Once upon a Dream....

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a kind of a psychological thriller where a young girl has to face some really horrifying events and learns that your mind just never forgets anything... it's always in there, waiting to pounce on you when you are least expecting it.

I'd really appreciate your honest comments on this story. Please do read it... :)

Submitted: July 31, 2009

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 31, 2009



It was very dark. Someone was sobbing. She kept saying, “It’s all my fault” over and over again. I heard footsteps outside the door and knew who it was. I slipped out of the room and started running at full speed, my stalker in hot pursuit. The mansion was huge, I didn’t know where I was going. I passed room after room, corridor after corridor, but he was always there, just a short way behind. Suddenly I came to the end of the corridor and looked inside a room. It had a large black curtain in the corner. I crossed the room and hid behind the curtain. I waited there, crouched down, heart hammering. He came to the doorway…. Now he was inside…. Now he was just beyond the curtain. The curtain was stripped away from before my eyes and I woke up….
I was lying in a weird crouching position, breathing very fast, Gasp! Gasp! Gasp! Gasp! I calmed down after what felt like an eternity. I realised I was all clammy with sweat. I didn’t dare close my eyes again. I was only too sure what I’d see and I definitely didn’t want to see it…. The hooded figure seemed strangely frightening… I shuddered. It didn’t help that he had a long, sharp, bloody sword in his hand.
I sat up, feeling dazed. I was getting a feeling of déjà vu… maybe I’d had this dream earlier as well…. Maybe several times…
My alarm clock showed 6 am…. I was late again. I scrambled out of my bedclothes and rushed to get ready. Finally half an hour later, scrubbed clean and well fed, dreading another boring college day, I left the house. Little did I know about what was waiting for me out there…
The train I usually boarded to get to college, was unnaturally empty of people today. There were a few people dotted here and there though. I sat down near a window and pulled out Harry Potter from my bag, reading it for the zillionth time. I suddenly realised I was feeling cold, which was weird because I was June. I wondered if I was running a temperature, but then saw the other women shivering slightly. I switched off the fans in the compartment. I looked out the window, the train was slowing down, finally stopping between two stations. I groaned internally, this meant I was going to be late for my first lecture. Just then the lights flickered ad most went out, only two stayed on. I got up and went to the door of the compartment and jumped back. It was pitch black outside, foggy too. I could’ve sworn the sun was shiningmerrily in the sky just a few minutes back, when I’d lookedoutthe window! I poked my head out of the door and looked around. Were we in a tunnel? No, I was sure the train had stopped by a huge garbage heap. Bewildered, I turned around and my heart leapt in my throat… the compartment was empty! There was not soul in sight! Not only that, it was so quiet that I realised that I was probably the only person in the entire train. The train was deserted…. Well, except for me. If I was feeling uncomfortable earlier, now I was scared shit. What the hell was going on? Trying to keep calm, I tried to call my Dad…. The cell wouldn’t work. I cursed it, pleaded with it, even banged it against the wall…. Nothing happened. I started trembling uncontrollably. No one knew I was trapped here all alone… I didn’t even know where I was. Suddenly, I froze. I could hear someone moving around in a far off compartment. I gathered all my strength & called out, “Help! Please help! The ladies compartment here!”
The movement stopped abruptly, followed by a few seconds of complete silence. Then I heard a frantic scrambling and whoever it was, seemed to be coming nearer. Heart pounding furiously, I wondered who it was and if I had done the right thing in calling out to him. Then again, I’d had no choice. I didn’t have the guts to get off the train alone, in the dark… and then it struck me! You couldn’t get into one local train compartment from another from inside the train, there were no vestibules in between. But this stranger seemed to be doing exactly that….
My already frozen body froze even further. How could he be doing that? Who was this, or rather…. WHAT was this? I tried to move but couldn’t move a muscle. The thing was just two compartments away now. I could hear scraping and screeching noises, growing louder with every passing second. It was in the next compartment now, the noise growing louder, my heart hammering wildly, my breath speeding, but still not able to move. It was just beyond the wall now, scraping and screeching. There was a loud crack and I almost died of shock.
Next second I was surrounded by black. I opened my mouth to scram but swallowed a lot of water… salt water. I was under water…. the sea. I frantically kicked my arms and legs, trying to get to the surface. My progress was slow, but I finally made it and what I saw made my stomach turn…. I was far away from the shore, the angry waves crashing around me, the full moon shining brightly overhead. It looked like low tide.
