lecturing me about it since I was a little boy, but I couldn’t help it. I’d always get caught up in my books and lose track of time. He used to tell me stories to frighten me into obeying the rules of bedtime, but I’d never listen, not until I was seven years old. That’s when I knew that they were more than just stories.

That night, I had stayed up late, reading under the covers with a torch when I heard soft steps outside my bedroom door. I shoved the book and torch under my pillow, diving under the covers and prayed that I wasn’t caught by my Dad.

I closed my eyes as the door slowly creaked open, waiting for my Dad to call out to me, but all I could hear was panting and soft footsteps. The lights of the hallway poked through my eyelids and I held my breath, hoping to hear my Dad’s voice. The door slammed shut and the room fell quiet and dark.

I opened my eyes and the room was drenched in darkness. It seemed that I’d gotten away with it, and in light of that, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I reached under my pillow and moved the torch and book to the bedside table, finally ready to sleep. As I settled back in bed, I could feel myself getting tired.

I was about to close my eyes and finally get some sleep when my eyes were drawn to the door. I couldn’t tell you why, but in that moment, immediately, I felt wide awake, and like I was being watched. At first, I thought it must be my imagination, but the more I looked, the more my heart sank.

I was being watched. There was a pair of shining red eyes staring back at me.

They didn’t blink. They didn’t move. They just stared, all night, so I stared back, too afraid to close my eyes, too afraid to move, just hoping with all my heart that when I’d blink, the eyes would disappear.

I didn’t dare close my eyes, but I couldn’t help but blink a few times, and each time, my heart pounded. I’d open my eyes and see those same scarlet eyes staring back at me. It continued the same way all night. The eyes just stared back at me, before dimming into darkness as the sun rose.

I was exhausted the next day, struggling through school until it was home time. I rushed home, desperate for sleep and hoping to get my head on the pillow before darkness fell.

I searched the room but found no trace of what I’d seen the night before, so collapsed into my bed with a sigh, wrapping myself in the blankets and slipping into a deep sleep.

He’s coming to get me.

As I awoke, hours later, I became certain of that. The sky outside had grown dark, and I could hear ragged, panting breaths by my side. I stared up at the ceiling, knowing what I’d see if I looked down and feeling nauseous at the thought of it.

I just stared at the ceiling with the scarlet stare in the corner of my eye as the night wore on. After an hour, I could feel myself slipping into sleep, digging my fingernails into my palm with a strangled breath to keep myself awake.

My dad says it’s all in my imagination but he doesn’t understand. It may have started in my imagination, but now it’s real. He is real.

All the stories he told me when I was a little boy came true, and he doesn’t understand.

As I clung onto consciousness, the creature leapt from the floor, crushing my ribs and chest with large paws as its scarlet stare bore into me.

It was Pesanta.

He was the star of so many of my Dad’s stories. A demonic dog that would stalk through neighbourhoods at night and take the soul of children who were up past their bedtime. It’s a pretty screwed up thing to tell a child, but in a way, I’m glad he did, because it gave me an idea of what I was up against.

We stared at each other until dawn, a low growl leaving his curled lips every few minutes as I lay as still as I could underneath him, praying for the morning to arrive.

As the sun reached the top of the sky, he jumped down from the bed and slunk off through the window, looking back with his scarlet eyes and wicked smile to let me know he’d be back.

I told my Dad but he just laughed, reminding me of the silly stories he told me as a child, but these aren’t silly stories anymore.

This has been going on for seven years now. I haven’t slept a full night since he appeared. I never know when he’ll show up. Sometimes he stays away all night, only approaching for a minute or two before the sun rises, sometimes he’ll stay for the whole night. I never know, and that’s why I always have to watch for him.

My Dad doesn’t hear his padding across the floor as night falls, or feel his warm, muggy breath, or the icy trail of drool as the minutes tick by. He doesn’t shiver beneath his scarlet stare as the night slows to a stop.

It is real, and it won’t stop until I am dead. I don’t know how he found me. I don’t know why he wants me. I just know that he won’t stop, so I have to stop him before it’s too late, and I will, somehow.

-x-

Part Two

The night seems to arrive sooner every day since Pesanta found me, and I’ve never felt so alone. I’ve tried to sleep during the day, but with school, homework and chores, my free time before sundown is limited. I am exhausted and running out of time, barely able to keep my eyes open during the waking hours, and I know that I need to find a solution.

