The voice of one not there

I was alone when I was awoken from a deep and restful sleep by the sound of my name being called.

The voice was not familiar and it said only my name. The speaker, for that was what I assumed, said my name with a slight rise in intonation but not so much as to indicate a question beyond the implied question of “are you there?”

At first, I assumed that I had heard someone to whom I had given a key and I called out in response. “Hello. Yeah?” As if to say that I was awake and wanting to know what was wanted.

When no answer came, I struggled from my bed. Then, once standing, I walked bleary-eyed juggling glasses, phone, and dressing gown yet to be put on. I wanted to check the time before I made myself presentable and so I was at my door before I had put my arms in the dressing gown. I knew for certain that my flat was empty. After all, I had just walked through it in a state of undress.

Convinced now that someone must have called through my letterbox, I fastened closed my dressing gown. I reasoned that I had a friend visiting and had failed to recognise their voice because of they were still outside. I opened my door; I saw no one. There was only the corridor I share with my neighbours. This and nothing more.

I looked through each of my windows. The yards that sit outside each were empty. Poetically, it would have been nice should I have seen a raven or other thing to tie this experience together. That I could have used as a metaphor for the whole experience. With stubborn indifference, the world outside was unremarkable in every way.

My search complete, that was when I knew there had been no person calling me. Wheather spirit, psychosis, or dream, I could not say. I was awake now and might as well start the day a little early.

This is where a twist ending would go. Fiction is so much easier to explain than is reality.

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