I panicked and started screaming. It was stupid, because obviously there was no one else around. The waves seemed to be taking me further away from the shore. It was so dark, it must’ve been midnight. The otherwise pleasant looking starry sky seemed to be pressing down on me.
It was then that I saw it. A large object silhouetted against the blue-black sky, floating on the water, around twenty feet from me. Without thinking, I started swimming towards it. If it was floating on the water, it was good enough for me. I hoped very hard for it to be a boat or a log and tried not to think what it could be, in the worst situation…
It was easier, swimming with the tide, but I swallowed a lot of water. The object wasn’t that close after all. After what seemed like a thousand years of exhausting free style, it loomed nearer. It was a dirty old boat, built for two, with no sail. “Nearly there”, I told myself, “You can do it”. The boat was just a few feet away now. I reached out my hand to grab it and in that instant, a tiny figure jumped out of the depths of the boat into the water near me. I was suddenly pulled down underwater. I looked down to see the dwarf that had jumped out of the boat, pulling me down by my ankles. When I struggled, he sunk his teeth into my right calf. An agonized scream escaped my mouth and the next thing I knew, I was being dragged down to the bottom of the sea…. To my death…
“Huh? What?”, I mumbled stupidly. My head was still spinning. I opened my eyes. It was dark, except for a single candle burning on a table near me. I seemed to be in a small room, probably in the basement. There was a huge mirror kept in front of me. I looked into it and saw a frightened face staring back at me. But I looked otherwise unscathed. Just then I heard some shuffling outside the door. My head whipped around. Someone was trying to turn the doorknob, but it seemed to be locked. The doorknob started rattling…. Slowly… then louder and louder, my heart beating faster and faster, gasping for breath, sweating profusely. It was then that I saw it ….. a very old memory, buried under the various folds of my brain. I saw another doorknob rattling, in another time, and a frightened little kid, cowering under the bed in the dark. The door opened and she muffled a scream. The stranger, huge and hooded, came right to the bed, bent down to peek in and said in a hoarse whisper, “hello cutie!”. She screamed and yelled and got out from the other side, colliding into another, shorter hooded man, who was laughing menacingly. Completely losing her head, she ran right into a wall and collapsed….
That incident had a deep impact on me and I wasn’t quite myself for several days. I was told later that my uncle and my cousin had tried to scare me and had got a lot of flak for that from everyone.
My mind returned to the present. Till now, I hadn’t really got time to dwell on why all of this was happening. I was concentrating more on getting away from it. However, now things were starting to make sense. My recurring nightmare… the train incident…. The sea… and now this… was it all connected? A reflection perhaps, of the fear I had experienced that day, so long ago? Fear of the unknown maybe…. All my unresolved problems, the answers to which I was afraid of finding. Were they coming back to me now, as these demons? Insignificant thoughts and memories started coming back to me… I had never liked people to sneak up on me… I was scared of the dark, to a degree that was unusual for an 18-year old…. I’d always been uncomfortable making decisions, solving problems….. There seemed to be so many instances….
I’d always thought I’d forgotten that incident, or at least gotten over it…. But no, it had stayed there, buried in my unconscious mind…. It couldn’t enter my conscious thoughts, so it had resurfaced in my dreams ….. so was all this also a….
There was only one way to find out. I got up and went to the door. I hadn’t noticed during my psychoanalysis, but it was still rattling, rather impatiently and now I could hear rapid, heavy breathing from outside the door. I’d made up my mind. I turned the doorknob, stepped back and yelled, “I am not scared of you! You’ve haunted me for years! But I’m not scared of you ANYMORE!!!”
“What happened? What? Why are you yelling? Talk to me!!”
“Huh? Wha-?” Someone was shaking me. I tried to open my eyes, but it was very bright. I peered through my lashes and saw my dad’s face looming over mine, worried sick. I got up and looked around. I was lying in my bed, in my own room, with sunshine streaming in through the window.
After what seemed like ages, a smile broke across my face. I hugged my Father, saying “Bad dream”, answering his questioning look. He stroked my head and left the room, saying, “Get ready dear, you’ll be late for college”.
I took a deep breath. A new day lay ahead of me. I looked in my mirror. It showed a very tired and sleep-deprived face, but happy nevertheless. I resolved to not let my worries and troubles pile up in the future… that could lead to a load of problems, I’d seen that!
I got up too. On my way to the bathroom, I saw the book I had been reading last night before I fell asleep, lying on the bedside table – Sigmund Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams”. I gave the book a grateful pat and left the room….

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