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A Thing Through the Window (Edited)
"You look pale.”
Sand whispered through my hair, the dunes that rose and fell around me stretched on forever.
Dusk draped hues of red and orange across the landscape, almost bathing the world in blood. Something warm and wet fell down my cheek, and bringing up a hand to touch it, I found it to be blood itself.
"Don't look at it, it'll make you upset."
My eyes felt heavy as more red spilled from my eyes. I went to rub them, but found that I had none. My breath hitched in my throat as a scream worked its way up.
"I told you so."
The scream was trapped beneath the thread that sealed my mouth. Running my fingers tentatively along the binding, a shudder ran through me. A lone question rang in my head.
How could I see if I had no eyes?
"That's a good question. It's probably because this is a dream."
Bolting up in bed, a sheen sweat covered me, chilling me to the bone. Sighing, I cradled my head in my hand. The dull sound of dogs barking filled the static-like silence.
"Drat." Looking to the red numbers on the nightstand, I couldn't help but scoff. It was two 'O clock.
Ever since I had started my newest job, I had been dreaming the same nightmare. My patron had wanted a painting of an open window. She hadn't specified what the window was supposed to look like, nor why she wanted a picture of a window at all. I thought it was odd, but I had stranger requests before, so I brushed it off. However, each day I grew closer to finishing it, the dreams intensity increased.
But what really got me in a twist was the fact that the voice didn't have a body. It was always just a voice, and it knew all about me.
I asked it once how it knew, but it only replied, "I was watching from behind the window." I glanced over at the painting in question. It stood near the corner of my room, enshrouded in an inky darkness that seemed like smog. Chuckling, I shook my head. The thought that my dreams had something to do with the painting was absurd. But for just a moment, I had played with the thought that perhaps the painting was cursed.
But why would my painting be cursed? Such a thought was nonsense. But then, a shiver ran up my spinal chord as I slowly looked from my lap back to the picture. The background was maroon, and three lighter shades of purple stretched across its surface in swirls. In the middle was a simple windowsill: pure white and halfway open. Beyond the sill was pitch black, excluding a small patch of unpainted surface. I don't know why I had painted it like that, but for some odd reason this scene came to mind as soon as I had set to work.
It was almost finished, too. All it needed was for me to color in the middle.
Suddenly, I had the urge to finish it. My eyes hardened as my thoughts raced. If I finished the painting, I would prove to myself that the picture had nothing to do with my dreams, plus, I could chuck that thing at the woman and be done with it. I carried myself over to the painting, picking up a stray brush and a tube of black paint from the table beside me, wetting the brush until I was satisfied. Dabbing the canvas, I colored in what was left of the white.
It was done. I waited a moment before I smiled softly, a relief as soothing as a hot bath after a cold day settled down. But as I smiled, I felt something inside of me shift. A deep, gut-wrenching dread revealed itself and clung to my soul.
"Don't open your eyes." My heart plummeted into my stomach as the
suave voice whispered into my ear in a breathy sigh. "If you open them, you'll claw them out." The brush fell from my limp hand and clattered to the floor.
My whole body began to tremor as the breathing in my ear left a moist heat across my neck. My eyes began to leak tears: they came slowly at first, but then began to stream down in thick rivulets.
"You look pale. If you cry anymore, you'll bleed to death." But I couldn't stop. A terror unlike any other seized me, shaking my very core. Rising my shaking hands up to my face, I attempted to wipe away the tears.
But as I did, I noticed that the tears were warm. Bewildered, I inspected my hands.
There was blood on my hands. I choked back a scream that seemed to rise from my gut.
"I told you before. Looking will only upset you."
"W-why?" I stuttered. The voice seemed to sigh, as if bothered by a troublesome child.
"If you don't stop crying, you'll bleed to death. And if you don't stop screaming, you'll suffocate." I tore at my eyes, trying to stop the bloody tears, but as I did, I felt only empty sockets.
I had no eyes.
"If only you hadn't opened the window." It said solemnly. I shook my head.
A dream. This must be a dream.
"Yes. You're dreaming. Only, you won't wake from this dream."
"Why is this happening? Why are you doing this?" I shrieked. It sighed again but did not answer. I fell to my knee's, the tears still strong. My vision swam as I slumped to the floor. The warmth of my body seemed to leak with every tear, and the more I screamed, the less I could breath. Darkness seemed to creep from all around, swallowing me whole. But just before it consumed me,
the voice commented quietly.
"A window's a window. And if you leave a window open too long, something’s bound to get in."