The Twilight Hour

by The Story Man


With a large smile on your face, you race upstairs towards your bedroom. Everything is prepared for a nice long sleep, blankets all ready to slip into a into a long, pleasant sleep.

Passing by a table, you reach for a bottle and take some sleeping pills. You got the prescription by telling your doctor you need more rest, but it's really for something more private.

You remember blissfully back to about a week ago when you started dreaming of her. It's the girl of your dreams, in more ways than one.

She says her name's Twilight, she’d been so nice to you back then, you felt almost uncomfortable. She has long, beautiful hair of deep purple with pink highlights. She has this odd purple skin, but whenever you touch it, it’s the softest and smoothest skin you’ve ever felt.

Getting into a comfortable position, you check your phone to make sure you turned your alarms off one more time before laying down and closing your eyes. A smile comes to your face as the familiar and welcome daze of sleepiness rushes over your entire body.

“Hello again!” Twilight’s voice rings out cheerfully. She runs to your side and helps you into a sitting position.

“Hello to you too, Twilight,” you reply as you shield your eyes from a bright light above you. “So, what’re you doing today?” you ask her while your eyes adjust.

“Oh, nothing much. Built some things, run some experiments, and...” Twilight drifts off and you notice her rubbing the back of her head. “...Been waiting for you,” she says with a sheepish blush and smile.

You return the smile and look around the room. You’re sitting on a small blanket in the center of a well-lit room. There’s some furniture pushed to the walls, with most of the room being filled with strange contraptions and machinery, with a small lab with some chemicals in one corner.

“So Twilight, what do you want to do today?” you ask, pushing yourself up.

“Well, we could play around with this shrink ray I made! Or maybe we could try baking again?” she says, pointing to various devices in the room.

“Baking? After the little green blob that came out last time?” you say with a small laugh.

Twilight lets out a small laugh and rubs her elbow while a blush grows on her face again. “Y-yeah, sorry about that. Really, we can do whatever you want though!” she says with another bright smile.

There’s something about her smile, with those bright teeth and cute eyes, that just warms your heart. You turn away from her, still embarrassed about blushing in front of her.

“Sure, lets give baking another shot. This time, let’s just do it the old fashioned way though, with real ingredients this time,” you say, moving towards one of the large machines.

“Well it’s not my fault the machine couldn’t mix a cake, it’s got a learning curve too it!” she defends.

Both of you laugh as you start into the baking session. It goes on like this for hours, or at least it feels like it does. This is the way it is everytime you go to sleep these days, going into this room with Twilight and having fun together. No matter how bad things got in real life, no matter the responsibilities you have, you can always dream your way back here.

Eventually, you both collapse onto the floor, giggling. You look over at Twilight, who looks back at you. Remembering that you need to wake up, you sit up and sigh before turning back to Twilight again.

“Sorry Twilight, I’m going to have to go. I have work today,” you say and begin looking for a piece of metal. For a few days now, the only way you’ve found to get out of here is too hit yourself in the head to wake up.

“Do you really have to go? Why not just skip work today so we can hang out some more?” she asks with an expectant smile.

“Sorry Twilight, but I can’t just sleep all the time,” you reply with a laugh.

Closing your eyes, you grip the bar with two hands and bring it down before swiftly hitting yourself in the head with it. Right as the blow lands, you feel the world around you fade and disappear.

You jolt upwards in your bed and instantly squint at the sunshine in your face. The realization of what this means hits you and you sigh before turning and stretching your worn limbs. As you do, a sudden pain makes you reach for your forehead.

You rub the spot for a second, checking that it's fine, until you remember that that’s where you hit yourself to wake up.

“Could the dream...” you mutter to yourself before shaking your head and standing up. Even if it is from the dream, it’s not like that’s a bad idea.

Getting dressed, you put on your regular work clothes with a small sigh. Adjusting your outfit, you check in the mirror to see if everything is in it’s place. Finding nothing out of order, you head off to work.

