Snow Child

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

This time, Yukiko knew it was a dream, although it didn't make it any less terrifying. She could feel the hideous tension in the air, could feel it in her surroundings. Everything was as it had been as she'd fallen asleep, her bed with the baby blue bed covers, the curtains drawn over the window behind her and her wardrobe doors half open. She was curled up into a ball, but found she couldn't move. Some unseen force was holding her in place, her face turned to the left side of her room. Yukiko felt her body begin to tremble with the inevitable fear. Then the swirly hazy darkness began to seep into the room, starting at the corners, spreading out across everything she'd begun to treasure, with a hungry need. It smothered everything, only coming to a halt when it reached her bed side. Yukiko whimpered, unable to move.

"Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock…" a voice whispered in a chanting chilling tone, the voice pronouncing every syllable in a hideous way. Yukiko clenched her eyes closed, trying desperately not to allow a nightmare to terrify her again. She couldn't let it.

"No," She whispered as the voice got louder. Tears escaped her eyes as the voice filled her mind. She couldn't bare it much longer. She was in floods of tears, close to hysterics. She couldn't last much longer. It was torture, listening to this voice, knowing the darkness was inches away, waiting greedily for her. Then it stopped, quite suddenly. The voice had stopped. The only sound Yukiko could hear was that of her uneven breathing and her frantic heartbeat. Yukiko opened her eyes and sat up. She could move again, her body was her own to control. She wiped the tears from her eyes and gazed around. The nightmarish darkness was still surrounding her, pressing densely against her. She then glanced at the foot of the bed and felt her heart stop. The darkness had climbed up onto the bed and was creeping over the bed covers towards her. It wasn't over. She barely had time to register her absolute terror before it wrapped around her ankle. It felt cold and clammy. She gasped as it tugged on her. Yukiko cried out as she was pulled down the bed. She writhed about, trying to roll onto her stomach, to try and crawl away from this nightmare, but it didn't let her. She couldn't escape it. It pulled her again, dragging her part way into the dark. Yukiko still tried to fight against it, knowing it was all she could do. She screamed out as it pulled her again. Now she was waist deep in the dark. One more pull and she'd be completely submerged. She tried to kick out, but felt her foot connect with nothing.

"Your time is short. I am coming for you, girl." A voice hissed in her ear. Yukiko barely had time to understand the words as she was pulled again into the nightmarish dark. Yukiko let out a terrified cry as her body left the bed.

"Yukiko! Wake up! Yukiko!" A voice was shouting urgently. Yukiko gasped as if she hadn't inhaled air for a long time. She was lying in a heap on the floor. She sat up, gazing around with wide fearful eyes. Half of her bed sheets were hanging off the end of her bed. Yukiko looked up to see several pairs of concerned eyes gazing back at her. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, feeling her face was damp.

"What's happening?" Yukiko asked looking at everyone confused. Kaiba, who was closest to her, moved forwards so his eyes blocked the others out.

"You were screaming," He muttered, his eyes examining her. Yukiko stared at him puzzled. She was screaming? Why? She couldn't remember. Why couldn't she remember?

"What were you screaming about, Yukiko?" he asked urgently. Yukiko stared at him a feeling of overwhelming panic rising inside her.

"I... I can't remember," She said with painful breaths, "Why can't I remember? What's wrong with me?" She asked, tears seeping out of her eyes as a frightening panic attack set in. She was breathing unevenly and her heart was beating frantically, trying to work twice as hard to get the oxygen around her body. Her finger tips began to tingle as her irregular breaths got increasingly worse. Why could she not remember?

Am I going crazy? Is there something wrong with me? Something inside me, eating away at my memories? Oh, god! Why is this happening to me? All I have is the memories I make for myself now, and yet they aren't safe either! No! This can't be happening!

"Calm down. You need to breathe," Kaiba said softly to her, his eyes never leaving hers.

"But… but why can't I… I remember?" Yukiko asked frightened.

"Back off guys, give her some air." Yukiko heard Mokuba's voice instructing. The rest of the group backed away as Kaiba took her hand.

"Breathe in… breathe out," He said slowly, trying to steady her hyperventilating. Yukiko nodded and allowed him to instruct her. After a couple of minutes, she found her fingertips were no longer tingling from lack of oxygen. She felt exhausted, but had no desire to fall asleep. Kaiba straightened up and turned to the group still watching on with baited breath.

"Shows over, dorks. Go back to bed or get out." He said shortly, "Mokuba, I want you to go back to bed too." He added, with a look that clearly told everyone not to even bother arguing with him. When he'd seen everyone had left the room, he turned back to the terrified girl sitting in a heap on the floor.

She looked so small sat curled up, her dark curly hair falling all around her. She was still gazing up at him, her dark eyes full of confusion and terror. Kaiba gazed down at her, unsure of what to do. He'd never had to deal with this before. Mokuba's nightmares had been easy to sort out. He'd tell him everything was alright, that it was just a dream and he'd go back to sleep, but somehow Kaiba knew that wasn't going to be enough in this situation. Mokuba had never been this scared.

"Can you stand?" Kaiba asked shortly. Yukiko nodded slowly then got unsteadily to her feet. Here she was again, wearing his shirt, he noted frowning. She looked awful, her eyes were over exhausted and blotchy. She needed to sleep.

"I can't… I can't stay in here… I don't remember why… I just can't" She whispered suddenly, tears finding their way out of her eyes again. Kaiba sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes as he thought.

"Fine. Follow me." He said suddenly, coming to a decision. He waited as she walked forwards, stumbling slightly. He walked her out of the door and into the dimly lit hall. He then turned right and walked her into his own bedroom.

Kaiba's bedroom was very plain. The walls matched that of his office, a wooden panelled effect, except the wood in here was a lighter colour. His bed was large with plain white bedding. There was a coffee table in the room, a white arm chair and chaise longue positioned around it. There was a set of double doors to the left of the room, which would no doubt lead into a closet; a second door on the right would lead into a bathroom. Kaiba closed the door behind Yukiko. She turned to gaze at him confused.

"It's either stay in here, or in your own room," Kaiba scowled, folding his arms.

"Why can't I remember?" Yukiko asked quietly, her eyes wide.

"We'll discuss it in the morning. Right now, you need sleep." He almost ordered. Yukiko nodded, stifling a yawn. She gazed around, eyeing up the chairs around the table. She walked over to the chaise longue and sat down upon it.

"What are you doing?" Kaiba asked sternly. Yukiko gazed around at him surprised.

"I'm… going to sleep?" She replied her eyes yearning to close. Kaiba shook his head.

"Sleep on the bed," He muttered awkwardly.

"What?" Yukiko asked, not even having the energy to blush.

"It's hardly the time to be shy." Kaiba snapped. Yukiko was too tired to argue. She stood up and walked over to the bed, pulling back the crisp bed sheets. She climbed underneath and felt a pressure on the king sized bed, indicating Kaiba had got in too. The light in the room switched off and Yukiko closed her eyes, the tiredness taking over all logical thought.

"You don't snore do you?" She asked feeling almost delirious with exhaustion. There was a moment's pause before Kaiba answered.

"Don't make me regret this decision." His voice replied through the dark. Yukiko smiled, imaging the stern and pissed off expression that would be upon his face as he spoke those words. She remained quiet for a few minutes before speaking again.

"Thank you," She murmured before sleep took over.

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