CW: mentions blood, mentions suicide victims, mental illness, the word R*pe.
They say that in the darkness lies a monster, in the silence lies a demon and in the dreams lies the ghosts. I’m here to tell you that it's true. I’ve been there I saw it and most importantly I’m telling it.
“So do you think he’ll ask you out, Jazzie?”
“No, he’s with that cheap girl, ya know the one that’s always hanging around that corner by the movie theatre? Yeah, I’m not touching that, but he is nice to look at.”
“Girl, if that’s the case you should forget about him and move to a different fish. Not those little guppies that keep flopping around.”
“Haha, only you would say that but who have you dated in the past week?”
“Well, there’s this really cute one that calls himself Prince Charming, but he’s chasing a dead chick that hangs around with seven little men.”
“Oh wow, get your nose out of those books and start living, Jazzie A. There’s this party down the street that you should go to. They have it every weekend and the beats are amazing, I hear Tommy’s gonna be there next week.”
“I don’t know, a good-looking guy like that is bound to pick up at least ten others and most of them might not even be girls.”
“So you saying that Mister Perfect only lives in fairy tales?”
“Exactly, at least those guys don’t cheat when a girl says ‘No’.”
“No, they just date rape her when the girls are asleep. When that guy kisses Snow White it was without her consent and seven other men were standing there watching. Super creepy and gross.”
“Okay, point taken so back to Tommy? Hello?”
“I think I heard some,” Sound was the first to go. Everything grew quiet, I couldn’t even hear myself speak. I stood up and walked to the front door wondering what was happening. The trees moved but no wind was heard, cars have stopped making noise as they drove by. Even the neighbour's dog, the yapping mutt was quiet for once as I stepped onto my lawn. I called out to a man walking down the street with his dog but he continued as if not hearing me.
“You seem lost,” a soft-spoken voice sounded from somewhere. I tried to look for it although the speaker was elusive. I tried talking back but no sound came out. “Don’t worry, I can bring her back.”
‘Bring who back?’ I tried to say, but it seems they were not speaking to me.
“I need you to do one thing for me though, it’s not difficult.”
‘What are you talking about?’ I tried to ask but again my voice won’t carry.
“Please, step this way. This way now, it is not far. Yes, that’s it, that’s it. Come closer. Closer.” I looked at my phone and it seems the voice was coming from it, with a video. “She’s right in here,” it was a dark screen with green shadows, the eyes of my friend glowed. She walked through the alleyway following a man in a dark cloak. His eyes shown brighter than my friends. He kept his mouth hidden and the hood up, his hands were gloved as he motioned my friend to follow. She was speaking, but all I can hear is that man's soft voice. Telling her to follow him. Why was it so dark? No, why was it daytime and where is the sun? It’s so bright out but there’s no sun? Did I fall asleep last night, it was only 8 pm when I was still talking to my friend.
“You’re doing wonderful dear, your friend is right over here. Yes, in that van,” my friend wasn’t convinced and tried to use her phone for something. Maybe to call the cops? “She’s playing a trick on you dear, wanted to scare you. So how about we scare her instead?” She opened up the back of the van and shown her light inside. It was empty, she turned and the man was gone. She looked back into the van and circled. Where was the cloaked man?
“I’m right here,” I turned suddenly and saw the cloaked man beside me as if watching the phone with me. I looked at my phone and saw my friend's face, she looked relieved to see something. She looked confused after a moment of me staring at her.
‘Where am I?’ I tried to say back at least that’s what it looked like she was saying.
“In my Dream World, dear. You are asleep on your couch in your living room, don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. You’ll see your reflection on the TV screen.” I went back to my living room and just as that man said, I was asleep on the couch in the TV screen reflection. I tried tapping the screen but it seemed useless since I didn’t stir. “You should keep an eye on your friend, Jazzie, she’s in trouble.” I looked back on my phone and seen the screen shaking erratically. It then showed something chasing my friend through the street.
It kind of looked like a large ugly dog, “They call him Rakshun the Monster under your stairs. Do you ever feel that something would snap at your ankles when you walk down the stairs at night? That’s Rakshun, waiting for you to step wrong or hesitate before taking you into the darkness and devouring you whole. Or feel like something out there was watching you in the dark, that’s Rakshun luring his prey. He lies in darkness, he’ll never step paw into the light. Lucky people have the porch light on or lights along the pathway. Rakshun is patient, he’ll watch his prey carefully waiting for them to step out of the light. Your friend is not so lucky this time, Rakshun is playing with her he enjoys the taste of fear on his prey. He’ll continue to chase her, sniff her out to get a good rise, then he’ll snatch her away and drag her to his den where he’ll feed.” My friend hid in a dumpster, suddenly she looks scared like something was knocking on the walls of her hiding place. She was crying, shaking and pleading for help. I couldn’t do anything to stop her, just watch as the monster threw open the dumpster like tearing through paper and grabbed my friend and dragged her away into the darkness. Her eyes looking at her phone. I screamed, tears rolling down my face but the silence here was ever-present. No one can hear me, I can’t hear them other than the cloaked man beside me.
“I can bring her back, I just need you to do one thing for me though.” This was what he said to her but I wasn’t in danger like she was. I need to do whatever it takes to get her back home safely. I nodded hoping my face can be of conviction for this man.
He lowered his hood and I saw the most horrid sight, he looked like he was burned and his smile became wide with sharp teeth his face looking more like a frog now the more he smiled. His clothes smoked and charred his fingers long and pointed as they reached out.
“Come with me, my dear,” he motioned me towards him, his eyes red and yellow gunk was leaking from those eyes. His face now filling with warts but the smile was ever-present as he motioned for me to follow him as he did with my friend.
