Chapter 6 – Meeting Angie
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
Facing facts, I know tonight is the night I will no longer be able to stay awake. I drank tons of Red Bull to stay awake during the day – it even has sent my heart into overdrive at one point and Annika took away my fifth can because she was getting worried. But now that the caffeine and sugar rush are gone, I simply know that I can’t keep fighting the sleep.
And now I’m in bed, with a nightlight on next to my bed, luminating the room, shaking and nervously biting my lip as my eyes keep darting around the room.
This is going to be the end of me if I won’t catch some much-needed sleep soon. I need sleep.
I’m not a morning person to begin with, and I’m even worse when I didn’t sleep enough.
I’m cold and hot in the same time, my head feels heavy and the painkillers I got make me fuzzy and even more sleepy.
And I think I’m drifting off, but on the other hand I still know I’m awake.
I yawn, I turn around with my face towards the wall, wishing Annika would be allowed to stay over. I think I would feel safer with her next to me.
I close my eyes, even if I swear it’s only for a second, to rest my eyes.
Yeah, just resting my eyes.
Maybe I should ask my parents if I can get the spare bedroom on the floor my parents and sisters sleep.
Why did I specifically want the attic?
Because it’s the biggest in the house and now I get to have a two-seater couch on my room to sit when my friends are over.
I blink a couple of times, but again my eyes close, my mind drifts off, and then I hear a creaking sound close behind me and I’m wide awake and frozen in fear.
Did I drift off too far?
Did I reach the grey area in between awake and asleep?
Is she here?
I swallow hard, too scared to turn around and see with my own eyes.
And for some stupid reason my mind decides it’s a good idea to grab my phone and turn on the camera to look at myself, and the background.
But I can’t move and that’s causing me to panic. I want to reach my phone, but I can’t. And now I know what Cory meant with sleep paralysis.
I close my eyes with force, telling myself to go to sleep. Don’t turn around, just sleep.
And for a while, it’s all I focus on and since I at least have the painkillers making me sleepy, I soon find it harder to focus, and I feel my body relax, while I drift off into a slumber.
And again, I hear the floor behind me creak, and I open my eyes wide.
Why is my nightlight out?
I swear I didn’t turn it off.
And then I notice I’m turned to other way, staring at a figure standing in the middle of my room. Slowly, as my eyes get used to the dark, I’m able to make out it’s a girl in a dirty baby-pink dress that reaches halfway down her shins. Her short black hair is messy and her eyes are focused on me.
My eyes widen as she steps towards me. I scream, I jump up in my bed and walk backwards away from her.
I stare at her in shock, she stares at me with a creepy neutral expression, walking towards me agonizingly slow.
I swear I screamed loud enough to wake up the entire neighbourhood. My parents should’ve heard me.
Why aren’t they barging in to find out why I screamed?
As Angie reached the edge of my bed, she moves to climb up and there’s now less then two meters between me and her, my heartbeat racing, thumbing against my chest painfully hard.
And then I jolt for the door and make a run for it.
I run down the stairs, not caring if I’m waking everybody up, but I’m not going to stay up there alone for another second.
As I barge into my parents’ bedroom, I come to a full stop in shock, finding Angie on the bed with an amused but evil smile on her face.
“Don’t run, Sid.” She whispers amused, followed by a giggle.
My eyes must be popping out of my head, and then I realise, this can’t be real.
This can’t be reality. My parents are home and I heard them when they went to bed.
“I’m dreaming…” I whisper, shaking my head, before I run back out of the room, throwing open all bedroom doors, finding them empty one after the other.
No Liza, no Ellie, no Lynn, not my parents. Nobody.
I kind of start to panic, because I have no idea where Angie went and when she’ll show up again.
And it freaks me out even worse because I have no idea what she’s going to do to me.
Can she harm me?
I subconsciously touch my throat, knowing what she’s capable of. She could hurt me physically. She already did.
I swallow hard as I reached the ground floor, hearing Angie’s giggle close behind me. I jump in my spot, running outside, cursing myself because I suddenly remember I’m dreaming, and I get to decide what I’m capable of right now.
I should be able to fly. I jump, wanting to fly, but landing back on my feet.
Angie giggles again, and I find her staring at my feeble attempts to fly, failing over and over again.
I run away from her again, finding the entire town in darkness, and no living soul around. I’m screwed if I don’t think of a way to get out, right now.
“You want to play hide and seek?” Her voice sounds so, so innocent, in a sing-song manner that somehow freaks me out even worse. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” She giggles more and I’m slowly losing it because her innocence somehow seems even scarier.
