The young girl is lying on her back. She has just woke up, but when she opens her eyes she quickly closes them as the bright glare of an overhead sodium lamp blazes in her face. She tries to move, but she can’t. Her body is securely strapped to a cold metal table with thick leather bindings, and the only thing she’s wearing is a thin hospital gown.
She has no idea how she got here, or even why she is here.
“Well, well, well,” a voice in the room says. ”It’s about time you woke up, Megan.” The voice is feminine, a voice she has heard before, but she can’t quite place who it is.
Megan tries to open her eyes, but with the glare of the light she can only manage to squint. She sees a figure slowly walking around the table, peering down at her.
“I’m so glad you’re awake, sweetheart,” the voice says. “I wouldn’t want to start while you were asleep.”
Once again she tries to place who the feminine voice belongs to, but her eyes are suddenly drawn to something in her tormentor’s hand.
It looks like a bag.
And suddenly Megan recognizes the voice. It’s Kathi.
“What are you doing, Kathi?” she asks.
“Oh, you know what I’m doing. Or at least you soon will.”
Megan watches as Kathi pulls something out of the bag, and the next instant she feels the prick, then the piercing, of a sharp needle into her left breast.
“Fuck!” Megan cries. But no sooner has the word left her mouth when another needle enters her right breast.
“Goddamnit, Kathi! Stop!”
Another one, even longer, is inserted deep into her forearm, and Megan feels it touch bone. Cries of agony echo through the room.
Kathi pulls another needle from the bag. This one is longer yet, and she slowly pushes it into her navel as Megan’s screams go unanswered.
~ ~ ~
Kathi woke up in a cold sweat, confused to the point of being frightened. Sitting up in her bed, she rubbed her eyes and tried to erase the vivid images of the dream from her mind.
But she knew it was useless. They were etched into her memory, like scratches on glass.
Why? Why do I keep having this nightmare? That isn’t me. I could never do something like that.
And she was right. She couldn’t. Her parents had brought her up with strong Christian values. Not only had she never missed a day of school in her life, she’d also never missed a day at Sunday Mass. She never wished harm on anybody, or anything. She felt terrible even when she killed a fly, but she hoped that God would at least forgive her for that sin.
So why had this dream been haunting her sleep for the last week?
The only reasonable explanation she could think of was the misery and harassment she suffered from Megan at her new school.
Kathi’s folks had moved to this town six months ago, and Megan, for some reason, had taken an immediate dislike toward her. She was constantly making fun of her clothes, her hair, even her voice. Kathi had never done anything to deserve that kind of treatment, and even after asking, almost pleading with her to stop, the taunting persisted.
Was that it? Kathi wondered. Was her subconscious trying to get revenge on Megan through her dreams?
The sun was just peeking over the horizon, and even though it was still early, Kathi got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. If that was the reason for the dream, she could only pray that it would stop, as well as Megan’s verbal abuse.
~ ~ ~
When Kathi got to school that morning there was no sign of Megan, and when the final bell rang she still hadn’t shown. It was somewhat of a relief for Kathi, but at the same time it seemed a little strange. She almost wondered if the dream had something to do with it.
Get a grip, she told herself. It’s just a dream.
By the time she finished dinner that night, the memory of the dream and Megan’s absence at school were still on her mind, but not as fresh as earlier. She watched some TV with her folks, then went upstairs to do her homework. And even though she worried about the dream reoccurring, when she laid her head on her pillow she had no trouble falling into a deep slumber.
~ ~ ~
The young girl is lying on her back atop a cold metal table. The only thing she has on is a thin hospital gown.
Kathi knows that she’s dreaming. But this time the dream is different. The bright glare of the sodium lamp has been replaced by the soft glow of small incandescent bulb.
And that’s not all that’s different.
“Well, hi there,” says a voice somewhere in the room. Like before, it’s a feminine voice, but this time it’s not Kathi’s.
And Kathi suddenly realizes that she’s the one who is strapped to the table.
Her attention is drawn to something in Megan’s hand, only this time it’s not a bag.
“What’s going on?” Kathi asks. "I know I’m dreaming, but this isn’t how it's supposed to happen.”
“You are so right,” Megan says. She’s holding a knitting needle in her hand, and it hovers over Kathi’s right eye. “You are dreaming, Kathi. Except this time you’re dreaming my dream.”
She stares down into Kathi's blue eyes for a moment.
“And I promise you, sweetheart, this one you won’t wake up from!”
~ ~ ~
The next day Megan, with a mischievous smile on her face, showed back up at school.
Kathi however, for the first time in her short life, did not.
2nd Place In The "The Grim Reaper Contest" Of October 2019