Lily’s heart did a loud bang and boomed down. The feeling was like you roll down from a steep hill on a sledge. Her breath stopped for a second. It felt like all the air went out of the world. This one little second made her scared. She didn’t understand what was going on and why but remembered that moment clearly. Something just has changed.
But she couldn’t know that this happened in the exact hour she was born.
On that day was Lily’s fourteenth birthday.
For birthday party her mother cooked her favorite mushroom pasta. Also, Lily got dark blue raincoat and silver star-and-moon earrings like a present. Lily’s neighbor missis Melody bring lemon cake as she usual did. The day should be fun, but Lily was feeling anxious and lonely.
In the beginning of the summer she realized that all friends left her. It was July, all classmates had already left town for the holidays. Two of them moved to another city for forever. Lily was sad because of this and all gifts and goodies weren’t enough for making her happy. However, Lily used to be sad.
She had no luck in friendship. No besties no close friends. The reasons were interesting but kind of corny; she didn’t really understand how to behave right.
All these friends are trying to get into your heart and show their own, she thought. They do not notice their mistakes and quirks but always point to others. Why they are always demand yours changes and complaining that you behave somehow in wrong way? Why they are looking for someone’s vises and doing this so hard? Is this the goal of friendship? Moreover, when they found these vises they are yelling ‘Aha! Look! That’s what you’re like!’
Lily was asking: “Why you were looking for?”
Friendship - is a complicated thing, and one of the most precious. Lily haven’t found this treasure yet.
Lily thought that the friendship turns into blaming each other eventually.
She didn’t like to chat about something serious or important or pretend that she was interested in it. She was trying to avoid conversations about other people, about what they do and how. Gossips wasn’t in her taste. Lily didn’t like arguments about anything, because it was pointless for her. Because of that no one really find her interesting. Probably they didn’t even try to know her better.
She believed that people just not ready to accept another opinion and point of view. These conversations become disputes; everyone is trying to convince each other in something, and quarrel begins. Why you should be so serious at fourteen? It’s quite ridiculous isn’t it?
People are trying to make other people to get their point of view. When it happens, they are rejoicing too much of being right. Or getting angry even goes mad that they were misunderstood about one or another situation. And sometimes say: ‘This is nonsense. One’s opinion is wrong how come?’
She loved talking about some lovely tosh, about cookies, cloudlets and kittens. She adored funny sometimes silly and sad stories. Why not?
Is it bad to chat about movies, apparel, muffins, weather and hobbies? Why and when these topics of conversation became a sign of stupidity?
She loved literature and movies but had have stopped to talk about it. Every time she started people was argue with her just because they have another opinion. “Well you have, it is great, but why someone has to think the same?” she asked herself constantly.
Lily complained to her mother about that. And she always told:
“You know, sweetheart, you are so young, enjoy it, don’t try to get old so fast it’s boring. Just don’t think about it so much.”
But she was thinking about it so much. She really wanted to make friends. Lily tried to change herself and get more “trendy” look.
But somehow, it has become fashionable to talk about some “deep inner world” show it every second and furiously looking for it. People are spending so much energy to proof that they not like others. Everyone is trying to find something unusual deep inside no one know where.
“Why? Can you tell me please, why, - if the most interesting is always found on the surface?”
So, she was tired of disputes with friends, tired of the showdowns, theories of heavy conversations about the “unbearable existence” or about “how to hard to be a teen”. She just stopped to talking about that and immediately got the label a foolish person.
Lily was pretty smart and charming girl who had a lot of nice sides of character. She didn’t show it much so often people thought she was just wallflower.
She didn’t like when someone pitied her, even though she lost her father at very unpleasant circumstances (he lost his mind and committed suicide) and people talked about it until now. Her mother still hasn’t recovered from the lost. Despite this, Lily wasn’t depressed teenager, she was just a little melancholic. And the most important, that she was kind.
Kindness is often confused with naivety. Kindness is very important, and the naivety is not so bad by the way.
So, on day of her fourteenth birthday she had a nightmare at the first time. It was not too much terrible, mostly it was little nasty. Lily was worried because she remembered well how her father complained about his awful dreams. He blamed the nightmares on everything and started drinking to “make it gone.”
The girl didn’t like that now she is unhappy in her own dreams too, she became even more sad than usual. She had no one to talk about her feelings but Edouard, the boy who lived on the next door. Unfortunately, he couldn’t say anything what could help.
Eddie was her age, but he was very sick and didn’t go to the school. To our great regret, he couldn’t walk, and he had difficulty with words pronunciation. He has a complicated disease, and most of his life he spent in hospitals. He liked Lily, because she always could cheer him up. Lily was telling him a lot of stories and reading books; talking about everything and called him Lil Eddie.
