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Until The End

Feeling blocked.

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published 2 months ago 5 min read
Until The End
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

“Why don’t we start with why you are here?” The woman across from me, Dr. Esimed, suggested.

 

“My intake form says why I’m here,” I growled, rubbing my eye with the back of my hand as I stifled a yawn.

 

“I want to hear it from you,” she explained as she placed her notebook and pen down on her lap. Her lips pulled in a tight line across her face and her dark eyes narrowed in analysis as she waited for me to explain.

 

I stared back at her in defiance, my jaw clenched as I fought the onslaught of words that threatened to spill out. I was paying her by the hour, but there was something about that look in her eyes that gave me pause. 

Although, if I wanted my problem to go away, I had no choice but to start talking.

I sighed through my nose and pulled my gaze from hers. “I haven’t been able to sleep for several days,” I admitted, swallowing the lump of anxiety that formed in my throat.

 

“And why do you think that is?” She questioned, picking up her pen and jotting something down in her notebook.

 

The scratching sound of her pen drew my attention to her dark gaze again and my stomach clenched in apprehension. I tried to pick out some colour in her eyes, something other than the never-ending darkness. I searched for a speck of chocolate brown, a hint of blue-grey, anything to distinguish her gaze from his.

I felt paralyzed with her dark eyes so focused on me, just like I do when he looks at me. 

 

Suddenly, I am enshrouded in darkness. A bright spotlight blinds me from across the room. I see no defining details to distinguish the room I’m being held in.

My heart races in panic as I know exactly where I am and what’s about to happen. I struggle against the restraints on my wrists and ankles, with no luck of escaping. My heart races harder as the padding of his footfalls grow closer with slow, deliberate steps. The sound reverberates off the walls and taunts me with every passing second that he drags this out.

I continue to struggle against my restraints as a cold sweat breaks out over my body in anticipation of his appearance.

 

“If you don’t finish, then I win.” His craggy voice mocks me as the outline of his face appears from the shadows. His warm ivory skin absorbs the pristine glow of the lamp-light before me. It’s so reflective, I swear I can see my terrified image in the sweat on his face.

Ewan’s eyes are soul-less and black, as they gleam at me in manic anticipation and an eery smile creeps across his scarred lips.

 

I trace my fearful gaze over the scars where his mouth was sewn shut as a child after he had bitten a chunk out of his father for beating his mother.

 

The man is a monster of my creation and I don’t stand a chance against him.

 

I try to scream, but it gets trapped in my throat and threatens to cut off my air supply.

 

“Here, let me help you with that.” He offers, then suddenly lunges at me. His large hands wrap around my throat, squeezing harder and harder. Ewan’s black eyes glare at me with more hate than I could ever imagine.

 

I choke and sputter under his grasp. My cheeks begin to burn as my circulation is cut off and airway is sealed shut.

 

I emerged from the memory of my dream sweaty and breathless. Still upright in the soft pleather chair. My body felt stiff, as though I’d just fought for my life. 

Mentally, I swam in a pool of confusion as I took in the therapist’s office around me and I remember what triggered the flashback. My gaze landed on Dr. Esimed but I avoided direct eye contact.

 

“Where did you go?” She asked, her brows furrowed in interest.

 

“I- uh,” I stumbled on my words, unsure where to start.

My hand had migrated to the base of my neck where I’d felt his calloused hands upon me only seconds ago. I sighed deeply as I tried not to dip back into the flashback.

 

“How many days has it been since you’ve slept?” She inquired, pen at the ready. Her dark eyes watched me intently.

 

“What day is it?” I countered, rubbing my burning eyes in exhaustion.

 

“Tuesday,” Dr. Esimed answered, her expression remained the same.

 

“About five days,” I replied after counting it out on my fingers.

 

She scribbled down another note and then returned her analytical gaze to me.

“Why do you think you’re having trouble sleeping?” She inquired, her dark eyes narrowed again, as though trying to see the answer inside my mind.

 

“I don’t know, that’s why-“

 

“Why do you think you’re having trouble sleeping?” She snapped, her voice held a threatening edge that caught me off guard.

 

Before I could stop myself, my lips parted and said the last thing I expected. “He doesn’t want me to finish the book.”

 

“Who?” She inquired, her expression breaking slightly. Brow hooked upwards in curiosity as she watched me with a careful eye.

