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My New Worst Nightmare

Not again

By Rick PensionPublished about a month ago 7 min read

With a sense of a sudden placement of events, I found myself as a child on my parents’ bed. The lights were off in the bedroom, but I could hear my parents just outside the open door watching TV in the living room. A yellow ray of light peeked through the entrance of the bedroom, just barely giving me the ability to see the room. My dog ran across the floor, rushing from one side of the bed to the other. I crawled back and forth with her playfully, when she stopped suddenly on one side of the bed.

“Pinky?” I asked, wondering why she came to a halt. She wasn’t looking at me anymore, but under the bed. She stood completely still, but didn’t seem concerned. Her head was tilted to one side.

“What are you looking at?”

Another question that I knew full well I wouldn’t receive an answer to verbally from her. I crawled closer to the edge of the bed where she stood, and peered over. A hand was outstretched toward Pinky, slowing approaching her. My relaxed mood quickly vanished and my heart began beating rapidly. I tried to scream without a second thought, but my voice was silent. The hand shot back under the bed. Breathing heavily, I fell back onto my parents’ bed.

A figure inhumanly crawled out from under the bed and stood up. It was so dark, I could only see a vague outline of it. My mom came racing in, stopping next to the silhouette. Both of them watched me, as I began to lose consciousness. As soon as the darkness completely consumed my vision, I was awake.

I was sweating, and my heart still beat rapidly, but I was back in my bed. A sense of relief washed over me, as I let my heart-rate return to normal. I lingered on my dream, despite my desire to forget it and fall back asleep.

The dream never left my memories. Year after year, I remembered it, more details becoming clear, such as the moving boxes in my parents’ room, my dog barking at the towering figure, and my mom asking very curiously, “what are you doing?”. I could never figure out if she was speaking to me, or the figure.

Even as an adult, I wondered why this nightmare kept hold of me. I’ve had nightmares of the end of the world, haunted houses with ghosts and monsters, ghoulish clown goblins throwing me from a window to my death. But despite all those nightmares, I had never doubted that this nightmare was the most terrified I’d ever been by a dream.

An odd sensation poured over me one day, after we had just moved into our house. We’d been stuck in an apartment for six years, and my two sons were both getting older. They were seven and five, and they couldn’t be more unlike each other. My five year old, the wild one, constantly complained of being scared of the dark before bed, but then would freely explore our home at night, when my wife and I were asleep. My seven year old, on the other hand, would turn on every light on his way to the bathroom, and leave them all on.

After a long day moving, it was 9 PM, and the boys were supposed to be in their room sleeping. However, the five year old was restless. He wouldn’t leave his brother alone, who was trying to go to sleep. We decided to separate them for the night, as neither I nor my wife wanted to deal with them any longer. I took my seven year old to my bedroom, and left my five year old in his room, where he whined and complained about being alone. My wife went in to calm him down, and I returned to the living room, to wait for her to come back.

A jolt of fear and panic coursed through my body, as I heard my seven year old scream a haunting shriek. I bolted to my bedroom, stopping dead in the doorway, casting a long shadow into my room. My wife was right behind me.

My seven year old was sitting up, swaying in the middle of our bed, eyes drawing up and shutting. His skin was so pale as he lost consciousness, and we saw a figure standing next to our bed.

“What are you doing?” was the only thing I was able to say, but I didn’t mean to say it.

The relief I felt was bittersweet, when I opened my eyes to find myself laying on my couch, the TV glowing in front of me, and my wife just now coming out of the children’s room after comforting our five year old to sleep. I stood up, causing my wife to jump as I made my way to our bedroom. Our room looked similar to the nightmare I’d just had, but my seven year old was completely asleep, there was more light, and, thankfully, no figure.

I dropped to the floor and checked under our bed, giving me some irrational comfort upon seeing the empty space.

“What are you doing? You’re kinda freaking me out.” My wife asked suspiciously.

“Nothing, I- I just had a weird little dream out on the couch, and I couldn’t remember if it was real or not for a second.” I tried to explain, but the worry wasn’t gone from her face.

I’d never had a problem with falling asleep before, but that night, I just laid motionless, staring at the ceiling. The worry I had of having that nightmare again wasn’t the problem. It was the scream. The scream and the figure.

After that night, I thought that maybe I could interpret what the dream may have meant. I considered the boxes. I couldn’t remember them being in the most recent dream, but there were boxes in our room at the time, because we’d just moved. When I was a child, there weren’t any boxes in my parents’ room. Could the boxes have triggered something in my subconscious to call up the dream again? I couldn’t be sure of it. We didn’t have a dog, and my son wasn’t playing in our room.

I considered asking my son if he remembered having a dream that night, but he never remembers his dreams. I guess he’s lucky for that. It still bothered me that after nearly 16 years, the nightmare had returned, but from a different point of view.

My wife and I were in bed, on the brink of falling asleep, when I heard crying. My eyes opened, and I looked over to my wife, who showed an expression of deep concern. I could tell that the crying was coming from my children’s room. My older son came around the corner and into our room, telling us that our younger son was crying. I got out of my bed immediately, and walked across our house to the kid’s room. There, sitting in his bed, was my five year old, crying inconsolably.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, approaching to comfort him.

He said, through his tears, “I saw a hand coming out of my closet, and I got scared.” My gaze shifted to their closet door, which was slightly cracked open. My seven year old stood at the door of the room, motionless, and with my second son’s cries in the background of my focus, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Everything else felt still, as I slowly walked toward their closet door.

“Turn on the lights.” I asked my older son. He did, illuminating their room, but not changing the mood. It felt like we were all scared of what was in their closet, but as their father, I had to ensure their safety. I forced myself to open the door. It was empty. I breathed a sigh of relief.

The lights turned off, and my five year old screamed an awful, guttural scream. I spun around to find my son losing consciousness on his bed, while the silhouetted figure stood over him.

“What are you doing!?” I yelled, in fear and anger.

I awoke in my bed in a panic, causing my wife to look at me with a confused expression. I calmed myself down, and went to check on my kids. They were both asleep, unbothered. I looked at their closet for a moment, but decided that I was finally awake. At least for that night, the dream was over. I was safe.

It’s a frustrating realization, upon pondering the latest of the string of related dreams, that there appeared to be no conclusion to these dreams. I never clearly saw the apparition, nor did I confront it. A child beckons their parent upon seeing a figure in their room who should not be there by any means, and when the parent sees the ‘apparition’ they’re warranted to ask, ‘what are you doing?’.

As unsatisfying of an answer as a never concluded string of nightmares, it is as life puts it. We’re either destined to find meaning in the experiences we have or conclude that it was meaningless. Never to have a clear answer for the reasoning behind our experiences. It’s an agitating itch that will forever discomfort me whenever I think back on my dreams from the past. It clouds over every good dream I ever had because in the background of those beautiful vistas, the laughter of a group of friends, the skies in which I’m soaring though, there will always be those screams. The entity. That question.

Although I can link that my own subconscious was perhaps only trying to inform me of my true fears, there lingered a sense of doom after each nightmare. An entire day, poisoned by the night before. Though, it’s been a year now and I hadn’t had that dream or any seemingly related dream since.

Though, we did just have our third child.


About the Creator

Rick Pension

Writing has been a passion of mine since before I was 8 years old. I’ve evolved my stories in various ways since, and I only want to write for people to enjoy my stories. I don’t like to typically stay within a specific genre.

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    Rick PensionWritten by Rick Pension

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