"Goodnight mom! Goodnight Dad!" I shouted as I ran up stairs to say my prayers before bed. My mom followed. She always tucked me in kissed my forehead and turned the light out for me. We moved a lot but they were always constants in my life. That I was thankful for.
"Okay Rayne are you ready? I'll leave the door cracked just a little."
"Yes momma thank you."
"Okay then sweetie, goodnight." She kissed my forehead and was out the door as quietly as she came in.
I began feeling sleep overcome my body. My eyes would shut and gently flutter open a few seconds before I finally succumbed to exhaustion. It had been a long wonderful day.
The moon was high and the dew on the grass mirrored its shine like pearls. The bay window was wide open letting in the summer breeze. It smelled of salt water and driftwood. A scent I was all too familiar with. How beautiful the Island was. My mind replayed the events of the day as my dream began.
Dad and I walked the beach with my beagle scooter. His ears flopping all over the place as he chased away the seagulls. We picked up some new shells to bring home to Momma. When we got home there was a fresh blueberry pie waiting for us. How nice this dream was... but something just felt... off?
"Hi dearest... ready for a slice of pie...?" Mother hissed and I looked up. She stood over me with the knife gleaming in the light. Her face was twisted and distorted like that of a demon. Her tongue flicked in and out as if she were a snake. I tore away from the table and ran.
"Dad! Dad where are you!" I screamed but he was nowhere to be found. Scooter came running after me. His body was covered in blood.
"What happened boy? Where's dad?"
He whimpered a sad sound and I knew something terrible had happened.
"You can't escape from us Rayne! We're always here!" My un-mother called up the stairs. My mind was racing and my heart was pounding right out of my chest. What could I do? Where could I go? Who was us?
Then I remembered. The reason everything felt so off... There was a man in every image of the day I remembered. I never saw his face but he was there. In a long trench coat, rubber boots, and a black fedora he used to shade his face. Why did I remember this? Who was he? I slid into the closet to hide.
Un-Mother pounded on the door with a fierceness that shook the room. It was dark in the closet but I always kept a flashlight in a shoe box near the back. I clutched it until my knuckles turned white.
"Oh little girl won't you let me in?" She screamed in a menacing voice. The door came crashing down, I searched for my escape. The attic.. All I had to do was get there.. I could hear her tearing through my room. I started to climb up into the square that led to the attic when I heard the door creak open. Her nails dug into my leg. Pain shot all through out my leg... was it poison?
I managed to rip away from her grip and keep crawling I barricaded the entrance as she banged against it and screamed my name. I backed up towards the window and heard a thud, I turned on the flashlight. When I turned around there laid Dads lifeless body. Covered in blood and his face barely recognizable.
I began to sob... I felt trapped and helpless. Dad was gone... I had no one. No one to save me.
I climbed out the attic window and down the veranda. I began to run. My leg stung and I could feel the blood running down my leg and pooling in my sock. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I could feel his eyes on me. The tears still pouring from my face I searched for him.
"Where are you?" I shouted at the top of my lungs. My voice cracking just a little.
"Why are you doing this?" I shouted again. No answer but I could still feel his eyes watching my every move. I turned to run again and there he was. He stood tall...maybe six or seven feet. His black boots shining in the moonlight. His trench coat covering his massive body. His brown fedora still shading half of his face. His teeth gleaming in a menacing smile as he laughed at me.
That's when he moved. The light caught him just right and I saw his face. His eye socket was black and hollow where his eye should be. The skin of his face drooped as if he were a wax man melting in the heat. He didn't speak just growled a horrifying sound that rumbled deep from within.
I backed away and he slung a chain that appeared out of what seemed like nowhere. It wrapped around my body trapping me in its coils. I dug my feet into the gravel hoping to get some traction. With each pull he brought me closer and closer to him.
Was this it? Was this how it ends? Was I to die a horrible death? He took me to his home. A broken down rustic shack on the beach. He chained me to the chair and watched me awhile. Soon he was hungry and started a pot of water over the fire. Was he going to eat me? He then left me alone with the pot.
This was my chance I had to escape. I wriggled and writhed until the chains loosened just a little. It was enough to squeeze my tiny body out. I crept to the back of the shack looking for a door. When I finally found it I undid the latch and it creaked open.
I could feel the salt water air on my face... the sand pulled at my feet.
I heard his rage when he discovered my absence. He burst through the door following my tracks. Snarling and Howling with anger. I slipped and rolled down one of the dunes. He was coming up on me fast but I couldn't muster the energy to get up. Before I knew it he was on top of me. One eye focused on me. The hollow dark abyss looking sinister as ever. The skin from his melted face brushed against mine.
He held a knife to my throat....
Then I woke up. In my room. Scooter asleep at my feet. The man of my dreams had visited yet again. Would I ever be free of this curse?