She’s luring me, right? Pretending to want to play.
Somehow, I have a feeling I should try to kill her, and for some reason, I feel as if I need a knife. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I know I do need a knife.
But where do I find a knife out here?
If I can make my way around Angie, I could go back home, into the kitchen, and grab a huge knife.
So, run around the block, make sure she follows me, and then she’ll be behind me when I go back into the house.
I run, but make sure to stop long enough for her to catch up.
She’s giggling constantly, peeking around corners and bushes and I feel weird and uncomfortable about this.
“I’m going to get you!” She sings out cheerfully.
“Oh, no, you’re not.” I mutter, as I run into the house again, straight towards the kitchen. I blink my eyes to adjust to the even darker room, but then I find the knife I was picturing in my mind, grab it, and turn around to find Angie stopping about four meters away. Her eyes are focused on the knife and as I hold it forwards towards her, they grow wide in horror.
What I did not expect her to do, is scream.
She screams on top of her lungs. It’s a painfilled scream that I feel in every fibre in my body. It gives me chills, it creeps me out.
She covers her eyes, but she keeps screaming.
I close my eyes, I cover my ears – still making sure to hold the knife – and try to block the terrifying sound out. The heart breaking, painfilled, scream in horror.
And then I open my eyes and wake up in my bed with a soar throat and my parents staring at me in shock and worry.
My dad kneels on the bed, holding my shoulders, while mom stares at me, covering her mouth with a hand and wide eyes full of confusion.
Monday, September 26th, 2016
I woke up screaming during the night, every night since Wednesday. I saw Angie in my dreams, every night.
I keep hearing the giggling, and the scream in agony whenever I show a knife made an impression.
It’s as if every time I close my eyes, I hear the scream.
And I’m scared shitless, because she becomes increasingly more upset with me, though she seems to keep a distance more and more.
It’s as if she’s trying to find a way to harm me by observing my behaviour.
And then there’s the issue that whenever I look into a mirror, I think I see her eyes somewhere behind me. But when I blink, or turn to look, it’s gone.
It’s always somewhere in my peripheral vision and I can’t seem to focus on them. But I know she’s there, following me every move.
And now it’s Monday, and my parents have had it with my nightmares, waking up the entire house in the middle of the night – always at three A.M. – and they took me to a doctor to find a solution.
He concluded it might have something to do with the concussion and prescribed me meds to sleep – probably the same as Cory, and sent me home, telling me to come back if it wouldn’t stop in about a week.
Dad went to work, while mom said she would drive me to school. But when she takes a right turn where she should’ve gone left, I frown and turn to look at her. “Where are we going?”
“Home, honey.” She smiles sadly. “We’re going to talk, and then you’re going to sleep.”
“I don’t want to sleep.”
“You look exhausted Si.” She whispers.
“I don’t want to talk either.”
She sighs deeply. “I need you to talk to me Si, tell me what’s going on with you.”
“You heard the doctor…”
“The doctor doesn’t know you went into the Miller Woods right before the nightmares started. And I’m not stupid. You didn’t tell us everything.”
“I did! I already said, I tripped over the roots of a tree, and slammed my head onto a rock.” Nice lie, Sid. “And I told you before, I scratches myself because the mosquitos…”
“Those weren’t scratch marks, Si,” She deadpans, steering the car onto our driveway. “I called you in sick today, so don’t worry about school. Worry about worrying your parents to death.” She clicks her tongue, gesturing for me to go on and head inside.
She follows me inside, gesturing for me to take a seat on the couch. “Spill the truth.”
“It’s the truth…”
“So, Cory Dunn really did make up whatever he claimed happened? They sent him to a psychiatric ward for nothing?” She sounds demanding and I’m actually kind of surprised she started about Cory.
“I don’t know…”
“Oh, you know damn well, alright? I know you spoke to him in the park last week. I saw you there while I was heading back to work after a meeting. Honey… Si, tell me what happened. I won’t call you crazy. I won’t call you a liar. I know something is off. There’s a lot needed to scare you the way something scared you in those woods.” She points in the direction of where the Miller Woods are. “What happened? Did you see a ghost? Are werewolves real? What is in there, Sid?” She almost sounds begging. “I need to know what it is, or I can’t help you. And I love you, so, so much. You’re my only son, my baby. Let me help you.”
