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They Just Come

By J.T. All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

They Just Come

                                            They Just Come

Okay guys, I’m writing this as fast as I can right now so you’re going to have to bear with me since I’m running out of time.

  Heh, time. That’s the one thing I thought I’ve always had a lot of. Time to kill, time to relax, time to sit back and do nothing. But as it turns out, I’m running out of it. It’s slowly dripping with each grain of sand into the abyss. And it’s been counting down for the past six weeks.

Now all I have left is a few hours at the most. Speaking of which, let’s get on that.

Now, for the people who’ve been following me on here, you all know who I am and for the few who just found this and don’t know me: I’m Jason. I’m about 5’9, got flat brown hair, hazel eyes, and you’ll usually find me wearing my beat up leather jacket and rugged blue jeans. So, yeah, I’m basically your average college student. And I do mean average. You see I’m not an athlete, I’m not a nerd, not a Goth, not a redneck, hell-I’m not even in the special ed. group.

I’m just…well…I’m just me. I’m not special in any way.

And if you would have asked me two months ago if I believed in paranormal-supernatural BS, I would have laughed in your face and simply said, “No.” I don’t think there’s anything out there besides us. There aren’t any ghosts, there aren’t any aliens or whatever else it is people make up to scare everyone. Though, now I know that isn’t entirely true.

Because as of now, I’m starting to question what I believe and what I don’t believe, but perhaps even now it’s too late for me to do that, because in a few hours it won’t matter anyway.

You see, nearly six weeks ago I had something very strange happen to me and in a way, is still happening to me. It started with a dream. Yes, you read correctly, a dream. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “You mean to tell me this punk wasted nearly 8 paragraphs of my time to talk about a stupid dream?” And since you’ve put it that way, why no! I haven’t. Because it wasn’t just a dream. Even though I have with all my being, sprinkled it with fairy dust and wished upon a star it was! And if you continue to read, you’ll see what I mean.

Now, as I was saying: about six weeks ago I had a very strange and extremely frightening dream. I’d just come home that day from my engineering classes and lived it like I usually would. Nothing seemed out of place, I didn’t have any weird feelings that so many people claim to have when being stalked by something. The only thing I felt was the same fatigue I felt every day after a long boring day of class. Needless to say, I got to bed and tried to get some rest.

Sleep came naturally, and the first half of the night seemed okay. Well that is until something pulled me out of the dream world and back into the land of the living. I don’t know if it was a simple night terror or if maybe I’d stubbed my toe on something while I slept, but regardless I awoke. I felt extremely cold at that time but yet was sweating. The nighttime atmosphere of my bedroom that I so thoroughly enjoyed began to appear menacing to me. And for some reason, I couldn’t help but shake off the thought that something was wrong.

But if there was one thing that I’ve learned through my years of living, it’s that people think the strangest of things when they’re tired or have just woken up. I figured my mind wasn’t in the right the place and that I should just get back to sleep. But yet I couldn’t. No matter how long I laid still with my eyes closed and my thoughts cleared, something kept me on edge. I did this for who knows how long until finally I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to take some Nyquil.

I got up from bed and made my way to the bathroom of my apartment. I flipped on the lights and opened the mirror cabinet above my sink and grab the pills. I swallowed about two pills before putting the container back and closing the cabinet.

But for some reason or another, I don’t know why, I didn’t head straight back to bed. Instead, putting both hands on the edge of the sink I leaned forward towards the mirror. The reflection of my shirtless self greeted me and I could tell I looked worse for wear. I had two dark bags hanging beneath my eyes and I was awfully pale. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was tired, I’m sure I would have had more of reaction at my sick visage. How could I look so tired and sick when I’d been sleeping so peacefully for the past few weeks? Was I coming down with something?

Not sure if it was my tired mind playing tricks with my appearance, I turned on the faucet and splashed some water on my face. But my face remained the same.

“Weird,” I mumbled then leaned closer to the mirror. My reflection did the same. I stared deeply into my own eyes, perhaps trying to find the answers as to why I couldn’t sleep. But my eyes gave nothing away. They were just dark, empty and hollow as ever. I sighed and leaned back with a yawn. But I nearly choked on it when I noticed the mirror show something different.

