Nightmare | Teen Ink

Nightmare

October 1, 2013
By TouchmeTender SILVER, Palatine, Illinois
TouchmeTender SILVER, Palatine, Illinois
5 articles 14 photos 32 comments

Suffocating. Darkness engulfs you. Your chest tightens and you can’t breathe. There is no sound, no color, no light. Three cards lay on the ground in front of you. On the left, a crystal serpent. The right, a menacing reaper. And in the middle bounces an adorable red ball, offset by the bleak dungeon behind it. The ball turns the corner and you follow it, not once seeing the bouncing stop. It’s out of your view and you realize you’re in a dimly lit cavern with dripping chandeliers. The walls, floor, and ceiling meld together with stone, making your footsteps crawl back in your ears a moment later. You catch every stain stuck to the cages that sink back what seems like miles.

You round the corner to find the toy motionless. It sits in a small girl’s lap. You can’t see her face but her skin is a sickly grey, rotting off in flakes. Her torn and ragged dress hangs limp over her crossed legs. Dark, greasy wires fall in tangles out of her drooping head, distorting the shadow underneath. You push yourself closer, surprised to hear the echoes wriggling in your head. Each beat is tripled by the ones pounding in your chest. The girl is now only feet away when you halt.

There’s a quiet ticking noise, just barely loud enough to hear, sounding through the room. It’s slow at first, but then the volume and speed gradually begin to increase. You’re frantic, your head whipping back and forth trying to find the source, when you notice it out of the corner of your eyes.

Slowly but surely, the grotesque body is moving. Her legs dance like a marionette, spasms sending them in unnatural directions, her shoulders dislocating and relocating themselves over and over creating sharp notes like nails on a chalkboard. The ball is still firmly grasped in her hands while the wires scrape against her sunken cheeks. It is then you finally glimpse the jagged bones protruding from her face left exposed by her deteriorated lips. The teeth are razor sharp, cutting her gums to shreds, leaving the remains to dangle, bloody, from her gaping mouth. As she jerks her way to an almost comical version of a standing position, you begin to see more of her features.

Her face is peeling, giving you a full view of her maggot-infested muscles. Her eyes look as if they’re melting inside their membranes. Yellow cheekbones pierce her disgusting leather skin. Her neck is a broken rod, falling at impossible angles. Her macabre smile kills you inside, making every inch of your body shiver and convulse, mimicking the child’s own movements.

She stands at your waist and looks even smaller with her shoulders hunched over. You force yourself not to step back as she lurches forward. The ball is thrust at your stomach, making you instinctively latch on to it to stop the blow. And she was gone.

The rusty wires whip around the same corner you came from, stumbling faster than thought possible. You’re left alone with the red ball and the sound of your own ragged breaths. There is one thought that stands out among the million others cluttering your mind.
What was that?

It’s this that drives you to steady your shaking, clench your hands around the ball, and collect yourself. You spin on your heel and begin walking, not stopping in fear that the momentum would vanish. Going back takes ten times longer than your leisurely stroll not even moments ago. Ice drips down your face as you break into a cold sweat. Your hands are clammy and the world is spinning around you. You hear your footsteps once again playing like a malevolent death march. They are sending you closer to that dark slab of concrete that conceals what lies behind. Fingers drag against the bone-chilling stone, your hand grasping the corner as you reach the end. You steady yourself and take one more gulp before thrusting yourself to the other side.

You smash your eyelids closed. You don’t know where you are. There’s a thick slapping of undulating muck lapping in your mind. An eye peeks open to find a mass of green, glowing goo, swaying back and forth in a monstrous pit deep in the ground. The plasma leaps out of the hole with each violent tide. Limp arms reach up and lick the plank precariously placed above them, leaving singed bite marks on the bottom of the wood.

The ball drops to the floor and small a gasp escapes your lips. Little Mary Janes are planted at the very tip of the board, the girl staring down into the endless burning mess. You can see droplets landing on her tattered shoes, searing through to her feet. Only seconds pass, but it feels like hours as you stand, mesmerized.
A frozen snake slithers up your spine. Every limb jerks as the feeling of fiery snow fills your blood. Fear grips you as the broken neck snaps; the girl tilts her head, and swings it around, her oozing eyes glaring straight through you. She opens her mouth and manages to gurgle out two words, giving you one last wicked grin before stepping into Hell.

You’re next.



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