Nightmare in my Mind

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 20, 2017

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Submitted: March 20, 2017



Nightmare in my Mind



Sometimes, dreams are a place we feel safe. A landscape that exist nowhere, in no time, created by the contours of the mind. But tread carefully, for there exist an ocean of truth just beneath the surface.

It was 4:36 am and I should have been comfortably asleep. But I wasn't. I lied there wide awake, I wasn't even tired. Another peaceful dream shattered by the appearance of the mysterious man. Why did I not know him? Why was he randomly appearing in my dreams?

Daryl Davis pondered these thoughts but always seemed to find a dead end. It seemed illogical to have a figure consistently plague his dreams. Although many hours before he had to get ready for work, Daryl could not get comfortable with the idea of going back to sleep. He thought about seeking professional help, a psychologist perhaps. Then he thought again. His paranoia consumed him like the grips of guilt only will. He sat there in the dark, going over it again and again in his mind. But to no avail.

An internet search gave vague meaning to the mysterious man in the dream. The internet seemed to be full of information, but no answers to Daryl's dilemma. He dozed off to sleep without the realization that he was still drowsy.

Daryl found himself at a candle lit dinner at his favorite five star restaurant, sitting across from her. She didn't have a name either. But she was a familiar face that Daryl had seen before and always gave him the most light-hearted feelings. The background melody seemed to perfectly fit the scene as her glistening smile warmly embraced him from afar. A voice came over Daryl's right shoulder, “are you ready to order?”

“It's you!”, Daryl uttered. And with a sinister smile, the mysterious man answered, “Yes, it's me.”

Daryl embarrassingly replied, “Please mister, leave me alone.” The sinister smile vanished in an instant and the chilling words followed, “You can run from your past, but you can never escape it.”

Daryl snapped out of his sleep as if a jolt of electricity shocked him. He made his way to the bathroom and began to rinse his face with water. A cold stare glared back at him from the mirror.

“I was having such a pleasant dream. Who is this mysterious man? Why does he seem to appear randomly? What does he want? I desperately need to find out who this phantom is.”

Daryl spoke these words aloud, as it was the only thing that gave him solace. He began his daily routine, got ready for work, and tried to forget the awful experience he had earlier that morning. He knew that if work wouldn't take his mind of things, then the morning traffic would. But, he still couldn't shake the chilling feeling that maybe he was crazy and needed help.

A week past without incident. No bizarre dreams, no mysterious man showing up with a haunting presents. Daryl was sound asleep and found himself in a quaint town, reading a book at a park bench. As he sat there in the shade, Daryl thought to himself, “I heard that you couldn't read words in dreams, interesting.”

“There's a lot about dreams you aren't aware of,” the mysterious man explained.

Daryl jumped to his feet and yelled, “Why are you here?”

“I'm here as a reminder, I'm here to help you remember,” the mysterious man replied.

“Remember what exactly? I have no idea who you are,” Daryl mumbled. Daryl desperately tried to remember anything he could, but failed to put a name with the face. He boldly said, “Listen, you are mistaken. I don't know you. I have an impeccable memory, so I would remember you.” Daryl continued, “You are plaguing my dreams, you are a nuisance. You are a parasite!”

The mysterious man nodded his head as he listened to Daryl's diatribe and replied, “Those are all interesting adjectives that you have used to describe me.” He then paused and raised his hand, pointing at Daryl, “But I only have one word that describes you,” and then his voice began to whisper, “Murderer.”

A tsunami of emotion began to flood Daryl's mind as he attempted to control the memories that somehow were suppressed. He began to experience a type of paralysis, struggling to speak and unable to make sense of this omission of truth.

Daryl awoke suddenly and sprung out of bed. His heart rate was elevated, his hands were shaking, and the sensation of fear and anxiety gripped him like the coils of a boa constrictor. But, the memory was crystal clear now. He found himself immersed in the memory that had been buried away by guilt. The mysterious man had a name after all, Cody Stevenson.

It was a cold fall morning in the mountains of Big Horn Range. Daryl and Cody were hunting that fateful morning when Daryl's rifle misfired as he was attempting to reload. And it was then that he felt the shock of watching his friend succumb to his injuries. Shock turned to panic as he feverishly dug a shallow grave to bury Cody. Daryl knew there was a great chance of getting manslaughter. The thought of going to prison, even though it was an accident, was at the moment out of the question. And over the course of the next few months, Daryl knew what the scene looked like. So, there was no going back, there was nothing more that could be done.

Daryl's anxiety was building like the stem in a pressure cooker. He had to make sure that the makeshift grave he buried Cody in, was untouched. He stormed out of his home and jumped into his truck. Although driving at high speeds, Daryl felt like he was barely moving. His left leg shook uncontrollably as he nervously chewed on his fingernails. In his panic stricken craze, he sped past a highway patrol officer. The officer began pursuit as Daryl continued to drive passionately to the area off the highway, where the camping grounds were located.

Daryl finally arrived and wasted no time finding the area where he buried Cody. He began to hyperventilate as he arrived at the spot of the incident. Unbeknown to him, the officer had successfully followed Daryl to the camp grounds. Daryl began to breathe a sigh of relieve as he realized that the shallow grave was intact. However, relieve was suddenly replaced by horror as he looked up to see the curious gaze of the patrol officer upon him.

The officer approached Daryl and said, “You just about broke the sound barrier back there, want to tell me what the rush is all about?”

Daryl gulped and dropped his head in disappointment. It was then that the patrol officer noticed the makeshift grave. The officer shook his head and in a rhetorical manner stated, “I guess the dead can speak.”

“You have no idea,” Daryl exclaimed.

The officer lead Daryl back to his patrol car, where he read Daryl his rights and placed him under arrest. Cody's body was exhumed and he was given a proper burial. Daryl plead his case in court, but to no avail. Instead of the 6 year prison sentence for manslaughter, Daryl received a life's sentence for first degree murder, unable to prove that it was indeed an accident.

Daryl found himself sitting in a cold, dark prison cell, alone with his thoughts. Ironically, he felt more at peace with himself now, then he had since that fateful day in the woods. His burden of anxiety had finally been alleviated, like a stack of bricks lifted off his shoulders. But the guilt still lingered. And it always would. For you can run from your past, but you can never escape it.





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