Jessy Clarke began to sleepwalk when she was twelve. It was a great worry to her parents. They would hear the stairs creak in the middle of the night and find their little girl halfway down. Or unlocking the front door. Or standing in the middle of the street in her dressing gown.
Fortunately they lived on a quiet road.
They gently guided her back to bed without waking her, as all the advice suggests. They changed the locks on the door so she could not open them, even though it was a serious hazard if a fire should happen.
She would say the weirdest things as they led her home.
‘We have to leave before the aliens get here.’
‘We are under attack.’
‘They won’t rest until they have wiped us out.’
‘They are going to do such very bad things to us.’
It stopped abruptly shortly after she turned sixteen. It turned into one of those family things that are brought up and laughed each year at Christmas.
Nothing happened again until she turned forty. She was married by then. Two kids. A husband she usually didn’t hate.
It was the day before the aliens arrived.