Drenched: A Nightmare
I’m in a room, I’m shaking, I’m drenched in sweat; nothing is right.
My room is varying shades of grey although usually it’s filled with colour and although you would think that I’m just seeing in black and white, it’s not true because I, myself, am not grey. Everything is torn. My clothes, my sheets, my curtains, everything. There are deep gouges in the wall that seem to be secreting blood, but I can’t make myself go over and investigate it.
All I know is that I’m sitting on my bed, curled into a ball, my arms clinging to my legs for dear life. I’m trembling so hard you would think there was an earthquake under me. I’m crying so hard it’s amazing that the room seems crystal clear, or at least what I can see of it.
There is no light, it’s not night time, but it’s storming outside. Huge droplets of rain pelt themselves against my window, like they are bullets heading straight towards me. The clouds are a vengeful black and even the slight light that could come into my room from the outside and the rips in my curtains stays outside instead of drifting into my room.
The images that keep flashing across my mind are images I remember previously, when the light was on, and it scares me to death knowing that anything could be in there with me since I probably couldn’t hear a car crash right outside my window over my ragged breathing.
Never in my life has my fear of the dark been so prominent, so threatening. My mind is flashing images at me and facts at a mile a minute, but the most prominent things I’m thinking is about the dark, about how it could swallow me whole and nobody would know.
But somebody would know. I have a mother and just earlier that week my mother had adopted a Japanese orphan and I remember laughing at the fact that she looked like the little girl in the movie The Grudge. It’s not so funny anymore.
I see my cell phone laying five feet away from me as it lights up for some unknown reason, but reaching out to touch it means moving my arm into the darkness where anything could be waiting to drag me in.
Finally convincing myself that it’s my only hope, I shoot my arm out and grab the cell phone, almost losing it in my battle to keep my hand clamped shut and not let it tremble open. Quickly looking through my contacts I find the one that has brought me reassurance throughout the 18 years of my life and quickly click send.
“Hello? Sheryll Carrol here.” My mom’s name is Sheryll. Sheryll Connors. Every brief amount of hope I had shut down inside me and for a good five minutes I sat on the line whimpering while the woman on the other side kept asking, “Hello?”
Finally, I managed to get out, “She said you were my mother!” Sheryll tried to calm me down, but it was obviously not working very well since my mental state at this point was completely shot so instead she got me to tell her everything I knew.
The last thing I remember is the adoption. I remember my mom taking the hand of the new Japanese girl we hadn’t even had a chance to get to know yet and then everything went black.
I know there’s a monster outside of my room, or what I hope is outside of it. I know she kidnapped me and I know she wants to kill me and I know I looked into her eyes and they were completely black. I know she walks jauntily and her body looks as if it’s rotting. Like all of mine, all of her clothes are ripped and look like they are ready to fall off at any moment.
Her breath smells rancid and her teeth are black and jagged. Those teeth could tear off my hand in one swipe. Which reminds me.
Looking down at my hand, I realize that another reason my teeth, when not talking, are so tightly clenched is because my whole entire left hand looks like it was put through a meat grinder. My mental state, I slowly realize, my be much more deteriorated than I realize for me to not have noticed this until now. Or not to have remembered. Or not to have been actively aware that my entire fucking hand looks like something mistook it for a chew toy.
I know I’m sitting in this dark, destroyed room, and my mind is slowly deteriorating. I’m slowly retreating into myself, accepting my fate as death. I’m counting all the people I wish I could have, but won’t have the chance to, say goodbye to. I know that I’m going to die here and I know that she’s coming for me.
I also know that my new sister is in here somewhere, I can hear her screaming. I hardly know anything about her, but I know that, that is her screaming. It’s terrifying, being trapped in your own house, hearing your little sister being tortured in your sanctuary, in the place that was always guarded by your parents, that was always safe to you. The facade is now shattered and I am going to die.
I realize that, no matter how much I want to, I can’t just climb under the covers and pull them up just below my chin. They are no longer the invisibility cloak that I believed them to be when I was younger. They can no longer protect me from the fate that has befallen me. I’m stuck in my safe place that has now become my prison. Everything is backwards.
It takes me a while to get this out and the whole time, in the back of my mind, I am wondering where she is, why she hasn’t come for me yet, and when she will. I’m wondering if this is one of her tricks, to leave me in here until I slowly lose all sanity. Sometime during the explanation, I decide it is.
Sometime during the explanation the person on the phone actually does become my mother, though, which just feeds my insanity. The person on the phone, although now turned into my mother, is not hysterical. She is not phased by the fact that I am kidnapped by a monster that is about to not only kill me, but also kill the little girl she just adopted. She doesn’t say she’s going to call the police. She doesn’t ask where I am. She just sits there on the other side of the phone. If I hadn’t realized there was no dial tone and that my phone says that we are still connected, I would have thought she wasn’t there at all. She’s my mother, but she’s not.
