Sleeping Torment

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
My secrets unraveled to myself in a shocking way.
Who I really am, revealed from my sleeping disability.

Submitted: September 20, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 20, 2012



When I was a child, I never wanted to go to sleep alone. The seemingly normal habit of wanting to sleep in my parent’s bed was more in depth than my parents, and now me, will ever know about. To this day, I feel fear arise in me as soon as night falls. A fear that will send me into a nausea so strong I feel as if I’m floating. The outside world, underneath the charcoal sky, blanketed by clouds; I can deal with that. The feeling of entrapment in a house with presences “visiting” with low intentions of torment was what made my alarm flare up.

The spirits beat to touch me in some sort of cold way, striking my mind or vision, or caressing my skin. They’ve permanently ruined sweet dreams and warm blankets. I lay in my bed, praying for sunlight. On the weekends, I stay up all night until the sun peeks out behind the clouds, and then I peacefully fall asleep. Quickly, soundly. I wake up two hours later to start my day.

I remember the images I’d see if I tried to doze away. A gentle dream of seeing the boy I like will dissipate into dark heavy pixilation, and then I jolt awake into hallucinations. Sometimes, I black out and wake up the next morning. No matter what soft words I whisper to myself, my panic would bring me into the skies. They know what they’re doing, with their towering shadows creeping against the lightness of the moon. The disgusting inhuman voices counting down...down…ten…nine…eight…what’s going to happen? Croaking…inhaling…laughing…seven…six… what’s going to happen? Five…four… I have to get out! Three… two… I would break past the cement of my limbs and hit the top of the stairs bawling, crumpled.

It’s all because I tried to sleep.

My mom and dad would say I was irrational, convincing me that everything’s okay. I finally gave in and stopped going to them because I knew something was really wrong with me. I remember one night I screamed because they touched me with such a cold, aggressive feeling my room felt like ice. My mom came in and admitted, defeated, that she had the urge to bolt and close the door. That was when it was clear to me. The house seems haunted, but surely it isn’t likely that a ghost would be in all fifteen houses I’ve lived in. These feelings still came to me. Torment, it’s just a sick game to them.

People sometimes hear a ringing in their ears when a room is completely silent. It’s almost like you’re just hearing air. I listen closely, and I hear whispering. They’re voices from different dimensions. Fierce, hasty whispers. Some are sad, and some are angry. If I’m not careful, though, they will hear me and go completely silent. If those voices hear me, they will come after me.

I knew the truth in what felt like a split second. Prom last year, I was excited (as any girl would be). My best friend Rachel Haselden and I went together because no boy was cute enough for us (we decided). My school made the absolute worst decision by having this great event at a crummy little place behind a Checkers. The parking lot was behind it, like those old strip malls where run down employees park their cars in an almost empty lot to go to their crappy 8 hour job at Publix.

I remember the way the lot felt like to walk on in high heels. I usually take comfort in the sound of wet asphalt under my feet, the crunch my heel made on the gravelly, broken road. Even the smell after it rained would surround me and make me smile. The Floridian humidity cooled by night air. But this was different. It suffocated me with stuffiness, like there was no air, just a bad smell. The slimy pavement and deep dark puddles made me speed up a little bit. A bad premonition crept up my spine. “Something feels off. We shouldn’t have had such a meaningful event in some dump.” Rachel spit. “Yeah.” I said, absent-mindedly, focusing on not getting my Chinese Laundry heels too grimy.

We walked into the decorated doors and the atmosphere instantly transformed. Banging music, fast energy and darkness filled with strobe lights was all I knew. The smell of body odor and pheromones filled the air, masked by cheap cologne and a cloud of hairspray- but I didn’t mind. We danced, laughed and told stories. The hours passed quickly. Drunken girls danced with their dresses hiked up and “bros” fist pumped with each other in their matte vests.

