Dear Diary

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Dear diary,

The nightmares have been getting worse. They are hard to write about because I don’t totally remember them, it’s just like snap shots of still images but the fear they bring is real.

The setting is always the same; the abandoned asylum we went to last month. I fell through a rotten floor/ceiling and went down to the floor below, breaking my leg and arm. I’ve only been home from hospital for a week now and I was hoping the nightmares would stay there and not follow me. No luck.

In the nightmare, we are always walking around the asylum. I see the peeling paint and falling plaster off the ceiling, the broken glass of the barred windows, the metal beds pushed up together in piles. The smell of decay is overwhelming, almost chocking.

I start to see shadows, creeping shapes along all the surfaces then the whispers start. I can’t understand what they are saying. I try hard to listen, I walk closer to them, leaving my friends behind. I’m alone and that’s when it starts. The shadows grow, become demons- red skin, long horns, tails, animal like fur and features, some walk on two legs, others four legs.

I hear screaming and crying, echoing all around me. They sound painful, distressed and desperate. I know they are not coming from the demons but from the souls of the dead asylum inmates trapped here.

The urge to flee, makes me break into a run and I race from room to room, down corridors, hallways. The fear is all consuming and the only thing I can think about. I trip, fall over something that could be a body and I spin down and down. The floor gives way under me and I fall with a sense of forever.

I hear laughter and look to see the demons are falling me. They fall around me happily and I realise they are taking my soul down to Hell.

When I awake, sometimes I feel like I’m still dreaming. It takes me awhile and the sense of not being able to breath feels me. Then the pain of my broken leg and arm hit and that brings me back. The dream fades but something still clings to me.

I’ve been thinking over the last few days that maybe I was meant to die in the fall at the abandoned asylum but because I didn’t I’m now being haunted. The demons there wanted another soul and tried to take mine, however they couldn’t and now they are so unhappy they keep returning in my dreams to keep attempting to kill me.

Maybe, I’m just reading too much into that but I’ve so much time on my hands now, it’s hard not to deep think about thing.  Anyway, I hope the nightmares go away as I get better and they are really just a side effect of my accident.

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Dreams

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There was always safety in dreams. Logic didn’t have to apply and fantasy ruled. It didn’t matter what the adventure was or who was a part of it, just that it was happening. One night I fought the grim reaper in a sword battle and won. The next my friends and I were tripped in a church whilst zombie animals tried to get in. Then there was that one time when I had to save a beautiful woman and she invited me back to her bedroom…then she turned into a vampire and tried to bite me.

The best dreams though are the ones that only make sense of dreams. Like the time I wrote the world’s best novel ever. I was sitting in a cafe and was working on the final drift, but this old man kept interrupting me with his ideas which then I ended up writing into the novel and the old man got his name on the cover instead of me! Or the time I came across a group of kids who had a time machine that was an massive acorn.

Of course, Nightmares are the worse, but there’s always some kind of get out and it’s only your mind playing tricks with you. My nightmares always have a graveyard or cemetery in them, which is odd but it’s how I know it’s a bad dream. I’ve been having this repeating on lately. I’m being chased by something, it’s like a dark shadows that take on long human and animal shapes. I’ve no idea what they want, but I hide in this old cemetery, which seems to go on forever. Then I always come to this cliff edge, which is well hidden by large statues of like Romans.

I always try hard to stop myself from falling, but then I always do. On waking, I know I’ve just died in the dream and it takes me awhile to realise I’m alive. I hate those kind of dreams. What do you think it means? That I’m going to die tragically? That I’m trying to run away from something I can’t let go of? I just don’t understand it. I prefer the happy dreams.

Do you think that’s why I’m here, Doc? ‘Cause my dreams are making me insane? I didn’t even know that was possible, but I guess anything can be…Like they say dreams can come true, so I bet nightmares come real too, don’t they?

Family Secrets (Part 2)

Pedestrian, Walking, Shadow, Night, Evening, Street

It was late when he returned home. She felt her husband getting into bed, but decided to stay quiet. He was soon snoring loudly and after listening for a few moments, she got up and used her phone as a torch. Creeping around the bed, she inspected his clothes which he had abandoned on the floor.

She picked up his trousers and felt through the pockets. They were empty. She sniffed his shirt, trying to pick up a hint of the other woman. It seemed though her husband had been careful. Dropping his clothes, she got back into bed and lay there wondering again before she drifted off to sleep.

The dream she had was only slightly different from one she had many times before. She was following her husband. He was walking quickly down a dark street where the lamps seemed not to be working. There were houses on either side with cars parked out front and the sound of drippy rain. She watched her husband go up to one of the houses and inside.

She stood before the curtain-less window and watched as a light came on displaying a small front living room. There her husband stood holding another woman in his arms and kissing her. She couldn’t make out the other woman as she seemed to be made out of shadows.

She rushed forward, going for the front door but a large black panther jumped in the way. It’s bright eye yellows flashed with anger as it hissed loudly at her. It’s tail swished and it prepared to pounce. She screamed and tumbled back. Instead of hitting the ground though she carried on falling. Her screaming echoed, blocking out all other sounds.