  It showed me still leaning against the sink but watching me closely with a dark smile. My jaw dropped and my heart began pounding like crazy. The mirror version of me simply smiled wider then silently chuckled at my display.

“Can’t sleep?” it suddenly asked. Its voice however didn’t match mine. It sounded feminine in nature. It cocked its head slightly waiting for me to answer. But I couldn’t give it one. I was too shocked to respond. Was this all some sort of side effect from the Nyquil I just taken? If it was then well…damn. I’m never taking these things again.

“Are you there Jason?” It asked snapping me out of my stupor.

I shook my head trying to clear my thoughts. I figured this was my tired mind playing a very scary trick on me. I mean come on, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing out there but us.

But my doppelganger remained. “What the hell, man?” I said to it still thinking it was a hallucination, “Did I overdose?”

The other me leaned back with a bemused expression then shook its head in amusement. “No Jason. You didn’t overdose.” It chuckled.

I laughed, “Yeah, right…and I suppose that there really is something in my mirror that looks just like me. You’re not real. It’s the pills. I mean it has to be. There’s no other explanation.”

“Oh?” It grinned, “Are you sure? Usually people who see something like this can think of several. Most of them are not good. Which is also true for you in this case.”

“Hehehe, yeah right. Like what?” I challenged.

The thing in my mirror smiled once more. I smiled too since I knew this was all rubbish and not real. But my smile quickly melted when things started to change.

Within the mirror, the room suddenly began to age. Paint began to peel from the walls and small cracks began to form along the floor. The bathtub behind me darkened with decay and rust formed at its spigot. And within moments I witnessed my bathroom age nearly a decade. And all the while the evil me stood there grinning.

Finally after the room finished its transition. The thing in the mirror stood up straight, “Now Jason, look closely and tell me if this is a hallucination.”

And just like that it changed.

Or rather she changed.

It started with the hair. It began to change into the color of coal and grow longer, wavier. The pale skin turned darker and darker until it was the color of shadow. The clothing it been wearing seem to dissolve onto itself and become one with the skin. Then finally the facial features changed. The chin grew sharper and more feminine like while the cheeks smoothen out, flawlessly. Then the eyes. One moment they were hazel and matched my own but after closing for a long moment they opened to reveal a bright but yet dark violet.

I was dumbstruck and overly terrified as the last of the changes were finished. The mirror was no longer a mirror but a window. On one side, my side stood a perfectly normal bright bathroom with me gaping in fear while on the other was a decayed bathroom with a shadowy girl grinning evilly at me.

  It was almost like some very poorly done ‘Spot the Difference” game where each side was the opposite of the other.

“Like this.” She said darkly leaning closer to the mirror.

I scrambled away from the sink until my back was against the wall. “This isn’t real…This isn’t real…This isn’t real!” I kept stuttering over and over. There was no way something like this was happening.

  The girl, the thing leaned closer, pressing her head against the glass. Her smile still present.

  “Keep telling yourself that Jason. Keep blaming the pills after all, it can’t be like I’m real. Now can it?” She tilted her head to the side slowly. “It can’t be like I’m able to be in the same place as you.” At the word ‘you’, the lights flickered out and the room’s temperature dropped several degrees. Then they flickered back on.

  My eyes grew wide and I gasped. I was on the other side of the mirror in the rotting version of my bathroom. And the thing in my mirror was in front of me still leaning against the sink looking into the mirror where my actual bathroom remained.

  Slowly she turned her head until it was peering over her left shoulder. Her violet eyes look directly into mine. “And it can’t be like I can actually touch you either.”

She turned around to face me. I didn’t know how to process what I was seeing, now that I could see all of her. She wasn’t human. At all. Her whole body was composed of some dark smooth substance. She wore no clothing of any kind and there was nothing else that didn’t match the rest of her figure except for her hands and face. Her face still looked the same as I’d seen in the mirror, though now I could see the blindingly white of her sharp teeth beneath her grin. And with her hands, I couldn’t help but shiver while looking at them. Her fingernails were long sharp-like talons that could easily peel the flesh off an animal…or a person.

 She placed a finger on her chin and began to tap, “Want to see if I can?” she asked in a not-so-innocent voice.

