A Light Salty Rain Misted His Cheek

Munkee led the way across the hall toward the bathroom, and daddy just followed her with his eyes.

He called through the open bathroom door," Munkee?"

"Mommy says I always need a bath before I get to bed daddy."

"She's working very late tonight, so you get a get out of taking a bath tonight free card."

"Mommy's not going to like it."

"Come on Munkee, a young girl like you needs her beauty sleep, now off you go, off now."

She folded her arms across her chest and frowned.

"To bed, now." He waved his five year old daughter away with one hand and a smirk, and she obeyed.

After he got to bed he tried to stay awake until his daughter fell asleep, but he was drifting. He just heard Munkee telling her dolls that it wasn't her fault that she didn't take a bath, and that daddy was going to get an ear full.

His entire body begged for sleep, it took some time, but everything was quiet and he drifted off. Suddenly his dreams poured in like rain. He felt cold and wet, but his head was nestled against the softest pillow ever. A light salty rain misted his cheek. The sort of mist you might get when standing by the ocean. He then heard his daughter giggle, and his eyes fluttered. He heard her giggling again and he smiled as the rain kept drizzling all over his face.

Then a voice came, concerned and questioning, close to his ear. "Munkee?"

In his dream he saw his daughter by the door where she crouched like an animal. He tried to reach her, but sleep kept him chained. Slowly she rose, stretching out her arms on each side as water dripped from her body. He watched her standing there, expressionless, and a soaked form. Her tiny body began to sway back and forth. He opened his mouth and tried to scream, but nothing came out. At the same time she moved closer to the bed his breath got caught in his chest. Trapped by a nightmare's force he just watched his child coming toward him in a slow but deliberate pace. He barely could comprehend the power that the nightmare had over him. He wanted to be awake, and run to Munkee's room and hold her.

His nightmare took him to sea where he sat tied on a small boat. It was rocking back and forth, then from side to side. He stared at the starry sky, and then at his reflection in the waters below and couldn't understand what it meant. Then he heard a splash, followed by another one, and then another.

Then a small hand reached out from the waters and grabbed him. The brittle flesh felt like stone as he tried to yank himself free. The hand pulled him into the sea and was dragging him under. He felt the water rushing into his lungs and filling his heart, he couldn't breathe, but the only thing on his mind was Munkee.

Then he woke up in bed, clean and dry. His throat was so parched he couldn't recognize his own voice when he called out for Munkee.

There she was standing by the door soak and wet. He jumped out of bed to grab her and her body was like smoke. He went right through her and her image vanished. He quickly ran to her bedroom and she wasn't in bed. The dolls that were against her pillow had their mouths opened in shock. He then ran to the bathroom and looked into the tub half expecting to find her.

Before he could grasp it fully, the energy inside him seem to have died away, fear rushed in like a lightning storm, and anguish took hold of him while Munkee's body had expired and her spirit was released.


© 2015 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 51 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

Oh no! In defiance she took a bath anyway and drowned. Or was it all just a dream? I'll be mulling over this one again and again. Awesome write Frank..


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 21 months ago from The Beautiful South

Really chilling; I don't even want to guess!


Ghaelach 21 months ago

Afternoon Frank.

Aye, aye, aye. You've caught me in a spin here with this hub. As Ruby says was poppa still dreaming or as her name suggests did she really take a bath when her dad fell asleep?

Nice one Frank.

Jimmy...................aka Ghaelach


PsychGeek profile image

PsychGeek 21 months ago from UK

Wow...now that is a story! Is she alive? Did she drown in the bath on her own? Was his dream trying to tell him to wake up to save her?? Fantastic work with a writing style that gripped from beginning to end. You have a special talent here Frank, you really do! Voted up and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much, Always and Jackie and Ghaelack and welcome PsychGeek for being the firsts to visit my salty rain.. bless you guys.. :) Frank


Sara Sarwar Riaz profile image

Sara Sarwar Riaz 21 months ago from Michigan, USA

What a powerful narration... had the reader gripped till the end. You depicted his helplessness trapped in the element of his dream, transforming into a formidable reality, so very well in your words.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

Talk about leaving us guessing....darn it, Frank. What a cruel trick to play on us all. :) Well-written as always.


annart profile image

annart 21 months ago from SW England

Oh, how heart-wrenching! So well told and I forgot to breathe from beginning to end. Amazing.

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Sara, Billybuc..LOL and annart for reading my salty rain


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

Dreams can sometimes seem so very real! This one that he had was a nightmare to be sure and I am assuming his nightmare became reality in this case upon his awakening. You certainly know how to spin a tale!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much peggy w


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

Dreams can make us wonder if whatever it was really did happen. I had a horrid one just recently although they are rare.