Every single aspect of this situation is slowly eating at me. My sanity, at this point, is about as shredded as my hand, however, I hear the next words my mother speaks completely clearly. In a bold voice that was meant to be heard, my mother tells me, “You have to move. What’s it like to have lived without moving an inch?”
The line goes dead.
Slowly, carefully, I pick myself up off my bed. The world spins and it feels as if I’m about to vomit from the pain in my hand which has now conveniently inched its way into my subconsciousness. I start to make my way towards the door when it slams itself open. Lightning and thunder strike at the same time and the room is finally illuminated, but the lightning doesn’t go away. My room stays horribly lit, shadows are cast everywhere and she is staring at me.
She is standing there, staring at me.
Slowly, a grin etches itself across her face, a ghastly grin, those black jagged teeth jutting out of her mouth, dripping something that’s too dark to make out, but looks about the consistency of whatever it is on my walls. I have no coherent thoughts.
Jauntily, she starts to walk towards me. Her knees are turned in and she slowly drags her feet forward, but I am paralyzed. There’s an one hundred percent chance I could run away from her. I cannot.
I am paralyzed.
She backs me against the wall and her grin gets wider, breaking her jaw. A scream of a laugh rips its way from her throat and floats around us like a gnat that just won’t leave.
Her mouth, her horrible mouth, is closed now.
You can still hear the laughing.
It’s everywhere. It permeates the, until now, stagnant air and flies its way in and out of my ear drums, it’s the only thing I can hear. I fear it will always be.
Until it stops.
Suddenly, it stops, and I welcome the silence which I had before now cursed. I welcome it until I realize that the reason it has stopped is because her mouth is now open again; she has something to say. Leaning close to me, her horrible smile so close to my face, my nose breathing in her rancid breath, I know I should attack, but I am paralyzed. Suddenly, I hear a voice, but I realize that it’s in my head, it’s not out in the open. If other people were in the room, they would not be able to hear it. Only me. It’s crystal clear, yet distorted.
Distorted because this voice isn’t the kind of voice you would expect to hear coming out of a woman’s mouth, even a monster. It sounds like it has been tampered with on a computer, like when ransom note writers change the levels of theirs so they sound computer-like and unrecognizable.
She asks me, “Do you want me to die?” And, even though I don’t speak, she can read my thoughts, I’m sure of it, because that’s all they have been pointing to the whole time she has been in the room with me. Although unrecognizable to me because of the rate of which they have been changing, I am suddenly quite sure that that’s all my thoughts have been about. How to kill her before she kills me.
Backing away from me, towards my bed where she had previously led me away from, she screams, “THEN LIE TO ME!” The next thing I know I’m watching her kill herself. She tilts her head so far to the side that it rips open. Everything is in slow motion, her skin seems like elastic, stretching and stretching until it finally breaks off. Then it looks like putty, slowly retreating away from the open wound. Blood pours everywhere as she falls down on my bed.
No longer moving.
No longer breathing.
I stumble out of my room to find the little girl, my sister, in our bathroom. The rest of the house seems to be in colour, but muted. The walls are not the mustard yellow they once were. It’s like someone has turned down the saturation of the room. Everything except myself and my sister’s bodies (for our clothes are as grey as my room) are muted.
She seems to be looking into a shard of the mirror, which is broken, but doesn’t surprise me. My house looks like a war zone and I suddenly realize I’m not wearing shoes. There’s blood trailing everywhere from where I have stepped on glass. I again wonder why I haven’t realized until now.
When my sister hears me, however, she backs up, tries to hide behind the half open door. I don’t understand why, I couldn’t see in the piece of the mirror she was looking in. I walk towards her, trying to keep from stepping on shards.
When she finally cannot retreat any further into the crevice of the door I reach her and realize why she was hiding. Her face is completely disfigured. It looks exactly like my hand.
There’s almost no skin left on it and the skin that is left is hanging off like someone had tore it from her face and it was just barely clinging on.
Like someone had ripped her face into shreds and then tried to glue the pieces back on.
Her eyes are bloodshot. Four of her bottom teeth protrude out at odd angles and are shot through her bottom lip. She’s sobbing uncontrollably, but between them I can hear her say, “Do I look hideous?”
Remembering my hand, I look down at it again. This time, though, when I look down, it seems to be healing. Slowly, before my eyes, it’s mending, the scabs turning pink and falling off, the scars disappearing, the skin regrowing. I reply to her, “It’s getting better; it gets better.” Still watching my hand until it’s fully healed.
Afterwards, I look back up at her, she has deteriorated.
Her teeth are now sharp and jagged.
She opens her mouth and it’s black.
A complete black hole.
She laughs, the same screaming laugh of the monster.
She swallows me.
Everything is black.
I wake up.