What happens when the nightmare strays into reality? Read to find out!
It all started that fall night when we first moved in. My parents were always interested in haunted houses. Now we were living in one and it’s taken its toll. The third night the wind was howling and bending the trees making hands out of their shadows. Tossing and turning in my bed, trying to escape the nightmare that chased me along the bloody path. Waking up to a particular scream of wind, I jerked up and darted my eyes around the blackness of my room.
Wiping the cold sweat from my forehead I let out a breath I didn’t know I had been holding. Something caught the corner of my eye. Turning towards the little space in the shadows of the darkness. Figuring it was nothing I tried to fall back asleep. A seemingly impossible task because of the flashes of screaming faces and the blood running through my mind.
It had been two weeks since then. The flashes and dreams had gotten more vivid and mysterious since then. The same shadow in the blackness of the night waits in the corner of my room after the dream takes place. I can’t see it but I can feel the eyes of something analyzing me. The faces are clearer and now I can tell the faces are of a screaming, male face and a face so mangled it were unrecognizable. I don’t know when I got used to the images or when I didn’t seem to mind the shadow in my room. The shadow actually comforted me now; I always knew it was going to be there. It was my only friend considering that I was the social outcast of the school. My long, black hair covered my navy eyes. I channeled the other voices out and drew in my notebook. I aced my tests and I went home. It was as simple as that.
The sky was a cloudy gray as I looked out the bus window and I turned up my iPod. My thoughts kept drifting back to last night. All was the usually until I woke up. The shadow that was recently in the corner had moved closer to the foot of my bed. It seemed to be saying something; calling me. I had a strange longing to give in to whatever it was asking. I wanted to give in. Realizing I had sat up and was inching towards the shadow I shook out of my trance and ran to my bathroom. Staring in the mirror I inspected the sweat running down my face. I opened the cabinet door to get my secret flask and took a long drink. When I went back to my room the shadow was gone. The bus rounded the corner to my school and I snapped out of my thoughts and, while I avoiding being shoved by the other kids, made my way to school.
The first couple periods are always a drag. Teachers droning on and on about their subject while the students sleep or pass notes. I just drew a design of a dagger incased in vines, shadowed with darkness. I made it so no light could shine of the sword.
“Hey freak! Whatcha drawing?” Ignoring her I continued to finish the finer details. “You think you can ignore me? Hey, why don’t you share what your drawing?” With that my notebook was ripped out of my hands and my pencil was dropped to the floor. “Give my notebook back.” I growled. “Oh, scary!” she laughed. “Now.” As I reached for it she threw it to one of her friends. I had so much anger pent up inside. I had an urge to wipe that smirk right off her pretty face. I blinked once to control myself and took a deep breath. When I opened my eyes I jumped back and gasped.
Her face was bloodied and her friend had dropped to the floor, her neck slit open. The blood oozed and stained the carpeted floor. My hands seemed to be painted red. My face was frozen and my mouth was dropped trying to scream. “Hey, what’s wrong with her?” I blinked my eyes and it was all gone. Her face wasn’t covered in blood and her friend was staring at me. “Geez freak, here. Have your stupid notebook back.” Throwing it at me they walked away. The school bell rang.
I had to get out of there. I grabbed my backpack and jacket and ran out the front door of the school. When I was far away enough from the school that I could walk I thought back to what happened. The image of the blood on my hands and their corpses ran through my head. I opened the door to my house and went straight to the bar. I took a long swig and deeply breathed in the scent. My dreams had followed me to reality.
The next couple of days blurred together with what was reality and what was a gory nightmare. I had to be careful so my thoughts didn’t focus on hate, anger, or sadness. I started bringing my secret flask to school, sneaking sips between periods. Only one thing was constant and that was the shadow in my room. It would always be a little closer to my bed and a little more urgent to get me to give in to it.
The next day in class I was more energized than usual so I drew a lot during the class. I didn’t see the group coming in from behind. “Hey freak, still drawing in that stupid notebook of yours?” My hand gripped the edge a little tighter and I drew it a little closer to my sweatshirt. “What’s it to you?” I answered. Then, when my focus was on the group in back the guys in the front wretched my hands away from the cover, ripping the page in the process.
They used my notebook as a football. My precious drawings being made into crumpled wads of paper and airplanes. I stood there, not being able to do anything. One of the girls walked up to me. “Whatcha gonna do about that? Gonna growl at me?” The group laughed, mock growling and acting so arrogant. I looked down at my desk and there lying before me was a dagger. The metal didn’t shine in the light and it had a faint carving of vines on the hold. This is just another dream. Just another dream. And I’m going to end it they way I want to.
I fingered the dagger. The metal was cool and it was light in my hands. “What is she doing?” “Maybe she’s gone crazy.” The group murmured to each other. They didn’t see it. They didn’t know. I brushed my hand against the edge of it. Caressed the pointed blade. “She really is a freak.” And with that I spun around to face them and dug the tip right into the girl’s chest.
Her heart beat once, twice, and gave out. She slumped to the floor in a heap. They screamed so loud. I raced towards them. I hit them in the neck, across their backs, into their cold hearts. I watched every one of them fall until I was the only one standing. I was panting, like I had just finished a hard workout session. The knife was gone but the corpses remained, blood pooling onto the floor. And I was the only one, painted red in my effort.
I heard a soft sound, like clapping, coming from the corner of the room. My shadow, now in the form of a boy my age, stepped towards me. “Good job, my friend. I have been waiting a long time.” His voice sounded old-fashioned. I couldn’t grasp anything. What was happening? He took my hand and lead me away from the classroom while I muttered, “It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream.”