The Drude

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The Second Night

I continue the day as I would any other day. Nothing is particularly out of the ordinary, but throughout the day I can't get the dream out of my head.

It haunts me every few minutes, the image of that pale thing springing back into my eyes. I feel less afraid at work, around people. But home is a different story.

Almost immediately upon getting home, I take my dog for a walk, just to get out of the house. I walk for a good hour, but eventually my dog tires. I spend the rest of the evening in the lounge, eating and watching T.V.

After a few hours my eyes begin to feel heavy, but I don't want to sleep. I try to force myself awake, but eventually my will falters. My eyelids descend, and I feel conciousness drift away...

...I'm asleep.

I sit on the sofa, my dog lying next to me. He snores softly, a comforting presence. I remember the dream from the following night, but I feel...calm.

The T.V is still on, some show about home repo. I scarcely hear the words, I just watch the movements and colours. I sit for a while, but the T.V begins to flicker.

Lines begin to rush up through the bottom of the T.V, and soon it's just white noise. I don't know what happened, I just stare at the static. I decide that this is bad for my eyes, so I had better try to fix it. I rise, and walk over to the T.V.

I turn it off, then on again.

The picture is back, and I return to my seat. Another few minutes pass, and the T.V begins to fail again. This time it turns off completely. My dog stirs, as uncomfortable as I am.

I consider rising again, but then the lights begin to dim.

Within the space of a second, the lights switch off, and then return.

And there it is.

Sitting next me, staring into my eyes. It had just materialised out of nowhere, and now it was transfixed with me once more. It sat hunched forward, it's hands resting on the ground in front of it.

My dog sees it, and growls in protective rage.

The creature's eyes shift from mine to the dog's, and the two engage in what seems to be some primal stare-down. My dog's eyes narrow, challenging the creature, who's face remains as passive as before, unblinking.

I'm too afraid to move, I just sit there, staring at the two. Almost a minute passes before my dog begins to waver. His challenging glare weakens, he's losing the battle of will. It's not long before he whimpers, and jumps down from the couch.

He walks over and sits in front of the creature, his head bowed in submission. The creature slowly extends a hand and runs it along the dog's head, stroking it's ears. For a moment, I feel as if this thing is almost benevolent.

But then it proved me wrong.

Out of nowhere, the creature wraps its long fingers around my dogs neck and begins to wring it violently. I panic, shaken from my trance, and grab at the pale thing.

My own bravery surprises me, grabbing at this thing's clammy skin. I dig my nails into it's tender arm flesh, dragging them down it's wrists. I draw black blood from the creature, but it doesn't relinquish it's grip. My dog recoils, shaking the creature's grasp. It loses grip with one hand, and my dog reacts by locking it's jaws around the fingers on the monstrous soul's freakish hand.

The pale thing wails and tries to wrench free. I sprint to the kitchen, trying to find something sharp enough to kill this thing. I grab a small but sharp blade and rush back into the lounge, the creature is pinning my dog to the ground, but it's fingers are still locked in the dog's jaws.

I rush to the thing and drive the point of the blade between it's shoulder blades. It screams inhumanly and tears it's hand away from the dog's mouth, two of it's fingers are torn away.

The pale thing flicks black blood across the room and grabs at my shirt with it's good hand. It drags me to it's face level and screams in my face, in a savage shriek;

"WAKE UP!!"

I feel my body fail again, and I trip over my own feet, falling face forward onto the ground. As before, it transforms beneath my body, to become soft and warm...

...I'm awake.

My head jerks up from the couch, and my dog does the same. I look at my loyal companion, and I can see in it's panicked eyes we had shared the same dream. It nuzzles into my side, and I wrap my arms around it's shaking body.

I'm afraid of sleep now. But I will fail again. I know it.

I will see this thing again. And it's fury will be terrifying.

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