She awoke, rolled over and sat up. The bedroom was still dark, so she turned on the lamp. The dim glow didn’t seem enough to chase away the heavy shadows and she couldn’t help but look around the room for the panther. Taking a few deep breaths, she calmed herself and shook off the dream.

A warm hard touched her shoulder and she cried out.

‘It’s me, are you okay, Em?’

She relaxed and sighed deeply, ‘I’m fine, Rick. Just another bad dream.’

‘Again?’ her husband uttered.

‘I’ve got a lot on my mind, I guess. What time is it?’

Her husband removed his hand and she heard him roll over. At the same time she tried to read the alarm clock. It was almost six in the morning. She sighed and slipped back on to the pillow.

‘Ten to six,’ Rick voiced.

Em hummed and curled up again. She felt her husband shifting behind her and drawing her into a tight hug. He wrapped an arm around her and placed the other underneath her head. He nuzzled into her hair then rested his chin on top of her head.She stayed stiff in his arms, her mind racing.

Did he hold the other woman like this too? she wondered.

Biting her lip, she almost voiced her thoughts. Instead she said, ‘where did you go last night?’

‘What?’ Rick questioned sleepy.

‘I thought you went outside last night,’ she asked, nervously.

‘I didn’t,’ he replied.

Em pressed her lips together, carefully pondering how to rephrase her questioning.

‘You must have heard a neighbor or something,’ Rick suggested.

‘Yes, maybe,’ Em uttered.

She let herself relax, finding joy in the feel of his arms and body against her’s, despite everything. Slowly, she dozed off again.

To Be Continued…

 

Wolf Dreams

Wolf, By, Trees, Kahl, Aesthetic, Wing, Water, Fog

Eva was in the forest, standing in the rain. The patter plopping of rain drops falling off the leaves was the only sound to be heard. For a few seconds she wondered why she was here, but then Eva saw the black wolf detaching from the shadows. Yellow eyes flashed at her like two search beams as he drew closer. She noticed the large black feather wings rising from the hunching shoulders, brushing the low hanging leaves.

Eva hugged herself, feeling sweat breaking even though her breath had started to mist. The wolf came to stand before her, his tail low and head held high to look up at her. She held her breath, trying to remember if it was only bears you shouldn’t look directly into the eyes of.

A strange twisting feeling hit her stomach. Eva cried out and doubled over. Her vision swim and the forest floor danced before her. She fell to all fours before the wolf and felt her body changing. She was sure she could hear bones and muscle tearing and reforming, but the screams coming out of her deafened everything else.

Eve collapsed on the floor, shaking and sweating. Her eyes rolled up and everything went black. When she finally came too again, the view around her had changed. She blinked and looked up. The trees had grown huge around her and the soil felt softer and colder under her. She got up and realized was no longer herself. She twitched her damp black nose and flicked her ears and tail. Her back felt heavy and she turned to see white wings sprouting from her back and draping on the floor.

She looked at the wolf. He looked back at her then turned and walked away. Stretching, Eva padded after him and disappeared into the darkening forest.

Peaceful

Black Water Falls, West Virginia

Blackwater Falls was so calming. I could past the time perfectly and not have to think the dark thoughts any more. Even at night when I feared the returning nightmares, the forest cloaked me in peace. I drank my coco on the porch whilst watching the bats fluttering around. The sound of the waterfalls masked every other noise and the smelly pine trees blocked my nose. A part of me knew I’d have to return soon, but it wouldn’t really be me going back.

Scratch

Writing prompt

The numbers on the clock flipped over and four am glowed brightly into the bedroom. Casey stirred in the double bed, tangled in a dark dream where giant jigsaw pieces were chasing her. Lying on her back, she felt herself caught on the border between sleep and awake. Something touched her neck.

Casey woke, tossing her head as she tried to clear it from the dream. Reaching out for the lamp, she fumbled with it before pressing the switch. Pale yellow light startled her eyes and she shielded them with her hand. Pushing herself up, she blinked a few times, then dropped her hand and glanced around her bedroom. Everything looked normal.

Throwing back the duvet, she got up and walked to the bathroom. Her hand strayed to her neck and scratched at an itchy spot. Turning on the bathroom light, she did what she had to do and then stood before the mirror. There was a red line on the side of her throat.

Frowning, Casey pulled her top down and saw a number of dry bloody lines sweeping down her neck. Panicked, she let go of her top and turned her head to see the lines. The mirror hadn’t lied to her. She saw six lines with small breaks in-between each line and they just pieced her skin enough to make it bleed. She touched the scratches gently and wondered what had happened.

Her first thoughts were that a cat or some other animal had done this to her. But she didn’t own any and she was twelve floors up in her city apartment. I must have done this to myself, Casey thought. Puzzled, she turned from the mirror and switched the light out as she left. She got back into bed and lay against the pillows. She pressed her right hand over the scratches and tried to recall what she had been dreaming about.