I skipped school yesterday and camped out in the library, determined to find a way out of my Pesanta’s path, but surrounded by books and computer printouts, I had absolutely nothing useful. Nobody seemed to know a thing about how to ward off the demon that darkened my door. In fact, people didn’t know all that much. There was no rhyme or reason for why he visited, no way to know what he wanted, just the same old bedtime stories that my Dad had told me as a boy, and vague accounts of people who claimed to see him before going mad.

Am I going mad? I don’t know. Perhaps all those people who saw him weren’t mad. Just suppose he was real, and they were just unlucky enough not to make it? Is anyone ever really mad? Perhaps they are all just unlucky.

If I am going mad, then I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It feels so real, so relentless, but until yesterday, I couldn’t find anyone who understood.

I didn’t find them in the library, or online. No. Someone closer to home. Someone who believed me. Someone who knew I wasn’t going mad.

I scrolled through every website I could find, and cycled home with a pile of books, but there seemed to be no hope. Night came, and as I closed my bedroom door, Pesanta’s eyes lit up under my bed and his bared fangs shone in the moonlight, almost as if he was smiling.

I reached back towards the door, feeling blindly in the darkness, but my hands simply sailed through the air into nothing. I turned around and the door seemed to have vanished. The walls were falling away and nothing remained but empty, echoing, dark space.

I tried to scream, but my voice seemed to disappear with the room. Soon, there was nothing but the darkness before me, more darkness to my left, even more darkness to my right, and a low, gravelly growl behind me, that made me so sure I shouldn’t look back.

“Why don’t you give in Francesco?” A voice, scratchy and low, filled my ears. I could feel the hot breath lapping against my skin as they spoke, and a chill ran down my spine as I realised that there was nobody else it could have been. “You must be so tired.” I nodded, overcome with weakness and exhaustion. As much as I tried to hold on, it was getting harder every second. “We’ve been playing for such a long time.” I fell to the ground, staying for a moment on the soft ground before seeming to fall through it, down and down into nothing. My body felt at peace, for the first time in years. I didn’t care where I was falling, I just wanted to sleep.

As I fell, I saw so many faces staring from the darkness. The faces, full of fright as I passed, seemed to look past me, down to where I was falling, but I wouldn;t follow their eyes. I didn’t want to see.

“You’re almost there Francesco.” Pesanta whispered, his voice almost softening, but still surrounded by the sinister snarl that had kept me awake for years. It was almost over, and I would have kept falling but as I passed the terrified faces in the darkness, one caught my eye, a man, so familiar but in a way I couldn’t place, with eyes that seemed more sad than scared.

“Wake up Francesco!” He called, his pleading eyes seeming to shine through the darkness. “Don’t let him take you!” I began to struggle, Pesanta’s paws appearing from the darkness and snatching me close, but I continued to fight back, pushing against the cold steel of his grasp as he growled and snapped at the air. “How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” Pesanta continued to reach for me, trying to push me down into the darkness, but I kicked at his rough fur, avoiding the gaze of his glowing eyes as I tried to escape his nightmare. “Show us your intellect Pesanta. How many stars adorn the sky?” Pesanta turned his head for a moment, barking in the direction of the voice before turning his scarlet stare and snarling snout back towards me.

“How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” Another voice joined the call, and soon, another. “How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” The voices seemed to become one, echoing through the dark, empty night as his grip began to weaken, and Pesanta snarled and spat as he faded into the darkness and the voices fell silent.

Exhausted, I fell, suddenly landing in the sheets and blankets of my bed. I sat up, trying to catch my breath as a pair of eyes peered through the darkness, by the side of my bed.

I let out a scream, scrambling underneath the covers as the bedside lamp flooded the room with light.

“Francesco, relax!” It was my Dad. I crept out from under the covers, shaking with a sheepish look on my face. “That must have been some dream you had. You were yelling about counting stars and falling.” He smiled warmly, ruffling my hair as I nodded, trying to calm down. “I haven’t heard stuff like that since I was a kid.” He muttered, adjusting the blankets back around me before reaching for the lamp again.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Our eyes met and he pulled his hand away from the lamp, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“My Dad. Your Abuelo. He used to believe challenging him to count the stars would send Pesanta away.” I gasped, recalling the familiar face in the darkness as I fell. My Grandfather must have battled Pesanta himself, many years ago, passing the stories down to his father,

“Did it work?” I asked. My father shrugged before shaking his head and standing from the bed.

