Forgiven

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Chapter 3: The Nightmare

Chapter 3: The Nightmare

Blinding day light. That was how the nightmare usually began. Rays of sunshine breaking through the windows of the majestic secluded house that would become her prison for the next four days were her earliest memory of the experience. It was strange in a way how every time she tried to dig deeper into her memory, she would reach the same beginning, a ray of sunshine. That was the first thing that she saw when she woke up in that secluded house. She did not know how she ended up there. She had no recollection of what happened the night before.

Her eyes tried to adjust to the amount of sunlight forcing itself on her. They fluttered open and shut until she finally got used to it. She tried to get up. Her muscles barley complied, allowing her to only lean on the headboard rather than sit or stand. Her hand held the headboard for support as her eyes scanned her surroundings.

Two huge windows stood to her right in a room that was painted the most calming shade of eggshell blue. They were covered with light white curtains that did little to obstruct or even moderate the amount of sunlight going in. The curtains were long. They extended all the way down from the high ornate ceiling whose white color presented a nice contrast with the grey hardwood floors.

She slowly ran her eyes over the rest of the room in an attempt to identify her location. It was practically empty. Aside from the bed, there was no other piece of furniture except a rocking chair in the corner to her left and the long wall mirror that was hung on the opposite side of the windows. Two doors stood to her left. Where they led, she did not know, but common sense told her that one of them was bound to be her only way out of the room.

Her head was pounding. It was not one of those severe headaches she would encounter when she overworked herself to death. No, it was more like a dull throbbing that was somehow beginning to affect her eyesight. She shut her eyes, placed her head between her hands and started rubbing her temples in an attempt to tone down the intensity of the throbbing. What greeted her next when she opened her eyes was something that sent her into a full state of panic.

There was a chain locked around her left ankle.

Her heart started beating fast. Her breathing got shallower and shallower. Her shaking hands slowly reached for the chain and tried to take it off, but there was no way to remove it.

She tried to stand up, but every time she did, her muscles would give out and she would find herself sitting in that gigantic bed again. A couple of attempts more finally got her standing on her own two feet. She walked slowly towards one of the doors using the walls for support, but upon catching her reflection in the mirror, she froze.

She was wearing nothing but a sheer white gown, one that she had no recollection of owning or even buying. She walked closer to the mirror, not believing what her eyes were seeing. Her brain tried to search for one explanation after another, refusing to just give in and accept the most obvious one. Yes, this was something that happened to people, but not her. She never thought it would happen to her. No, it was not happening to her. It was a nightmare plain and simple. She should wake up soon. She had to wake up soon.

Suddenly, Lesly heard a woman screaming. She was pleading and begging someone to stop. Her pleads did not seem to have had any effect on whomever the poor woman was talking to because the more the woman pleaded, the more intense her screams of pain, anguish and despair became.

Those cries of torment went on for what seemed like an eternity. They were hellish and almost otherworldly in their intensity. Those aberrant shrieks, the shallow breaths Lesly took, the ominous pounding in her ears, the ticking clock, they flooded Lesly’s senses and soon began to overwhelm her. They morphed into a loud unbearable buzzing in her ears and she could not help but grip her head in pain and helplessly await the entire episode to pass.

Glass crashed against one of the walls of the other room. The screaming stopped. Eerie silence filled the void instead.

Lesly slowly opened her eyes and tried desperately to comprehend what was happening. She took hesitant steps with her bare feet towards the direction of the screams and placed her hand on the cold wall that she was sure she shared with the screaming woman.

The sudden sound of another crash from the other room pushed her to take a step back. However, her desire to know what was happening to the woman in the other room eventually encouraged her to press her ear against the wall. At first she heard nothing, but then there were faint mumbles that did not seem to belong to the woman.

Lesly stepped back again and looked at the two doors in her room. Then she examined the chain around her ankle to see whether it was at all possible for her to reach one of the doors. She picked the long cold chain and began pulling it to see how long it was. Once she had concluded that it was long enough, she decided to walk towards the door that was closest to her to see whether she could open it and explore her room’s surroundings.

The entire experience had been nerve-wrecking from beginning to end. Her trembling form began taking its hesitant steps towards the object of her interest. She placed her shaking hand around the freezing doorknob and took a couple of deep breaths. However, before she finally got to turn the doorknob, the sound of footsteps echoing on the other side of the door made her freeze.

Pure panic gripped Lesly once more and she could not help but retreat to other side of the room. She pressed herself against the wall. Her light gown offered little protection against the cold that gave her body another reason to shiver. The footsteps grew louder and louder. The door finally opened and the face that greeted her on other side of the door was a face that would fuel her nightmares for the years to come.

She shut her eyes and began whispering to herself, “It’s just a nightmare. It’s just a nightmare. It’s just a nightmare. Wake up! Please wake up!”

But she did not.

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