ROUGH DRAFT EXCERPT

 

My sleep is restless, at first, as the morning sun struggles into the sky. I wake numerous times to see the brightening day setting in. Once the night is vanquished and the onslaught of the dawn has taken control, I drop into a blackened slumber as still as death.

In what feels like mere seconds, my eyes are open once again. My room seems darker and I think I have slept all day and into the night. Luckily, I am off work today. But, despite the apparent length of time that I was out, I do not feel entirely rested. My insides feel cold but my skin hot; my mind is light and hazy as my body is stiff and heavy. Great–I must be getting sick. I shouldn’t have gone back to that rancid garage. Going there for the sex with Dark Dance was an act that needed no justification, but the return–the desperate search that sent me back–was foolish. I should have known better.

But, I needed her so bad.

Now, my thoughts turn to her and everything inside me begins to melt. I wish so bad she was here.

I don’t want to think about that, so I decide to get up and do something to take my mind off of her, if there is such a thing capable of helping me do that. When I try to rise, I cannot. Something has a hold on me and I can barely move. I try to feel around on my chest but my arms can hardly move, either. The warm spray of fear ebbs into my spirit. I look around and realize that I may not be in my bedroom. It is so dark I can hardly tell. I look towards my window and see only the same opaque blackness that occupies the room. There should be a window there. Even at night time I can see the light of the moon or the faint glow of a faraway streetlight, even headlights from the road about half a mile to the west.

This isn’t my room. Frantically, my mind races to rationalize the situation. Had I been drugged? Was someone really in my apartment, just too clever for me to see? Did they kidnap me? Was it the men who drive the Rolls Royce that had left me on the bench? What about the man who was sitting with me? Was he connected? Where am I?

            I don’t have time to work it all out before a distant screech begins to roll my way like a mighty wave of sound. It starts out as a slight scratch somewhere far off in the darkness, but soon swirls into a discernible sound–a scream, most definitely, a high one. As it streams towards me I can hear the echo that trails it–a very hellish sound that makes me shiver inside. I cannot imagine what it is: a giant Harpy; a legion of owls; a frequency designed to shatter a man’s mind. The room sounds large, but the darkness within is blinding. I won’t know what’s causing this sound until it presents itself to me–even then, perhaps not.

In seconds, nothing in the world exists beyond the shrill, rattling scream. It fills my ears, my mind, and my blood. My muscles twitch violently and my eyes bounce inside their sockets. I start to convulse as the scream wraps its fiery tongue around my brain. All I can see are the blue and yellow sparks glittering in my vision from the irresistible force resonating all around the room. My incapacitated body starts to dance uncontrollably beneath the chains that bind it, so hard that I fear my bones will snap.

I feel blood dripping from my ears as the claws of this unrelenting cacophony tear into them, digging through the canal, skewering my eardrum, making my face contort in agony. My skull starts to feel too small to contain my brain and I know I will die any second, frozen in this beastly terror emanating from the enigmatic scream. But, just before my cranium implodes like an animal in a microwave, the scream begins to subside, pulling away like the flow of an angry tide. All the cramps and spasms in my body begin to unwind as my existence is granted clemency from the unseen horror.

My wretched soul starts to recover but I cannot tell if I still have my hearing because, pre-scream, the room was completely silent. I speak and can hear my voice, feeling relief at that. But, my arms can still not move and I am still trapped on this bed.

“Hello?” I muster enough valor to speak to the ominous darkness.

A soft, feminine laugh enters the room. I jerk my head towards it but still can see nothing.

“Who’s there?”

The laugh comes again, a bit louder, and in motion. The giggle circles me for a moment, hangs above me, sits beneath me, and flows right into my ear as if the laugher’s mouth is right next to it.

Fear of this wild unknown begins to set in. This is something beyond the physical world. There is something sinister at work, of that I have no doubt. I want to believe this is a dream, but I cannot bring myself to that conclusion because I know the difference between the separate reality of the dream world and the very real, physical tangibility of the living world. The vividness is the deciding factor. Everything I hear is in full detail and I can feel my waking breath within me. I am aware of the little aspects of being alive a dreamer is not: my breathing, the blinking of my eyes, the clenching of my fingers, the movement of my hair; I am aware of the white noise in the silent room and the rolling static of invisible electric energy one can see in the absence of light. Those things exist here, whereas they do not in dreams. It is apparent that I fell asleep sliding down the precipice of sheer exhaustion and have now wakened to some horrid nightmare, strapped to the table of a fast-moving, screaming lunatic spirit.

 

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