I have this reoccurring nightmare where I am being chased by something, someone. I’m running through my house trying to find an escape. I turned the corner to my kitchen then, darkness, and I woke up in a cold sweat.
I don’t know why I have a dream that seems like the final scenes of a cheesy slasher movie, I’m not the final girl, but no matter how many times I have it, I can’t seem to get used to it. Again, this morning, just like déjà vu, cold sweat, after just having dreamt of being murdered.
It was cold, but the sun beaming in from my window shone just enough to warm my skin. There haven’t been many birds chirping, maybe they have all gone south already. Every day is the same never-ending routine: make the bed, brush teeth, breakfast, coffee, paint, shower, TV, and back to bed. It seems as though a lot of my days have been spent on some spiritual plane of existence. A lonely cycle of being stuck in this boring house. As I sat down to begin my newest painting, I was interrupted by the phone ringing. So, I made my way down the stairs, annoyed and upset.
“Hello?” I spoke into the phone.
“Hello?!” I was already aggravated before but now it came through in my voice.
Slamming down the phone, I made my way back upstairs to continue working on my painting. An hour later and nothing. I had painted nothing, I had zero ideas and artist’s block wasn’t helping move the process along. I decided I was due for a break.
While making my way down to the kitchen I heard a noise come from upstairs. I quickly turned my head, heart pounding, wondering what could’ve caused the noise. Did something fall? Did I leave the TV on? There had to be something that caused it, but I decided to check it after I had gotten a glass of water.
A few minutes later I headed up the stairs after putting down the glass, still paranoid but trying not to freak myself out. Making my way down the hallway looking through each room carefully, trying to see where the thumping noise came from.
I knew this wasn’t a good idea, because if someone had broken in then I was just opening myself wide up to my own untimely demise. The only thing left would be to yell out ‘hello’ like they do in horror movies.
No one was there, I was still alone, like I have been this whole time. Heading back over to my studio I was met at the door by a tennis ball, and a feeling of relief washed over me. It was just a ball. It had rolled off my desk when I got up. A little chuckle left my mouth, it was silly to think that I got all worked up over something so small.
I got back to work once again, and I sat there for a couple more minutes thinking about what to paint, then inspiration struck! I picked up my paintbrush, angled it to the canvas, and then the phone rang.
“Ugh!” I muttered out of frustration. “Why, why, every damn time!” I yelled as I got up.
“Hello?” I spoke into the phone, but yet again there was silence. “Who is this? Seriously, it isn’t funny!” I tried to hide my fear, but I could only mask it for so long. On the other end, there was shallow breathing, so I hung up the phone immediately. Backing away, I felt a shiver go down my spine. I shook it off and headed back upstairs. It rang again. Turning to look at the phone, I continued on my way ignoring it.
As I sat in front of my blank canvas again, I couldn’t do anything. My inspiration was gone. I didn’t realize how long I had been staring at the canvas. I had only realized how late it was when I noticed the golden glow of the sunset. About two hours had passed, it was already four-thirty in the afternoon, and I had done absolutely nothing the entire day. My stomach grumbled begging for food after not eating all day. I headed downstairs and entered the kitchen.
Trying to figure out what to make, I opened the cabinet looking for my cookbook, but it wasn’t there. I scrambled to look in the next cabinet and the next one, and the next one, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Finally, I decided to look around the house and oddly enough it was on the bookshelf in the living room. Walking back into the kitchen and looking through it, I went to grab the first ingredient from the cabinet, and that’s when the sinking realization hit me. I never closed any of the cabinets, all of them were open before and now they were closed. I didn’t close them; I had only walked out of the room for a minute.
Trying to fathom what was right in front of me, I heard music, the faintest melody playing somewhere, a song I didn’t recognize. Wandering the house, I was trying to find the source of the music to make it stop, to prove to myself that I’m not going crazy. Every time I think I’m getting closer to the music it becomes faint again like it’s moving through the house. I couldn’t keep it in anymore, I screamed out of fear and frustration, but after I finished that’s when I heard it, silence. The music had finally stopped.
But the silence could only last so long, and after I had released out a relieved breath, I heard a voice. A couple of whispers coming from just down the stairs, it was a woman. Was my nightmare finally coming true? Had someone broken in? Were they here to kill me or just to rob me? This wasn’t going to happen, and I wasn’t going to allow it. I listened to her talk in garbled whispers, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. I grabbed my bedside lamp, readying it for a swing as I charged down the stairs.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my house?!” I held the lamp in front of me, looking around.
“Hello?!” I was searching my dimly lit living room from the bottom of the stairs, but there wasn’t anyone there.
