Minutes after Midnight

Have you ever paused and noticed how it felt late at night when the world seems to sit still? Maybe the clock is ticking slowly on the wall while you hold your breath, pausing every few moments wondering whether that next tick will actually come. There’s a stillness in the air, a rare quietness that blankets the room, as if the world has disappeared and it’s just you. You instinctively look for some visual stimulation or music to distract you, but in that moment you’re hyper-aware of the all-encompassing silence.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

It’s an odd feeling to be vividly aware of yourself amidst that silence. You could get the sense that the silence could smother you. Maybe the silence grows into a deafening roar that’s louder than a speeding freight train. You may suddenly notice that it’s strange that you have limbs that hang awkwardly from your body. Isn’t it surprising that you have a body at all? Or maybe the silence slashes through these notions like a honed samurai blade with the thought: is this real?

Perhaps you close your eyes to consider this incepted thought because changing visuals may provide an answer to the question. Darkness. You panic. The silence and darkness is too much. You open your eyes as your heart skips a beat, wondering if the world is still there. To your relief, the room is still there, just as you had left it moments ago. You secretly scold yourself for considering such foolish things. Still, you’re extremely relieved and you know it. Maybe you take a deep breath and chuckle to yourself: of course this is real…

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Eric Peng’s story.