Defessus

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Candice couldn't sleep. Not being able to close her eyes without hearing her husband's screams was doing terrible things to her psyche.

Submitted: October 27, 2014

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Submitted: October 27, 2014

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I found a bird closing her eyes one last time, and I wondered if she dreamed like me.

 

 

1

 

 

Candice had never had trouble sleeping before the night she woke up, dripping sweat and reaching for her husband. Sleep had aided in her temporary amnesia upon waking. Her husband was working late at the office, as he had plenty of times before. It was nothing new, his late hours, that is. He was a criminal lawyer, and cases were always being won or lost.

The nightmare, the contents of which, she couldn't remember, was new. Candice had always been a dreamless sleeper. She had always woken up the same way she had fallen asleep: suddenly and unknowingly.

Tonight was different. She woke up knowing she had dreamt about something. For the life of her, she couldn't remember exactly what that dream had been about, only that it had filled her with a sense of dread and terror.

But also, satisfaction? Maybe. It was the only emotion she could identify with. The dream had left her cold and desolate and satisfied.

Despite not knowing what the dream had been about, she could not force herself to close her eyes. Fragments, it appeared, had come in emotions rather than images. She couldn't see the problem, but she could feel it.

Candice was forced to spend the next hour awake. She stared at the window from her pillow until Bill's headlights poured in through the curtains.

She waited for her husband in anticipation, listening to him unlock the door, and then bump and feel his way toward the bedroom. When he came in, he looked, not only surprised, but flabbergasted.

“I told you not to wait up,” he said, leaning over and planting a short, sweet kiss on the corner of her mouth.

That feeling. . .

Knowing?

“I couldn't sleep,” she said. She watched him peel his suit off and undress down to his boxers. He was approaching middle age, and his middle was beginning to show the signs of the ever heartbreaking middle age spread.

Even Candice had begun to see her stomach looking more like it was filled with cotton than bricks. Handles had shown up, as had cellulite. She wasn't large. Since she had turned thirty, she had only gained fifteen pounds.

Still, her breasts had begun to sag and her crow's feet looked more like claw marks than the lines of a bird's talons.

Stretchmarks for the eyes, her mother use to say.

Bill climbed into bed, pulling the blankets over them both. His body heat was welcomed, but Candice wouldn't dare touch him. After fifteen years of marriage, the spark had ultimately been extinguished. It only seemed to flicker about once every two or three months, and honestly, that was okay with Candice.

She had never been one of those types that needed to be condoled and ogled. She had always held a high confidence in herself, and because of that, she knew she didn't need her man to constantly love on her and make her feel his love.

She loved her husband. She knew he still loved her, too.

“Nightmare?” Bill asked.

Candice shrugged. “I guess. I think I'm okay now,” she said. It wasn't the first lie she had told her husband, and it certainly wouldn't be her last.

That simple statement was all it took for Bill to close his eyes. Within ten minutes, he was snoring.

Candice did not sleep. She laid in bed until the sun spread it's warm light over her trembling body.

 

 

2

 

 

The urge to sleep again came around three the next day. Having cleaned the house, and dabbled at her writing for the day, she decided a nap couldn't hurt.

She went into the bedroom and turned off the lights. The fan came on, and the covers stayed off as she climbed into bed and rested her head against her pillow.

Sleep came without her knowing. It washed over her like a wave, and drug her out into the deep vast waters known as rest.

 

3

 

 

The screams were like nails falling on glass. They shattered and broke through Candice's mind like shrapnel.

She knew who they belonged to. Her husband had screamed at her like that during one of their infamous fights.

When they were twenty-somethings and having only been married briefly, they fought like drunk white trash every night. Bill had shaken her, punched her, and screamed at her over the slightest of things.

Candice hadn't been completely innocent, She guessed there was a small part in every woman, though most wouldn't admit it, that enjoyed being manhandled. They could deny it all they wanted, but the truth of the matter was they felt those wanton tingles every time they read in their romance novels about the hero 'roughly seizing her arm' or 'grabbing a handful of her hair'. Each time the heroine would protest 'you're hurting me', they'd practically roll over in ecstasy.

She would intentionally pick fights, just to get his temper riled up. If he hit her, she hit back. She had given what she had got.

They simply outgrew it. She knew this wasn't normal, but after he had finished law school and had found a firm to work for, and Candice had published her first novel, they had stopped and became the perfect couple.

