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Stranger things than fear

For the fiction dream challenge

By Natasha CollazoPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Stranger things than fear
Photo by Vadim Bogulov on Unsplash

I look in the mirror and my reflection is smiling back at me, with a sinister smile. The image of myself licks my lips but I did not.

The terror ran over me like a victim paralyzed by this… ‘evil thing’ that was not me.

I awake in soaked bedsheets with wet strands of hair plastered to my neck. I’m relieved but yet can’t shake this energy. And that’s exactly what always lingered, the energy, like a physical person standing behind me breathing down my neck. Though the dream stopped, it’s almost as the supernatural crossed over with me. It takes me awhile to snap out of it every time, of the night terror, that is. Sometimes I’m just frozen for the first few hours. I can’t shower because that means being alone in a closed space with no room to exit in the instance of an emergency. And forget about looking in any mirrors. I can’t swallow because my throat is dry, as if someone is gripping it.

Fear is the uttermost prison of our thoughts. If your thoughts are incarcerated, then everything you eat, sleep and breath is too.

Eventually I move along, even though the rest of the day is daunting.

I picked a verse out of the daily bread box. The daily breadbox is a little bread container with over 100 colorful mini cardboard verses inside. My mom always had us pick a verse every day when we were little. So, I picked a verse and read one for ease and comfort. It did the job, it always does.

Later that evening, I received a call from my dad. He was drunk, per usual. It was always hard enough being the parent to both of my parents. My mom is schizophrenic and my dad, well, he might as well be too.

So far the day as a whole was rather lackluster.

3:00 a.m

I enter the dark circular staircase. Something diabolic is calling me without words. Just sensations. Everything in me is telling me to run or go the other way. Get out! Now!

But behind the sensation, there was another figure, a supernatural call to save. To be strong. To face it! Between the two wordless voices I move up and toward the half closed door. Nervous, I coughed into the crook of my elbow. My forehead is glistening with the perspiration of all my trauma. Every idea of fear surfaces because that’s what I’m thinking. I mean, isn’t that what everyone does when their afraid? Sometimes we work up the fear to a reality, resurrecting every childhood scarecrow from the cornfields.

I then enter the room. I’m frozen. I feel it. That force.

Floating all around me in thin air are the verses from the daily breadbox. And sitting straight up in the bed is my dad. He’s sick and asking for help. His behavior is strange-like and he’s otherwise consumed. He switches from a sad shell to a vigorous ominous menace.

This was the part I forced my strength. I started to rebuke everything in my way.

And then I gasped.

I woke up from the very similar night terror that I had the night before. Where I’m visited by this sinister dark force.

This time I’m panting in utter relief! Then started to pray.

I don’t know what these dreams mean but they are reoccurring possessions of the people I love. The following night I had one of my mother, as she laughed and it wasn’t her laughing, and then of my sister standing against the wall until she slowly glances my way. And the dreams always end or stop once I’m rebuking it. It’s like I’m the only one who carries the thing to make the tormentor flee.

I felt some range of peace along with fear, it was the strangest thing, because part of me knew exactly what thing it was that defeats fear because the thievery of my family ends with me.

This optimistic but yet practical sensation meddling amidst the terror, is something stranger than fear.

fiction

About the Creator

Natasha Collazo

**Studying Modern Journalism NYU **

Student @ American Writers & Artists Institute

Project: The diary of an emo Latina (2025)

Content and freelance creator

✍🏽

Inquiries: [email protected]

Instagram: @sunnycollazo

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Comments (20)

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Creepy! The breadbox items floating around and your dad sick. Dreams are so strange and hard to figure out. Congrats on TS🤩

  • Imuabout a month ago

    Nicee🔥

  • Nightmares are difficult , but a relief when you come out of them , but when you are in them they are so real

  • Scary good! 👏 Congratulations

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Clever! Congrats on your top story.

  • Christina Vanhaerentsabout a month ago

    congrats on this top story! this one really had me hooked!

  • Dr. Jason Benskinabout a month ago

    Awesome writing, keep it up!

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    I had a real recurring dream...it was terrifying. I finally got resolution. Dreams can be interpreted if we look deep into our subconscious...this felt so real. Congrats.

  • Linda Goodmanabout a month ago

    Congratulations on your top story

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Wow, you got it finally Congratulations 🎊

  • Anu Mehjabinabout a month ago

    Captivating story! It skillfully blends personal trauma with supernatural elements, keeping readers engaged till the end. Great job! And congrats on your top story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Nice pacing and control; throughout the piece. You did a great job of building tension. Congratulations

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    If it is real recurring dream, you are a strong lady to face all this fear. Good luck for challenge

  • Very interesting work Natasha... makes one wonder about the Forces at work

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Different end with a great mix of fear and crazy, great job

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Omgggg, this was so ominous and unsettling! You infused the creepy factor soooo brilliantly! I freaking loved it!

  • Skyler Saundersabout a month ago

    This excellent tale brings a foreboding sense to the mind while it dazzles. The daring, acrobatic feats of this journey into something menacing is what makes it great.

  • shanmuga priyaabout a month ago

    I like your story.

  • angela hepworthabout a month ago

    Great contribution to the challenge!! Your end was so ambiguously creepy I loved it!

Natasha CollazoWritten by Natasha Collazo

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