The story that they rejected

I don’t remember going to sleep, but I do remember waking up.

I woke up in my bed, soft and comfortable as usual. But something just didn’t feel right. It was late for a nap, after sunset, almost seven at night. The monstrous rumbling of my stomach drew me out of my room to see if dinner was ready. Next thing I remember is being back in my bedroom. Except this time, everything was different. All of my possessions and belongings were gone. My closet was empty, my dresser had vanished into thin air, and even the curtains had disappeared. The only thing that was left in my room was the frigid metal hospital bed near the window. It wasn’t there before.

Out of nowhere a sense of foreboding and despair hit me like a freight train. I sat on the bed; feeling like a mental patient locked in an asylum, brought my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. What was going on here? My room was dark and beginning to terrify me, the sounds of my family chatting and watching TV were distant; muffled. A bone- chilling air settled about the room and I found myself curiously staring into the open closet, unaware that something was gazing back. The hair on the back of my neck prickled and an image popped into my head, an image of a boy in overalls, carrying a ball. He looked to be about 12 and was friendly. The only aspects of him that made me uncomfortable were that almost everything about him- his hair, his skin, his clothing- was gray and slightly transparent. The most striking part of his appearance was his enormous yellow eyes. They were exaggerated to cartoon proportions and had no pupils or whites, just yellow orbs that pierced my soul. He called out to me, pleading “Please Miss, help me…” His voice was fainter than his body and although I heard his words, his lips never moved.

I was in a daze, it all felt unreal. Ghosts didn’t exist, did they? This couldn’t have been happening. When I didn’t answer the boy he walked away, right out of my door. Wondering what other strange events might occur; I turned and looked out the window. Immediately I saw another of those… things. I couldn’t bring myself to call the figures I was seeing ghosts. In the window was another gray, transparent figure. It too, had yellow eyes. I could only see it from the chest up, and it looked as if it were sitting on a chair right outside.

Watching it made me feel as if time had slowed to a crawl. Its eyes were closed and it was breathing peacefully but, something about it felt menacing. What could be so menacing about a figure with a human body and a large, cartoonish horse head? I wanted to laugh but everything about the situation filled me with terror.  It was still extremely chilly, as if winter had been unleashed inside of my bedroom; I could see my breath coming out in small icy puffs. And there was no sign of activity on the street at all; no lights on, no cars driving by, not even birds chirping. Turning away from the window, still unable to move from the strange bed I was in, I saw the boy had stuck his head through the wall to watch me. “What’s going on?” I asked him. He didn’t answer me, just gazed around my empty bedroom. I had a sense that he was waiting for something; waiting for the other one to give a signal. Images flashed in my head of myself, lying chained to the bed. My mangled body was slashed into a dozen bloody pieces but somehow I was still alive. The two figures were standing on either side of the bed with blood- my blood- dripping down the weapons in their hands; a machete, a knife, a blowtorch, and a saw.

I came out of the vision with the impression that this would soon be my fate. These weren’t ghosts. They were demons. As the realization hit me, both entities’ eyes turned glowing red and the demon in the window gave the signal to the little boy. The boy flew straight through me, knocking me down on the bed and started to hold my arms down. I watched in agonizing slow motion as the other one started climbing through the window. The form he took was of a strong able- bodied man but with the head of a horse. His features were contorted in rage, revealing a set of razor-sharp jagged teeth. He snarled at me as he came in and I fought to get up.

Raucous laughter from the living room broke through the sound barrier that seemed to be around us and the boy momentarily let go of my wrists in surprise. Taking advantage of their distraction I got up and bolted out of the door and down the hallway, screaming at the top of my lungs. I ran forever but the hallway still stretched eternally before me. Giving up all hope, I started sobbing and crying for my mother. As if by magic she appeared at the end of the hall, beckoning me to come to her. I scrambled to my feet and sprinted towards her with renewed faith.

Just as I was about to grab her hand and be swept into her loving embrace I felt frozen, firm hands grip the back of my neck and drag me away.  Gone was the cartoonish horse head of the demon from the window. In its place was a human head and neck with the same red eyes that would haunt my nightmares forever. I kicked and shouted bloody murder while he kept going, his grasp strong around my neck. Everything started to go black and my attempts to get away weakened, I could feel the lack of oxygen shutting down my brain and body. Completely sure I was as good as dead, I stopped fighting. The demon threw me back onto the bed and chained my arms and legs down. Together, he and the young boy took to making shallow yet painful cuts all over my stomach, thighs, and arms. Once they were done with that, the demon reached for the machete, presumably to start cutting my limbs off as I had witnessed in my earlier vision. Just as he started to swing down towards my leg, I woke up.

There were scars all over my stomach, thighs, and arms.

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