Chapter 13: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 126

Sam was peaceful. He was home. He was with his family and friends, enjoying a barbeque. It was summer. The sun was shining. Everyone was talking and laughing and having a great time. It was almost too good to be true.

And then, just like that, it was all gone. Everything had vanished. Sam looked around, on edge.

“Hi, Sam,” the voice made Sam freeze. He turned around slowly, and his breath caught in his throat. Scarlett.

“Scarlett?” Sam barely choked out the name.

“Duh, who else?” Scarlett rolled her eyes. And suddenly she was right in front of him. There were only about six inches between them. Sam fought the urge to step back.

Sam stared into her eyes, doing his best to hide how scared he was. “What the hell do you want?”

“Just to give you a warning. It’s only fair, I guess,” Scarlett smiled. It was no longer the pretty smile he had seen when they met in his dreams before. Now it was like poison.

“You put my baby sister in a coma she might not wake up from,” Sam growled.

“And you killed my father. I guess we’re even,” Scarlett hissed. Her smile was venomous.

“I didn’t kill your dad,” Sam told her. “I was too busy trying to save my sister.”

“True, but your little friends did. But you made a mistake there,” Scarlett said.

“Really? Explain to me how killing one evil murderer is worse than having him run around and murder more innocent people,” Sam countered.

Scarlett stood up on her tiptoes, her face inches away from Sam’s ear. Sam forced himself not to pull away. “You left me in charge,” Scarlett whispered. “And believe me, Sam, I am much, much more difficult to defeat, and much, much more deadly.” Scarlett dropped back down to her feet.

Sam struggled to remain calm. His jaw was clenched as he stared into her burning eyes. “What do you want?” he said through clenched teeth.

“Well, personally, I want you to die a slow, painful death. But I’ll settle for this, for now,” She took a small step back, and Sam let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “I’m going to get revenge, Sam. I’m going to make you wish I killed you. It might not happen right away, but I assure you, it will happen. You will lose everyone, just like I did. Your dad, your little friends, your sister, your adoptive parents, everyone. There won’t be a safe place for you to hide.”

“Not if I kill you first, bitch,” Sam growled.

“Language, Sam, God,” Scarlett smirked. “Besides, you couldn’t kill me if you wanted to.”

“Oh believe me, I want to,” Sam chuckled bitterly.

“I’m not so sure,” Scarlett laughed. “But even if you did, you couldn’t. I saw you while you were fighting with Megan. They were attacking her, getting back up even after you knocked them down. You knew how to kill them. You could have. But you didn’t. You couldn’t. You don’t have the guts to actually kill someone.”

“These are much different circumstances,” Sam reminded her.

“I’ll give you that, but I still don’t think you could do it. You have too much of a conscience.”

“As oppose to you, who has no conscience whatsoever.”

“Exactly,” Scarlett grinned. Then she sighed. “Well, I must be off. I really hope Ali survives. I was looking forward to killing her for real this time.”

“Go to hell,” Sam spat.

“I already reserved my parking,” Scarlett mocked. “Goodbye, Sam. I’ll see you soon.” With those parting words, she disappeared, leaving Sam alone in his dream...

**********

Not too long after–or maybe it was, he wasn’t sure how time worked in dreams–Sam opened his eyes again in his hospital room. Moonlight illuminated the floor beneath the window and poured over Sam’s bed from its place in the star-filled night sky. He looked around as saw his dad slumped over in a chair by the door, sound asleep. John and Lucy were nowhere in sight.

“Hey,” Sam turned toward the whispered call and found Detective Carter standing in the doorway. “How are you feeling?”

“Better,” Sam answered, still groggy and in pain. His voice was quiet, matching Carter’s volume. “What happened?”

“You had a heat stroke,” seeing Sam’s confused expression, he smiled slightly. “There is a long, complicated medical explanation for that. But bottom line is, your brain had a panic attack because you were so cold, overheated your body, and fried itself.”

“Oh, lovely,” Sam said sarcastically. Carter laughed softly. Sam sat up and winced.

“Careful,” Carter cautioned. “The ribs on the left side of your body are almost completely shattered.”

“It feels like it,” Sam agreed. “Where are John and Lucy?”

“The doctor finally allowed visitors to see your sister about thirty minutes ago. Jason was going to go, but he was asleep before they got the news,” Carter explained.

“Can I go see her?” Sam asked eagerly.

Carter smiled sympathetically, “Maybe in the morning, kid. For now, get some sleep.” With that, the detective left the doorway, and Sam was left alone with his sleeping dad.