She waited for an answer. I couldn’t answer, I couldn’t think. All rationality had fled from my mind. Only fear occupied my thoughts now. I began to tremble.

She began to laugh quietly to herself before slowly approaching me. As she got closer, all my instincts screamed to me in unison to run out of the room and run out of the apartment. But sadly my instincts weren’t going to have a say in what I did for the next few minutes of my life.

Finally she stood before me, a little less than an arm’s length away. And while though she appeared to by my height I felt myself shrinking in fear while she towered above me.

With a pleasurable smile she raised one of her talon-like hands in front of my eyes. I pressed my head back as far as I could, turning my face away in effort to escape them. She moved it closer like she was about to poke one of my eyes and for a moment I thought she would, when she suddenly thrust a finger towards it but stop within the last second. She did this a few more times, teasing me until finally she stopped and delicately stroked one of my cheeks. Her touch was something like a cold razor. I could feel its sharpness and I could sense a cold presence within them. A cold, colder than that of the icy waters of the Artic or the vast emptiness of space. It was the touch of death itself. I realized by that mere, simple touch that my life was hanging on a thread and that she could easily sever it as she could my skin.

“So soft.” She cooed. She stroked my cheek a few more times in fascination before calmly grabbing my chin and turning my face back towards her. She study me for a long, heart stopping moment. Then slowly traced one of her talons up my chin before tapping its point on my lips.

“This will be fun.” She whispered then without warning stabbed her finger down into my chin while stabbing my chest with her other hand.

  I’ve never screamed louder than I have that night. The pain was so intense, that it hurts to even remember it as I write this.

  But as fast as the pain started, it stopped.

  My eyes snapped open as I screamed and fell off the side of my bed.

I was grasping onto my chest and then onto my face, feeling for the wounds the thing had left me. But there were none. After calming down my breathing I slowly got up to see that I was back in my room and that the sun was shining brightly through the window.

It was perhaps the happiest moment of my life when I saw the sun. It had all been a dream. I silently thanked the heavens for it being just that before making my way back to my bathroom. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hesitate before entering it. It still looked like my normal bathroom and I knew it had been a dream, but I still felt a tinge of apprehension. When I did enter to find it perfectly normal, I began to fully relax. I began to start reassuring myself that the mind could play cruel practically jokes on itself when it came to dreams and that nothing like I had witnessed could ever be real.

That’s when I noticed the cabinet mirror slightly ajar. Curious to see if I had really gotten Nyquil the night before, I opened it expecting to find the pill bottle waiting for me. It was a huge relief when I discovered that it was. I had a huge smile on my face as I grabbed it and examined the bottle for a good long moment. It appeared as though I had taken some the night before.

“Stupid pills,” I murmured and went to place them back but froze when I spotted something that had been hidden from view. Dropping the pill bottle, I leaned closer towards the cabinet, scarcely believing my eyes.

There, carved into the back of the cabinet where the Nyquil had been, was written, “Sweet dreams are not made of these. ~A.”

  I don’t think I want to tell you how I reacted after that. But let’s just say, it wasn’t pleasant.

  For the rest of the day, I spent it wondering whether I was going crazy or not or if what I had seen that night had really happened. I wasn’t too entirely sure. I was still riding off the slim hope that maybe it was me who had written that in my sleep or something like that. I just refused to believe what was happening, even though it should have been obvious to me that this was far beyond the realm of sleepwalking. This was something else.

  At first, I considered telling someone at the campus about my predicament. A psychology professor perhaps. But when I opened my mouth to say something to one of them, no word would come out. I don’t know if it was out of embarrassment, shame, stubborn disbelief or some other hidden force keeping me from telling them but whatever it was, it kept me silent.

  Well, actually now that I think about it, I did tell one person. It was another student at the campus that I sort of considered a friend, but we never really hung out that much. I caught him in the student lounge and we talked for a bit about random-not-important subjects until I decided to casually broach the subject of dreams. I told him about the one I recently had, but left out the part with the message carved in my cupboard. I didn’t want him to think I actually believed in this supernatural nonsense. He only raised an eyebrow at me in response and said that it sounded like a pretty cool dream and that is should be a short story or a vignette.

