I woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in cold sweat. The nightmare subdues into the darkness, quickly fading and I’ve already forgotten what it was about. But the feeling of dread still engulfed me as I stared into the darkness. I laid there in my bed for a minute, listening to the steady breathing of my wife who was sound asleep next to me. She had her back to me, so I turned to her and took her in my arms to feel her warmth as I greatly hungered for it. My body trembled slightly as the dread thumped behind my head.
This was the second times that I have been awoken from this forgotten nightmare. But even when the dream had vanished, I could still feel the awful dread that always linger until the morning rise.
I had dozed off a minute there until I heard that faint scream again that was part of the dream. My eyes opened and I eyed the clock that revealed I had slept for a mere two minutes. My heart was racing, thumping heavily in my chest so loud that I would have believed awoken my wife. But she was still sleeping peacefully. I lifted my head to watch her beautiful face in the shadows. She dreams of something wonderful, which the smile on her face betrayed. I had a feeling of envy to think that my wife would sleep so soundly while I am burdened with such horrible visions.
I turned away from her, lying on my back again. I was fully awake now, as I stared up at the ceiling. The dim light of the twilight illuminate our bedroom but still cast shapeless shadows on the ceiling. And there, I thought I saw a face. On the ceiling, in the shadow. I breathed a little heavy as my heart started its quick escalation. The face slowly shaping from the shadow of formlessness. A white face with two black shadow of eyes. I stared, unable to move and the feeling of cold dread crawled over my skin.
My body tremble and my breathing became gasping. My head becoming heavy and shrouded with jumble of noises from my dreams. Harsh words filled my ears, yet I was unable to understand. And the screams that ended all voices. The scream that surely sounded like my wife’s. The face in the shadow appeared to glow, yet still engulfed in the shadow. It fed off of my fear and dread, the more I struggled against the feelings.
The memory of the dreams slowly ended as the face in the shadow gradually fades into the darkness. It emptied my feelings and my spirit calmed. I took a deep breath as my body once again regains control. I felt very exhausted but also a little peaceful. Somehow, the face in the shadow had taken the dread of the dreams as the morning began to rise. I laid there on the bed, very exhausted. Sleep took me but I did not dream again. I laid in darkness as if my Life took a pause. For when you dream, you are still living. But when you sleep a dreamless sleep, you do not live.
“Are you mad at me?” my wife asked me with soft voice. It was the afternoon and we had went to the park for our usual stroll.
I looked at her with a questionable look. “Why do you think that?” I asked.
“You’ve seemed distant,” she commented, “And you looked ‘orrible!” She used her teasing voice and the smile she gave afterward melted my heart. I smiled back and took her waist into my arms as we continue to walk.
We strolled for a couple more minutes until she suddenly dropped a bomb on me.
“I want a baby,” she said.
I didn’t say anything for a minute, letting her words sink in and allowing her the chance to smile and say that she was joking. But she wasn’t.
“I’m lonely, Ian.” She said, this time very seriously.
“I’m sorry,” I said, adding after a brief second, “…that you’re feeling that way.”
She shot me an annoyed look and moved her body from my grasp. “We’ve been married for five years, Ian. The last two have been a letdown.”
“Ouch,” I said.
“Do you still love me?” she asked.
“Of course, Sara” I said, “But I don’t see how a baby will help us in our current state of financial situation.”
“It might help us regain our marriage,” she said.
“There’s nothing wrong with our marriage, Sara,” I said, sighing heavily.
“It will make our family closer,” Sara said, “Imagine how it would feel to cradle our baby together. Mom and Dad and baby sandwiched in the middle. A family filled with Love.” She smiled dreamingly and her voice raised an octave higher in wishful excitement.
I pulled her back into my arms, she allowed me to pull her body close to mine. I kissed the top of her head. I inhaled the scent of her shampoo. And then I said, “Give us another year or two. Then we can settle down and have a family. Right now, I’m not ready.”
She pouted as we continue along our stroll. How can I tell her that I am not ready? That I am not emotionally stabled? How can I be someone’s father and give them Love when I am loosing Love for myself. My heart felt heavy because I am fallen. Everyday, I feel unworthiness and unconfident of myself. A black cloud engulf my mood the entire day. I was depressed but I was also feeling dread. Anxiety filled my mind and I grew afraid for the entire afternoon. I felt something wasn’t right and I feared I would be lost forever.
“You don’t look happy,” Sara commented. It was late evening. We had finished dinner at a restaurant. She ate like a pig, but yet she remained thin. Although her belly did bulged a bit through the tight, cream sweater she wore.
“I’m not feeling well,” I said, then I turn to her with a smile and said, “I feel ‘orrible!”
“Is it because what I said?” Sara asked, hugging my arm and laying her head on my shoulder as we walk back through the park.
“No…” I said.
“You’re lying,” she said, “Something is on your mind. Maybe we should go see a specialist. A marriage counselor.”
“What the hell for?!” I snapped. I was getting tired of her rhetoric.
She pulled herself away from me again. And she quicken her pace, walking ahead of me with her arms folded in front of her.
“I hate when you do that!” I said after her.