She felt like she had been transported back to those dark days. The way his voice belted out her name, it was the same as when they had been fighting.

But she couldn’t see it. Hear, yes, and she could feel. She felt the warm splatter of blood across her body.

It was then that she woke up, and she became convinced she was still dreaming. She could still feel the blood on her chest and face, but when she wiped it away, it proved to be only perspiration.

She sat up in the bed and she looked around. Something had to be wrong. Dreams, her mother had always said, were like premonitions. They allowed normal people insight into what would come. Only most people didn't realize until deja vu hit them.

Candice knew the screams belonged to Bill. And she would be there when he was screaming. There were still a few unanswered questions.

Who? What? When? Where? And How?

 

 

4

 

 

The dreams did not stop. They came to the point that Candice was lucky to get three hours of sleep a night. Day time naps, not a chance.

She broke down and went to the doctor, who concluded it was menopause and prescribed sleeping pills to help. Candice took them religiously, but they failed to fix, or even help the problem.

And it was beginning to pour into her writing. It seemed the words were getting harder to find, and when she did find them, they were not her words. They belonged to the dream.

Candice was a romance novelist (go figure) so when the male character was becoming more of a sly snake in the grass rather than the atypical Prince Charming to her heroine, she knew something was wrong.

Another issue, she would write for her mandatory three hours, and when she was finished, she would read over her work and not recognize a word. After the laptop was off, she'd forget what she just read.

Just fragments.

She tried to piece the together, but like her dreams, it was impossible to connect the all.

Bill was still playing at the center of these dreams. For reasons unknown, he seemed to be a major role in her writing too. The character she could so vaguely remember reminded her of her husband.

Bill was a good man, despite their earlier brawls. He was caring and attentive, and he provided. He woke up every day to go to work, rain or shine, sickness and in health. He was married to his job.

He had provided her with a nice home and nice things. She never had to ask for anything. If there was something she wanted or needed, there was no discussion or problem with her taking his credit card and buying it.

He also provided a healthy dose of conversation, intellectually and stimulating. He could push her into writing territory yet explored, and in romantic fiction, it was a great boost to have.

Did she love him?

The question seemed so rash and vague. Of course, she loved her husband. Just because the so called 'teenage dream' had faded, didn't mean she had fallen out of love with her husband. The love had simply changed.

Still. . .

That feeling. . .

Revulsion?

Certainly not. She couldn't be revolted by her husband. Attractively speaking, he was in the prime of his life. A little wider in the middle but not unattractive. If anything, it aided in his 'older guy' appeal.

Perhaps it was the way he handled his appearance. He knew he still looked good, and he was unashamed of how some younger women looked at him. Candice had noticed. Every time she went to his office, she noticed the way his secretary would purse her injected lips at her and then let him know his wife (a word uttered vehemently from the girl's mouth) was waiting. When he came out, she would smile the charming grin of an actress and stare at him.

Candice knew that long ago, it had been those very things that had attracted Bill to her. Long, shapely legs, perky breasts, and smile that could show both wanting and sensitivity while begging you to manhandle her.

That had been long ago, and though she wasn't old, she was no longer a spring chicken either. She had crow's feet and frown lines.

No laugh lines.

Go figure.

She loved her husband. Despite all else that she knew, she loved her husband, She figured she would always love her husband.

Maybe it was the reason that when she had looked at the computer screen and saw ten pages worth of one phrase, she knew who it was for. All in that one phrase, repeated, over and over.

Lie and Die.

Lie and Die.

Lie and Die.

Candice read it over, then stopped and reread it, She read it until she thought her eyes would fall out and bleed her dry. She thought her heart would leap from her chest and explode against the computer screen. She knew it was meant for Bill. She knew with every fiber of her being.

She didn't know what was attacking them, or why it had decided that Bill was the problem, but she was terrified.

You know who wants Bill dead. You've always known, the smart Candice said. Bill had always referred to her fiery side as Candy. Candice hated it because it was a stripper name.

“But I don't know,” Candice replied to the empty space around her.

Sure you do, Candy said. If you lie, you die.

“What is he lying about?” Candice asked, but even she knew Candy wasn't going to answer her question. You always had to find out for yourself.