When nothing came to mind, she curled up and listened to the noise drifting in from the half open window. Even at this ridiculous time in the morning people had places to be and things to do. Casey shut her eyes and let the city hush her back to sleep. As she started to doze, she turned off the lamp and allowed the dark to form around her once more.

Falling back into sleep, she dreamed the jigsaw pieces were coming for her again. She could see the first few clearly from across the field. They were made of wood, each depicted an image and somehow they all fitted together. They were the plot-holes of her life; who had her parents been? What had happened to her foster sister? Why had the puppy died? What had really happened on the beach that day? Why had her first ex-boyfriend left her?

Casey shuddered and turned her back on the jigsaw pieces. She started running across the field and towards the white fence she could see in the distance. Even without looking, she knew the pieces were following her. She could hear them thumping along the ground as they cartwheeled after her. She pushed on, knowing that if she reached the fence she would be safe. How do I know that? She thought.

Her feet stumbled, she felt herself falling, her arms windmilling through the air. She met the ground hard and wasn’t grateful for the long, hard grass scraping her skin. Catching her breath, she got up and looked behind her. The pieces were still coming and they seemed never ending. Casey screamed and woke up.

She scrambled around in the bed, trying to untangle herself and fight off the fading dream. She reached for the lamp, but her hand stopped. There was heavy breathing to her right, on the empty side of the double bed. Biting her lip, she slowly turned on the light and let her eyes flicker to the side. The duvet was moving, as if something was under there asleep next to her.

It’s all in your mind. It’s just a dream, it’s not real.

She turned slowly and reached out with a shaking hand. She felt the scratches on her neck burning, but she ignored them. Her hand reached for the duvet and she pulled it back in a single movement. A scream left her mouth before her eyes had time to tell her brain what she was seeing. Casey threw herself out of the bed and along the wall. Desperately, she dug her fingernails into the wallpaper and clung there.

The daemon started taking shape before her. He was bright red with white spikes all along his body. He had horns like a goat’s on his head and a face like a hog with the tusks to match. His massive black wings, unfolded and spanned the length of the room. He fixed blood red eyes on Casey and she felt the scratches burning more painfully. Thoughts and words tried to form in her shocked mind, but Casey felt frozen.

The bed give way under him, but the daemon stood his ground. The loud snapping and cracking vibrated through Casey as if breaking the ice around her. She dropped her arms from the wall and bolted into the bathroom. She locked the door behind her, got into the bathtub and curled up into a ball. She shut her eyes and told herself it was just a dream repeatedly. But outside, she could hear the daemon trashing her bedroom.

A fist slammed into the bathroom door and Casey screamed. She stuffed her hands into her mouth and tried to stay quiet. Though a part of her knew that was pointless. Shaking, she hugged herself and tried to will the nightmare to end. She heard the bathroom door give way and crash down. Pounding footsteps sounded the daemon’s approach and Casey felt clawed fingers touching her throat.

Trench

 

Dear Mama and Papa,

 

Alfie paused and rested his head against the wooden pole. The pencil was shaking in his hand and the scrap of paper he had found to write on had dried blood splatter across it. Glancing at his scrawling handwriting and wondering what to open with, he had the sudden urge to pour his thoughts across the page and tell the horrendous tales of the last month. He pushed his other hand through his badly cut and dirty hair, before letting his eyes drop to the candle next to him.

Around him a handful of men were curled into crude wooden bunk beds. Many were shivering under woollen blankets and damp clothes. A couple were moaning softly and the words they sometimes whispered reflected those on everyone’s mind. In the distance outside, Alfie could hear gun fire. It was the sound he lived his life by now and he was also sure that it would follow him to his grave. He turned back to the letter and putting the pencil down again, wrote the next lines with careful words.

Sorry it has been awhile since I last wrote. Supplies are coming harder to find. I am well and hoping you are too. How is everyone else holding up? I hope they are well too. The weather has gotten colder and it’s become difficult to keep things dry. It feels like winter might come early this year, but perhaps it’ll bring me home.

 Alfie stopped and re-read that. The pencil twitched over the last word and he thought about crossing it out. A loud squeaking came from a beam above his head. Looking up, he saw a rat’s tail dangling down. The idea of catching it and eating it flashed in his mind, but he was too tried to move. He knew right now he should be trying to sleep like the other men were, however slumber now eluded him. It had been a long time since he had been able to sleep peacefully. Every time he closed his eyes the nightmares came.

In an odd way the bad dreams had become his companions. He had gotten use to the strange and too realistic battlefields that back dropped the scenes. The sky was always black or red or burning and the ground matched it. Sometimes there was sound – the gun fire, the bombs, flares, screaming-and other times silence, which wasn’t actually a blessing and also added to his fear. The bodies were the worse part though. Alfie shook his head, trying hard to clear his thoughts and get back to the letter. Continuing, he wrote,

I miss and love you all. I hope to see you soon. Pray for the war to end and my safe return. I must go now, it is almost dawn and I’m due to go over the top later. I shall write again as soon as I am able. I look forward to receiving your reply. The letters have been a great comfort.

You beloved son, Alfie.