  Strangely enough as soon as he said that some student I didn’t know wearing a dark blue hoodie walked by and with a sigh muttered to me, “Oh, the irony.”

  When he turned down a corner further down the hall, I turned back to my friend with a confused expression on my face. He only shrugged and said, “New kid.”

  “Right,” I said slowly nodding, “But uh…back to what I was talking about. You don’t think the dream was strange in any way?”

He simply shook his head and said no. I didn’t pursue the subject any more than that so after our conversation I headed back home, dreading the night to come.

When night finally came and it was time to sleep. I stood a long while in front of my bed, staring at it with something close to uneasiness. I didn’t want to sleep that night. Not after re-reading for the twenty third time the message in my cabinet.

So it was with great reluctance that when fatigue finally settled in that I got into my bed, still fully clothed. I hadn’t even the courage to properly get ready for sleeping. I was that anxious. Finally after what seemed like forever, I slept.

When I awoke to the brilliant light from the morning sun streaming through my bedroom window, I was so overjoyed that I started laughing and laughing. I laughed with relief and I laughed at my own cowardice and stupidity for ever thinking that something would happen that night. It wasn’t real. It was just a dream!

So I got up, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and got ready for class. When all that was said and done, I gazed happily into the mirror with a smile that reached from ear to ear. Then said, “Told you it was just a dream you idiot.”

I turned to leave then froze. The bathroom, the bedroom, and the city horizon I saw through my bedroom window everyday was no longer the same.

They’d changed.

My bathroom had once again aged several decades along with my bedroom. Paint had peeled off the walls, the carpet had molded and was rotten, and my bed and its mattress which was now stained brown and torn in many places and had sunk into itself. And perhaps worst of all, the sunny skyline of the city had vanished. The sun was no longer present as it had been replaced by dull gray overcast. The city below was barren and depressingly empty. It reminded me of the pictures I’d seen of the abandoned Ukrainian town Chernobyl. A place where humans and animals were long gone and time had become the master of the town. Well, time and decay that is.

The city that I so blissfully lived in and loved look so close alike to that, that it could have been its twin.

“You’re right,” a feminine voice said from behind me. I started sweating then turned, knowing all too well who it was.

The thing from the first night stood with its arms crossed looking at me with a pitiful, bemused expression.

“You are an idiot.” She said, then smiled.

I starting backing away, through the open door into what used to be my proud bedroom. “You…you…You can’t be real! You just…Can’t be!!! I woke up! It was morning! You can’t be here!”

With her arms still crossed, she doubled over laughing; like I’d told her the world’s funniest joke. After she finished, she straightened again and said, “You saw what I wanted you to see,” a dark hand suddenly fell onto my right shoulder, bringing my attention from her to…her. She was now standing to my right. Still speaking to me like nothing had happened. I swung my head back to the now empty bathroom then back to her in bewilderment, “Not what really is.” She gestured with her free hand to the place we were in.

I didn’t want hear anything else from her. I tried bolt out of the room, but her talons suddenly dug into my shoulder, keeping me in place. I yelped as she yanked me back towards her.

“Where you trying to scurry off to? I’m not done speaking.” She said with a slightly annoyed smile.

“I don’t care!” I screeched, “Let me go!”

“Let you go?” She said looking offended. “You’re graced to have even seen me, let alone talk to me, and you want me to let you go!?”

Something like anger began to burn bright within her eyes, “Well fine then.” With her free hand she grabbed me by both shoulders and began dragging me towards the window. I knew the moment we started heading in that direction what she planned to do and I violently protested. I screamed, punched, kicked, and did everything I could to break free from her grasp, but her grip tightened and her talons dug deeper into my shoulders. Nothing seemed to faze her.

When we were finally in front of the window she spun me around and leaned in towards my face with an angry scowl. “I’ll let you go alright.” Her scowl then morphed into a dark grin, “Because unlike you, I’m nice like that.”

With unnatural strength she heaved me from the floor and flung me into the window. The sound of glass shattering drowned out my scream of pain as I crashed through and plummeted towards the ground 15 stories below.

I could feel the cold air blow against my face as I fell screaming. And within those few seconds of falling I imagined myself becoming a flat red-like pancake when I’d hit the ground. A sick, gory, unidentifiable bloody pancake. I could see the ground getting closer within each falling second and the building grow larger. Till finally, I met the ground.

