Irrational Charm

by Elizabeth

On a Wednesday morning Emily woke from bed in a quiet house. The curtains were not pulled to the bottoms, and so at the edges of the windows sunlight was coming in. In the quiet house Emily sighed and pulled a blanket above her head and made to enter into dreams. But being as she had slept the entire night through, she could sleep no more, willing or no, and gave herself over to the idle awakeness that aspires to slumber, for that was the best she could do. It was a dark and a small space, under the blanket, oh it is only in darkness and aloneness that these thoughts ever come, thought Emily; or closer to it, that I ever allow them to come. For Emily was some small master in self-discipline, and kept her mind an empty space, pure, when wandering out in public, at the library or riding in cars, say.  She was nearly deadened by a fear of invisible skulls, invisible heads. It was irrational, a little charm, but she performed the act of censorship as a secret testament to her self-denial, to her private crusade for the pureness of things.