I died again last night.
It wasn’t like the others.
This time, I didn’t wake up.
It comes back to you in bits and pieces. In scenes that are blurry at the edges, and in sensations that feel all too real. You think you remember running, the cold night air rushing past your cheeks. You think you remember a figure that was tall and spindly, that had limbs that ended in points.
I was alone in my room, tangled in my blankets and eyes still bleary from sleep. The curtains (if you could call them that— really they were just blankets fastened to an old curtain rod with electrical tape) hung partially open, allowing light from the moon to illuminate the hardwood floor. I sat up slowly, looking at the crack in the curtains. A feeling of dread had woken me, weighing heavy in my chest and impossible to ignore. There was something out there.
You remember running from the figure. It hadn’t moved much but it was coming for you. You could feel it. You could feel its glowing red eyes burning holes in your back as you sprinted down the driveway, knowing full well it was a dead end.
I didn’t know what. I couldn’t see it yet, but I knew it was dangerous. I knew it wanted to hurt me. Slowly I pushed off the covers, standing up and walking towards my bedroom door. As I stepped into the hallway I closed the door behind me, just in case.
You remember reaching the end of the driveway and freezing, gaze darting around in a panic. There was nowhere left to run. You were trapped.
The house was quiet. My mother and brother were asleep, and so were the dogs. I didn’t make a sound as I crept down the hallway, but I had a feeling they wouldn’t have woken even if I had.
The next bit is still hazy. You don’t remember what exactly happened but you know that some way, somehow, you wound up inside. You remember wide open windows, cold air blowing through them. You remember the feeling of being watched.
The living room was dark, and though the windows were closed I still had that feeling. Like there were eyes on my back, watching my every move. Every nerve in my body screamed at me to get out, get away, this place wasn’t safe. So I opened the door and ran. I ran out into the yard and, when the feeling worsened, down the long, winding, driveway.
You don’t remember how it got inside, but you remember seeing it standing in front of you. You remember those bright red eyes watching you, and you remember the claw-like fingers that formed from its hands.
I ran for what felt like forever, fear pushing me further and further down the path. I didn’t dare look behind me until I reached the end. When I did, I saw the figure. A black figure, way too tall with limbs way too long, and two glowing eyes that were locked on me.
No no no no no.
Suddenly I was back inside, but it followed me. It was lurking at the edge of the yard, watching me with those eyes. The windows had been opened and the curtains thrown aside, and a chill was setting in.
You remember the feeling of your body shaking, of your heart pounding, of your throat becoming drier than the dead and forgotten garden in the backyard. You remember feeling as if your limbs were no longer yours to control as you stared at the monster in front of you, wanting to run but being unable to move your feet even an inch.
With the chill came the figure, and it appeared before me without a sound. Its legs still ended in points but its arms had formed hands with awful, long, sharp-tipped fingers. It stared me down and I knew that there was nothing I could do.
I should have stayed in bed.
You don’t remember seeing its arm move, but you remember the pain in your chest. You’ve never felt anything more wrong than the feeling of blood leaving your body, of strength fading from your limbs. You’re gasping for breath but it does you no good. The demon (you’re sure that’s what it is now, what else could it be) only stares at you, appearing not to have moved an inch.
I couldn’t stop it when it attacked, I didn’t even see it move. Instead I saw the hole in my chest, and the blood soaking the fabric of my shirt. I saw the edges of the room begin to blur, and I saw my fingers twitch as I tried to do something, anything, to stop the bleeding.
You remember that everything got slower, when the pain hit. Your thoughts were less coherent, too distracted to stay in order. Time seemed to stop for a few moments.
There was nothing I could do, of course. And soon enough, my movements slowed. My vision started to fade and my breathing became shallow.
You remember the moment your heart stopped.
I didn’t realize it at first, when the moment came. My vision had gone entirely, and my breaths had stopped. That was when I realized that I could no longer hear my heart. I could no longer move, much less feel my limbs. I wasn’t even sure I had them at that point. And the longer I lingered in that strange state of nonexistence, the harder it was to remember anything else.
You remember the darkness closing in, wrapping around you like a blanket.
I forgot what it was like to feel.
You remember waiting, thinking that something would change, something else would happen. You wouldn’t be stuck there forever.
I forgot how to move.
You remember realizing that this time was different.
I forgot how to breathe.
You weren’t going to wake up.
I forgot how to live.
You died again last night.