I wake up with bits of nighttime shooting out of my face.
I turn to my wife but she is already out of bed, running for the closet with the children at her side.
I hear her tiny voice come through the door, “Oh won’t you please shave off that nighttime. You know how frightened the children are of the dark.”
I can hear them all sobbing on the other side, kicking at the bits of nighttime slipping underneath.
I hack at my face and neck with a straight razor.
But this only makes things darker.
My hand falls into the nighttime and comes out a stump.
Now I am a one-armed menace, flailing in the dark.
I bump into the wall.
I bash my head on the tile floor.
A light flickers somewhere far away.
But it is just my family signaling goodbye to me in Morse code.
Their closet has set sail for the equator.
They are starting a new life for themselves.
They are picking out postcards to send me.
Telling me about life on some desert island.
Their new haircuts.
The pile of conch shells they sleep next to and have started to call dad.
But I won’t get to read any of this.
They won’t even be delivered.
Because I am just a limbless constellation of black spots growing underneath a toilet seat, which no one will ever stoop low enough to wipe clean.
Bob Schofield is the creator of the webcomic Another Tower. He is into watching words and pictures make love to each other, preferably in a tender way, maybe by a fireplace. He would like to be a ghostly presence in your life, opening doors for you and shutting off the lights if for some reason you forget.