 

 

5

 

 

The next few nights, she did not dare go to sleep. Behind her eyelids lay only Bill's screams and her own helplessness. Candice could do nothing to save him.

That was when Bill finally took Candice's sleep deprivation seriously.

He suggested the cabin.

“I can take a few days off work. We can just relax. It might do you some good to get out of this stuffy place,” he offered.

Candice was immediately taken with this proposal. That night she packed their things and she was waiting the next day with a smile and a renewed spirit.

The cabin was located by a lake, and deep in the woods. It had been bought for this exact purpose. Rest from the busy lives they carried back home. Rest from crime and cases, from deadlines and words.

Though, Candice couldn't help herself. She brought her laptop.

She wasn't sure what had possessed her to do so, but she had. Maybe she was waiting for it's next message, or for another clue. Her dreams, and her laptop had been the phone between her and whatever spirit was messing with her.

She had come to the conclusion that it had to be some unknown supernatural force doing this to her. She had no idea what type of paranormal entity it was, only it was unfamiliar.

You know exactly what it is, Candy came from the woodwork, lingering over her shoulder. Her voice was a cold whisper in her ear as she held close to her husband.

“I don't,” she said softly. Then she closed her eyes, and fell asleep.

 

 

6

 

 

That night, she slept peacefully. She was happy to awake though, of her own accord. If only she had went back to being dreamless.

The dream felt different. She could see. She was on the outside of a window because she felt it against her fingers, and she was dragging her nails down the glass. They created a shrill sound each time they drug down. She did this over and over, watching her husband on the other side of the glass, loving against a beautiful, young girl.

Not woman, girl. She looked like a little girl, though her body screamed woman, and the way she fed into him said that she had done this plenty of times before.

Do you understand now, Candice? Do you know who's going to kill your husband? Candy asked.

Candice stared at the woman. “Surely this isn't really happened. Is it?” she asked.

Candy was smiling, and her eyes turned to the two. “Looks awful fun, doesn't it? You haven't ridden your husband like that since you were more like me,” she replied.

Candice opened her eyes, and the sun light was pouring through. She had slept a full eight hours, but she didn't feel rested. She felt exhausted, and she couldn't breathe.

Bill couldn't be cheating on her. It wasn't possible, was it? That a dream could turn into reality? That a dream could show her what was truly going on?

The girl.

Candice bolted up. Was the girl coming after them? To kill Candice? It wouldn't be the first time a mistress had killed the wife, but for some reason, no matter how well the idea fit, Candice didn't feel satisfied with it.

It didn't sit right.

That was when she looked at her husband's side of the bed and saw he wasn't there. Only a note.

 

You looked so peaceful. I just didn't want to wake you up. I'll be back around dinner. Try to get some rest.

 

Bill

 

“Rest, Bill?” she asked, crumpling the note. “While you're out screwing some stupid child-”

Candice stopped, because the feeling was strange.

Do you understand now?

She thought she did. Now, she really thought she did.

 

 

7

 

 

When Bill came in, it was around six. The only light in the cabin came from the laptop at the other end of the room. It cast a small sliver of light toward the door.

“Candice?” Bill called, closing the door behind him. He reached for the light switch, but it wouldn't come on. It only flipped back and forth, with no results.

Candice gave no answer to his call either. There was only silence throughout the cabin, and Bill began to feel a fear rising up in his chest.

He wasn't sure why her laptop was even there. She wasn't suppose to bring it, or said she wouldn't. The power could have flipped off as she was writing. There really was no telling.

“Candice?” he called again as he closed the door behind him. He made his way toward the kitchen. It was the only reason he passed the laptop, but he never made it to the kitchen.

The Word program that Candice used wasn't separated by paragraphs and spaces. Bill found the mouse and stared at the words across the screen reading them, and then darting his eyes over the hundreds of pages that had been written as:

 

lieanddielieanddielieanddielieanddie.

 

At the bottom of the page, was simply typed:

 

Lie and Die, Bill.

 

The light flipped on behind him, and he spun around, but no one was there. The room was lit brilliantly, but it was also empty, as was his mind. He was beyond confusion. He had skipped that emotion to go straight to fear.

“Candice! Where are you!” he asked, but he was already heading to the bedroom. That was where the breakers were to control the lights.

The shatter of his nose exploded throughout all of his senses. It hurt worse than the fall onto his back against the hard wooden floors. The pain in the back of his head was nothing to the pain in the front of his face.

