In my dream she went hurtling up into the air after the car hit her, throwing her into a spasmic somersault which served as a prelude to a sickening thud as her body hit the ground. The screech of the tyres filled my head and made me hold fast to my ears, trying to drown out the sound that pierced my skull and sent splinters of pain shooting into my brain. My eyes went wide as the cars white reversal lights came on and the car flung backwards at speed, trampling over the body as if it were nothing more. As it screeched again to a halt, I clamped down harder on my ears and bit back the scream that filled my throat, as the engine revved and the car shot forward, the body jerking with the force and being thrown under the body of the car. This time it didn’t stop again, this time it kept its speed and tore down the street. It was a good few minutes before I let my hands fall down from my ears.
I blinked twice, sure that I was seeing things. I held the second blink long enough for little floaters to take over the inside of my eyelids. It was no use; the body still lay there motionless in the middle of the road. I swallowed hard, unsure of what to do next.
My mind is a wonderful place, but at that precise moment in time it panned back to a tea stain on the kitchen counter. I had just witnessed an atrocious incident mere feet from my front door and my mind was screaming out for me to go and wipe down the counter. I obeyed the screams of my mind, and was wiping down the counter with a damp cloth when the door knocked.
I jumped; the damp cloth fell to the floor with a moist slap which seemed to echo throughout the dark and quiet house, reverberating off of the walls.
I rushed to the door, relieved by the fact that I wasn’t the only one who’d seen it happen; the cramped structure of the row of houses I called home meant that privacy was at minimum thanks to the close proximity of the town homes.
I thought nothing of it when I didn’t see a hulking figure through the frosted glass window. They’d be in the middle of the road now attending to the body and had knocked on my door as a call to help.
I opened the door and looked straight out to the middle of the road.
There was no body.
There was nothing, minus a trail of blood leading to my front door.
I screamed when it grabbed my ankle.
“Help me,” it croaked
I looked down at the body, its neck hung off of the shoulders at an impossible and blood seeped from a head wound and decorated the face. One of the legs shot out to the left, clearly broken. A shoulder bone stuck through the cloth material of the jumper the body wore.
“Help me,” It whimpered again.
This time I couldn’t hold back the scream.
That was when I woke up.
The sheets stuck to my body, the cold sweat gripping the material to me as if it were a veil, suffocating me as I clambered out of bed. It was like they were trying to hold me back. I wasn’t sure why I shot out of bed, the dream seemingly snapping me from my drowsy state. I stood in the middle of the bedroom, shivering, and completely shrouded by the darkness. Not a glimmer of light found its way into the night. My deep breaths were amplified by the silence. My heartbeat increased to the point where my whole body seemingly shook.
The details of the dream came rushing back at me with a sudden whoosh…the body, the crawling, the slow rasp on the door, the impossible nature of it all. I needed light, I virtually yanked the blind off of the wall as I pulled it up; my bedroom window overlooked the back garden I’d laboured in all summer long. Tiny glimmers of light came from houses in the distance, and they had a soothing effect on and calmed my innate fear of the dark, which had plagued me since childhood.
The next sensation that came at me was my dry mouth, so I went through the house towards the kitchen. I illuminated every possible light as I went.
It was when I was in the kitchen, illuminated by the light above the cooker, when I decided to go and peek through the front blinds, just to soothe the voice inside my head. Maybe then I could go back to bed and get some sleep. The clock on the cooker read 02.11am.
The carpet was soft and fluffy underfoot, the rug very deep and comforting. The carpet right under the window was cooler, as was the cord for the blind. I pulled the blind upwards and looked out onto the dark street. The body in the street wasn’t in a starfish, but face down. I gasped and clamped my hand over my mouth and shook my head, convinced that I was still dreaming.
Without realising I’d moved, I was outside, my breath illuminated in front of my face by the coldness of the night. There were tyre marks on the road, and they spoke of a quick and frantic getaway. Without thinking I was gripping both wrists together and dragging the body towards my modest two up two down. There was a think trail of the blood coming from the body as I dragged it into the house, still face down.
Taking care just inside the threshold, I mopped the blood from the face. My stomach churned at the bruising on the face, the nose smashed inward as it had took the full impact of the fall. I put fresh towels down on the sofa before moving the body onto it, resting it in the missionary position. As best I could I attended to the wounds and dressed them. The body was dark and strong, the shoulders and biceps firm and bulging out of the shirt.
When I turned back to the body with a damp cloth, the eyes snapped back open, his strong grip evident as he grasped my neck in both his hands and began to squeeze.
I woke up curled atop the sheets. I was being spooned by the late summer chill that was around the room. I blinked hard against the morning light coming through window, why hadn’t I drawn the blind last night? I must have been super tired, and forgot. It had been a long week.
I made my way slowly downstairs, yawning and stretching as I went.
I stopped dead on the stairs when I saw the think veil of blood leading from the threshold and into the living room, it stuck out on the laminate flooring. I dared to peek around the living room door and saw him lying there, on the sofa underneath a makeshift blanket of coats. His arm lay limply by his side, as if he were a drunk sleeping off a hangover.
I was standing over him, my own hand over my mouth, startled by what I saw before me. He’d bled out in the night, from all possible avenues. It had started to not only pool but dry and crust over on the surface of the sofa, as well as the laminate flooring. The nose had shrunk back into the face, creating a hollow cove. The eyes were open and the brightest possible blue, but there was no sign of life within them.
If I weren’t so transfixed with the face, I’d have seen the left hand curl up into a ball and then relax again. The eyes suddenly snapped shut and then opened again, this time the bright green pupils stared back at me, startling me. Then closed and opened again, the pupils a deep, dark red this time. The body pulsed, and then he vomited all over the floor, a distinct mix of bile and blood. When finally the eyes sought and found me, they were black and soulless.
The hands reached for my neck and took hold. The scream got wedged somewhere between them.
I jerked awake, unaware of my surroundings in the pitch black. The only source of light came from my phone as I tapped the screen to wake it up. It glowed 02.11am, my conscience screamed at me.
Someone was knocking my front door.