Only in the Dark

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Chapter 4

Her sleep did not last long however, because soon the nightmare started. She began to feel like she did in class before she fainted. Dizzy and short of breath, but this time Aris got very hot as well. She kicked the covers off of her and tried to shake the feeling away. Behind closed eyes she saw animals tearing each other apart, just like the movie they watched in biology, but more was happening now. Aris tossed and turned, but could not seem to wake up. Lions attacked other animals and ripped them to bits. The blood soaked into the dirt ground, and into the lion’s fur. She could almost smell the raw meat.

Aris inhaled deeply and shot up out of bed. She felt sick so she ran to the bathroom across the hall, turned on the light, and steadied her hands across the porcelain sink. She looked at herself in the mirror; her pale sweaty face stared back. She took deep breaths and the sick feeling began to fade. She washed her face in the sink and decided she felt good enough to return to bed.

When she got back into her room she climbed into bed, but not long after, the dreadful feeling returned. She groaned and got up to turn on the light; sleep did not seem like an option tonight. She opened her window and let the fresh air in, hoping that maybe getting up and walking around had made the sickness go away before. She leaned by the window and stared at the dark streets; the only noise came from bugs. The ill feeling began to fade, so Aris grabbed her laptop and surfed the web until the sun rose.

Around six she got dressed and ready for school, and then headed downstairs just as her mother was coming up to wake her. Some days Aris woke up early, so her mother did not ask her why she was up already. She sat at the kitchen island and said goodbye to her parents as they headed out the door like any other day. Aris decided to skip breakfast and lay her head on the table until Billy got there. She must have fallen asleep, because the next thing she knew, Billy was shaking her awake.

Aris looked up at Billy. “Hmm?”

Billy looked worried. “Are you okay? You look like crap.”

Aris got up and rolled her eyes. “Gee, thanks. Didn’t sleep well last night…or at all actually.”

Billy’s look got worse. “Why?”

She went over to grab her backpack. “Didn’t feel well, plus I had a weird nightmare.”

Billy gave her a ‘tell me’ look.

Aris sighed. “I don’t know, there were animals eating each other and stuff. It doesn’t matter.”

Billy opened the door. “Does this have to do with yesterday? Maybe you have a concussion or something. You might need a doctor.”

Aris shook her head. “I’m fine Billy really. Besides, I refuse to become one of my parent’s experiments. I’m sure this is nothing.”

“Okay, fine.” Billy decided not to push the matter anymore.

When Aris and Billy got to school, Aris skipped going to her locker and went straight to class. She laid her head down on the desk and fell asleep within seconds. That became the theme for the majority of the day. At lunch Aris met up with Billy, and they decided to skip eating and go outside. The sun shined bright on the courtyard, but Aris had the hood of her grey jacket up, and was dozing in and out of whatever Billy was talking about. He was trying to keep his mind off his worry of Aris. He wanted her to go get checked out, but knew she would refuse to go, and convince him to drop the subject.

After school Aris felt a little more awake. She hung out at Billy’s and ate dinner there again. She did not keep much of a conversation up, but tried her best to interact somewhat. After dinner, Aris went straight home and to her bed. She did not even bother turning off the lights before collapsing onto the covers. Eventually she managed to throw her shoes off and got under the warm sheets.

A few hours later, as Aris was sound asleep, her parents decided to check and see how their experiment was going. They walked into her room and called Aris’ name to make sure she was asleep. When Aris did not stir, her mother took a quick blood sample from the back of her neck as her father injected more of the serum. Satisfied with that, Aris’ parents left the room, leaving the light on, as they had found it.

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