Small Silhouette/ With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness
Nightfall brings with it the possibilities of countless atrocities. Some of which, seem as if they come merely at the negligent hands of fate’s own disregard. The others however, seem unlike their more trivial counterparts. These are the situations of nightmares come alive, wrought from the fires that only fear and desperation can forge. It is from these, that spawn not only something worth critically analyzing, but heeding as a warning to your current moral ambiguity. Because of that, on the shores of yestereve I awoke to the heart-wrenching nausea of true unbound, unrestrained fear. Fear of the illogical, unrestrained, and unexplainable slavery cast upon me by an apparition spawn from my own subconscious.
As I drove my SUV down the back woods roads late one evening, I was lost in thought. Often when I drive, I reflect on thoughts I’ve considered throughout the day. I become entranced by the art of picking apart a single idea and branching out in all directions with it, from the logical, to the mentally deranged perspective. It helps to gain a sense of balance to the philosophical notions that come to mind so often. However, as I became lost in the web of constantly flowing moral puzzles I stopped myself to switch my vehicle’s lighting. On this particular night, my lights seemed dimmer than usual and I felt that it might become problematic further down the road. As I shifted focus to engage my alternative lights however, my sights returned to the tiny figure of a person in the road. Instantly sobered by the view, I threw my wheel to the side to avoid a collision that may cost someone their life. The figure, who was undoubtedly crushed beneath the weight of my Jeep had now become my second concern. As my car lost equilibrium I was thrown into a catastrophic spin that sent me into a high velocity barrel roll. After numerous flips, the car smashed its passenger door into the forest terrain that I had been locked between on this road. A large tree stopped my car without so much as budging, throwing my world suddenly into darkness.
As I regained consciousness inside my vehicle’s cabin, I groggily turned my head out towards the window. I was lucky to be alive, but I had to get out first. after removing the shards of broken glass from my lap, I adjusted myself in the seat so that I may exit it the car via the driver’s side window. As my body wrestled itself free from the confines of the car, I stepped down from the frame of my now overturned car. As I stumbled up the hill, I was astounded to find pieces of the totalled vehicle laying on a decent stretch of road as evidence of my recent incident. However, the real shock came as I went to go see the victim I had now turned into a statistic of vehicular manslaughter. There was no trace of any such person being on the road. No corpse, trace of blood, or bodily organs. As I scoured the site of the wreck, I desperately attempted to find some evidence of the person’s existence. While I was relieved that perhaps no one was injured, the thought that I was perhaps hallucinating or suffered from some form of mental instability was unsettling, to say the least. My attention turned to more pressing matters though, as I was indeed injured and sustained multiple lacerations during the wreck. As I sat down on the side of the road, I pried my cell phone from my pocket and dialed my parents. After explaining to my mother that I was okay, she quickly left with my father to come collect what was left of me from this desolate location.
Upon being picked up, I sat in utter silence on the way home (In retrospect, I should’ve instantly recognized this as a dream. No paramedics were called to the scene, nor were any police figures and I tend to always dial them first). Lost in thought over the missing victim, I attempted to theorize as to how they could’ve possibly disappeared so swiftly. I was sure this was no animal, and I was also almost entirely sure that they had not moved from the spot they were struck at. As I returned home, I realized how exhausted I was though, and swiftly threw myself within the warm folds of my bed, once I had received what necessary medical treatment I did need. During the night however, I felt the compelling need to go grab a drink. As I rose from my bed, I walked down my darkened hallway and into the dimly lit kitchen. With an air of comfortable disinterest, I opened the cabinet to grab a glass. However, as I went to grab the handle I noticed an awkward state to the room. As I turned to my left, I noticed the door leading to our garage had been left mysteriously open. Knowing that this was way too odd to be pure accident, I glanced out of the doorway momentarily. The garage, which now lay in complete darkness seemed empty. As I stepped down into the room I made my way to the center, as the howling winter wind coursed its way through the echoing room. As I stumbled around objects in the dark, I finally reached the light switch and turned my attention upwards as my hand waved around in midair, attempting to find the cord. Just as my hand came to rest on the small chain, a powerful force threw me to the ground.
As both of the lights in the room came to life immediately, I was faced with what looked like a small black cloaked figure, with a charcoal colored cowl and two silver, emissive eyes. Its gaze pierced into me, as I lay on the floor of the garage now at its mercy. As it stared at me, it cocked its head to the side and leaned closer. It was as if the dwarf somehow recognized me from elsewhere, and was attempting to gain a better understanding of me like an animal. It then spoke to me.
“You… have sinned much”. it whispered at me from beneath its hood. As I vainly tried crawling out from under its weight I stuttered back at it.
“What the fuck do you want”? I asked. As I choked back my fearful tone it responded in a nonchalant manner, “I have need for you. Since you have sinned in your past, you won’t mind doing one more for me would you”? I laid still for a second, and then considered the current condition I was in. I was in no place to deny this creature anything, and it smelled of death. The last thing I wanted to do was not make it out of that frigid room, and I planned to cooperate as much as possible to get out.
“Alright, what did you need then”, I whispered as it loosened its grip on my shirt. It leaned back and opened a side of its small cloak. As the sleeve retracted, a large clang could be heard on the ground next to my hip. What had been left, was a large silver dagger with words etched into the side of it. As it crawled off my chest, it dragged its feet over next to my head. As it leaned down, it informed me of its intentions.
“You will take this dagger, and you will give me your parents”, it commanded. The shock on my face must’ve been painfully evident, because its eyes immediately turned angry and it bared its small silver fangs at me as well.
“You will give them both to me, or I will take you in their stead”.
