Beginning of a novel?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Beginning of a story. It may just stay a short story or could possibly grow.

A girl keeps having the same, scary nightmare. What could be causing it? What if it isn't a dream, but a premoniton?

Or maybe she just has an active imagination.

Submitted: May 11, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 11, 2008

A A A

A A A


I am running. From what—or who—I can’t really be certain. The air is strangely still and the sky a dark blue shade. NO stars. My heart is pounding deep in my chest and a nagging feeling that my life is in terrible jeopardy tugs at my brain. Too terrified to turn and risk the chance of catching a glimpse of my pursuer, I press on, hoping help will find it’s way to me. Cutting across a perfectly trimmed lawn, I try hiding behind a group of small bushes. After several minutes pass by and not a sight of anything, I breathe a sigh of relief and sink onto the chilly, wet ground. My mind is racing with horrible images. A knife, glinting in a gloved hand; broken glass, strewn onto a cement floor; and blood, red and sticky. Pain shoots through my spine as I come back to reality. Something blunt has hit me from behind. The ground is all I remember seeing next…

Leaping up in bed, dripping in a cold sweat, I tried to shake the nightmare from my mind. That was the third time in a week that I had awaken to the same horrendous dream. Getting up from the bed, I crossed the cold hardwood floor to my bathroom. Turning on the light, I caught my reflection in the mirror above the sink. Dismal, sad eyes gaped back. Quickly, I dropped my gaze and turned on the cold water. Splashing the refreshing water onto my face, I tried to regain composure. It’s just a silly nightmare. It isn’t real. It can’t hurt me. Oddly this mantra, that usually worked when I was shaken from a dream, didn’t work this time. My fear only heightened and I knew I had to find relief. Sneaking into the hall, and past my little brother’s room, I opened the door to my parents’ room. Creeping close to my mother’s side of the bed, I reached out my hand to wake her. Suddenly a hand grasped me from behind. Gasping, I tensed; waiting for a blow to the head, something, but nothing came. Except my dad’s steely voice.

“Sam, what are you doing? It’s three in the morning, sweetie. You should be asleep.” His voice was barely audible in the silent room, and he stepped out in to the hallway so he could speak a little louder. “What’s wrong? This is the third night in the past week that I have heard you walking around.”

“It’s nothing really.” I suddenly felt very childish standing in front of my father, clad in pink pajamas with hearts, fuzzy slippers, and pigtails. I felt as if I were five again, and needed him to check my closet for monsters. But, I wasn’t five, I was sixteen, and nightmares weren’t going to get the best of me. Being afraid gets you nowhere. That’s what my grandma used to always tell me. And I have always tried to live by it. “Sorry, Dad, a dream woke me up. It was silly. I’m just going to get some water, and go back to bed. ‘Night.”

“You sure?”

Seeing my weak smile and small nod, he kissed my forehead and walked back in his room. I noticed for the first time that he was still in his work attire, and I knew he had just got back. He was a psychiatrist at a nearby mental institution and lately he had been working very odd hours and didn’t get much sleep. The extra hours had really taken a toll on my parents’ marriage. Not to mention my mother’s recent miscarriage. It had devastated them both and they had been fighting a lot lately. My father seemed to stay at the hospital to avoid my mother and my mother seemed to always be at a friend’s. Often times they left me to look after Dillon, my little brother. At three, he was a major handful, but I loved him more than anything. He lit up my world when I was feeling down and spending time with him made my off days so much better. I didn’t really care that I had school to deal with—planning for senior classes, prom, and a social life—just having that little bit of innocence with me for a few hours made life worth living.

Creeping down the old staircase, I stole my way across the living room and tiptoed into the kitchen. As light from the refrigerator poured onto the checkered linoleum floor, my thoughts floated back to the sickening nightmare that had decided to inhabit every minute I spent sleeping. It was an awful dream; often it kept me awake for hours on end. The worst part wasn’t that it contained a scene from a horror film; the horrible part was that while encased in that dream world, dread washed over me and the feeling I may never see my family and friends again slunk across my consciousness.

Every night, the same thing. What had triggered this terrifying nightmare? Had I watched some late night thriller, told spooky stories with friends, maybe even listened to an eerie song? No. Not one single hint of sinister behavior or chilling experiences could have caused my sudden dream fiasco. Yet, they were there, as always. And they didn’t look to be going away anytime soon. There was only one thing I could think of to do. Only one person I knew could help me find out what these dreams meant, and how to rid my mind of them: my dad. He was, of course, experienced in this sort of thing, right? If he couldn’t help, no one could.

Later that morning, seeing as it was one when I had awaken from my dream, I sat in bed, thinking. There was no way I was going to be able to go back to sleep, so instead of force myself, I pulled out an old, battered notebook—my journal, for lack of a better word. Nightmares had been a normal part of life for me ever since I was about eight or nine. For no reason at all, about once a week, sometimes more, I would wake to find I was covered in a cold sweat, screaming, or at the point of hyperventilation. My parents had always relied on scary movies or televisions shows to be triggering it, and they wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain otherwise. The odd thing was, that every nightmare was different—each unique in their scaring tactic. Younger nightmares had been eerily childish: boogie monsters, psycho clowns, and killer bunnies. Always nightmares, though, never nice, peaceful scenes. Then, as the years progressed, they started getting more far-fetched, more frightening. But, constantly different; except, my most recent dream. Now that one just kept recurring, over and over, like a continuous movie reel. A ox office thriller that I was forced to watch night after night. And that was where the notebook came in. At the age of thirteen I decided I needed to start keeping an ongoing list of dreams, especially after one memorable night.

It was my birthday: July fifteenth. I was turning thirteen and I was pretty excited to finally be a teenager. It was all I could talk about for weeks; my party, presents, money, party, presents, money. The time before the party seemed to drag, making me long for the night I’d finally feel “grown-up.” But strangely, before I knew it, balloons, cake, and party décor smothered me. The look of my house draped in streamer, glitter strewn on every surface, and presents to the ceiling made me feel special, loved. More than that, I felt like my parents really cared. Don’t get me wrong, I know my parents love me, but somehow their love was shown in a different way. In grade school, when all my friends had cute little homemade lunches or their moms came to school to eat with them, I was alone, with my nasty school pizza, longing for maternal love. Or later in high school, when I was in the school play, neither one of my parents came to any of the numerous shows. Later they said they were sorry, but that word had lost meaning long ago. Both my parents had successful careers, active social lives, and no time for petty kid drama. Most of the time I stayed with a nanny, or when I was old enough—about 12—I started staying at home alone. Occasionally, my family would take those big vacations during the summer, but once we had arrived home, the fun ended: life started again.


© Copyright 2017 Devyn. All rights reserved.

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