The Nightmare World

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Chapter 2

Tv:now for our local news.

I am awakened by the sound of sirens blaring.

Me:hmmm?

I rub my eyes and look around.

Me:did i sleep here all night?

TV:a young woman was found dead this morning.

The news from the TV keeps playing as I try to recall what happened last night.

TV: the victim, Monica Collins was-

I freeze

(Monica?)

I immediately grab the remote and turn the volume up.

TV: Monica Collins was found dead in her partner's bedroom earlier this morning. The circumstances regarding the mysterious case are currently being investigated by the local police.

I stare hard at the television,my heart beating fast.

(She was in my dream...)

I stand there, mouth agape. There's no way this is all a coincidence. But wasn't it all just a bad dream?an indescribable feeling of dread shudders through my body. I still can't believe it. Or maybe I don't want to believe it....

Unable to come up with an explanation, all I can do is stare at the television.

Me:it can't be the same girl...

TV: the police are looking at the possibility of murder.

I turn my back,my throat dry.

TV: they're also not ruling out an undiagnosed condition, considering the damage on her neural functions.

Me: what on earth is going on?

The noise from the TV fades as I make my way to the kitchen for a glass of water.

Me: neural damage...?

I turn the tap water on, absent-mindedly filling my cup. The tap fills my glass over the brim.

Me: Monica was.....eaten by the monster.

(But wasn't it all just a bad dream?)

Me:did all of that actually happen?

I close my eyes, shaking away the vision I witnessed last night.

???: Jessica?

Me: there's no way it could've actually been real, right?

(How she died in the dream and how the news said she died are completely different. It's all just a coincidence.)

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

???: Jessica!

I feel a hand land firmly on my shoulder.

Me:aaahhhhh!

I jump away my heart beat pounding like a drum. I turn around to find my mother turning the faucet off.

Mom:whu are you so jumpy?

I catch my breath, putting a hand on my chest and trying to calm my thundering heart beat.

Me:jeez,mom!you scared me!

Mom: I didn't mean to. You were so out of it . I've been calling you,but you didn't respond.you even left the tap running. what's wrong?

Mom's loving concern makee me want to cry ,but i hold back the tears welling up in my eyes. I want to tell her everything that happened. I really do.but...

(I can't.)

I take a deep breath,closing my eyes as I exhale.

Me: it's nothing. I was just watching a scary movie last night.

(I am sorry,Mom. Even I don't know what happened. Or what I've gotten tangled up in...)

Mom: that's why I keep telling you to stop watching those things. They make you more paranoid by the minute,silly little girl.

She laughs, unaware of my troubled thoughts.

Me:sorry, mom.

Mom:come on ,lets get you some hot chocolate.

(Yeah , something sweet would be nice. I need to focus on something else for a while. It was all just a bad dream. I should just forget about it.)

I sigh, following my mother to the dinning table. The guys I met in that nightmare suddenly come to my mind. I wonder what happened to them. Do they even actually exist?

I entered my classes.

Anna:hey,hey.

Anna immediately leans over the table as I sit down.

Me:oh,are you that enthusiastic to study?

Anna:what do you mean ? I am only this eager when I have some gossip.

Me:aha.so what is it about this time?

Anna: didn't you heard the news? The news about Monica Collins?

Me:!!

My eyes widen. Her tone is casual, but all I can do is lower my eyes.

Anna:its crazy. I have seen her a couple of times before.

Me: she's relatively famous on social media.

Anna: people look up to her as a fashion inspiration, and she and her boyfriend are pretty cute together.

Anna shows me Monica's profile. The girl smiling happily in the photo is the same girl I met in my dream.

(Poor Monica...why would something like this happen?)

I only met her yesterday, but I can't help but feel torn up about it.

Anna: the world's so scary these days.

Me: y-yeah...

I am back at home sitting in front of my computer screen.

I stare at the flickering cursor on my computer screen.

All day long, I've been trying to shake off my worries,but in the end , I can't help but try to make sense of what happened.

Me: Monica died in the nightmare in that dimension...and she died in the nightmare world due to brain damage.

I type some words into the search bar.

(Could the real world and the dream world really be connected?is it possible for a nightmare to become a reality?)

(Huh...?)

I am suddenly stuck with the same overwhelming sleepiness from last night ...

I blink trying to keep my eyelids open. The cursor flickers and I try to hit the'ENTER'button.

But...

(Nooo.....)

The sound of bells reverberate in my head.

(Ah!make it stop!)

I desperately resist the urge to fall asleep,but the last thing I see is my desk clock hitting 10p.m.

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