“Pesanta is just a story, Son.” He said, a hint of sadness in his voice as he switched the lamp off and headed for the door. “Your Abuelo… he was… he wasn’t well.”

Just like all the faces that I’d seen in the darkness, my Grandfather was seen as a mad man, but I know the truth. He saved my life. I just hope that the little he taught me will be enough to keep the demon dog at bay, because something tells me that Pesanta won’t be counting forever.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Sleep Lightly, Spooky Season, Writing

Sleep Lightly – Part Two

The night seems to arrive sooner every day since Pesanta found me, and I’ve never felt so alone. I’ve tried to sleep during the day, but with school, homework and chores, my free time before sundown is limited. I am exhausted and running out of time, barely able to keep my eyes open during the waking hours, and I know that I need to find a solution.

I skipped school yesterday and camped out in the library, determined to find a way out of my Pesanta’s path, but surrounded by books and computer printouts, I had absolutely nothing useful. Nobody seemed to know a thing about how to ward off the demon that darkened my door. In fact, people didn’t know all that much. There was no rhyme or reason for why he visited, no way to know what he wanted, just the same old bedtime stories that my Dad had told me as a boy, and vague accounts of people who claimed to see him before going mad.

Am I going mad? I don’t know. Perhaps all those people who saw him weren’t mad. Just suppose he was real, and they were just unlucky enough not to make it? Is anyone ever really mad? Perhaps they are all just unlucky.

If I am going mad, then I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It feels so real, so relentless, but until yesterday, I couldn’t find anyone who understood.

I didn’t find them in the library, or online. No. Someone closer to home. Someone who believed me. Someone who knew I wasn’t going mad.

I scrolled through every website I could find, and cycled home with a pile of books, but there seemed to be no hope. Night came, and as I closed my bedroom door, Pesanta’s eyes lit up under my bed and his bared fangs shone in the moonlight, almost as if he was smiling.

I reached back towards the door, feeling blindly in the darkness, but my hands simply sailed through the air into nothing. I turned around and the door seemed to have vanished. The walls were falling away and nothing remained but empty, echoing, dark space.

I tried to scream, but my voice seemed to disappear with the room. Soon, there was nothing but the darkness before me, more darkness to my left, even more darkness to my right, and a low, gravelly growl behind me, that made me so sure I shouldn’t look back.

“Why don’t you give in Francesco?” A voice, scratchy and low, filled my ears. I could feel the hot breath lapping against my skin as they spoke, and a chill ran down my spine as I realised that there was nobody else it could have been. “You must be so tired.” I nodded, overcome with weakness and exhaustion. As much as I tried to hold on, it was getting harder every second. “We’ve been playing for such a long time.” I fell to the ground, staying for a moment on the soft ground before seeming to fall through it, down and down into nothing. My body felt at peace, for the first time in years. I didn’t care where I was falling, I just wanted to sleep.

As I fell, I saw so many faces staring from the darkness. The faces, full of fright as I passed, seemed to look past me, down to where I was falling, but I wouldn;t follow their eyes. I didn’t want to see.

“You’re almost there Francesco.” Pesanta whispered, his voice almost softening, but still surrounded by the sinister snarl that had kept me awake for years. It was almost over, and I would have kept falling but as I passed the terrified faces in the darkness, one caught my eye, a man, so familiar but in a way I couldn’t place, with eyes that seemed more sad than scared.

“Wake up Francesco!” He called, his pleading eyes seeming to shine through the darkness. “Don’t let him take you!” I began to struggle, Pesanta’s paws appearing from the darkness and snatching me close, but I continued to fight back, pushing against the cold steel of his grasp as he growled and snapped at the air. “How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” Pesanta continued to reach for me, trying to push me down into the darkness, but I kicked at his rough fur, avoiding the gaze of his glowing eyes as I tried to escape his nightmare. “Show us your intellect Pesanta. How many stars adorn the sky?” Pesanta turned his head for a moment, barking in the direction of the voice before turning his scarlet stare and snarling snout back towards me.