I remember my face hitting it first then the force of the impact travel through the rest of my body before it too met with the asphalt. And the pain…The pain was indescribable. I felt the bones of my body fracture. My legs, my arms, my neck. And the blood…

I waited for the flash of light so many people had described seeing when one would die, but nothing came. In fact, nothing happened other than just that pain. I was still conscious, still could see everything around me and worse still, feel everything. I hadn’t died, or perhaps I did but still was trapped within my now dead body. I wasn’t breathing, I couldn’t move, but that pain…Why did I still feel that God-awful pain!?

  Then I heard the soft padding of footsteps approach me. I couldn’t turn my head or move my eyes to see who it was. I could control nothing. It drew closer and louder with each step until finally a black coal-like foot stepped in front of my vision. I already knew who it was before she knelt down in front of my face. She smiled wickedly and slowly cocked her head from side to side, humming something. “Let it go, let it go, turn away and fall to the floor.” She started singing, “The ground never bothered me anyway.”

The last thing I saw was her talon heading for my face followed by the pain of it puncturing it.

I screamed then woke up gasping in my bed. I was sweating like a dog and my heart was pounding so loudly I was surprised I hadn’t woken up the neighbors. I slid out of my bed, still wearing the clothes I had on the day before and clumsily made my way to the bathroom. My footing was rough, jagged and I was so out of I kept bracing against the walls to stand up.

   I finally made it to the sink and start splashing as much cold water as I could all over my face, in dim hopes of clearing my head of that nightmare. But then a horrible thought went through my mind, What if I’m still in it?
  I stood up straight shaking and hyperventilating while I swept my head from place to place looking for her…it…or whatever the hell she was. The room was empty and still normal as ever and the sun was slowly rising in the east above the city skyline.

  I finally looked at the mirror, to be greeted by my pale sickly face. Which I instantly backed away from in fear as I recalled my first nightmare. But my reflection did just the same. It didn’t feverishly grin, it didn’t chuckle, it didn’t start laughing or mocking me with an icy voice; it stayed as it was. With the greatest amount of relief I could ever feel, I realized I truly was awake this time.

  I still went to school that day after trying my best to look as normal and as un-sickly as I could. I didn’t mind the lofty glances or strange looks people gave me when they noted my appearance. Nor did I really care. They would never understand what I was going through.

  When the professor dismissed us and the classroom emptied, I was the last to get up from my desk and head to my car. The walk to my car which usually took less than five minutes lasted for about twenty. I took my sweet time getting there because I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do another night of this. But what choice did I have? We all need to rest eventually and I knew that sooner or later that I would still fall asleep.

  As I drove home, I flicked through many radio frequencies for any sort of tune that would calm my troubled nerves. I turned the knob and skipped through a few stations until the song “Thanks for the Memories” from Falloutboy started playing. I started humming along with the tune and for the first time after three days of this hell, I felt normal.

“One more, one more time,” I quietly sang, “Thanks for the memories, thanks for the memories…” The lead singer’s voice suddenly changed and a new voice replaced it singing, “See, they taste the same but you’re sweeter.

  My jaw dropped and I stared at the radio in horror. Perhaps a little too long too because I heard a loud honk come from in front of me and I barely had enough time to swerve back into my lane. The song kept going,

Been looking to the future,

 But my eyes are growing sad,

Gazing at your distant fall.

I frantically tried to change, turn down, and turn off that song but no matter what I did, it kept playing.

It’s been lousy except for,

When I look into the past,

Your night stands off.

One night, just one more time,

Thanks for the memories,

Even though they were so great,

Tonight only gets sweeter.”

  I pulled into my parking spot and practically jumped out of the car. I didn’t want to hear any more of that song. And tried to get that one line I heard in that song out of my mind, one more night. I had one more night before this would end. And something told me, that when the end came, I wouldn’t be waking up.

  When the time for me to sleep finally came, I didn’t. I stayed sitting at my kitchen table with all the lights on and drinking a cup of the blackest coffee I could find. “Screw you and screw this whole thing of yours!” I yelled in the direction of my bedroom after taking another sip. “I’m not sleeping! I’m not doing any more of this! And you can’t make me!”

