All the Kings horses and all the Kings men

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Like a statue I stood, frozen to the spot. There was not a single part of my body that moved, besides my thumping heart and racing pulse.

Submitted: June 27, 2011

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Submitted: June 27, 2011

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Like a statue I stood, frozen to the spot. There was not a single part of my body that moved, besides my thumping heart and racing pulse. Sweat dewed on my palms and neck. My breathing thickened and I found it hard to swallow. There was not yet any reason for such reactions, but in my dreamlike state, I did not question such things. I watched the foggy gloom, swirling in a mist under the bridge and my eyes widened as it parted and a figure emerged. The figure I had been waiting for, the source of my fears. As he closed the distance between us, fear consumed me like a dark shadow, spreading from my toes, all the way up into my clenched throat. Still, the figure walked on, coming closer with each step, but never seeming to reach me. His eyes flashed open and bore into mine, they were cold and filled with hatred, as our gaze held, the coldness seemed to seep into me, as if sharing deep dark secrets that no one wants to know. He was two steps away when the screaming started.

 

As my eyes flashed open in the darkness of the room I could still hear my own scream resonating in the darkness. It always took me those few seconds to actually work out it was mine and shut it off. My recurring nightmare was not a new thing, which explained why no one came running at my piercing scream. Dad was such a solid sleeper that he wouldn’t hear anyway and mum had started wearing earplugs. There was nothing that they could do to help, they couldn’t wake me up, couldn’t give comfort. I know how much it hurts them and I wish there was something I could do to make it stop. Every night I have the same horrible nightmare. It always plays out in exactly the same way; I always stand there waiting for someone who, in the morning, I can’t see why I am so scared of.

 

My councillor says that it is has to be triggered from something, something in my childhood maybe, but my parents can’t think of anything. There is nothing besides the car crash that took my twin sister Sophie’s life. It was on a late Saturday afternoon, in the middle of summer. It was so hot that we had all of the windows down to let the heat escape and any breath of cool air outside to make its way in. We had just been for a 3 day visit to our grandmother in Coffs Harbour and were all a little tired but very happy. Mum and dad were sitting in the front, their hands interlaced between them, and Sophie and I were sprawled in the back, she in the middle seat, her sleeping head resting against my shoulder.

 

As it was making marks in her neck I moved her seatbelt from over her shoulder to under her arms. She looked a lot more comfortable and curled closer into my side. It was then that it hit, a car swerving almost purposely towards us from the adjacent lane. Dad swerved and tried to avoid it but it slammed into us with such a force that my body strained against the seatbelt and the whiplash left me gasping for air. I heard the sound of shattering glass. I looked at the upper part of my seatbelt that was wrapped securely against my shoulder, the only thing keeping me in, and gasped in horror. My gaze shifted toward my sister Sophie, scared of what I might find. She was no longer there. I looked in horror towards the front windscreen, and discovered the source of the shattering glass. There was a gaping hole in the windscreen, the exact size of Sophie, with blood all over it. The last thing I heard was my mother’s resonating scream, before I blacked out.

 

I had minor injuries, whiplash from the seatbelt which had also embedded cuts into my skin, and a few cuts and bruises. My mother fared the same with a broken arm and a rather deep cut above her left eye from a piece of flying glass. Dad had a slight concussion from hitting his head on the windscreen and a few cuts but was otherwise ok. Sophie, well Sophie was not ok. And Sophie would never be ok ever again. It was like that old nursery rhyme:

 

All the King’s horses and all the Kings men,

Couldn’t put Sophie together again.

No, we couldn’t put Sophie together again.

She would always remain in scattered pieces of our memory, never to be put back together again.

 

I was ten then when the accident happened, four years went by, and aside from the usual bad dreams and horrors that every kid has, I was fine. I tried to move on with my life. We moved house and I changed schools. It was like starting our life all over again, except without Sophie. The absences of her were everywhere. On the night of our 14th birthday, well that’s when the dreams began. They were always exactly the same, and I always woke up at the same time with the same scream. So this morning was not unlike any other morning, except this time I had decided to do something about it. I had realized that I recognized the bridge in my dream. We had taken a field trip there in year 5. Sophie had loved that bridge, imagining that it was the type of bridge pretty lady’s would have walked across with their parasols shading them from the sun. Only the rich ones, she had decided, gazing down on the world from above. I was pretty sure I knew how to get there, so deciding to do something about these dreams; I got out of my bed and silently made my way out the front door.

 

In the early morning light I could see everyone beginning their days. The joggers were out, making their way rhythmically up and down the path. The dog walkers kept up a fast pace and then stopped to chat with friends and let the dogs catch up with a sniff and a bark. I few cars backed out from the driveway and buses picked people up from stops. It was only six in the morning but still our neighbourhood was alive with people.

 

I finally reached Highway Park, where I was pretty sure the bridge was located. I made my way along the central path that ran down the middle. It was dark inside, all the trees creating a cover from the early morning sun. There was a fog in the air that swirled and snaked its way around everything. I walked and walked until I thought I may as well turn around and go back to bed, when all of a sudden I could see it, peeking out of the gloom. I kept walking until I could see it in full view and stopped. Once again that piercing fear took over me. My throat closed up, my palms dewed with sweat and my heart kept up a frantic beat within my chest. It was exactly like in my dream, and so I was not surprised when a figure emerged from the fog.

 

As he closed the distance between us, fear consumed me like a dark shadow, spreading from my toes, all the way up into my clenched throat. Still, the figure walked on, coming closer with each step, but never seeming to reach me. His eyes flashed open and bore into mine, they were cold and filled with hatred, as our gaze held, the coldness seemed to seep into me, as if sharing deep dark secrets that no one wants to know. He was five steps away when...wait. This was not my dream. I knew what was happening and had complete control. I was about to run when a thought hit me. I had been having this dream every night for two years. I was 16 now and it was time for this to stop. Then suddenly I realized, that maybe Sophie was in charge of these dreams, maybe this was Sophie’s doing. Did she blame me for the accident, I certainly did. Maybe this was her way of getting me to join her.

 

I had made up my mind. As the figure approached, now three steps away, instead of waiting, I walked out to meet him. Seeming unsurprised by this turn of events, he turned on his heel, and with one glance back at me with those cold eyes, walked away from me towards the fog. Without another thought or hesitation, I followed him. Sophie filled my mind, this was what I had to do. This was what she wanted me to do. I just followed and followed, letting the mist and gloom consume me, from head to toe like the fear had previously. It snaked its way around me, no longer sinister, but welcoming. The figure had disappeared but I kept on walking. Until the fog had consumed me. Until I was no more.

 


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