Around 10:30, we stepped out to refresh our looks. We “clip-clopped” (the sounds our heels made against the ground, as Rachel would say) to the car to fix our hair and makeup in the mirror of the sun visors. I sat in the driver’s side with the door open, Rachel mirroring me in the passenger seat. We were powdering our noses and pinning nuisance hairs up when we heard a thump from across the parking lot, like something heavy but soft smacking the asphalt. Rachel slowly stepped out with wide eyes, murmuring “what the hell was that?” and stood in front of my car.

I looked across the lot and about twenty feet away from us was a chubby teenage boy walking. I’ve never seen him before, maybe he was here for someone. He was shorter, Hispanic, and had a black clean-cut chin strap. A fierce, wild look was in his eyes as he was walking toward me, staring at me. I froze, not knowing what was about to happen.

His pace quickened and I noticed for darker skin, he looked awfully pale. The circles under his eyes were noticeably purple, even in such bad lighting. All of the conversations with my parents about being stolen suddenly screamed in my head, turning me into a chaotic mess. He was almost running now, staring directly at us. “Get in the car, now, Rachel!” I yelled. She stumbled, almost tripped and clumsily threw herself into the seat and closed the door. I shrieked away, with fragments of words and lines running through me and my mouth. “We have to go back.” She said. “Are you crazy?!” I squealed, “We don’t know what he would’ve done!!” What would he have done? I wondered.

Too bad I had no idea what he really was going to do.

I parked in front of the entrance, scrambling out and ripping the keys out of the ignition. My eyes searched over talking kids with cups of punch in their hands; just one fourth of all the kids in the dance room. I spotted Mrs. Rayford from across the room and started shoving my way through, looking back to make sure Rachel came through the door.

A girl in a hot pink mermaid dress with puffy eyes plastered in black to make them livelier stood next to a tripod with a blown up picture of a girl’s yearbook photo. The girl in the picture was a senior, with a black long sleeve shirt hanging off her shoulders and a bright-toothed smile. She was a gorgeous girl with bright blonde streaks in her hair. To think, she would’ve been here dancing with her friends. An aqua blue princess-styled dress with a matching bow hung up next to the memorial. It was a memorial for the tragedy at Alonso High.

“R.I.P. Clarissa Johnston 1993-2011 -You are always here with us” The sign said, covered in pink and white flowers intricately woven into a delicate design. I stared at the bow, recognizing it with a sense of familiarity. I wanted to rub it on my lips. I decided to drop what I experienced. After all, I was safe… wasn’t I? Prom night was ending soon, so I just told Rachel we should go home.

The car ride back was opposite from the one there. The silence was full of exhaustion, and the lack of words wasn’t stiff or cold- but more relaxing. Before she got out of the car in front of her extravagant Mediterranean home, she looked at me with tired eyes and said wearily: “Tonight was fun, except for…you know. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Little did I know, she would not see me tomorrow

I drove home, watching street lights pass and looking at teenagers with their windows rolled down and music blasting. I wondered if I could ever have anything normal, and I remembered what I have to go home to: The torment. Of course I wouldn’t sleep tonight, which doesn’t make anything any better. The thought of that arising shock in my body, like a thermometer when heat goes up quickly made me want to turn around and sleep at Rachel’s.

When I got home, my mom lied on the couch with her head back and eyes closed. I closed the door and headed up the stairs with my shoes in one hand when she woke up noisily, stretching. I hear Conan O’Brien’s voice from the television and looked at her hot pink Ugg boots tucked underneath her juicy sweatpants.

“How was it?” She said yawning. “Fun.” I said bluntly and continued up the stairs. “Goodnight!” She called. “Night mom, Love you.” I said back to her. “Love you too.” She murmured sleepily. I can see her head uncomfortably propped up against the armrest of the leather couch in my head as she said it. I love my mom, but sometimes I wish she’d understand, I thought.

I walked into my room and noticed an envelope on my bed with my name on it. I felt a surge of confusion and yelled: “MOM? Who is this envelope from?” No answer. “Mom!” I called again. I heard a groan.

