Title: Achluophobia: Friday, Part 1 of 4
Rating: PG-13 - Strong R
Timeline: Mid-season 7
Notes: A HUGE thank you to @bohoartist for holding my hand through writing this, sending encouraging feedback when needed, and just being a badass beta in general. Media credit to @bohoartist as well. I don’t deserve you. So much love to @kateyes224 my baeta, for polishing my words and making them better.
Yellowed porch lights from neighboring houses punch orbs of brightness into the colorless night that hangs heavily behind the living room windows.
“Lindsey!” Her mother’s voice carries down the stairs to the couch that Lindsey sits on. Joey, her younger brother, glances at her over his tower of Legos that perches atop the coffee table. Ignoring his glare, she pulls her comic book closer to her face, her eyes straining to make sense of the jagged lines of the drawings at a too-close distance.
“Linds!” She hears her mother’s sing-song call again.
“Mom’s calling you, you should answer,” Joey says as he rummages through the plastic toy pieces in front of him, before settling on a long red plank and places it at the top of his creation. Lindsey chuckles and rolls her eyes as she snuggles herself deeper into the couch cushions. Her little brother is the personification of innocence with his bright blue eyes and freckled cheeks, both of which lend credence to his invariably angelic attitude.
“She’ll come down and get me if she needs me.” She can feel his eyes on her still as she nonchalantly flips the page of her book and smirks. “Lighten up, punk.”
In a flurry, their mother enters the living room with her arms full of dirty laundry and her curly mahogany hair wisping wildly in every direction. Recently laid off from her job as a bookkeeper, her days are spent doing laundry, meal-prepping for the week ahead, and whirling throughout their house like an F5 tornado with a purpose.
“Didn’t you hear me calling you?” she asks, her voice as weightless as the flowy blouse she’s donned.
Lindsey shakes her head ‘no’ as her little brother speaks. “She did.”
“Tattletale,” Lindsey mumbles. Joey shrugs.
Their mother sighs, and then chuckles as she flits around the furniture, dusting here and there with a stray sock. “Linds, you really need to remember to blow out your candles before falling asleep. You’re gonna burn the house down.”
“I like the light,” Lindsey responds as she flips a page of her book.
“Well, then we can get you a night-light. A night-light won’t catch the curtains on fire.”
“Mom! I’m fifteen, I can’t have a night-light. If my friends saw that, it would be like freaking social suicide.”
“Language, please,” their mother warns. “You know I don’t like it when you say freaking. That’s just another variation of a cuss word, and we don’t talk like that in this house.”
“I have a night-light,” Joey offers.
“You’re eight, no one cares if you have one,” Lindsey replies.
“Linds, being afraid of the dark, at any age, is nothing to be ashamed of,” her mother says as she crouches and begins to pull stray socks from underneath the couch, tucking them to the heap of clothing under her arm. “I know plenty of adults that sleep with the bathroom light on.”
“I’m not afraid of the dark!”