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Nightmare

Adam slowly opened his eyes as he stretched his arms out full length. He opened his mouth that let out a yawn, mirroring the mouth of a roaring lion. Adam sat up on his stone cold bed, but he noticed something. Something about where he was had changed drastically. He rubbed his eyes together to get a better look at where he was.

“Where am I?” Adam thought to himself. The setting was an alien land to him. He could barely make out anything with the darkness conflicting with his vision, “This isn’t my cell,” he declared as he had figured out that his jail cell was never as pitch black as it is now.

He stood up from his bed then proceeded to feel his way around the room for a light switch. After violating the wall for quite some time, he finally felt an object sticking out of the switch. He flipped the wall’s tumor, which barely illuminated the room he was in. the lights flickered as if it were having a seizure. But it was enough light to allow Adam to know where he was… or wasn’t. From that moment, he realized he was no longer in his cell, he was no longer prisoner number A39732X-11, but was he dead?

Is he dreaming while he’s asleep in his cell? Was he freed without acknowledgement? Or better yet, was he even alive? Adam looked around to devour anything he could with his eyes to bring him closer to knowing where he was. Well, he ruled out the possibility of it being a dream because everything around him felt so authentic. Considering the fact that he was a murderer, he couldn’t possibly be released. So, with process of elimination taking its course, it left him with only one possible explanation: He was dead.

Biting his lips, his eyes aimlessly skipped from wall it wall. Sweat began to trickle down his face, eventually sliding off his nose. He pulled his short, greasy black hair back in sheer confusion, exposing his sweat-drenched forehead. If there was still a beating heart in his body, it would be mere beats away from piercing through his chest. But any felling of mass confusion faded as quickly as it started. Adam no longer had any doubt what was happening or where he was. Adam had painfully accepted that he was no longer alive; he was paying his due in hell.

“Guess I was injected while I was asleep,” he shakily uttered to himself. “Well, serves me right for killing that boy, I guess.” Adam grew a microscopic, cynical smile. He toured, observing the room he was in. He had noticed there were other doors, probably leading to other rooms, but he chose not to explore. “So,” he said in a more lightened tone, “this is what Hell looks like huh?” his malevolent smirk had grown, but not enough to reach his eyes.

Adam put his hands in the pocket of his wrinkled jeans while he trotted around a bug-infested couch. He also noticed rats scampering around on the floor. They nibbled on what little they can scavenge. That is also another thing he noticed, his clothes. He wasn’t wearing the orange, wrinkled up jump suit he wore in prison; he bared his vintage wrinkled, blue jeans, his favorite black t-shirt, plus his size 12 boots. As he happily gazed at his clothes, he started to notice something else; the clothes he had on were the clothes he wore the night he killed the boy. Adam didn’t make too much of it.

“The house isn’t exactly first class status,” he stated as he looked at the dirty, rotting walls surrounding him, “but I do have to say that Hell does have a great taste in fashion.” He joked as he looked at the attire that was on him. “Come to think of it,” he pondered as he walked towards the ceiling fan, “I’ve had nightmares much worse than this.” He pulled the ceiling fan string, which released an avalanche of dust into the air surrounding him, which caused him to go into a sneezing frenzy.

“Nice to know that,” Adam said, trying to conquer his sneezing, “allergies still exist in Hell.” He stepped out of the angry swarm of the dust-invaded space.

As Adam tried to catch his breath, an old dialing telephone, which Adam hadn’t noticed before, next to the couch, began ringing. He walked over to the phone, covering his face from the still-floating dust, then picked it up.

“Bless you,” a deep, guttural voice murmured before the caller hung up.

Adam slowly placed the phone back on the rack. He slowly stepped away from the telephone, still staring at it with unease. A loud, bloodcurdling crash went off behind Adam. He quickly turned around—simultaneously, slowly retreating from where the sound had came from. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck slowly begin to rise. Each step he took, he tried to make the least amount of noise. Unfortunately, every step he took, the floor would creak louder.

His heart began to speed up again, following his sweat showering his face. Hyperbolic thoughts of paranoia bombarded his mind, causing him to stop retreating. Is it the devil that lies beyond those doors? Who they are or what they wanted from him, he does not know. He does know, however, that he does not want to stay here any longer. Right before Adam could take another step back, he hears a footstep in the near distance, then another, followed by another. He could not take this any longer.

He started to retreat once again, gradually increasing speed between steps. At last, he decided to make a run for, what seemed like, the front door. But before he could open the door, he decided to look out the window first to see what was beyond these walls. More footsteps can be heard advancing towards him. He rushed to the window, moving the curtains to see what lied ahead. What he saw was no outside, no escape, just another room.

Being pit against an unknown presence, he has very little time to make a decision. Does he stay to confront this entity? Or does he move on to the closest thing he can call an escape? Before he can make a decision, the footsteps come to a halt. Though, the steps had come to an end, it is clear Adam cannot take anymore of this. Adam’s body shakes up upon his trembling feet. His fingers began to dig deep into his palms.

This is much worse than any nightmare he’s ever experienced, he thought. As his heart finally seemed to be steadying, a thunderous bang went off in the room that Adam was about to enter mere moments ago. Is he going to stay or is he going to confront it? Before any of this, before he ever killed that boy, his psychiatrist taught him one thing—that is to face his fears.

I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid, Adam repeated in his mind as he slowly reached towards the door. Right before he laid his hands on a rusty, old knob, an abrupt thud was heard behind the doors.

“I am afraid,” he admitted to himself while laying his hand firmly on the knob.

He turned the knob, pushed the door open with a feeling of dread creeping up on his stomach. He finally opened the door, only to see what he’s been afraid of all along—himself. As he opened the door, an exact replica of Adam was standing only a few feet away, bearing an innocent-looking smile. He was wondering if his mind was playing tricks on him, but his mind deceives, not—no matter how many times he was declared insane back on Earth. He rubbed his eyes together one last time in attempt to get a better picture. But before he finished rubbing, a white light gradually overshadowed everything.

“Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan?” Adam’s psychiatrist, Dr. Pleasance, asked a delirious Adam, who was strapped to an operating table, “Are you alright?”

“Not to worry doctor,” scientist, Dr. Groves assured Pleasance, “he’s fine.”

Adam slowly began to open his eyes, but began closing them due to lights being shined upon his face. “Where am I?” he uttered.

“You’re in Sigh Co’s Hospital of the Sanity Challenged, Adam,” Pleasance answered.

“What am I doing here?” Adam questioned.

“Well…” Pleasance tried to explain before being cut off by Dr. Groves.

“You’re here because I’m doing research on the nature of killer,” he explained, “you’re here to tell show me what makes you tick.”

“But wait,” Adam paused, “then what was all that-“

“Oh,” Dr. Groves laughed, “did you like it?” I sent signals to your brain, via these wires, and thus controlling your dreams,” he explained. “You see, we tried to make you experience what your victim experienced at the time of his unlawful death.”

“Were you afraid, Adam?” Dr. Pleasance asked.

Adam stared about with a blank, emotionless face. “I’m not sure,” he whispered, following a brief pause. “But I liked it,” he stated as he let out a whimpering laugh.



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