“It’s from a girl named Clarissa I think. Said she went to your school.” My heart dropped. I looked around, but it was impossible. My mind raced too quickly and scanned over any girl who’s name sounded like Clarissa. “Do you mean Christina?!” I yelled unnecessarily loudly. “Um, no.” she replied.

. “Clarissa?! Are you sure?” I paused trying to control the urgency in my voice. “Johnston?!” I shrieked unattractively. I ran out of my room and to the top of my stairs. She picked up on something and walked to the bottom, looking up at me, the hall light shined on her blue eyes picking up her tired bags. “Yeah, that was it. What’s wrong?” She forced a whisper, which is what she always does when I panic to keep me from yelling.

“When did she drop this off?” I said, wondering where my breath went. “Oh, around eight maybe. What? What’s wrong? Sweetie what is it?” She started up the stairs without taking her eyes off of me. “Clarissa Johnston is dead, Mom. It can’t be possible.” I shook my head, “It can’t be possible. It was an imposter. Did she have blonde streaks in her hair? Was she tan and have a really small mouth with big white teeth? She must have lied, are you sure her name was Clarissa Johnston?”

My Mom’s eyes were wide and confused, and she looked to the side trying to remember. “Yes, blonde streaks, really thin. Small mouth, big white teeth… but she was pale. She looked very pale and very sick.”

Something was wrong and I felt the torment. No, they can’t be getting to me in my normal everyday life. They can’t be ruining my daylight, my sunshine. This is my happiness, and this is just a dream. What is happening? Is she alive?

“She was murdered, mom. They found her in the sewage opening next to the school with chunks of her skin missing and her face brutally beaten.” I started to cry, my face tightened and uncontrolled. Wait, how did I know that? They said her cause of death was a car hitting her.

I ran into my room and opened the envelope. A small square was automatically being unfolded in my hands. Everything was going so fast, but I couldn’t get to the note fast enough. It was notebook paper, scratched down in writing that looks fierce, pressed into the paper harshly. It smelled funny, too. Like mold.


Nothing is what it seems. I’m sorry for what you’ve done, and I can say your healthy mind doesn’t deserve it. Expect a knock at your door around 12 o’ clock midnight. Don’t work, we aren’t going to kill you.

DO NOT go to sleep tonight.


My hand shook and I felt like my head was rolling off of my shoulders. Suddenly, images and clips flashed through my head as well as a deep ringing in my ears that took over all sadness. Darkness. Trees. Night. Wind. Humidity. Cool. Comfort. Sickness. Girl. Blonde. Face. Eyes. Blood, red blood red. Red. Red. Red. “Red!” I shouted. I heaved.

My eyes shot around my bedroom as I fell onto my butt. I felt wasted and shot, with a cold sweat and a deep nausea. Who else knows about this? Do they all know about my sleeping problems? Oh god, she’s dead. Clarissa Johnston is a dead girl, she doesn’t just show up at people’s houses. I walked slowly down the stairs, glancing at the clock on the cable box. 12:01. My mom asked who it was and I just ignored her, opening the door.

A small girl with long, mouse brown hair looked up at me. She was maybe nine or so, and her eyes were full of life. She smiled a wide, closed lipped grin. “Hi, I’m passing out memorials for Clarissa Johnston. She didn’t know you well but it’s important that you get this.” I stared at her hands; she held an aqua blue ribbon tied into a bow. It was the exact same bow as the one on the dress she was going to wear. “Why are you doing this?” I whispered. Her grin faded and her eyes turned dark in front of my eyes, like a horror film I’d watch once then cry at night. Her face drained white like an old cartoon. She was pleased to see the look on my face. She opened my hands to place the ribbon, and in a weak voice said “Don’t go to sleep.”

I shouted, I screamed. “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!” She laughed and walked down the driveway. I wanted to grab her shoulders and shake her senseless. “Why do they come after me?”

She turned. “Because you call them.”

