I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling with my hands folded across my chest. My mind wandered around and around in very boring circles, but I still couldn’t fall asleep. Too much stress at work, I suppose. I tossed and turned, and stared at the luminous numbers on my bedside clock. It was almost 3 in the morning, and I hadn’t slept a wink. Sitting up, I looked down towards my feet and glared enviously at my cat who was curled up and sleeping soundly. I gave him a spiteful nudge to wake him up.
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He looked at me, yawned, and went back to sleep. I sighed loudly and got out of bed, exasperated. I went to the kitchen to look for something to eat. Finding the refrigerator woefully bare, I made a mental note to get some groceries soon. Taking out a package of hot dog wieners, and a jar of yellow mustard, I went over to the kitchen table to have a snack.
My kitchen is blessed with a large bay window facing out into the woods behind the house. I sat down at the table with my food, and watched the night outside. Though the dark trees outside were still, it seemed as though they were alive with movement. Rustling, swishing, sighing, twitching. The moon was bright and full, though I could barely see it through the trees. I watched the woods for a while, happily dipping hot dog wieners in mustard. Who needs sleep? I thought with a smile. I don’t know how long I sat watching the forest, but I was soon out of wieners and still not sleepy.
With dawn still hours away, mist started to drift in around the trees giving the entire scene a very mystical cast. Thin tendrils of fog swirled around the ground and up to the house along the windows. I started to think that maybe there was a fire nearby, because this didn’t seem to act like mist should act.
Maybe it was smoke. Maybe it was just strange fog. What do I know? As I watched, a large patch of mist drifted up to the window and looked at me. I blinked a few times, and looked back. There was a face in the mist, and it was watching me. The face floated away as I stared after it. I got up from my chair, and slowly put my face to the glass and watched the mist as closely as I could. Considering the hour and my lack of sleep, it was easy to attribute what I saw to sleep-deprived hallucinations. But I wasn’t so sure.
As I watched, the mist slowly danced around the trees and floated along the ground. I suddenly realized that there were faces everywhere. Eyes, noses, ears and mouths, all carved softly in gossamer. Every one of them was a face of happiness, laughter and song. Wanting to experience this as fully as possible, I slid the window open to listen as well as watch.
They were singing to the bright full moon. Impossibly fine notes, thin, delicate and beautiful. They sang to the moon, they sang to the trees, and they sang to each other. The night was filled with their music. As I sat and watched, time went unnoticed. Hours passed. The bright full moon set as they sang and danced. In the darkness I could still hear their song. As the sun came up, they faded away into silence and vanished. In the pinking dawnlight, I sat at my kitchen table and stared out into the woods. The only sounds now were chipmunks laughing, and the scolding crows.