Ever since Crystal Morrs can remember she has had night terrors. Are they only nightmares?
Today started out as a normal day. Mommy, Daddy and I ate breakfast together. Then I wouldn’t see daddy for the rest of the day. He’d be off somewhere on the grounds trying to create his newest masterpiece. I had gotten used to him being distant. I used to ask to paint with him but I was always told “Not today sweetheart maybe tomorrow”. I was old enough not to question it anymore even though it bothered the crap out of me. I keep that to myself. I keep a lot of things inside lately. It just felt better that way. Mommy was always around though. Normally she never leaves me in a room alone. Today was different.
Mommy had gone to take a “bathroom break” which is code for get another glass of “mommy’s special juice”. She really wasn’t fooling anyone. I understood more things than they thought. Mommy’s “special juice” was always a little coke with a lot of Captain Morgan. She left me with our maid Lucinda. I was completely engrossed in my homework or at least that’s what I wanted her to think. I’m homeschooled by the way just another reason I’m never alone. My thoughts drifted towards the things I wasn’t allowed to do since I was so closely supervised, like I needed to be watched like a child. I was 12 years old now. I’m practically a grown up. Jeez parents, I will never understand them. I was reading a word problem when there was loud crashing noises coming from somewhere down the hall. Lucinda said, “Crystal honey, I’m going to go see what that was, I shouldn’t be too long. I’ll be back before your mother returns. So we won’t have to tell her about this will we?” She gave me a stern look that was supposed to intimidate me into agreeing. Any other day I would have said something sarcastic but I had other plans. My immediate response was, “Of course, Lucinda”. She scurried out of the study with odd quickness.
This was my chance to finally get some time to myself. I peeked out of the door that led to the hall. Not one single staff member in sight. I snuck up the large crescent shaped stairs. Avoiding all the creaks and moans I’d come so accustomed to hearing. Still with no one around I came to one of the off limit rooms. I stood outside it peering into what was the most beautiful room in the entire estate, at least to me anyway. It was gorgeous with gold ornate detailing on everything. I wanted to be surrounded by the things in there. Although it was just a bedroom, it made me feel oddly calm. I was always told not to go in because it was for guests only. I can honestly say in all my twelve years of living, I’ve never seen any staff members go in there let alone any guests. I wanted to sprawl out on the gold and pale pink canopy bed. Okay just for a minute then I’ll go back to my homework. Taking one step forward yet not making the full commitment of the step because I was suddenly yanked back. My dad yelled, “Crystal Ann! What do you think you are doing? How many times do we have to tell you that this room is for guests! Your grounded missy! NO DINNER! Go to your room right this instant!” I have never seen my dad so mad. His face was as red as an apple and he was yelling so loud he had the veins in his neck popping out.
Thank god for mothers and their perfect timing. Mom came strolling up to us. “Oh David, Leave the girl alone. She’s only curious.” Daddy still looked like he was about to burst like a balloon. He gave her a mean scowl. This meant what he said goes. Mommy grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s go my beautiful diamond Crystal, Ill tuck you in.” She never stood up to daddy but she always made me feel better. I wasn’t looking forward to going to bed early. That would mean more sleeping than I intended tonight.
IF I fell asleep… I’d find a way to keep busy. If only my plan had worked. I was dosing off after thirty minutes of finishing my homework. As I closed my eyes I thought of the garden outside and the colorful butterflies fluttering around in the wind. Maybe I wouldn’t have a nightmare tonight. Slowly I drifted into black nothingness.
I was startled from playing with my dolls by this loud banging noise. Thump. Thump. I got up to look out into the hall. I found quickly what was making the noise. A retched scream came out of my mouth. There were bodies hanging from the railings, at least five or more. Their legs were banging against the wall. I quickly looked away. I ran outside to find help. I was looking at myself being pulled away from well… It looked like me being pulled away from me. Weird. I was screaming, “NO! Daddy No!” The other me looked back with tears in her eyes. I looked down and saw a small body lying on the ground covered with so much blood it made my stomach do a cartwheel. I’ve never been so scared. The air around me shifted. It went from sunny to dark and cloudy. I needed shelter. I looked back to see a black shadow coming towards me. I was so frightened I froze. It got closer and formed the outline of a tall man. I went to move away but it was like trying to walk in quicksand. The more I moved the harder it got. I was crying loud, hysterical hiccupping sobs. Then suddenly I could move again. I took two steps and was falling off a cliff. I saw the ground coming closer and I knew I was going to die. If not this way than that dark shadow man would get me. I was doomed either way. I was in reaching out distance of the cold, hard concrete when I let out an ear shattering scream.
I woke up to mommy and daddy barreling into my room like they were racing each other to see who could get there first. Mommy won. She always did when I had a night terror. That’s what the doctor called it. “It’s alright Crystal baby. It was just a bad dream.” Mommy said. Daddy surprised me by saying. “Do you want to tell us about it this time? You know it helps when you tell someone what you’ve dreamt about. You won’t have it afterwards.” I always kept what I had nightmares about to myself. They were always so horrible I didn’t want to relive them by describing them to anyone. Even though he yelled at me earlier today, he was obviously trying so hard to comfort me now. So I decided it was time. I told them everything, every detail I could remember. This was awkwardly easy like I was actually there still. They agreed we needed a day of eating ice cream and watching funny movies. They left to go to the local corner store for my favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip because we didn’t have any. They had a car accident on the way back. Their tire blew and they swerved head on into a massive old oak tree. They died on impact. I couldn’t help but think it was very odd that the same day I tell them about my nightmare they die. It was my fault somehow.