You don’t really like your job, but it’s bearable. At the very least you do have a few coworkers who you hang out with from time to time and have fun. Still, you don’t trust them to know about Twilight because you’re sure they’ll make fun of you for it.

Not to say they were mean, but it is a bit of a ridiculous idea, to be so attached to something in your own head. But even as you think this while you start up your car, you can’t help but feel some part of you violently disagree with this.

Sighing, you try to focus on your real life rather than the one in your dreams.

The day passes by rather quickly, but with a monotonous click going on in your head the whole time. People talk to you and you can smile back, but there’s something missing from this that makes you feel cold somehow.

Towards the end of the day, you press a hand to your forehead to see if you have a fever. Something’s wrong, everything seems more dull than usual, like the whole world is some elaborate lie.

You pause for a moment and wonder if this is a dream, and that Twilight’s room is the real, waking one. After a moment, you chuckle a little at the strange idea. You assure yourself that’s just wishful thinking and the thought flutters away to the back of your head.

Once you get home, you make yourself some food and eat. With all the time you spend sleeping these days, you’ve had to eat less and less just to avoid sudden weight gain. You take a shower and let the water drum against your head to clear it.

Something still doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’re just tired.

After drying off, you step out and start to move over to the couch to watch t.v. Something stops you before you reach there and you feel yourself make a little yawn. You don’t remember being tired in the shower, but the longer you stand here the more tired you become.

Shaking your head, you figure it’s fine getting a little extra sleep tonight. Besides, it’s not like you’re having nightmares, in fact, it’s more to the contrary. A small smile comes to your lips as you climb the stairs.

Taking some pills again, you lay down in bed and close your eyes as the hazy darkness covers your body again. You feel the world melt away until a new, brighter one takes it’s place.

This time you awake in a field on a hill. There’s bright green grass all around you with small splatters of color from flowers. The sky is clear aside from a few white streaks of cloud in the bright blue. You sit in a spot of shade under a large oak tree that has a an oddly rich coloring to it’s leaves and trunk.

“Hello again, I’ve been waiting for you,” Twilight says to your right.

Looking over at her, she’s wearing a long purple sundress, a shade lighter than her hair. She’s also wearing a white, straw hat with a long front brim to keep the sunlight out of her eyes. Twilight smiles at you warmly as she brushes some hair out of her face.

“I missed you too Twilight. What’re we doing out here?” you ask, looking down the hill and seeing only rolling plains with no sign of her house or any buildings at all.

“I just wanted to take you somewhere nice. We’re usually stuffed inside my messy room, so I thought it’d be nice to go outside for a change,” she says before turning her head up to the canopy of the tree.

“Well thanks. It’s beautiful out here,” you say, looking from her to the wide open space. Soft winds make wave against the sea of green grass below the both of you. You take a deep breath and notice the clean smell the place has.

“So listen, I remember what you said last time, about coming here,” Twilight says before hesitating. You turn to look at her, but she’s pulling her knees to her chest and looking down. “But... you’re still okay with coming here, right? Even if you don’t like it anymore?” she asks with a strained voice.

“What are you talking about? I love it here, why would you think otherwise?” you ask, genuinely confused by her fear.

“You said that you didn’t want to spend more time with me. There’s someone else in the other world, isn’t there?” she asks, jealousy evident in her voice. You watch her for a moment, but she doesn’t lift her head.

“That ridiculous Twilight, you know that I like it here. But this place... it’s just in my head. It’s a lovely dream, but it’s just a dream,” you say, feeling a bit cruel for having to say this.

“So is that it? I’m not real? A tumor in your mind?” she asks in an accusatory tone, lifting her head finally to show her teary eyes. The second you see her hurt expression, your pain fills your chest.

“That’s not it at all! Please, I didn’t mean it like that,” you quickly reply, the pain making you hasty. Twilight says nothing, but her expression lightens and you feel yourself relax. Your, now quickened, breath makes it clear that you had been holding your breath without knowing it. “I like it here... I like you,” you say, regaining your breath.

“You mean it?” she questions, wiping a tear from her face and smiling.

