Bolting up in bed I try to catch my breath as sweat runs down my body and face in rivers. Wiping the damp curls from my forehead I push the soaked covers from my body. Rubbing my wrists I struggle to recall the details as if that would suddenly make the pain and uneasy feelings evaporate. I already know I will have no such luck. This nightmare is going to relentlessly beat and tear at me until there is nothing left to me that isn't shredded and bleeding.
It's always the same. The night air is warm and thick like waffle house syrup. I'm walking through the park as I often do when sleep slips away once again. I never hear the approaching footsteps. There is no warning that I am being followed. All I am aware with is the night around me. I look up and my eyes are captured by the millions of stars that sparkle and shine, like tiny fourth of July sparklers burning in space.
Suddenly strong hands grab me from behind. Panic kicks in and instincts take over. I struggle kicking, screaming and trying to push away. My heart takes off beating wildly as reality sinks in and they start to drag me backwards.A sharp pain spreads like wildfire from the back of my head to the front.
When I come to I'm suspended just above the ground. Foggy pain seems to throb from my wrists, my head and my ankles. Within a heartbeat I'm there I feel it. The blood running from my wounds, the ragged breath rasping from between dry and cracked lips. My ankles burning up. Infectious heat and sticky rivulets of blood smear down my cheek.
Then I see him standing there, my life force splattered all over him. His are the first pair of eyes I have ever seen that are dead. Worse than empty, they are devoid, a vacuum of emotion sucking the substance out of the room and out of my soul. His presence had a precursor of cold air. The cold feels good on my fevered skin, but it felt like torture against my core. He was a glacier gliding towards me but I was helpless to do anything as he drew near.
His skin looked like dead leaves which were transparent and split with thousands upon hundreds of cracks and fault lines. Had he touched her with those hands. He voice felt like it was made of gravel and steel. He had not said one word, it was something I felt. Time seems to fly and slam to a stop all at once. I am dead but then the shell is still alive.
Without warning I am falling, tumbling, twisting and floating through ice and fire. Eyes flung open with anticipation and fear. Mind jumbled clear and foggy.
When I awake it is clear that a struggle has occurred. My body is banged and bruised. Lips bleeding and arms criss-crossed with welts and cuts. Sheets soaked with sweat. Head spinning one way, the room twirling the other.
Just a dream I say out loud. The dream is not real. But the sweat and tears are all real. I feel them. I wash them from my face and body and even when all the worldly wrongs are right something in my soul feels so empty.
This damn nightmare won't let go.