Sam sighed and let his head fall back. He didn’t think he could fall asleep again, until he closed his eyes and he fell back asleep within seconds. It wasn’t a good sleep, though. This was a deep, restless, dreamless sleep...

**********

Sam woke up the next morning to someone shaking him, gently nudging him out of his slumber. He opened his eyes to see his father, smiling down at him. There was a wheelchair positioned by the bed beside him.

“Come on, Sam,” Jason smiled. “Let’s go see your sister.”

Sam didn’t need any more encouragement. He threw back the covers of his bed and swung his legs off the bed, wincing at the pain in his ribs, still wearing the pale blue sweatpants and white t-shirt the hospital had outfitted him in. Jason helped him into the wheelchair and then they were off, down the hall, up one floor in the elevator, down another hall, and around a corner.

As they approached the room, Jason slowed.

“Sam, when you go in there...Ali doesn’t look good,” he said softly. Sam looked up at him with worried, panicked eyes. “But this is not your fault, ok? And if–” Jason stopped himself, “And when Ali wakes up, she’ll tell you the same thing. Ok?”

Sam hesitated, the guilt already eating at him, then nodded. Jason sighed, then pulled open the door and walked inside, pushing his son along in front of him.

Sam gasped when he saw his little sister. Her eyes were closed. There was an oxygen mask over her face–she had at least made it to the point where she could breathe on her own–and a bunch of needles in her arms. Her heart was beating faster than normal, as if she were scared. She looked horrible.

She looks like she’s about to die, Sam thought. He quickly pushed the thought away. No. He wouldn’t lose her. He couldn’t. She was going to wake up. He knew it. She had to.

John and Lucy were sitting beside her, silent, staring at her, willing her to wake up. They turned when Sam came in. They looked at him with silent relief, and then they looked at Jason, a silent conversation passing between them.

“Hey, Sam, John, Lucy and I are going to go get something to eat. You want anything?” Jason asked. Sam shook his head. The Collins’ stood up as Jason wheeled his son to Ali’s bedside, and then the three of them left the room, closing the door behind them.

Sam stared at his sister in silence for a moment. Then he took her hand in his and took a shuddering breath.

“Ali...It’s um...It’s me, Sam...I uh...I don’t know if you can hear me, but...but if you can, I need you to wake up. You have to wake up, Ali, because if you don’t...” Sam broke off, choking back tears. “I can’t lose you, Ali. I just can’t. I don’t know what I’d do without you. You’re my baby sister. I promised Mom I’d protect you. Please, Ali. You have to wake up. Just hold on for me, ok? Just fight for me. You’re stubborn as hell; I know you can hold on, so please, please, don’t let go. I need you. You can be a pain in the ass, but I need you, and you know it. So please, Ali. I’m so sorry. This is all my fault. If I hadn’t...I need you to wake up, Ali. Just fight. Hold on. Please...” Sam’s voice trailed off. He didn’t know what else to say. He squeezed her hand like he always did when she needed him, but this time, she didn’t squeeze back like she was supposed to. Her tiny little hand sat limp in his...

**********

Ali heard everything. And she wanted desperately to tell him.

“I don’t know if you can hear me...”

“I can hear you, Sam! Please, I can hear you!” Ali was shouting at him in her head, desperately trying to make him hear. “Sam, help me! Please! Get me out of here!”

Her mind was in turmoil. It was absolute chaos. It was terrifying.

“Sam! I can hear you! Please!” She shouted, her voice breaking.

“This is all my fault...”

“It’s not your fault, Sam. Don’t think like that,” Ali soothed. Shadows surrounded her, closing in on her from all sides. It had started out as a beautiful dream. Her mother had been there, and her father, and Sam, and her friends. They were happy. It was perfect. But then her dream turned into a nightmare.

Ali stepped back, scared, and then ran for it, trying to outrun...whatever it was that was chasing her. “Sam!” She cried. “Sam! Get me out of here! Help me! Please!” She stopped, thinking she was safe, panting, trying to catch her breath. Then the...thing...caught up with her and cornered her, big, black, and terrifying. She screamed, putting her hands up to defend herself.

“Sam!” She shouted, her voice starting to hurt. “Sam!”

Miles away, in another state entirely, Scarlett smiled in her sleep, as she watched her creations wreak havoc on little Ali’s mind...

**********


Submitted: April 28, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Alyssa Pryce. All rights reserved.

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