“Of course I do. I would never lie to you Twilight,” you say, returning her smile.

She breathes a sigh of relief and then wraps her arms around you. She hugs you tightly for a few seconds longer before she pulls back to whisper in your ear.

“I’m sorry, I just got scared you’d leave me again. I don’t like it when you leave because I’m all alone then,” she quietly confesses to you.

You wrap your arms around her as well and start to move one up and down to comfort her.

“Well don’t worry, I’m here now and can stay for a while,” you assure her.

She tenses for a moment before pulling away from you. She locks you into a stare, trapping you with her hypnotic, purple eyes. Time seems to slow down and you feel a slight chill as she silently holds you.

“But you’ll leave again, won’t you? How can I know you love me if you always have to leave?” she asks in a scared voice.

“Twilight, I can’t spend all of my time here. This is--” you start to tell her it’s all a dream again before you stop yourself. “Look, I have things I need to do outside of here. There are people who care about me and wouldn’t like it if I just left them,” you explain.

“So you care more about them then you do me?” she says as a frown grows on her face.

“Twilight, that’s not really fair,” you respond.

“No,” Twilight says as she stands up angrily, a sudden breeze making her dress billow in the wind. “What’s unfair is being left alone for countless hours with nothing to do, locked away like a toy while you spend time out there with others,” she replies indignantly.

You hesitate for a moment, frightened at the way Twilight is acting. Never in any of the dreams so far has she looked so angry as she does right now.

“Listen Twilight, I know it’s not ideal, but it’s the way things are. Look, can’t we just relax for a while and talk about this some other time,” you ask, leaning towards her.

She relaxes her posture slightly and nods before sitting down next to you and pushing herself against your side.

“I’m sorry, I just can’t stand being without you so often,” she admits before hugging her arms to her chest.

You stand up and move over to her, taking her into another hug. As you do, the wind seems to die down and a beam of light passes through the leaves and lands on the both of you, giving you a slight warmth.

“Now, what do you want to do now?” Twilight asks, taking a step back before clasping her hands together in front of her.

“Well, why don’t we go for a walk? It is a nice day out,” you suggest, gesturing towards the field below you.

“But it’s always nice weather when you’re here,” Twilight says, starting down the hill with you following her.

Both of you walk through the grass for a while, enjoying the light weather and sharing in some playful dialogue about each other’s outfits. Whenever you’re in the dream, you always seem to be wearing formal wear. Twilight likes to poke fun by suggesting you might ruin your good clothes, both of you knowing that they never will as it’s a dream.

Eventually the two of you notice the clouds start to thicken and you return to the tree as a light drizzle starts down. Thankfully, the canopy of the tree is thick enough to protect you both from the rain. Twilight sits down first and you join her in watching as rain showers the grass, making it seem like one slick sheet of green.

“I thought you said it’s always nice weather when I’m here?” you ask Twilight jokingly.

“A little rain doesn’t hurt. Besides, don’t you like the sound it makes? It’s so calming yet chaotic at the same time,” she says, holding out one hand to catch a few drops of rain in her cupped hand.

“That’s true,” you agree as you watch her bring the hand to her mouth and take a drink.

Both of you go quiet and the rain readily fills the silence until it grows stronger and seems to consume all sound at all. Twilight’s voice breaks through, showing it to just be a strange illusion.

“So, now what happens?” she asks quietly.

“Well, we have to wait for the rain to pass. The clouds just moved in, so it might be a while before they go,” you say, peeking up at the clouds as they grow thicker above you.

“No, I mean what are we going to do eventually?” she asks, once again staring at her legs. As you go to speak a lightning bolt cracks down in the field and the wind gains a burst of strength, buffeting you slightly.

“I... don’t know. What would you want me to do? Just stay here?” you ask, glancing cautiously at the storm.

“We can stay together here, or anywhere you want to go. I can take you anywhere, and it’ll be just the two of us forever and ever!” she says, a large smile growing on her face.

“Listen Twilight, I’d love to do that, but if I stay here for too long I can die. I need to eat, drink, and actually move about. There’s nothing I can do, I’m sorry, I really am,” you say, trying to let her down gently.