Lily told him that she had bad dream, but she didn’t tell all these concerns about her father’s dreams whatsoever. She didn’t want to make him upset. So, the girl had to keep everything in secret.
Summer days was chill and lonely. Lily went for longs walks more than usual. Doing it by itself wasn’t so fun as she imagined, furthermore Dark Waters town had not much entertainments or beautiful attractions. The town placed in a long valley and been surrounded by forests and swamps, because of what in the mornings and evenings the roads was full of creeping fog.
Dark Waters was quite a big town, but it was stretched along the ridge, so even the center of the town looked like one large street and a small square with a fountain.
In the end of July Lily became completely upset and was crying more often. Usually after breakfast and before sleep.
Her mom had been working a lot and hadn’t noticed that her daughter was depressed more than usual. Lily still had nightmares, but fortunately they became less frightening and now were mostly anxious. Nevertheless, this did not save the girl from that doomed anguish that lodged in her chest.
Once in the night, Lily tossing and turning a lot and couldn’t fall asleep. In the silence, she heard the creaking of parquet and immediately opened her eyes.
It was the first time when she saw him.
He was tall and skinny like someone stretched him up. He had to stoop to fit in the room. His bony back propped up the ceiling, and the head, with unnaturally bent neck, fell below his shoulders. His skin was gray, with pearl shades here and there and looks strangely smooth. Overly long arms with patterns of black veins fell below the knee. Enormously long knotted fingers ended with black sharp nails, looked like crow’s claws. He had a huge mouth-maw, which had sharp teeth in two rows. His nose had very wide nostrils, and in sunken eye sockets, were shimmering yellow eyes with big black pupils. He wasn’t wearing much clothes, only gray trousers with a belt, and oversized dark tunic.
His face looked like a dead man’s dried skull; long hair was white-gray, and his eyes were like fear itself. He would look very dreadful, if it wasn’t a little purple cylinder hat ridiculously dressed down on his head. The hat moved in the one side, as it was not enough space and absolutely no one knows how it was holding on.
Each one of his bone was filled by nightmare. His claws were hiding ten most feared and at the tip of his nose, were hiding the cutest nightmares.
When he wanted to send down terrible dreams, he pulled out his bone and touched the sleeper. If he wanted to send the most terrible dream, he touched the sleeper with a claw.
Cute nightmares he kept for special people. He got off it from the tip of his nose to the palm, and then poured the small crumbs on the sleeper.
He was quiet awful creature from the darkest place of the darkest worlds. But he was lonely and always was looking for someone to share this loneliness.
When Lily saw him for the first time, she wasn’t afraid. She thought it was her dream and, in the dream, she believed, couldn’t happen nothing horrible.
She carefully looked at the unexpected visitor and asked:
“Who are you?”
“I’m your nightmare,” his voice did not match to his appearance at all. With this look, you expect otherworldly, gloomy bass with wheezing and gnash, but it wasn’t. Nothing like this. His voice was young and pleasant.
“You’re not scary much,” Lily tilted her head to one side.
“Neither you are,” answered monster with a smile.
“Hahahaha,” Lili’s laughter was like sounds of bells. “It would be interesting if I could scare you. But by what? What are you afraid of?
“Hard to say,” the uninvited guest thought for a minute fixed his hat and answered very seriously. “There are many things that frighten me… Well, do you want me to be scared?”
“No, I don’t,” she said quietly. “I do not want to scare anyone. Nobody should be scared, including you.”
“Why did you come to me?” Lily was curious and calm because still supposed she was in dream.
“I had to. I mean… not like this,” he pointed at himself. “Not in a flash. In different way. I was keeping eye on you and realized you are not bad person. I saw you with that boy next door. You are good,” monster said. “But your life is sad and full of sorrow. I decided to console you.”
“This is very nice of you,” said girl politely don’t really understand what he meant.
“Well then, today I will be your nice nightmare.”
“Oh, that’s so kind. Really unexpected… but… But I’m afraid I do something wrong or stupid as usual, and you won’t treat me so good,” the girl’s voice sounded sad. “Everybody will be disappointed.”
“Don’t be so sure about.”
“It’s always happening.”
“You shouldn’t think so, dear. It sounds like despair and never helps.”
“Are you Nightmare or natation?” She was unpleased but said it in soft tone. “It’s weird to hear this from monster who looks like beast from hell, even the cute one.”
“Consoling nightmare,” he smiled, and it was more like a grimace.
“How are you going to cheer me up?”
“Just stay with you for a while. If you like my company, I could become your true friend.”