He gurgled a cry as his hand instantly reached for his nose. The grip that kept him from doing that was strong to come from such a small hand. Bill stared up at his wife.

She was grinning. It was the grin that would make the Cheshire Cat jealous. Evil and maniacal, and cunning. She had tricks up her sleeve, and if Bill was a good boy, she may even let him see.

He saw the frying pan she had used to break his nose on the ground. Her hand reached out and grabbed the broken cartilage of his nose. She pinched, and twisted, and Bill screamed and reached for her hands. Her fingers held the nose with an iron grip.

“Look, Bill, I think you're nose is growing,” she said, but it didn't sound like Candice's voice. It had a raspy, husky sound to it, like the voice she would use in the bedroom to get everything up and running. “Must mean you're lying about something.”

Bill used one quick shove to knock her away. As she flew off of him, he thought she would pull his nose off with her. Her fingers came off, and she rolled onto the floor.

“What is wrong with you?” Bill screamed at her, covering his nose. The blood was gushing out onto his hand, through the cracks in his fingers.

Candice showed no signs of concern as she stood. Bill watched from the floor as she walked to her laptop. She moved with a renewed confidence, a new swing to her hips, bounce to her breasts. Bill, for a moment, wondered what had brought about the vixen he had long missed.

“Mama always said, 'You lie, you die'. Bill, have you lied about anything lately?” she asked, closing the screen to the laptop. She turned around as Bill struggled to sit up.

The wound on the back of his head was making everything spin. He thought if he stood, he would instantly throw up, but staying low seemed like an even worse option.

“What is wrong with you? Have you completely lost your mind!” He yelled, backing up the the wall. He grabbed to the fire place and started to pull himself up.

Candice made incredible time across the living room, coming up to him instantly. Her hand grabbed to his throat, and shoved him against the wall. He banged the wound on the back of his head again, and Bill thought he would pass out right then.

Then, her lips crashed to his, and Bill felt her tongue slide into his mouth, only, it felt forked and thin. It tasted his entire mouth, and Bill thought about biting it. If he could gather the right strength, he would have bitten it in half.

Instead, she moved away, and Bill stared at the blood across her mouth, like a red beard. She smiled, her teeth stained with the same red fluids. He wished she would stop smiling.

“I can still taste her,” Candice replied, standing up. She moved backward until she reached his feet. She latched to his ankles and started pulling him away from the wall.

Bill groaned at the pain as she brought him to the middle of the floor. He didn't think he had the strength to try and get up again. Before he could even get a plan started, she was back, sitting on top of him.

She held her laptop between her hands, and smiled at Bill. “We watched you with your little whore today. We watched as she made love to her, just as we dreamed about bashing your brains in. Liars have to die, Bill. Mama said so,” she replied.

“Candice,” Bill muttered, staring up at his beautiful wife. She looked so young, so sexy, even as she was getting ready to kill him. She still could have changed it all, and he wouldn’t have cared.

She shook her head, and stopped, placing her finger over his mouth delicately. She drug it's tip across his parted lips. “Candice wasn't strong enough for this, Billy. You should know that. Candice couldn't hurt her husband, let alone kill him. She was just so tired and pretending she didn't know. She just needed some help,” she replied, and the laptop flew down once, connecting with his face.

The force was strong enough to break his cheekbone. Bill gurgled another scream, but had no power to move. His eyes felt like they were seeing red, literally. Candice was drenched in a red film.

“Candice,” he croaked.

She smiled, and tilted her head. “She's resting. You can call me Candy,” she said, and then, the laptop came down again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

 

 

 

8

 

 

When Tuesday came around, Bill's secretary called the police. She relayed to them that he was suppose to be back the day before, and how worried she was that he and his wife could have been hurt at their cabin.

The police went to the cabin, but they were sure everything would be okay as they pulled up.

Nothing looked wrong. Their car was still there, the door closed, but they went inside anyway because it was their jobs.

They opened the door, and was immediately hit with the smell. In the middle of the room lay Bill, flies beginning to swarm over him, his eyes staring at them both from the sockets, covered in his blood.

And in the corner of the room, curled into a small ball, was Candice.

Besides the buzzing of the flies, the only other sound in the entire cabin was that of Candice's soft snoring.

 

 

Fin


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