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How I Scared the Beejezus Out of Myself

Picture me laying in bed on my left side, but my left hand isn’t tucked up under the pillow like a mattress commercial model. Probably because when sleeping, I look more like Nick Nolte’s mug shot. But… hm. You don’t know that.

Start over.

Picture me laying in bed on my left side. I look like a cross between a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and an angel taking a catnap on the back of a cloud unicorn.

My left hand isn’t tucked under the pillow, though. It crosses my chest as I reach under my right armpit to scratch my right shoulder blade.

Yes, swim suit models have armpits. You never noticed? Oh, I get it. Stop it. Grow up, already.

The itch is toward the middle of my back, and remains just out of reach no matter how tightly I hug my chest with my left arm.

I’ll give you a second to do the mental yoga on that position: I’m on my left side, left arm across my chest, under my right arm, trying to scratch my right shoulder blade.

Got it?

I’ve been awakened by this itchy back. Luckily for me, I keep a back-scratcher in my bedside table, specifically for emergencies like this. It’s blue and plastic and looks like a little hand with curled fingertips; swag from some forgotten trade show.  Do I feel guilty I never called” Sometimes.

Sorry, Site Maestro, I took your swag and never used your business. There’s probably a support group for all the people whose pens I’ve stolen.


Still hugging my chest with my left arm, I reach out with my right hand to find the back scratcher.

I can see the handle of the back scratcher by the kitchen light glowing at the other end of the hallway outside my bedroom. I leave on the kitchen light as a house-wide nightlight because sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night. Padding into the light is less scary than creeping down the hall in the dark, because  85% of monsters are nocturnal. (SOURCE: Smithsonian Magazine)

My left hand, still under and past my right arm, relaxes from straining towards the itch in the middle of my back.

The light in the hallway goes black.







Something is blocking the light from the hallway! Who the hell is walking down the hallway in the middle of the night??

Panicked, I glance over my right shoulder to confront almost certain death.

The thing blocking the light isn’t IN the hallway.


I let out a yelp of fear that sounds like someone just stepped on a hamster.


IT’S —


It’s my own LEFT HAND.

Wrapped around my body like it was, my hand didn’t seem to be mine anymore. I wiggle my fingers and the thing blocking the hall light cheerily waves back at me.

So, in summation:

I woke up, put my hand over my face, and then screamed because there was a hand over my face.


Mike: (groggily) Did you just scream?

Me: (still panting) Huh? What? Noooo… Go back to sleep.


I’m going to assume this happens to you people all the time. Right?


Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

21 Responses

  1. iampisspot

    I spent part of Thursday night cowering behind my kitchen worktop, convinced that there was someone looking at me through the kitchen window. Each time I moved, I saw something flash in front of me, it was like the shadow of a man.

    It took me at least half an hour to realise that it was a strand of my hair that I kept catching in the corner of my eye when I moved.

    It happens to us all.
    iampisspot recently posted..A weekend in Bruges. In pictures.
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  2. Amy B

    No worries. When in that “between state” of sleep, a lot of things can be claimed as “temporary insanity”. Even if you weren’t truly asleep, we’ll still count it. Done and done.
    Amy B recently posted..2012 Strike Out ALS 5k



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