You carefully have woven a story to kept me hanging on every word. Voted up ++++ and shared


MsDora profile image

MsDora 21 months ago from The Caribbean

Frank, what I have come to admire most about your stories is the great, impressive endings. You're an excellent story teller and the craftiest at endings.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 21 months ago from Nibiru

God dammit frank.....that was very intense and captivating read. You should do a movie on scifi channel. poor munkee, poor dad. Fabulous hub my friend. Cold and Darkk, my kinda read.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much pstraubie, MsDora, good to see you and my old friend clive


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 21 months ago from Nibiru

voted up, awesome and very interesting


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks again Clive bless you bro


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 21 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Okay Frank, let's have a talk. What's happening to us. We've resorted to killing off the children in our stories. I did it in my last flash fiction, and you seem to have done the same here.

Great job, I love a good, dark story. A well told, gripping nightmare, that ends with reality being even worse than the dream.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

Oh, not poor Munkee! Wow, very gripping tale here with such a sad ending. Your writing is superb here especially, dear Frank. A parent's worst nightmare for sure.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Peace and blessings


Smilealot 21 months ago

Another gripping piece of fiction that was both sad and scary...nice work Frank:-))


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 21 months ago from California

Oh you had me from the beginning--Munkee has to be dead--o maybe it is a double nightmare?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Cam, yeah we should be hog tied LOL.. and oh my Dearest Faith.. you are simply extraordinary.. god bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

Smilealot always good to see you my friend, and Audrey it's a pleasure seeing you since the beginning for me ..bless you both


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 21 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, this is a little different but a job well done. Totally gripping, you leave us thinking about story long after the read. Well done!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you for stopping by tobusiness :)


Benny01 profile image

Benny01 21 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria

Omg! that was so intensed, nice story, nicely written and I enjoyed reading it. Well done Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you benny.. will return the favor bless you


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 21 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

A masterpiece. Thank you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

Frank, you certainly do have an admirably dark, twisted way to your superb storytelling, divulging just enough to pique interest but not telling too much. I like the way you get into our worst thoughts and nightmares and exploit them.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

Eric always good to see you.. and Flourish thank you for the wonderful comment.. I think LOL Im glad you enjoyed my short...:) bless you guys


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wow! This was gripping and terrifying Frank. Poor little Munkee. this is one of your best. Voted up.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 21 months ago

A beautiful narrative, and a chilling reminder of how our dreams try to warn us about things----even as they're happening. I wish he had just let the little girl take a bath, already. Munkee....what a perfect name for this story.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Jodah and savvydating for checking out my salty rain..bless you both


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 21 months ago from New York

Oh Frank, this is the stuff nightmares are made of, mine that is. Where did the dream start and where did it end? Are the dolls the only ones who know the truth?

Voted up, awesome, and interesting. HP really needs to add chilling as a choice for stories like this.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

till thank you for checking out my latest flash :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 21 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Every parent's nightmare, Frank...and brilliantly told. Chilling and devastating words that cause us to think after reading. Great writing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Genna East good to see you


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 21 months ago from Scotland

Chilling stuff. It really is the stuff nightmares are made off. Well written.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Anna


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 21 months ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

First time actually reading a short story by you. I was always worried to read your stories for the scene you can create in your poems it was clear that a complete story would make me tremble. And that's exactly had happened here. My god really you can write and create such scenes that almost unfolded in slow motion in front on my eyes as I was reading through your words. Its very scary but wonderfully so. Well job done my friend, you are very talented.

Shared and votes up awesome.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 21 months ago from Dubai

Spellbound! What a story wonder what actually happened. I hope it was all a nightmare and Munkee was okay, just hoping. Voted up, brilliant!


Paul Banister 21 months ago

wow i would be so sick if I ever experienced a dream like that and then awakening to my dead daughter in the tub. This was bone chilling and crazy


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much dghbrh and you too Vellur and welcome Paul for reading my salty misted rain


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 21 months ago from Australia

Whoa! That was chilling!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you strictly


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 16 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Frank - She was ok, I think, and all a dream. What a sad story, written so well. I imagined my granddaughter to whom baths were a must when she was little. What would she have done? Thanks for the story with no ending. Suspenseful. Blessings, Audrey


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much brakel2 for stopping by and reading my shorts :)


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 10 months ago from london

Wow! So moving, so compelling! Pretty gripping and fast-paced as usual. Poor man! Yet another brilliant Hub!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks manatita for stopping by :)


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 9 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

This story managed to combine a mysterious crime story (this made me think of the Jon Bennet story from a few years ago, remember?) with supernatural horror. The monster---presumably a person, a burgular---is never revealed; and his daughter's death is only revealed to him, to have happened, through a literal nightmare.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

winged all it tells me is that you have a great imagination.. you should write..:) LOL thanks again for the visit..:)

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