  I fumed and kept drinking. I knew that fighting like this would be a losing battle and that eventually I would cave in and have to sleep at some point, but I wanted to put that as far away from me as I possible could. Call me practical, I wanted to live.

  “Oh, no I still can make you.” A voice suddenly said to me, making the overheated cup of coffee in my hand feel cold. I turned to see my tormentor sitting across from me in the other chair. She sat with one of her legs across her lap smiling. “But if you insist on staying awake for this one. Fine by me.”

  The mug slipped out of my hand, spilling coffee all over the table. She grimaced at the spilt coffee before shaking her head at me, “Nice. You gonna clean that up?”

Ooooohhhh, was I? I immediately scooted my chair back and turned to grab one of the kitchen knives I kept on a rack above the counter. But she was already standing behind me, examining one of the knives in her hand. “A little faster buddy and you would have made it,” she murmured indifferently. Her sudden appearance behind me made me jump. “How the-!” The knife was suddenly at my throat, cutting me off. “Uh-uh,” she said quietly, “I’m talking now. Thank you.”

I silently gulped as she pressed the blade a bit harder against my skin. “Now, where was I originally? Oh, yes. Being awake.” She smiled, “Now Jason, I understand how much you dislike waking up in the morning with a cold sweat and tossing ‘n’ turning in bed, but dreams are where it’s fun. You can die in a dream and still wake up. But here,” she leaned in closer so her violet eyes were only inches from mine, “Here you can’t just die and wake up. Now, getting hurt,” She neatly traced a long cut down my right arm with one of her talons. It took all of my will power to not react to the pain. “That’s a different matter. But,”

She traced the cut again and to my surprise, a dark substance left from her talon began to seal it, till there was nothing but smooth skin. “At least they can still heal.”

I couldn’t help but blink several times at that feat. That was both a relief and an omen because I knew that meant she could slice me open, stab me, gut me all she wanted but still heal and keep me alive to endure more. She must’ve guessed my thoughts because she smiled wider and nodded. “That’s right Jason, we can still have some fun. But you know, I still like being in a dream better.” Without warning she grabbed my head and threw me into the wall. There was a loud thud as my head collided with the wall then a flash of light. And suddenly I was back in that decaying version of my bedroom, laying on my ruined mattress. I quickly scrambled off it and got to my feet to hear footsteps come from my bedroom door.

“See?” she said stepping through the open rotting door that led to my kitchen “This is much better.” She knocked me out, I realized. That was the only way I could be back here. Now she could kill me and not have to worry about me dying for real.

I backed away from her, “Please!” I begged, “Just leave me alone!”

A sinister grin crossed her lips and she took a step forward with her arms open wide, “Oh don’t worry, I will after tonight. Well, at least for a time, that is.” She lowered her arms, “But you still have one more night before we start meeting for real in the waking world.”

  “What? What are you talking about!? You just met me few a minutes ago awake!”

“Oh, you’re right. I did. But that was just some of me. I’m not entirely here yet.”

  Some? I couldn’t help wonder what she meant by that. Was she in multiple places? If she was then what the hell is she?

  “Who are you? What are you!?” I demanded.

  She moved closer until she was right in front of me, “I’m one of the things most of your kind refuses to believe in, while those who do pretend they don’t. Even when they see us.” She smiled, “In fact every single one of you sees us every day. Every dark corner, every little shadow, every single stormy night…You see us.” She moved her eyes in front mine. “Can you guess what ‘us’ is, Jason?”

  I remained silent, refusing to answer or believe what she implied. She simply nodded, “I bet you can and you know exactly what I am. And you,” She laughed, “You just happened to be the one I picked. I just thought I’d tease you a bit before coming to collect you.”

  “Pick me? Why?” I couldn’t understand, “Why me?”

  She remained silent for a good long moment before finally saying, “Why not, Jason? Do I need a reason? Do any of my kind need a reason? We choose who we want, whether they believe or disbelieve in us.”

  She stood up straight, “But I believe it’s about time you woke up.” She made a motion to snap her fingers then paused, “Oh, I almost forgot. I never did answer your first question. My name,” She made a mocking bow, “Is Adaliah.”