 

“Ewan,” I mumbled, my chest tightened at the mention of his name.

 

“Who is Ewan to you?” She asked and her dark eyes lightened to a rich chocolate brown, very much unlike his.

 

“I’m going to sound like a crazy person but-“

 

“I deal with people of your profession all the time. It takes a lot to surprise me.” She explained, and a small smile crept across her thin lips for the first time.

 

“Right.” I agreed with a nod. “He’s the villain in my latest series,” I explained, as I bit my cheek in embarrassment. “Every time I close my eyes, he appears and tries to kill me. Telling me if I don’t finish, then he wins.” I explained, swallowing a lump that formed in my throat. My cheeks heated slightly in further embarrassment.

 

“How long have you had writer’s block?” She asked, the colour of her eyes changing yet again as she looked up at me. They now bore a caramel colour, much different from his gaze.

 

“Since Friday,” I answered, furrowing my brow in bewilderment. 

 

Her smile broadened. “So, about five days, then.” She stated. Her eyes twinkled at me in expectation.

 

“Yeah,” I replied, still scowling at her in confusion. “But how did you know I have writer’s block?” I asked.

My eyes darted to the scribblings in her notebook but could read nothing.

 

“Let’s just say you aren’t the first author to require my services. Now, do you think that your nightmares are related to your writer’s block?” She queried, a smirk sitting in the corner of her mouth. Her comforting caramel-coloured eyes shone at me in encouragement.

 

I blinked at her in shock. “You seem to,” I commented in observation. 

 

“Tell me what you usually do to cure writer’s block,” Dr. Esimed requested as she folded her hands on top of her notebook.

 

“Why?” I asked as I watched her with a careful eye.

 

“If we can cure your writer’s block, I think we can get you some sleep.” She explained, her gaze still soft as she continued to smile at me.

 

“I usually have a nap,” I admitted sheepishly, rubbing my temple with a few fingers.

 

“Well that explains a lot and I think it’s time we try something new.”…..

Short StoryPsychologicalHorrorExcerpt

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for stopping by!! 💚💙💜🩵

I have two novellas available on Amazon if you are interested:

A Tale of Thieves and A Tale of An Enchanted Forest.

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Comments (8)

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    I want to hear more about Ewan though. You're writing that, right?

  • Alexander McEvoy2 months ago

    PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A PART ONE! Donna, Donna please.... I need mooaarr! This is an awesome take on the challenge! The fear of the so much as closing your eyes, the fear that some monster is waiting there, the terrible knowledge that it is not real (we hope) but also knowing that if you were in the thing's clutch, it would hurt just the same. Ah the pain in dreams is a special thing. Sometimes it takes a while after waking up to convince oneself that one still possess all the limbs and bones one went to sleep with. Esimed... Demise...? OMG is the MC talking to Death!? You know how much I love a good convo with the grim reaper themself!

  • This had me intrigued. I was sure Ewan was her brother haunting from childhood memories. You caught me by surprise when you revealed he was a character from her book. Great Job! Donna

  • Oh wow, I didn't know this was for that 3am challenge until I saw Mark's comment, lol. You nailed it so brilliantly! Speaking of brilliant, I see what you did there with Esimed hehehehehehe. I caught that right away in the first paragraph and I loved the ominous vibes that brought on! Ewan is soooo intriguing. I'm really intrigued about his backstory, as to which part of his father did he bite a chunk of and who sew his mouth? Like what era are they in and where? How did he eat? And soooo many more questions hahahahahaa I freaking hate it when my therapist asks me stupid questions like, “Why do you think you’re having trouble sleeping?” Like woman, if I knew, I wouldn't be here now, would I? Sheeshh!! So annoying! Also, I didn't quite understand the ending. Like she said she has a nap and the Demise woman said that explained a lot and it's time to try something new. So yea, I was lost there. What does it explain and what's the new thing to try? I loved your story so much D! It kept me at the edge of my seat!

  • Mark Gagnon2 months ago

    Great way to cover all the points for the challenge. Good luck, Donna!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Donna, You nailed this perfectly. Every line drew me deeper into the story, then to find out ‘why’ just sent me spiralling into a giddy stupor. Very good psychological thriller. Had me creeped out.

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    Yikes!!!!! I hope my writer’s block never looks like this! Great one Donna!

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Clever!

Donna Fox (HKB)Written by Donna Fox (HKB)

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