“Mom… nothing’s there, okay?” I mutter, insecure and doubtful about shutting her out of this. But I can’t spill the truth. Cory’s own mother didn’t believe him either and how in the world is my mom supposed to believe me when I tell her I’m haunted by a childish girl called Angie, and that’s why I scream at night? How is she supposed to believe me when I explain how I got a concussion, or marks on my throat?
No, I completely agree with Cory; we can’t talk about this to anybody.
She sighs in defeat, but nods, accepting – at least for now – that I’m not going to change my story.
“Just try to sleep for a bit, here, on the couch, while I’m right here with you, okay?” She sits down and pads her lap, inviting me to crawl close to her and sleep like I always did when I was little; with my head resting on her lap.
I yawn, knowing it’s too inviting to turn the offer down. I pop out a pill, get myself some water to swallow it and smile thankfully when I see mom grabbed a comforter to lay under.
“Just sleep, safe by my side.” She whispers, pecking a kiss on top of my head after I lay down. “I love you, honey. And I always will.”
“Hmm, love you too, mom.” I whisper sleepily, closing my eyes, allowing the pill to do its work.
And I don’t think I even noticed the grey area in between sleeping and being awake. I just blacked out instantly.
As I wake up, I find my sister Lynn on the other end of the couch, reading a book in peace, with earbuds in her ears, listening to music in the same time.
I wonder where mom went, and why I didn’t notice how she placed a pillow under my head to offer me more comfort.
I move a bit, pushing up so that I can lean my head better onto the pillow. Lynn notices I’m awake and without moving, she smiles shortly, pulls her long black hair over her other shoulder, before she continues to read her book.
“I’m worried, Harold.” My moms voice sounds faintly, and I can only assume they’re seated in the kitchen. There’s a smell lingering of mom cooking dinner – and for as far as I can tell, she’s making us my favourite meal. “Mara told me Edward took Cory home twice already. And I saw Sidney sitting with Cory in the park the day the nightmares started.”
“You think Cory is causing the nightmares?” Dad sounds surprised and I grumble because I don’t want them to blame Cory.
“No, Harold. Wake up! Sid is hiding the truth about what happened in those woods. “They went into the woods and Cory was in a psychiatric ward for months, years even! And now Sid is way too silent, tired, exhausted even. He has nightmares, he wakes up screaming. You know he isn’t scared easily. He’s a thrill-seaker…”
“Which is why he went into those damned woods in the first place.” Dad complains angrily. “If he would just stop and thing for once… But you heard the doctor, it’s probably due to the concussion that he has nightmares.”
“You’re blind, Harold. I spoke to him today, and I pressed him to start talking. He didn’t, but I saw the doubt, I saw him contemplating on talking. There’s more to it then we know. And probably more then we can understand because we weren’t there. We’ve never been in those woods. But you know something is off. No innocent forest gets guarded by the army. There’s stories about haunted woods, about woods in which danger lurks behind every tree. But none of those woods get fenced and guarded like the Miller Woods. Something happened to Sid and he’s too scared to talk.”
“Are you implying that he saw a ghost, or what?”
“I don’t know, Harold.” Mom hisses. “I don’t know if ghosts exist and if that’s what’s bothering him. I only know that fictional thrillers and horrors don’t scare him. He was attacked by something and nobody stepped foot into those woods for years. He saw something that is scaring the hell out of him.”
“Olivia, calm down, okay? Let’s… I don’t know… we should show him that we support him.” Dad sighs. “He needs to know that we will always be there for him and that he can always talk to us.”
“But your sceptic, and that’s scaring him away.”
“I’m just… I don’t know, Olivia. I find it hard to come up with an explanation.”
“We don’t have to, if Sid feels safe to tell us what’s going on. We need to get him to talk about his nightmares.”
“And for the time being, we’re ignoring him being grounded, allowing him to have Annika to sleep over, or for him to sleep there?”
“He slept like a baby until I got up and left him to get his pillow. As soon as I sat down again, he calmed down. I don’t want him to be alone right now. He needs to rest, he needs to sleep. If sleeping in bed with Annika will help him to do so, I’d say it’s worth a try.”
“And we still have to go and talk to Coen and Janet. Why don’t we go over for dinner and talk as soon as the kids are in bed?”
“Sounds good, and we’ll leave Sid there for the night.”
Why do my parents need to talk to Davy’s and Annika’s parents? And did I understand correctly that I was calm, until mom left me alone?
Or that I’m again allowed to have Annika sleep over here, or to go over there? Because that would definitely settle my nerves in the evening a bit.
Or at least, I hope it will.