I awake. I feel myself drawn back into the world of reality. Not quite ready, I permit my eyes to rest a few more seconds, minutes maybe. The image in my mind, the trace of a lost dream, is too beautiful to let go.
Those sparkling eyes, oh how they remind me of the cold lakes we used to swim in. Those opalescent teeth, the playful grin, shining so bright you might think she was born from the sun. That laugh, pure happiness emanated from it, sending shivers down my spine.
How could I have lost you?
The scene changes as it does every time. Her eyes start to drip, no longer blue; they are now reminiscent of leaking sewage. Her smile dissipates, replaced by a soundless scream of agony and rage, those primal, painful, emotions. Her laugh, oh God, her laugh. Despite her lips being twisted into that never ending scream, I still hear her laugh before it gets interrupted by gurgling and coughing; that sound sending chills down my spine as she choked on her inner blood.
I jumped, my eyes opening wide as I nearly leapt out of the bed. Sweat rolled down my skin. Every time. Every time I slept, this is what I saw. That young frame, corrupted, no longer beautiful.
Wait, that's not true...
She was still beautiful, but in a macabre kind of way. Behind those eyes, you saw the ghost of the kind little girl she used to be. In her scream, you could still see the dimples and the way her smirk turned and lifted to the right.
I give something between a sob and a groan, my legs- wobbly as they are- carry me to the bathroom. Unshaven, unkempt. Those sad blue eyes, not the color of a storm, but rather more of dreary rain. I stared into the mirror before picking up my toothbrush.
What's the point?
I set it back down, my yellow teeth grit in pain. There hasn't been a point to care for myself in 3 years. I strip myself of clothing and get in the shower, sitting under the water. I pick up a shampoo bottle, knowing there's none in it.
Empty. Just like you.
I sigh, and put it with the other four bottles. After ten minutes of scalding water turning my white skin red, I get out and get dressed. My T-shirt has holes in it. That's why I wear it; it reminds me of myself. My jeans barely fit, digging into my waist. who has the time to shop?
My feet hit the tile floor of my bathroom, the liquid seeping through as water damage continues to take its toll on my house. I reach over to grab my clothes, not bothering with a towel, and I slip. My hands fly out madly, grasping into anything as my heart threatens to rip out of my chest. I successfully grip onto the sink, just to hit my head on the tub. My eyes see only darkness. My ears hear a loud crashing sound, like waves. As all feeling goes away, one image comes back to me in the darkness. Those eyes, shining not with kindness, but with the sharp malice that only an avenger can have. Blood drips from her teeth like venom from a viper's fangs. Her mouth is back in that grin of hers as if amused, before shaking her head.
"I'm not through with you yet."
I can't help but quiver at that voice. The memories it brings, the laughter and the smiles and the heartbreak and the nights crying myself to sleep. I can't help but to sob.
My eyes jerk open, my heart is a battering ram against its caged prison. My body flies up out of bed from the force of it. I quickly run out of my room, practically busting down the door in a hurry as I sprint down the hall.
You're too late. She needed you and you were too late.
'No...' I opened the door and walked to the bed. There she was, under her crimson sheets. Breathing so peacefully you couldn't even tell her chest was moving. I peered at the clock with a yawn. 11:11. 'I wish for you to never suffer.' I thought to myself, throwing it out for the universe to hear as I lay beside you, wrapping my arms around you. Eyes closed, my breathing becomes steady yet one thought still plagues me well into my slumber.
When did I get you red sheets?
I slam my hand down to the side, anything to stop that incessant buzzing. 'Good morning, world.' I look around the room, my walls bare of decoration aside from paint. The colors clashed, a jumble of armies seeking to take control of the wall. Amidst this, there would be no winner.
I sigh and stand, my feet falling into their rightful place - my slippers. I give a nod to the man in the corner, slumped backwards in his chair, hand over his gut. 'My, that's an interesting spot to put red on a black suit.' I shrug, thinking nothing of it. I turn and open the fridge, pulling out two eggs - one white, one brown, a slice of cheese, and some Mayonnaise and throw it all in the blender. Before turning it on, I look down and see a roach. As if on impulse, I snatch it up and throw it in as well.
Leaving it to blend I pour her favorite cereal - Cap'n Crunch - into a bowl.
"Sweetie, breakfast is ready!" I called down the house.
"Hello, Sir. Would you like something as well?" I ask, walking over to the man in the suit. Oh dear, not this man again. I step away from him as a fly buzzes out of his empty left eye socket and I turn to see the door to her room still closed.
I knock on the door before opening it. Still asleep, that's not like her. "Breakfast time, Kiddo." Is all I say with a smile as I pick her unmoving body up and haul her over my shoulder. I do an about face towards the door, nearly dropping her as my jaw gapes open.
"Your time is up."
"No! You can't have her!" I cry out, my knees trembling as I tighten my grip on the girl. But the girl in front of me is where my attention is. She's a living corpse, possessed by some spirit. No, not a spirit. This is pure malevolence fueled by a desire for revenge and it's all aimed towards me.
Her overgrown toenails clack on the floor as she steps forward. Her eyes - a red so close to black - deepen as I see my future. So much agony, so much pain.
"Stay away! She isn't yours to take!"
My breath catches. That was when it hit me. My daughter, she didn't wake up, - because this girl in front of me is her. I drop to my knees, her body falling beside me. Through the sound of blood gurgling as it comes up her throat, I hear the infernal voice of the girl in front of me.
"You can't redeem yourself. You can't hold on to the past. Your time is up"
Her nails rush towards me, yet I feel no impact. They go through my skin, yet there is no tearing. Just the jerk of uncounted pain. That catch in my breath, struggling to be released, but stuck below the current of agony.
She smirks, a grin of pure malice on her face.
"Pop! Goes the weasel."
The last thing I hear was her favorite nursery rhyme as my heart explodes.
"We gather here today in memory of this man, loved by many, lost to us all. He had no remaining family to carry on his name, not since his daughter passed away ten years ago from a stray bullet. He had been drinking one night and cleaning a gun. Regrettably, he forgot to turn on the safety and his daughter scared him enough for him to jerk the trigger. His mind was lost shortly thereafter." The priest at the altar gave a short bow of his head in memory and prayer. "He would constantly hallucinate, speaking of demons and monsters possessing his little girl, coming for him, for his soul. He would wake screaming in the dead of nights and it would take multiple nurses to hold him down, but that all ends now. The Lord above has been merciful, sending his subject to live with him. Let us bow our head in prayer and in loving memory for this man and may god care for him in his holy sanctum."
A unanimous amen went through the crowd as the man watched. He may be heartless but a tear still dropped before he flinched. The picture went out, all that was left was his girl, smiling before him.
"I love you so much, Baby."
Those were his last words before the torture began.