Categories > Original > Horror0 Reviews
What started as a character development story turned into my entry into a story contest. I didn't win, so it really doesn't matter if I post it here.
I looked over at Britt, still shaken. She moved. Good, I thought, she’s still alive. A thought occurred to me. I examined my own body. Still alive.
I sighed as I fell back onto my pillow. A dream. No, a nightmare.
I’d been having nightmares every time I’d gone to sleep since I was eleven. Chronic nightmares, I jokingly called them, even though there was nothing funny about them. Each one was darker than the one before it, with the exception of the real nightmare that started it all. That one was the worst. So, why had it all started at eleven? Why not at five, when my parents died?
Maybe because at eleven, the horrible truth dawned on me: Everyone I loved would die. Some sooner than others, unfortunately. I had witnessed a brutally twisted murder and suicide first hand at the sweet and innocent age of five, and my mind would not see it, feel it…I was too afraid to remember. Suddenly at eleven, my mind decided to browse all methods of death in my dreams. In my mind, we were the lab rats: My friends, me, and everyone I loved, subject to whatever horrific end my mind chose that night.
This is how it’s been for years now…never ending…
My head sank softly into my pillow and I closed my eyes tightly, bracing myself for the blood to come.
A little girl was playing in a pink room with green stripes. Dolls in her dollhouse, hers to control. She was dressing one of them when she heard the yelling. That was odd. She dropped the doll.
”No,” I muttered in my sleep.
She walked down the stairs slowly. The voices got louder.
“Drop the gun,” a familiar voice pleaded. The girl walked to the room where she felt her mother was.
“Mom?” The girl’s mother stood against a wall with a man standing across from her, holding a shiny object.
The girl recognized the man, “Daddy?”
“John, don’t do this,” the mother pleaded, “If you decide to kill me, fine. But don’t kill Cassidy. And don’t say you aren’t going to because you know that was your intention.”
“Eileen,” the father said softly. “You know I can’t promise that. You know better than anyone else.”
“But she’s just a girl,” The mother protested, “She’s your daughter. She hasn’t done anything. Please, spare her. For me.” She was crying now.
“I…I…” His eyes were moist. He gulped.
A loud noise erupted. Something fast and silver came from the shiny object the father held. It hit the mother in the chest.
The mother slumped to the ground as a red liquid poured from where the metal hit her.
The girl looked at her father. He turned to her.
“I…won’t…hurt you,” he said as he turned the metal towards himself. Like with the mother, there was a noise, a slump, and that same red liquid.
“NO!” I yelled, my eyes flying open.
Britt woke up, turning towards me quickly.
“Cassidy?” she asked, slightly alarmed. Sure, she knew about the nightmares, being my roommate at the orphanage since I’d arrived. But I’d never yelled like that before.
“Are you okay?” she questioned.
Her voice brought me back into the moment as I mumbled, “Not sure.”
Britt looked as puzzled as I felt. I had to think this out. What…was that? I thought. It didn’t feel like a dream. No… I could remember every detail. That was no dream.
It was a memory. My memory, and it was as clear as if it had just happened.
“Cassidy,” Britt asked once more, “What’s going on?”
“Huh? Oh,” I said, remembering Britt. “It was the memory… of my parents’ death…I’ve never remembered it or dreamt about it before.”
She walked over and sat on the edge of my bed, “Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?”
“I’m fine.” I said, not convinced of it myself. “It’s… nothing.”
Was I? I’d never told anyone about my past. Hadn’t planned on it either. But I’d known Britt for ten years. I’d always told her everything, except this.
Maybe it was time I told someone the truth.
So I told Britt. Every detail of the dream that brought back the moment I had tried so hard to forget.
“But what I don’t get,” I said after I was done, “is why, after all this time, I remembered it so clearly in the dream. I’ve never remembered anything so vividly in my entire life. Why now?”
“I’m not sure…” I answered myself. My voice was quivering, a rare occurrence.
Britt pulled me into a tight hug. I glanced at the clock.
“It’s time to get ready for school,” I said.
“Oh my gosh,” Britt blinked. “How long have we been up?”
“I don’t know,” I sighed, “but we’d better get going.”
I went through the school day, expecting my stomach to be in knots. That’s what I had been preparing myself for. After all, I had just remembered the most terrifying memory I’d ever had. But, to my surprise, I was fine. Better than fine, actually. There were no words to describe it. It was like…a storm. Everything is calm beforehand, and before you know it, the storm hits, wreaking havoc, causing terror and unsettling thoughts that run into your life. But then it’s gone. After the storm, everything is perfect, even more so than before. Why?
Because what we fear most is kept in obscurity. Maybe, if we shine some light on it, and it may not be so bad. It may release the chains that hold your mind. What I couldn’t… what I wouldn’t see, had trapped me. By weathering the storm, a candle of salvation lit the darkness, and it freed me.