On the second floor of the Vermont house we've all rented for the weekend, a brown and white photograph of a young boy named Arnold Faulkner hangs on the wall. He is inside a small dark wooden frame in the bedroom Scott and I choose. The boy holds a bow, an arrow and a look of cross eyed death. I show everyone the photograph during the hours of safe daylight, but when it is time to sleep in the boy's room, I await for his arrival like warm dinner rolls in fancy restaurants. Tired and terrified, I creep into the crease of Scott's neck and fall asleep. The next night, I curl like a connoli into the covers as Scott turns off the bedside lamp. After he is settled, I hear something from the left corner of the room, by the long empty narrow closet. It sounds like the chewing of wood. Scott doesn't hear it. Between my panicked panting, I giggle, nervously thinking how it is probably someone trying to scare me, but no one comes out. Everyone is in their own creaky creepy beds. Shaking, I dive into the sheets and completely submerge into the off-white cotton. "It's safer in here." I explain. Scott pulls me out and onto the island of pillows. He wants us to sit up and face our fear, but I'm too afraid so I hold my breath and slouch up only slightly. Then I hear the crunching of wood again. I grab Scott to save me. "How did you not hear that?" I beg. He calms me down with a strong confident voice and he puts me to sleep in the crease of his neck.
At 4 a.m, Scott grabs my face awake. "I'm sorry, but I can't take it anymore. I haven't fallen asleep. I've been drifting in and out of disorienting dreams for hours. I've been just waiting for the sun to rise, but it's taking too long." He explains. I tell him a boring story about a picnic and he falls asleep in the crease of my neck, leaving me now, all alone. Somehow, I fall back into sleep. We wake up early the next morning to make breakfast for everyone, just as we had promised the night before.