“You say that, but it’s not true. What if this isn’t a dream? Are you really so consumed with whatever those other people can offer that you can’t bear to be without them? Am I not enough for you anymore?” she asks as another lightning bolt strikes the ground.

You snap your attention to the bolt in the field. The scene had turned from a pleasant and slick sheet of green to a monstrous mess. The wind howls as it rushes across the fields, forcing thick drops of rain to fall at odd and contorted paths.

“That’s not it at all. Please Twilight, calm down, alright?” you say, holding a hand out towards her. Her hands are balled into fists so tight that her fingers have turned a pale white and shake with her contained fury.

“Why should I? You say you love me, but then you’re always leaving where I can’t see you anymore! I don’t even know what you do out there... or who you talk too...” she drifts off, loosening her grip and lifting her head.

Her eyes are narrowed and pierce you like daggers. You take a gulp and retract your hand as she stands up. She silently approaches you with slow steps that somehow seem louder than the rain around you. Before you know it, you’ve backed into the tree and she’s looming over you, a branch in her hand.

“Tell me the truth, honey,” she says, hugging the branch close to her chest. “Is there someone out there that you don’t want me to know about? Another woman?” she asks, a cold intensity in her voice.

You look from her focused eyes to the stick and can’t help but feel trapped. You remind yourself it’s all a dream, but you also remember that you can’t bring yourself to actually hit Twilight. She’s too close to actually run from.

“No, I swear,” you slowly answer, careful not to upset her further.

“I want to trust you, I really do,” she says, tears in her eyes.

“Twilight, please, put the stick down. Just breathe, okay? It’s alright,” you say, trying to placate her while you reach for the stick. She yanks it away and raises it up into a striking position.

“No. I need you to prove you love me, because I honestly don’t know anymore,” Twilight chokes out through some tears before taking a deep breath a raising the stick again. “If you really do love me, you’ll be back before night comes,” Twilight says in a cold tone.

“But I have work to--” you start to protest.

“Love is more important, you’ve left me with no choice honey. I want to think you love me, but I can’t live with the doubt,” she says.

You try to stop her again, but she swiftly brings the branch down on your head. Same as last night, the blow sends a wave of darkness over you and you jolt awake. You sit upright and start to rub your head, the pain still burning on the top of your head. Slowly, it leaves again, but you stare at the ground as you silently ask the room why it still hurt.

Dressing yourself slower than usual, you forget to make breakfast or to take a shower. As you get into your car, something seems disturbingly off about the world. You wonder if Twilight’s right all the way to work. You try to tell yourself the logical thing, that it’s just a dream and that you need help, but something else tells you not too.

You find yourself at work, without really knowing how you got there. Everyone looks at you strangely and you feel completely at a loss to the world around you. Maybe Twilight is right, and you don’t belong here.

Sitting down at your desk, you stare at the screen for a moment while your dulled brain tries to remember what you’re here for. There’s someone talking behind you, but you ignore them, trying to focus on something else.

You feel a hand on your shoulder and jump, thinking it might be Twilight. You fall out of your chair and turn around on the floor to see it’s your boss. He retracts his hand and a worried expression comes over his face.

He tries to tell you something, but you can’t make out what he’s saying, all you can think about is Twilight’s face as she hit you. Taking his outstretched hand, you stand up and let him guide you out of the building. All you can hear him say is to get some rest.

Getting back into your car, you swerve around the road several times. Each time you wonder if Twilight is worried over your safety. You begin to wonder how much she knows about your life. In fact, you can’t seem to stop yourself from wondering anymore.

Walking into your house, you hear a soft rumble come from your stomach, reminding you of your earlier forgetfulness. Going into the kitchen, you start to make yourself some food. As you do, your mind is wracked with memories of Twilight.

At first, you think the thoughts are a sign of love, but they seem off. The memories are almost to clear, to exact and planned to be random trips of nostalgia. Either way, you can’t seem to stop yourself from having them.