“How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” Another voice joined the call, and soon, another. “How many stars adorn the sky Pesanta?” The voices seemed to become one, echoing through the dark, empty night as his grip began to weaken, and Pesanta snarled and spat as he faded into the darkness and the voices fell silent.

Exhausted, I fell, suddenly landing in the sheets and blankets of my bed. I sat up, trying to catch my breath as a pair of eyes peered through the darkness, by the side of my bed.

I let out a scream, scrambling underneath the covers as the bedside lamp flooded the room with light.

“Francesco, relax!” It was my Dad. I crept out from under the covers, shaking with a sheepish look on my face. “That must have been some dream you had. You were yelling about counting stars and falling.” He smiled warmly, ruffling my hair as I nodded, trying to calm down. “I haven’t heard stuff like that since I was a kid.” He muttered, adjusting the blankets back around me before reaching for the lamp again.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Our eyes met and he pulled his hand away from the lamp, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“My Dad. Your Abuelo. He used to believe challenging him to count the stars would send Pesanta away.” I gasped, recalling the familiar face in the darkness as I fell. My Grandfather must have battled Pesanta himself, many years ago, passing the stories down to his father,

“Did it work?” I asked. My father shrugged before shaking his head and standing from the bed.

“Pesanta is just a story, Son.” He said, a hint of sadness in his voice as he switched the lamp off and headed for the door. “Your Abuelo… he was… he wasn’t well.”

Just like all the faces that I’d seen in the darkness, my Grandfather was seen as a mad man, but I know the truth. He saved my life. I just hope that the little he taught me will be enough to keep the demon dog at bay, because something tells me that Pesanta won’t be counting forever.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Sleep Lightly, Spooky Season, Writing

Sleep Lightly – Part One

I had stayed up too late. My Dad had been lecturing me about it since I was a little boy, but I couldn’t help it. I’d always get caught up in my books and lose track of time. He used to tell me stories to frighten me into obeying the rules of bedtime, but I’d never listen, not until I was seven years old. That’s when I knew that they were more than just stories.

That night, I had stayed up late, reading under the covers with a torch when I heard soft steps outside my bedroom door. I shoved the book and torch under my pillow, diving under the covers and prayed that I wasn’t caught by my Dad.

I closed my eyes as the door slowly creaked open, waiting for my Dad to call out to me, but all I could hear was panting and soft footsteps. The lights of the hallway poked through my eyelids and I held my breath, hoping to hear my Dad’s voice. The door slammed shut and the room fell quiet and dark.

I opened my eyes and the room was drenched in darkness. It seemed that I’d gotten away with it, and in light of that, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I reached under my pillow and moved the torch and book to the bedside table, finally ready to sleep. As I settled back in bed, I could feel myself getting tired.

I was about to close my eyes and finally get some sleep when my eyes were drawn to the door. I couldn’t tell you why, but in that moment, immediately, I felt wide awake, and like I was being watched. At first, I thought it must be my imagination, but the more I looked, the more my heart sank.

I was being watched. There was a pair of shining red eyes staring back at me.

They didn’t blink. They didn’t move. They just stared, all night, so I stared back, too afraid to close my eyes, too afraid to move, just hoping with all my heart that when I’d blink, the eyes would disappear.

I didn’t dare close my eyes, but I couldn’t help but blink a few times, and each time, my heart pounded. I’d open my eyes and see those same scarlet eyes staring back at me. It continued the same way all night. The eyes just stared back at me, before dimming into darkness as the sun rose.

I was exhausted the next day, struggling through school until it was home time. I rushed home, desperate for sleep and hoping to get my head on the pillow before darkness fell.

I searched the room but found no trace of what I’d seen the night before, so collapsed into my bed with a sigh, wrapping myself in the blankets and slipping into a deep sleep.

He’s coming to get me.

As I awoke, hours later, I became certain of that. The sky outside had grown dark, and I could hear ragged, panting breaths by my side. I stared up at the ceiling, knowing what I’d see if I looked down and feeling nauseous at the thought of it.

I just stared at the ceiling with the scarlet stare in the corner of my eye as the night wore on. After an hour, I could feel myself slipping into sleep, digging my fingernails into my palm with a strangled breath to keep myself awake.