My mind raced as I ran upstairs. I looked around my room. “Where are you?!” I looked at my hands and they shook in front of my face. I tried to look away but my hands were forced in front of my face. An unknown sound came from my face, and let me tell you, I was mixed up. I had never wanted to kill myself, but at that moment in time I felt no way out. It made this feeling harsher because I didn’t know why I was like this! The truth in one day is enough to put you in a mental institution.

Everything went black and I didn’t even feel the floor, I just knew it was there before I didn’t know anything. It was stupid, but I had never felt so at peace. They couldn’t get to me, nothing could get to me. I didn’t know what it was, but I was out for hours they told me.

I woke up in my dark house, with heavy limbs. Heavy limbs dragging at my side as I took zombie steps up… what? Stairs? I’m walking up my stairs right now. I can’t control my body. My heavy legs felt like stiffened tree trunks hitting the stairs solidly. I am stuck in sleep paralysis. Are these my stairs?

Yes. My legs controlled themselves, and I focused hard, pushing passed panic to control my arm. I pushed… pushing… shoving… wake up! Wake up! Shove… push… mental.

Everything was pitch black, not a movement or light in sight. I was wet, all over my arms it felt like it was all over my body. I felt like I was wearing a tight thin long sleeve turtle neck that was wet, but with sweat. My house is dark, I can’t control my body and I am vulnerable walking up the stairs. I can’t run. Where am I going? The torment is here, I feel my panic.

Pushing… shoving. I jolted. I felt heavy, so exhausted but I ran and turned on the light. It shattered my comfort. “Ahh!” The light burned into my sensitive corneas. Ew I’m wet with sweat and… red.

Now, I’m sitting here in this closed in room. Not a person I knew has seen my lately, and my sickness is getting worse. The emptiness of the white walls, the icy linoleum floors and the springy mattress covered in the thick, evil straps is the only thing keeping me company- that and my caretakers who don’t care, really.

The boy in the parking lot’s name was Watson Wheeler. He was nineteen, and I did recognize him. He was in my third grade class. I remember I was jealous of what he brought to school every day in his lunch. He died three years prior to prom; they found him on the edge of a trail near the school. They said he didn’t have a nose, eyes, or a mouth. All he had on his face was his scalp. They found evidence of a weapon, but after years of searching they found out the person who did it used their fingernails viciously, unmercifully.

The little girl at the door, whose life vanished from her features, was murdered, too. In 2002 they said she was found face down covered in blood underneath a pile of dead leaves, carefully placed with her hair neatly tucked on her shoulder. Her face was also bludgeoned, only with sticks erecting halfway out of the meat. They said she bled to death. I saw pictures of that one; her eyeballs were exposed, making her look like a bloody skeleton, as well as the top of her cheekbones.

He name was Charlene, but Charlie for short. I met her at daycare. I took her swing, and she broke a piece of chalk in half and told me that was our friendship. I never felt angry towards her, I just stared. The doctors brought this memory back to life after my blackened brain apparently kept it from me.

Doctor’s say I have a double personality that only comes out when I sleep, others just say I’m a natural born serial killer. And the torment is the good ones telling me no and the bad ones telling me yes. I always wondered why they never caught me sooner, and then I realized: brutal, cold-blooded impulsive murders with an alibi are usually the cases that never go closed. Luckily for the world, I turned myself in.

Nothing is as it seems, and I’ve learned that from learning from what no one else knew. I don’t see my mom, I don’t see Rachel. I don’t see anyone. I look in the mirror, and I see myself. Only, who am I? What have I always been? Life is so discouraging, sometimes I laugh to myself because it’s so damn funny.

I can sleep, now. I’ve learned to embrace the torment; they are my friends. I am still unconscious when she (my other half) gets up and wants to find prey. I usually wake up standing in old form human stance (you know, feet shoulder-width apart, hands by my side and head straight up) staring out of the window. I feel like a 130 pound bag of sand. They surround me, encircle me. Black shadows, purple smoke- and they whisper. Sometimes they hurt me, but I don’t mind. They love me.

I stand there, looking out of the metal-barred window overlooking the barren, dark courtyard and I weep.

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