You stop halfway through cooking and put down the ingredients to whatever your distracted mind thought it is cooking. You sigh and grab some leftovers from your fridge and eat them instead. Once you’re finished, you can’t be bothered to put the plates away.

The thoughts about Twilight were actually painful now and you find yourself unconsciously climbing the stairs to your bedroom. Each mindless step causes another flinch as you try to fight whatever is possessing your limbs.

Eventually, you stop in front of your bed with the bottle of sleeping pills in your other hand. Part of you wants to fight this, to go back downstairs and call someone, anyone, and ask for help. But another part, a much louder and more convincing part, tells you to give in.

Your dreary eyes stare blankly at the bed until you lift the bottle up and stare at it for a few moments. Your mind is torn between taking them and throwing them away. Your heart pounds in your ears, making the room seem filled with a methodic thumping.

Finding yourself able to drown out the voices with the beating, you focus on it as hard as you can. Each pulse takes you further and further from the chaos of your waking thoughts. Suddenly, sneaking into the drum beat comes a sly voice.

It tells you that you're sleepy, and you can’t help but agree. It tells you that you’ll have trouble sleeping on your own, and again you agree completely. It tells you finally that you should take more pills than usually to counter this, and you hesitate.

You want to say it’s dangerous, to resist the temptation, but something compels you. Taking the normal amount of pills in your hand, you swallow. Immediately, you get dizzy and start to fade. The voice barks into your head again.

It commands you to take more, before you fall asleep. Your willpower rapidly fading, you sloppily put more pills into your mouth while the voice praises your actions. You feel a slight chill come over your body at the knowledge of your actions, but can’t register completely what you’ve done.

Darkness fills your world and for a brief moment, nothing else comes about for some time. Eventually, light comes back, and with it, the familiar colors of Twilight’s room. You sit up and rub your head, feeling the dizziness rush out of you.

As you do, you meet Twilight’s grinning face and can’t help but smile back. For a brief moment, you forget all about her strange behavior yesterday as you stare into her beautiful purple eyes. Those eyes captivate you until she holds her hand out to help you up.

Standing up, you regain control of your focus and a smile comes to your face.

“I’m so glad you chose me over them, even if I did have to make you choose. I hope you’ll forgive me,” Twilight says with a small blush.

“Of course I will. Strange, I feel like my mind was so messed up before coming here...” you say with a small laugh before you drift off, trying to recall what it is that’s distressing you so much.

Your thoughts are interrupted by Twilight placing her hand on your cheek and turning your face towards her. “Don’t worry about that now. We can have fun just like we always do now, forever,” she says with a disarming smile.

“I... I think I’d like that, but something’s wrong,” you say, gripping your head. “W-what.... what’s happening?” you ask fearfully.

“Don’t worry, alright, just don’t get mad, everything’s better now! There’s no more confusion, no more fear or pain, just you and me!” Twilight says in a worried tone as she kneels down beside your collapsed body.

The memory of the day is forced back into you like a bullet from a gun. You flinch and cringe as every memory burns a hole in it’s entry. Eventually, you reach the final moment when you took the pain pills. Your eyes shoot open and you look towards Twilight.

Twilight smiles down at you while brushing hair out of her face.

Scrambling away from her, you run to a machine and rip off a lever. Closing your eyes, you hold the bar in front of you and hit your head quickly. The pain rushes over your body and you drop the lever, but no darkness follows it. You grab the pole again and strike, drawing blood this time in a quick flow.

Tears start to form in your eyes as you shakingly raise the pole again only to feel it ripped from your grasp. You look upward as the stream of blood from your wound is stemmed by a white washcloth. Twilight smiles down at you in that same, fixated smile.

“Like I said darling... forever, and ever...” she says in a chilling voice. “You’ll forget about that rotten world soon enough, I’ll make sure of that...”

You fall to the ground and hug yourself tightly as Twilight chuckles softly over your weeping body. The blood forms a small pool around your head, but you don’t even notice. Time slows down to a crawl as the room spins around both you and Twilight.