Disembodied heads glow in the dark. I learned this at a pretty young age, not that I spent time with many of them. Only a few. Growing up on a hill surrounded by family, both alive and dead, will do that to you.
Piercing the recesses of my sleep, his stare pulled me back from restful bliss. Awakening, all air was sucked from my lungs, no sound to draw it near. The thin sheath of cloth pulled under my nose became my shield as shivers ran down my spine. Atop my bureau, the glowing head just stared.
My young imagination pulled back fearful memories...
Laying prone in the shadow of the well house, we schemed our ways to slip passed the hunter to base. Inky blackness under the crescent moon, drew cousins to our yard for Midnight in the Graveyard, a variation of Hide and Seek. No one ever really hid in the family graveyard, not since a friend fell in an open grave at my birthday party. Crying under the freezing spectre of death until rescued, we steered clear now. Especially in the dark. Never know what you might find, or what might find you.
About to dash for base, our solemn revelry shattered as the ghostly figure floated between the stones, ambling he paused at the foot of a plot. Hearts seized, strangling our voices, our eyes froze in frame. Long moments, so brief, before he disappeared into the earth. Wildly we ran for the comforting tag of "it", games having reached their end, for the evening.
Was this thing atop my bookshelf what the apparition had been seeking, any minute to burst through my door to reclaim it's crown. Deep within my bowels, forcing it's way past tongue and throat, a scream erupted...Dad!
Rushing feet could not come quick enough as I buried myself in the covers expecting my doom. Instant white light, the flick of the switch, I peered out...to see my brother's Halloween mask propped neatly against the knick knacks upon the dresser.
What we fear in the dark loses it's power when brought into the light.
Sleep did not find me again that evening, not in the shadow of the tombstones.