I was confused, to say the least. I knew I heard someone, a woman talking, whispering in the dark, conspiring. I slowly walked through the house, the lamp still in a swinging position, turning every corner sharply. I knew I was not crazy. I knew there was someone there. I reached the last room and nothing. No one was upstairs, no one was downstairs. I exited that backroom in defeat, heading toward the kitchen.
I froze at what I saw.
At the end of the hall, there was a woman. She looked completely odd, standing there in clothes outside of women’s fashion. As I looked her up and down, I realized she truly wasn’t normal at all, I could see right through her. I stood frozen from fear, then the phone rang again, but she heard it too, turning her head and walking to pick it up.
“I swear to you I’m not crazy Eric.” She said to someone on the other side, she sounded upset. All I could hear was her side of the conversation.
“No. I’m right. This morning I left the ball on the floor for Bruno to play with, when I came back upstairs it was on the desk. I walked into the kitchen today and all the cabinets were open. I heard a woman’s voice yell upstairs just a few minutes ago, and I had to turn off my music to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. Then, I swear I just saw a woman dressed in some retro clothes walk into the back room.” She pointed down the hall, directly at me. She sounded like she was on the verge of tears.
The man started to talk again,
“Elizabeth…” I could hear him say faintly, it was the only thing I heard from him.
She wasn’t listening. Her head was turned looking down the hall, staring directly into my eyes, hers wide and full of terror.
“There she is, oh my god, oh my god, I see her!” She looked terrified like I was the one that broke into her house.
“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, LEAVE US ALONE!” She yelled but all I heard was a muffled mess.
I felt nothing but fear, all I did was close my eyes.
“She’s gone, she disappeared.” She said into the phone, but I was still there. I was still standing in the doorway. I didn’t go anywhere.
My legs started to race down the hallway in a panic. When I rounded the corner, I was met with a dark house. The lady was gone, and all the lights were off. The living room was lit up with headlights from the driveway. My heart began to race. Keys started to jingle in the lock. I didn’t realize that I had been holding my breath. The door finally swung open, and I was met by…myself?
“What…the…hell?” I muttered under my breath.
She looked exactly like me, but she couldn’t be. Right? I’m right here so what the hell is she? Even though I was standing right in front of her, me, she didn’t see me at all. She threw her keys down. She was intoxicated and fumbled up the stairs.
“Turn- Turn on the lights!” I found myself yelling, but why?
I followed her up the stairs, and there was a lingering sense of familiarity. I don’t remember this night. I don’t remember this happening, yet I have that déjà vu feeling in my gut and a voice in the back of my head spitting out warnings.
She went directly to bed, but my head was screaming for her to wake up to do something. I found my mouth speaking words I didn’t even think of at first.
“Wake up! Get up! No! You have to get up!” I yelled at her. Then I heard the closet door open slightly and I knew this wasn’t ending well.
Please, you have to get up! Please!” This time tears were streaming down my face as I plead for her to wake up.
The door creaked as it opened even wider, and she shot up.
“No, no, no. Go back to sleep pretend you’re sleeping!” I yelled again; my face soaked with tears. If she would just pretend to be asleep, maybe he wouldn’t harm her.
His head whipped over to look at her as he realized she was awake and ready to put up a fight. He pulled out a knife and charged at her, she let out a terrifying scream. She bolted out of the room, trying to run down the stairs as fast as she could. I knew she was going to try and reach for the phone, but he was too fast.
“Just leave, get in your car, and drive as fast as you can, forget about the phone!” I tried so hard to save her.
She didn’t have time to hide, searching for somewhere, anywhere but she settled for the back door. It was too late; he came up behind her.
“No!” I yelled as I watched her get stabbed in the back, she was screaming.
I couldn’t bear it, my hands shot to my ears and my eyes were closed tight. All I could hear was her screaming, her pain, her pleading to live.
I couldn’t think. I ran upstairs, panicked, I reached my studio hyperventilating when I saw my blank canvas. It’s now covered with red paint. There’s a dark figure lingering over my body, I cover my mouth in shock, horrified. I look down and my hands are covered in red paint, but I didn’t paint anything, I didn’t do anything today!
The door behind me that held a dark hallway was now glowing a bright white light through the underneath of it. I go to grab the handle, wondering if this is it, I’ll soon be out of my own personal hell, but what’s next? Suddenly, I hear the phone ring, then the woman downstairs started talking again, and I stopped. Backing away from the door, I go to the corner, and I sink
into myself. My eyes are shut tight, I want to stay here. Not knowing what comes next is something I can’t stand.
The light from the hallway fades, and the house slowly changes. It’s not mine, not anymore at least, but it’s nice to finally not be alone.