I woke in a cold sweat. I lay in my bed, my sheets tangled on the floor, probably tossed off during the proceedings of my nightmare in a sleep state. I felt sticky and sweaty as I sat up to look out my window. The window is about the size of the entire wall, facing the dark woods behind my house. A breath of wind came, stirring the leaves and its branches, making shadows that appeared as clawed fingers in the pale moonlight. A loud clanging sound made me jump with fright, literally making me spring from my bed.
I listened more closely, and realized it was the dreadfully loud sound of the grandfather clock striking the hour. I listened to the clangs; 1… 2… 3. I was up at three in the morning… again. I couldn’t understand why having a full night of sleep was just not possible for me anymore. That nightmare I’ve been having, I can never comprehend what is actually occurring. All I know is I have been waking up at exactly at 3 am, hearing that bothersome clock chiming, absolutely terrified. Then I felt a brief flash of it enter my mind…
I’m standing in the woods, the dark trees towering up into the night sky. The few stars that can be seen twinkle half-heartedly, as if they do not feel to put up the effort to shine on this night. A full moon hangs low in the sky, casting a little bit of light for me to see the silhouettes of nearby shrubs, and the shadows of the trees.
The hairs on the back of my neck rise; I feel like I am being watched. Looking around, I find the source of my discomfort. Several pairs of dark yellow eyes hide in the trees, too many to count. They stare at me, unblinking. I look down and see a thin trail of blood, in a long, smeared line heading deeper into the trees. It is a bright red, so it seems to be very fresh, recent. Every instinct in my body is screaming at me to flee, get away from the danger.
I am in too deep to stop now. I follow the train deeper into the woods, winding around the trees. Each step I take feels broadcasted the crunching of leaves beneath my feet feel too loud. The faster I go, the thicker and fresher the blood gets, I know I am close. I don’t know how deep I have gone into the woods now. In the back of my mind I worry as to how I will get out. I stop in my tracks. I hear things, and they whisper my name. “Rose… Roooooose… Rose… Your almost there; we will get you sooon… you are almost ready.” Then I hear the sound of chuckling being carried through the air and breeze, rustling my long black hair, whipping it across my face. I look ahead and see and see a part in the trees, and I begin to run.
I run with the wind, and then abruptly stop in my tracks at the opening of a clearing. I have many thoughts swirling through my head, emotions gone haywire. I finally step through the trees. There is now plenty of moonlight shining, lighting up the whole clearing. I see a small lake, water glistening, reflecting into the sky. The blood is gone. Its tracks behind me are still there but in front of me… nothing. I walk farther in and hear a low moan. I step with care, making sure not to alert it of my presence, whatever it is. I look more closely and see it is a boy. He is on his knees facing the lake, his back hunched at a strange angle. He makes low groans of pain.
I watch, wide eyed, as he begins to transform. His legs slowly become shorter, folding into themselves. Blood drips down his bare back as I hear him screech an animal like sound. A loud crack pierces the air, his back is bent all the way back at an unhealthy angle. His spinal cord has snapped in half. I gasp (too loudly) accidentally alerting him of my presence. In a matter of mere seconds, his body snaps back together. He then stands up and turns around, and looks at me. His eyes are huge, the large pupils completely black, filling in a third of his eyes, then there is one thick rim of dark yellow circling it, I watch as his pupils slowly shrink, becoming smaller and smaller, until they are a normal size.
The rim of yellow also shrinks, turning into a brighter color. Behind him is a mangled looking body, probably the main source of the trail of blood. It is covered in large indents all over its surface, as if endlessly jabbed at by something sharp. It is still, unmoving… dead. He steps menacingly towards me; my heart is jumping frantically in my chest. I blink, and in an impossibly fast blur and the sound of air bring whipped in all directions into the night, he is gone. My heart rate slows, I am foolish enough to feel safe. I feel a pressure on my head.