She snapped her fingers.

The next morning I groggily woke up to a pounding headache and spilt coffee. I couldn’t quite believe I’d made it through the night.

But yet I had and that was all that mattered.

It’s nearly been six weeks since this all happened, and I’ve tried my best to move on. The mind has a funny way rationalizing experiences and unexplained phenomena that defy logic when given enough time. And that’s exactly what my mind did. I convinced myself that those few nights of hell were just extreme cases of sleepwalking and were all fake. But there are times when I’m not so sure. I still have night terrors every now and then, and while I don’t remember them, I remember the feeling they leave me with when I awake. That feeling of inevitability, the feeling that something is coming. Something will happen. But I’ve been trying to reassure myself that it’s just my imagination screwing with my mind and that all of this is really over.

That’s when she came.

I didn’t pay much attention to her, at first. The new girl.

She was just another student transferring to my campus. Just another person trying to make their way in the world. But it wasn’t until she started sitting near my desk in class and sitting near me in the student lounge that I finally took notice of her.

She had almost always wore black leather clothing, and reminded me of some of those Goth or Gypsy types you’d see, but yet she wasn’t. And she always kept staring at me and smirking.

And every day, she’d get closer and closer to me. And with each time, I felt a sickening feeling of dread.

I knew I couldn’t let this continue so I finally spoke to her and asked what she wanted. The answer she gave me…terrifies me.

“Oh, you already know, Jason.” She said to me smirking.

I shook my head and told her I didn’t.

She just kept smiling, “Oh, I think you do. Are you still having nightmares?”

I could feel the blood in my face drain. “H-how do you know about that?” I managed to stutter.

She flashed me another quick smile and for a fraction of a second, I saw her eyes change from a deep brown to a bright yet dark violet. “See you tonight.” She whispered then turned and walked away.

I remained standing there, too stunned to move, to think, to believe what she just said.

Eventually, I got out of my stupor and searched for my professor. I needed to know who this girl was.

“She goes by Ady,” Was all my professor would tell me.

The name sounded innocent enough, but I knew better than that. I knew exactly what “Ady” was short for and it’s for that very reason why I’m posting this. It’s six ‘o’clock and nearly dark. I know she’s coming, and I know there’s nothing I can do stop it.

So I’m writing this as a warning for others.

You are never truly safe from the things that lurk within the dark. No matter what you do.

You don’t have to go looking for them. You don’t have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t have to do something wrong to provoke them.

Sometimes you don’t have to do anything.

                                                 They just come.

                                                     Like Ady.

                                                   Like Adaliah.

                                                      She’s here.

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Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

Shelley Miller: The ideas and the set up and this are amazing! The feel of the story goes from science fiction to horror to suspense all in a big, thrilling ball. I really like your character so far and her powers and the idea of the ark being a person. The world is intense and gritty and clever as well. While a...

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Bryan Laesch, author of Remnants of Chaos:Chaotic Omens for his use of the Gothic style of writing and in addition the footnotes and endnotes at the end of each chapter, a welcome accompaniment to be sure, though his use of grammar could use a little improving, but his use of punctuation...

pikagirl311: Katie Masters has definite skill when it comes to plot work and characters. The story is well-paced and pulls you along with the tide, keeping you hooked until the very end. The only reason I did not give it five stars across the board is due to a few minor quibbles with misspellings and such lik...

MusketeerAdventure: Well - I really enjoyed this very much! The whole idea of a shared haunting really intrigues me. I thought you did a wonderful job; and I really liked the idea of hearing from the first ghost's point of view. It would be interesting to read more about these two - and the ghost-busters that inf...

AJDay: Hello JaimePAvane,So, this is my first review on this site, and I am glad I found your story. I like where you are going with it and I am curious to see what future chapters look like. Firstly, your narrator; I love that she is describing not just her life but the world around her. Obviously a wo...

Tanya Daigle Rusheon: This book is a long and twisty tale full of sweet romance, adorable fluff, anxiousness, trust issues, mind games, things that don't make sense until suddenly they do, heartache and reconciliation just when you need it the most. If that all sounds a bit vague, it's because I really don't want to s...

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

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