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The Shroud of Turn In
by Michael C. Keith

I see a face in the quilt, as I’m about to take a nap. It reminds me of a 1930s actor, who played a tough guy in gangster movies. He had a bulbous nose and ruddy cheeks, too. The bed cover is an old family heirloom, so I think the face might belong to a relative it once covered. Maybe it’s a dead ancestor come to haunt my dreams. But I don’t think it’s that, though. Its expression is not menacing. In fact, it makes me smile, and after a while I like that it’s there next to me. Eventually, I talk to it before I doze off. It doesn’t respond at first, but then it does. What it says upsets me. Shut up! I’m trying to sleep! I’m only trying to be your friend, I answer.