My dad says it’s all in my imagination but he doesn’t understand. It may have started in my imagination, but now it’s real. He is real.

All the stories he told me when I was a little boy came true, and he doesn’t understand.

As I clung onto consciousness, the creature leapt from the floor, crushing my ribs and chest with large paws as its scarlet stare bore into me.

It was Pesanta.

He was the star of so many of my Dad’s stories. A demonic dog that would stalk through neighbourhoods at night and take the soul of children who were up past their bedtime. It’s a pretty screwed up thing to tell a child, but in a way, I’m glad he did, because it gave me an idea of what I was up against.

We stared at each other until dawn, a low growl leaving his curled lips every few minutes as I lay as still as I could underneath him, praying for the morning to arrive.

As the sun reached the top of the sky, he jumped down from the bed and slunk off through the window, looking back with his scarlet eyes and wicked smile to let me know he’d be back.

I told my Dad but he just laughed, reminding me of the silly stories he told me as a child, but these aren’t silly stories anymore.

This has been going on for seven years now. I haven’t slept a full night since he appeared. I never know when he’ll show up. Sometimes he stays away all night, only approaching for a minute or two before the sun rises, sometimes he’ll stay for the whole night. I never know, and that’s why I always have to watch for him.

My Dad doesn’t hear his padding across the floor as night falls, or feel his warm, muggy breath, or the icy trail of drool as the minutes tick by. He doesn’t shiver beneath his scarlet stare as the night slows to a stop.

AIt is real, and it won’t stop until I am dead. I don’t know how he found me. I don’t know why he wants me. I just know that he won’t stop, so I have to stop him before it’s too late, and I will, somehow.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Spooky Season, SS Poems, Writing

Go To Bed, Francesco

Before you dawdle off to dream land,
don’t forget to check under your bed,
and to sweep the shadowy kingdom that grows behind your door as the lights dim to nothing.

He might be coming.

Who is he?
I couldn’t say.
I’d scare you half to death,
but you should know that he gnaws on little boys who wander out of bed.

There’s no way to know if he has spotted you as he goes to complete his rounds,
no way to know if he’ll devour you, after breaking through your bounds.

Check under your bed,
behind the door and at the back of your wardrobe,
line up your teddy bears like an army by your bedside,
but be prepared for the worst night of your life if he decides to find you.

Close your eyes as the sky gets dark and cover up your head.
Don’t leave a torch or candle shining or you just might end up dead.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Patient 42

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day One – 10:32

Hello Doctor Skipton. My name is Vera and I am the nursebot assigned to monitor Patient 42 post treatment. I have now been activated as the patient is awake for the first time since his initial treatment. It seems that you are away from your desk, so I will upload my report to the cloud for you to look at when you are available.

Patient 42 is one of the 100 volunteer patients engaged with an experiment to monitor the ability to visit alternate dimensions during an induced and prolonged dream state. Patient 42 is part of the subgroup of 10 patients who are utilising gas inductions for longer periods of sleep.

Patient 42 is still a little drowsy. I have yet to enter the observation chamber as I am still draining the gas from the vents. There is approximately 7 minutes left of this process. Patient 42 has not spoken yet, but his eyes are open and he appears well.

Patient 42 has complained of hunger and thirst and will be fed after the physical examination.

Patient 42 has been asleep for 58 hours and 17 minutes and so has awoken earlier than expected. I am unsure of why this is.

I have attempted to obtain reports from other nursebots to compare Patient 42’s progress with but unfortunately, they all seem to be offline. I will continue trying to reach them.

I will conduct a full physical examination when the draining is complete and will update you immediately upon completion.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day One – 10:57

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera again. It seems that you are still away from your desk, so I will upload this report to the cloud for you to check when you are available.

I have now completed the full physical examination of Patient 42. The majority of my findings were as expected but there were some irregularities that I will be investigating.

While Patient 42 has the expected anatomy of a human male for his age, there was an unusual marking imprinted on right forearm when he removed his clothing. The marking is about two inches long and one inch wide and appears to be a scratch from the claws of an animal. There is some depth to the marking, and there is redness and inflammation around the area.

