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Scars, Screams, and Galloping Hearts

Entry to the 3am Challenge. I originally wrote this as a daily microfiction (Story #125 on 4th May). I reworked it to fit the criteria for the 3am challenge.

By L.C. SchäferPublished 3 days ago Updated a day ago 3 min read

He's coming! He's too fast, he's going to catch her!

She runs as fast as her short skinny legs will go. They hurt, and she tries to make them go faster anyway.

She's quite fast when she runs against other girls her age, but he's got grown-up legs, and he's sprinting after her, big long strides. Getting closer and closer every second.

Her breath is coming in little gasps and whimpers, and-


He's huge, and heavy, and strong. He feels even bigger because she's so little and skinny. It's not a fair fight, no, not at all. His arms are like metal bars to her, just as hard, just as mean. Just as unmoveable. A harsh, hairy prison she can't escape. Crushing the breath out of her. Hurting.

His voice is cruel, she hates the sound of it. The smell of him, the colour and feel of his clothes... it's all so vivid, so bright and ghastly.

She struggles, knowing it won't work, but trying anyway because she has to get away or-

She screams. The kind of scream you scream when you know you're gonna die. The kind pulled from deep inside, raking your throat like knives. Her chest feels like it'll burst open with the force of them. Like she could tear at his skin with them and break away, break free, run...

She wriggles, and screams, and feels the hopelessness, and screams some more.

The knife feels cold. It sinks into her body. She can feel it, the cold of it slicing deep inside where it shouldn't be cold at all. Her blood is warm, but she barely feels its flow, because she's already seeping away...

I'm dying.

The thought is exactly as horrifying as that. All that horrible stuff - the smell and the voice and everything - filling up her last seconds, end to end. She hates it, hates that the last thing she knows is the hot stink of his breath and the sound of his voice dirtying her ears...


The light flips on. Mother's arms round her. The edge of the terror fading. Just a little. Her new heart still galloping with the rawness of it, the smell of him still in her nostrils. So real!

Her throat hurts. A lot.

"Was it the same dream, sweetheart?"

She nods. Her voice will be too croaky to talk.

"Same man?"


"Did he say anything?"

The girl looks away. "Same as always." It comes out a raspy whisper. Her hand ghosts to the scar on her chest, as if to reassure herself it hadn't burst open after all.

"You're safe, now," her mum says. "Shall I stay here?"

The girl cuddles close, and eventually, manages to sleep.


After breakfast, her mum drives her to the special doctor. This doctor lives in a big office with dark wood and big green plants. The doctor is quite nice. She asks a lot of questions. This time, when the doctor speaks to her mum afterwards, they stand further away, where she can't hear what they're saying. Doing that grown up thing where they say quiet serious words, and there's lots of glancing.

After that, her mum makes her talk to a policeman about the dreams. The policeman was actually a lady, and she's very kind. She wants to know all about the man, especially his clothes and what he said.

Grown-ups tell her she's been brave (so brave very brave) and her dreams are special. Her dreams have helped to catch a bad, bad man.

But still, she lives her death every time she closes her eyes. Maybe she always will. Ever since they'd cut open her chest and taken out her bad heart, and put in a new one. The last time she'd slept peacefully, was when the nurse said, "Count backwards from..."

Short Story

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (12)

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  • Shirley Belk2 days ago

    Wonderful entry! poor baby paying the price for her heart.

  • An amazing entry to the challenge! Just thinking that the urban legend may be true creeps me out...

  • I didn't know about this urgan legend but it does seem kinda familiar to me. Also, there's a typo in this sentence, "This time, when he doctor speaks to her mum afterwards," it should be the* doctor

  • John Cox3 days ago

    Oooog. Prometheus level torture. Utterly convincing. But in your hands, I would not expect anything less.

  • This is cool! Like a story from beyond belief!

  • Caroline Jane3 days ago

    Really well done. Will give me nightmares now!

  • Gerard DiLeo3 days ago

    spooky, f'sure. Great story.

  • Lana V Lynx3 days ago

    Oh, I feel for that little girl. You have a way with words, LC!

  • Geesh, so well done

  • Cathy holmes3 days ago

    That is fascinating, and really well written.

  • D.K. Shepard3 days ago

    Wow! This was so suspenseful and intriguing! Quite the concept and you definitely capitalized on it with this story! Nicely done!

  • A/N - This is based on the urban legend where a girl helps catch the murderer of her organ donor by describing her dream-memories to police. There have been several reported cases supporting the idea of cellular memory; that we store memories elsewhere in our bodies than just in our brains. Whether it's true or not, I wanted to use it for a story.

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