She turned around, sharply to confront me. Her face filled with hurt.
“What do you hate about me?” she challenged. “Everything? Do you hate me because I love you? Because I care?”
“I hate it when you try to get into my head!” I said, finally letting the truth come out of me. “You’re always trying to fix me! Like something is wrong with me!”
“Ian, you never opened up to me!” Sara yelled, “I feel like you’re closing me out of your Life! You’re troubled and yet you don’t want me to help you. You’re heart is heavy and filled with sadness. Yet you won’t open the gate for me to give you the Love that you need!”
“Because I don’t need it!” I shot back, angered. Then I realized what I just said. She just stood there, dumbfounded. Her eyes filling with tears.
“No, that’s not what I meant,” I said, reaching for her. She didn’t pull back, but allowed me to take her. “I’m sorry, babe.” I said, burying my face into her neck, sniffing her sweet scent of lavender body wash.
“Just let me in…” Sara said, sobbing. “Stop pushing me away from your heart. I know you are hurting…”
She sobbed uncontrollably. I patted her head and tried to quiet her. “Shhh, baby. Stop crying…”
She lifted her head and looked me in the eye. “I’m not crying…” she said.
The sobbing still continued as I looked at her. It came from behind her, near the woods. We pulled apart from each other and cautiously stepped toward the sound of someone’s crying. A shadow figure was lying on the floor. As we came closer, we saw a young girl in a state of distressed. Her clothes were torn and it appeared she had cuts all over her body. Her hair was a mess and her body was trembling uncontrollably.
“Excuse me?” I said, softly trying not to scare the poor girl.
The girl looked up with tears filled eyes. She peered guardedly and her body shrank back as she tried to hide herself.
“Are you alright, sweety?” my wife asked, nonthreatenly.
She wailed loudly and ran to me with her arms outstretched. She hugged me with a tight grip and buried her head on my shoulder. Sara came over and wrapped her arms around the girl and we sandwiched her with warmth, trying to warm her cold body.
“It’s okay,” Sara said, patting her, “Who hurt you like this?”
“Help me…!” she gasped with frightened voice, “Please…”
I stood there, not wanting to wrap my arms around this young girl. My wife was full of motherly concerned and she was more capable to handle this situation. But the girl held onto me tighter, alienating Sara’s touch. The girl buried her face near my ear and whispered to me, “I want to feel you in me…”
A cold shudder ran through me as I suddenly realized the situation. A shroud of darkness engulfed my vision and the feeling of dread returned with great intensity. My wife didn’t know what hit her as three figures appeared from the shadows and took her from behind. Sara screamed in terror as the three held onto her, taking her arms.
“No!” I cried, pushing the girl away from me. But she held me tight with her grip and her weight overcame me as I toppled backward. She sneered her fangs as her face twisted into something hideous. The three hoodlums screeched with glee as they took my wife. I cried out in vain as the dread became heavy and clouded my vision.
“You can watch!” sneered the demon girl as she placed her claw on my face, pushing me to watch as the three hoodlums bit into my wife like ravage dogs.
She screamed. The scream that I heard many times in my sleep. The scream of pain and agony as they ripped into her flesh. I could not bare to watch, but the vision burned into my cranium even if I closed my eyes. Those fucking bastards! That fucking bitch!
Sara became limp in their grasp and her body slump to the floor. Their mouths followed and they gnawed on her, lapping and tearing at her flesh. I howled with great distress. The girl on top of me, grinding her pelvis on me like a stupid whore! Teasing me through my agony. I struggled against her, but she pushed me down with strong hands.
I closed my eyes and through the anger and mourn, I saw the face again. Almost like a face of an angel. Take this pain away! I cried to that face in the shadow. The girl chomped into me with her fangs, tearing my throat and lapping at the gushing blood that seeped from me. But it was not my Life that she drank. It was the darkness. The anger and hatred. It was my rage that she drank from me. I was filled with the Rage and I would not let them take my sorrow. My heart thumped heavy with grief and uncontrollable fury.
The girl gagged and spat out the black blood that came from my despair.
“This one taste vile!” she sneered.
Drink from my Darkness! I wanted to cry out. But I gagged from the hole in my throat.
She lifted herself off me as she crawled toward the sweet smell of my dead wife. Even in death, I could smell her beauty. But anger filled me with more rage and my heart did not warmed. It became colder and the shadows engulfed me. I felt the darkness crawling its way into my body. I stared at the face that had manifested in the shadows by the trees. It watched me and fed off of my pain and sorrow. It left only Rage and Fury.
“A..a..a..h..r..g..h…..” I let out a wail that sounded more like a gurgle. I felt the cold and I felt the darkness clouding over my vision. My ears still hear them, feasting on my lovely wife. She is gone. Only a pile of carcass was left of her. I have forgotten how she look. How she smell. How she used to sound like. Her voice that I had found so annoying and nagging, is now lost. She became a pile of flesh, picked clean by rabid dogs. She is gone, my Love.
Love is gone from my heart. It is now heavy with Rage. The Darkness became me. I am Fallen.
End. Excerpt from my novel "Darkness; the Resurrection"