Chapter 4: Bump in the Night

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I lay awake in the guest room's queen-sized bed, next to Hope. Though the boarded window on our left blocked out the moonlight, and darkness swallowed the room, I knew she still held the old white bunny Dixie had given her because the soft stuffed-animal pressed against my arm. Outside, crickets screeched loudly. It never bothered me before, but now the cricketing could mask other fainter sounds...noises that sought to go unnoticed.

After having Hope, I quickly became a light sleeper. Waking up and tending to her every time she cried, with no partner to help even a little, deep sleep became a thing of the past. What a blessing a good night's rest was and yet I'd never appreciated it until it was gone. Especially now in the present world condition, it seemed like it always would be a lost comfort.

I glanced toward the bedroom door, though invisible in the darkness. Gunner and Dixie had left their bedroom door open, and Gunner was supposedly awake, sitting outside of mine, gun cocked and ready to shoot. But what if he'd fallen asleep? He had a super long day, helping put up all that barbed wire and boarding people's windows. And he needed his rest, too. Eventually, sleep would overtake him.

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