The Knocking

I sprint into her bedroom. She's pale, shivering, her damp hair spread fanlike over the left side of her pillow.
I perch on the edge of her bed and start comfort talking over her gritty whispers, insisting there's nothing out there, shhhh, nothing at all, it's a dream, just a dream, or maybe just the central heating kicking in, sometimes it makes that kind of noise, doesn't it, Char, Charley-girl, Queen of the Charred-Lots?
She argues in intense little whispers: stop it, Dad, stop calling me that stuff, it's stupid, YOU'RE stupid, and it wasn't a dream, it wasn't the central heating (her randomly-angled toys behind her back her up with accusing stares)...
"It wasn't any of those things," she says defiantly as I tuck her covers in and stroke her hair back into some sort of right.
She keeps trying to sit up.