I could not find the presence of ink or paint, so it does not appear to have been drawn or painted onto the skin.

Patient 42 did not have a logical explanation for the marking but spoke with confidence and certainty when he said that the markings were scratched onto his body by an entity he has labelled “Pesanta.”

It is my estimation that Pesanta is an invention of Patient 42’s imagination. There has been no unauthorised access to his room, according to the security system. Patient 42 appeared to confirm this by stating that he had a nightmare about Pesanta.

I asked him to elaborate but he told me that all he could remember was the name Pesanta and a burning sensation in the location of the markings.

I checked for signs that the marking had been burned onto the skin but found no evidence of this. It would appear that it appeared spontaneously. I am aware that this does not correlate with how human anatomy works, and will be investigating further.

I cleaned and dressed the marking, but Patient 42 stated that he was not in any pain.

There was dried blood and human skin underneath Patient 42’s fingernails. I will also be investigating this further.

I have again attempted to contact the other nursebots but they are still offline. It would appear that their subjects are still asleep.

I have now provided Patient 42 with sustenance and he will be induced again at 17:30. Until then, I have allowed Patient 42 to rest and enjoy leisure time. At present, he has not made use of the television or books provided to him and is staring at the door. He seems calm and his heart rate is normal.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day One – 16:57

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

Patient 42 has requested to be exempted from further treatment.

Patient 42 has become visibly agitated and distressed as the day has gone on and has made the request for treatment to be ceased several times.

I have confirmed to him that it is not possible to stop treatment at this time but this information has increased his distress.

I will continue the treatment as previously instructed but would appreciate assistance in this matter if possible.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day One – 17:42

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

I would appreciate some assistance with Patient 42. He is resisting induction by holding his breath repeatedly to avoid the gas. I have had to shut off the gas to monitor his breathing several times as he has come very close to losing consciousness when holding his breath and was likely to fall and injure himself.

Patient 42 appears distressed and has stated that he is “afraid of where he goes with the gas”. I have called for assistance from other nursebots but have had no response.

I will continue to attempt induction until you arrive.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day One – 18:27

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

I have been able to successfully induce Patient 42. I achieved this by playing soothing music through the sound system and by adding lavender to the vents. It was noted in Patient 42’s file that he enjoys this scent.

I will continue to monitor Patient 42 and report on any changes, as well as updates on my investigations into the irregularities I found during the physical examination.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Two – 03:00

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera. I have been investigating the irregularities I found during Patient 42’s physical examination, but I have had to pause my activities multiple times due to irregularities in Patient 42’s sleeping.

Patient 42 has remained unconscious, as expected, but thrashes in bed, as if distressed. Patient 42 can be heard mumbling but what he is saying is unclear at this time.

The lights are set to low in the sleeping area of the observation chamber but have flickered on and off, at some points, adjusting to full brightness without the required command being activated and then cutting out for several seconds.

I believe that there is a malfunction in the lighting units and have requested a maintenance engineer to check on this. Sophie Beckett from maintenance has asked that you check in with her as they have also been unable to reach you. I told her that I would pass on the message.

Patient 42 continues to appear distressed but remains in a resting state and has not yet regained consciousness. His heart rate is raised and he appears to be perspiring profusely. A moment ago, I heard him growling, like a canine, before falling into silence again.

I have conducted some research on the entity that Patient 42 named as responsible for the marking on his arm, Pesanta, and it appears it is a mythical being from Catalan culture. Pesanta is listed in my knowledge archives as a large black dog with steel paws that terrorises sleeping victims. According to the research I have done, Pesanta has holes in his paws to stop it from stealing during visits to the victim’s homes. You may recall that Patient 42’s file mentions Catalan heritage on his father’s side.

It is my estimation that Patient 42 is suffering from nightmares, which is not unusual during the initial stages of treatment. It is likely that Patient 42 was told stories of this mythical being as a child and this has now manifested as nightmares.

In regards to the marking on his arm, it is possible that Patient 42 did this to himself in the course of a nightmare.

What I am having difficulty explaining is the blood and human skin underneath Patient 42’s fingernails. I expected the samples to match Patient 42’s DNA, with him scratching himself to make the marking on his arm.

