It's Not Peter Pan's Lost Shadow
White. Everything around me is blindingly, alarmingly white. I float about it, drifting. A high-pitched noise is inside my head as I continue onward, aimlessly. The further I move, the louder it gets. I stop and look behind me. Nothingness. I turn back to the front and there, standing there, looming over me, is a smoking shadow. It looms over me a few feet, faceless, rounded shapes and smoke. It almost seems to glow in this unnatural white.
It seems like an eternity that I’m staring up at it and it’s staring back at me. My mind is in a haze, and now I can’t move. The rounded, shapeless face moves in toward to me, close, closer closer. Too close. The noise suddenly cuts out of my ears, and they almost ache from it finally stopping. The silence almost drowns me in all this white.
“Finish what you’ve started.”
Suddenly a neon red mouth rips open out of the blackness and comes at my face.
I gasp, sitting up in a cold sweat. Shaking, I bring my hands up to my numb face. My fingers come back wet with tears, not with blood. Not with blood. It was a nightmare. I can move, I can move. I am fine. I can move I’m not trapped. It didn’t’ get me. It didn’t get me, yet. It was all in my head that my face just got ripped off.
I should’ve known that I would get imprinted and have nightmares. I didn’t think it would be this bad. I should’ve known being around weirdly obsessive people would do this. That it would only fuel my strange theories that haunt me more than the shadows in the night. I should’ve known over-exposure to that thing would cause others to feel the same, if not more.
I’m one foot into the pit of doom that I managed to leave behind once when I threw TRIGGER out into the world, wanting it to shrivel up and die, not feed off of my soul. I didn’t want it to, I really did not want this to happen, but here I am. I’m hyperventilating and my skin is on fire but my sweat is cold and I’m all four seasons at once and I’m frozen in time and everything is bad and strange and weird and I need another shower.
That’s my problem, I don’t think it’s going to be bad until it attacks me like a tidal wave.
Then there is that rumble of laughter, shaking every bit of furniture in the room and rattling both beds. The darker shadows of the room melt and puddle in front of my bed, and I’m frozen. Just like all the times before, only this time I’m wide awake and fully conscious and not succumbing to sleep paralysis. My fists clench hard onto the comforter as the laughter continues louder, and louder still. My friends are still asleep as the monster forms up from the shadows, like a bubbling fountain of darkness and evil, and it’s eyes open. All of the black pupils in the poisonous neon flick around the room in opposite directions, and then one by one they land on me.
The slit of the mouth forms a twisted, crooked smile as the creature that taints my soul and shatters my mind grows and leans over me, and Mayday’s sleeping body. I want to scream, but I can’t. I shake violently as it opens it’s mouth and the drool lands hot and burning on my face. It sears my skin, my tears sending it down my cheeks.
I hear it again in my head, echoing in the caverns and twists and turns it used to hide in, that it hides in still. I push at the force, but it’s solid and doesn’t budge.
Finish what you started.
I shove one last time, desperate and driven to protect my helpless friends. It snarls at me and rears back, I flinch hard and suddenly bring my hands up to my face.
In the second I blink and flinch, it’s gone.
“Dru?” Mayday asks me groggily, the twins shift in their bed.
“Sorry, sorry.” I gasped again, my cheeks flushed. “Bad dream.”
She swings her hand at me to pat my arm out of comfort, or what her sleepy mind assumed to be, and she ends up mushing my face. “You good?”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry.” My voice is muffled from her palm pressing hard into my mouth and nose.
I lay back down, staring up at the ceiling. Every inch of me is alive and shocked to the core of every last cell. My heart is thundering in my chest. That one sentence plays over and over again in my head.
Finish what I’ve started?