I found myself devoid of retort as it stepped away from me and backed up. I picked up the dagger and looked at its writings. The creature pointed towards it, and I was able to read its now illuminated inscription.
When outward fear turns to moral sacrifice,
Then men must suffer whilst they turn to mice.
As if it was transcribed from a work of Lovecraft himself, the haunting message left me with an empty sensation. I could not stomach the idea of murdering my own parents, but if I didn’t commit the act this thing; this demon of some sorts was going to kill me. It suddenly became incredibly clear what I had to do. As I turned my attention forward once more, the shrouded being was gone. I ascended from the cold floor and made my way back to the kitchen through the garage door. As I left, the lights flickered off behind me, and the door closed, seemingly by itself. I took off at a swift stride down the hallway, until the grim reality of my current task sank in. As I stopped dead in the hallway, I heavily debated the situation in my head. It wasn’t right, and I was a fool to have considered it. As I spun around to turn into the kitchen, I thought about why this creature would need me. Obviously, it couldn’t do it itself. It lacked the powers, and was too weak. I could resist it, and its control over me. As I opened the lid of the trash can to discard the dagger however, I was met by the demon’s round silver eyes once more.
“You will not deny me”, it stated coldly as I jumped back in shock. “You’ve come too far already. Finish the task, or by nightfall tomorrow you will belong to me, mortal”. It then slammed the trash can’s lid closed, and disappeared.
As I stood at the foot of my parent’s bed, facing downwards I began to tremble violently. Life would not be worth living once I committed the act, and I knew it. I understood not why the creature chose me. Whether it be my immoral choices, or perhaps something written deeper within me. Some dark force of contemptful nature that made me a prime target for this demon’s vicarious malice perhaps, but it mattered not now. Faced with the concept of taking life, I quaked in this crossroads of imminent mortality fading.
Just as I was about to lift the dagger, my mother leaned up in bed and asked me with surprise in her tone, “Jake, what’s wrong”? As I stood in front of her, I found myself incapable of answering. She repeated the question, this time with an emphasised sense of urgency. I wanted to answer so badly, but I knew I would’ve come off as insane instantly. As she roused my father, she asked once more if I was alright. With the two of them staring at me, I chose to forfeit my life rather than take theirs.
“Yeah…do we have anything for nausea”? I responded finally with a heavy heart. My mother informed me that we had some in the cabinet in the kitchen, and then turned over, relieved that I was fine. I thanked her, and turned my eyes towards the long hallway. At the end of the hall, two silver beacons gazed blankly into my eyes. As I walked out into the hall from the bedroom, I threw the dagger furiously at its feet. The creature turned its gaze downwards to view its now forsaken tool of death sitting idly on the ground, and then slowly shifted its focus back to me. After one final staring match for what seemed like an eternity, the two silver circles turned to slits. Infuriated, and defeated the creature disappeared once more, knowing now that it would take me upon the next time dusk reared its head.
The next 24 hours of my dream were spent enjoying my final day on Earth. I spent it normally, and took the time to appreciate every activity I did throughout the day. As the sun slowly set, and the darkness crept over the horizon once more, I prepared myself for the worst. As my parents went to bed, I turned on one final playlist from my iPod, and turned the speakers up. I then proceeded to barricade both my hallway, and closet door by pushing my heavy bed into the both of them. I then shut the window, and closed the blinds. As I grabbed my combat-ready katana, and placed myself purposefully at the opposite corner of the room, I felt as if I was trapped within the novel “For Whom the Bells Toll”. Trapped, now only prolonging my own demise, I reflected on my life. Images of people and places I’d never see again, as well as cherished memories that will forever stick with me flew through my mind like a cruel death-row slide show. As the clock chimed midnight one last time, I knew the time had come for me to face my choices.
A stomping in the hallway alerted me to the presence of the creature. It had obviously shifted form, to something incredibly unfavorable. I dared not look though, as I would be seeing it soon enough and anticipation wasn’t exactly all that would be killing me. As the doorknob slowly turned, and was vainly met by the frame of the door, I shifted uncomfortably in my corner. My closet door then began to rattle as it teleported to both locations. Knowing I would not surrender willingly, the creature prepared for the difficult method. A scratching at the hallway door informed me that it had claws. As the door began to splinter, I knew the demon was going to smash through it in no time. A single silver eye appeared in the now fractured door, and a voice began to taunt me.
“You should have accepted my offer…mortal”, the demon scolded as he tore more of the door to pieces. I laughed nervously, responded with a “yeah, probably”, and maintained my position in the corner. As cloudy black talons pierced through the door, fear began to take hold. As I saw his now large alien like body crawl through the door’s gaping hole I shut my eyes and held the katana outstretched in front of me. Ominous footsteps of deafening degree could be heard in front of me. As the creature leaned downward into the blade itself, I could feel disgusting warm breath upon my face. My final moment, was embodied by cowardice and anger.
As I thrashed violently under my covers, I fell out of bed and away from the horror. A puddle of freezing sweat had collected where I had lain, and bruises now appeared on my arms and feet. The unwavering feeling of hopelessness subsided, and as I regained my composure I swiftly grabbed a pen and paper to write down what I had just endured. My hand trembled incessantly as I attempted to keep calm and as I finished I realized how much I am affected by these nightmares of another caliber. Where their imagery comes from, is beyond me. I do however know if they continue, they will turn sleep into quite possibly one of my worst enemies. For those of you who couldn’t find too much to be grateful for on thanksgiving, you may find solace in being grateful than you don’t share my nightmares.
One song did come to mind though, when reflecting on the dream.