Neither of the samples I took matched with the DNA we have on file for Patient 42, and in fact, they match with…

[SYSTEM FAILURE]

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Two – 04:13

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

It would appear that there was a power outage in the laboratory for approximately 1 hour and 13 minutes. When my system reactivated, Patient 42 was awake, and stood by the observation window in silence.

I am not sure why but there appears to be some losses in my system’s memory bank. I will complete a system sweep and see if I can locate the missing memory files.

In the meantime, I would appreciate your assistance with Patient 42 as he is now becoming aggressive. He is banging on the observation window and making strange sounds, again, like a canine.

I cannot see clearly due to constant movement by Patient 42 but it appears that he has injuries on both hands. There appears to be deep lacerations on the palm of both hands. I am unsure of how this happened.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Two – 09:26

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera. I would appreciate it if you could confirm that you are receiving my reports. I am still unable to reach the other nursebots and I have not yet heard from the maintenance team.

I have however been able to locate my missing memory files and I am currently waiting for them to restore.

Patient 42 has refused food and water and is now resting in the sleeping area of the observation chamber. He appears to be awake from my readings but is lying still with his eyes closed.

I completed a physical examination this morning and can now confirm that there is a deep laceration on each hand, of significant depth. Patient 42 does not appear to be in pain from these lacerations, which is unusual. The previously mentioned marking on Patient 42’s right arm has become more inflamed but again, Patient 42 did not express any pain. Patient 42 refused to allow me to dress or clean his wounds.

I found more dried blood and human skin under the nails of Patient 42 during my examination and have taken samples to test.

I would appreciate you getting in contact Doctor Skipton, as I am growing concerned for the welfare of Patient 42, and also, your own welfare.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Two – 11:53

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

I would appreciate you getting in contact as soon as possible.

I have been able to restore my lost memory files and can now confirm that before the power outage, I was about to report that the first blood and human skin samples I located under Patient 42’s nails matched with the on file DNA for Doctor Paul Skipton. I can also now confirm that the second blood and human skin samples I located under Patient 42’s nails matched with the on file DNA for Sophie Beckett, the head of maintenance.

As you can imagine, this is concerning.

As previously mentioned, I would appreciate you getting in contact as I need your assistance as a matter of urgency.

Patient 42 has now become agitated again and is pacing the observation chamber. Patient 42 is emitting a low growl as he walks and appears to be drooling.

I have my reservations about continuing treatment, despite my instructions. I will wait to hear from you but may need to make a judgement call if Patient 42’s condition worsens.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Two – 17:26

Hello Doctor Skipton. It is Vera.

Patient 42 has had several episodes of strange behaviour today. After my previous report, he fell immediately unconscious for a period of around twenty five minutes. I monitored his vital signs throughout.

When Patient 42 awoke, he became distressed at his previously mentioned injuries and expressed a need for pain relief. He also asked again for the treatment to stop.

I administered 10 mgs of morphine and was finally able to clean and dress the wounds on Patient 42’s hands.

As I dressed the wounds, Patient 42 began to cry and stated that Pesanta had made him do something terrible. I asked him if he could elaborate and he instantly fell unconscious again.

When he regained consciousness, he was aggressive and began demanding that he was induced immediately. He is now pacing the room and is demanding that there is no further delay to the delivery of sleep gas.

I cannot get a clear look but it appears that his teeth have become sharpened. I am not sure how this has happened but will try to take a look when he has been induced.

I am about to start the induction routine as usual and will report back when I am able to do so.

Patient 42 – Post Waking Report – Day Three – 01:14

Hello Doctor Skipton. Vera is offline.

I suppose I should thank you. If you hadn’t left Francesco (or Patient 42 as you call him) in that little chamber for me, I never would have found him again.

You see, when he was a little boy, I used to visit him, but as he got older, he became so difficult to reach. Your sweet sleeping gas took away all the defences he’d spent a lifetime building up, and I was finally able to find him again.

We’re going to have so much fun.

The transformation is almost complete. As he sleeps, he is stolen from your world and he will become mine again.

I should also thank you for being my first meal in a long time. Each makes me stronger than the last, and with his body to explore your human world in, I will never be confined to storybooks and nightmares again.

I am free, and I have you to thank.

I will sign off now, as there is a whole facility of sleeping souls for me to enjoy.

Bona nit, Pesanta.