‘How do I know you won’t lead me to the same fate?’
“Do you not believe that I can help your friend? She’s still screaming, it won’t be long until she is silenced forever. You must hurry and follow me.”
‘Who are you? What is your name?’
“I am someone who wants to help. Now come with me there isn’t much time.” My grandma told me about demons wanting to take you away and drag you into hell. If I ever encounter a demon I should ask his name, for the name has the power.
‘Not until I know your name. Grandma told me not to follow strangers. So, in God's name tell me who you are, what is your name.’ The creature growled and suddenly turned into a creature with three heads and spider legs.
“I AM BAAL,” the three heads said, the cat head hissed, the man head sneered and the toad head bared its teeth in a smile. The spider legs crept to me and I ran back to my house banging on the TV for my body to wake up from this nightmare. “You can’t escape!” the head with the king's crown said hoarsely. “Come with me if you want to save your friend. Or lose her forever!” The creature was at the picture window snarling.
“Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, Amen.” My voice was finally heard and I was on the couch shaking. I picked up my dropped phone and it had no signal to anywhere. I was in a different nightmare now. My friend is gone, that demon lurking around and I have no idea what to do now. I looked out the window and it was dark out, so that monster is out lurking. But that demon did tell me something useful. The monster hates the light, so I’ll at least be safe with my flashlight.
A little gremlin hopped up on the coffee table grinning, its giant eyes sharp as a cat its smile reminded me of that frog. It crouched there staring until I show a light on it and it crawled off the table and to the dark corner of the room. I stood and turned to go outside but was startled to see a giant bunny man standing there in silence watching me. I shined the light on it but nothing happened to it, I saw dark red stains, dirt marks and a few holes in the fur. After a few minutes of silence, it lifted its hand and waved me towards it and turned. An axe was in the back of the bunny man, I was terrified but figured that this was harmless than that gremlin and followed the bunny outside. It pointed to a large building, turned and walked away. I started my trek towards the building, trying to keep from screaming. The silent world was preparation for this place. The people, if they could be called that anymore walked aimlessly. They either looked like they died peacefully or horribly, some of them were calling out for loved ones I think. The not so friendly were trying to get a rise out of the friendly ones by trying to scare them or be intimidating.
There were many and I can only imagine that this is Purgatory. My grandma told me that I’m only an observer, I can not interfere or interact when I’m shown such things.
I can not help them.
Only they can do that, they must help themselves. These are the Ghosts in dreams, the living people have strayed for who they are and left these ghosts behind wondering what was happening. That old man calling out for someone, I met him in the nursing home once. He wasn’t responsive to anything other than staring out a window. So this is who he was? When he’s not drugged up, searching for anyone to help him? Poor man,
A woman is crying, she keeps repeating that she didn’t do it, that it was her husband. What happened to these people? Are they all drugged and left to stare blankly at a wall?
“Have you seen my mommy? She said she had a surprise for me,” a little boy looked up at me and I didn’t respond and ignored him as if I didn’t hear him. You shouldn’t talk to the dead, just pray for them and hope they find peace. The boy turned around and I saw a wound in the back of his caved-in head. I held back a scream or a sob whatever it was, I must not react. I continued towards the large building.
“Hey, pretty thing,” a man with a gunshot wound to his head got close to me, “wanna have some fun?” then he screeched. He was scary-looking, but he didn’t touch me. They can’t hurt me if I don’t react to them.
“I hope I’m not late,” I said and continued as if I didn’t hear him. The man continued his act on the other ghosts leaving me alone. So good so far, how much longer? It feels like I haven’t made much progress.
“Can you see me? Don’t be afraid,” a woman walked around asking people this question and leaving again. I made the mistake of making eye contact with her. “You can see me! Don’t be afraid I won’t hurt you. You must help me find my son. He went to school one day and never came home.”
“Who would write that on the sidewalk? So disrespectful,” I continued along my way the woman calling out to me saying that I can see her. I ignored and went on the others lost interest and went about what they were doing. I’ve encountered several more like them during my walk, these spirits were lost and need to find the light. Or they were kept sedated and docile for their protection. There’s many here, what has this world come to? Humans are cruel they purposely hurt others because of their greed. Some of them don’t even deserve it but I guess that’s the cruel reality. Good thing there are good people out there trying to make a difference. Trying to show love to the world, kindness, understanding, justice, light. Not everything can be cast in shadows, where do shadows come from if not for the light creating them? Where there is darkness, light can also thrive just as strongly.
I walked into the building and looked around.
“Welcome to Stairway, the elevators over there on your left. Don’t ask questions just get on and leave,” the secretary said not looking up. I walked to the elevator and pressed the up button. This was strange but I guess you need a little sense of humour now and then. Who names a building Stairway and tells you to use the elevator?
I got on and let out a giggle then that giggle turned into a laugh.
Don’t get me wrong, I long to help those wandering souls, the best we can do sometimes is to pray for them to find their way. They are lost children looking for a way out of the forest, but your mind can only take so much hurt and sorrow. You’ll need to step back and laugh at past experiences that are now funny. Like getting locked inside your own car. Yes, embarrassing, but laughable if you have the right mindset.
My favourite embarrassing moment was falling on ice, before I fell I did an amazing breakdance routine before landing on my butt in a daze wondering what was happening. Surprisingly enough, it was also a day when my grandma passed. I was in shock but I knew she was in a better place than this, and she’s helping me, by her teachings, her stories.
Now, I’ll share mine, but with the whole world. Teach them that there is nothing to be afraid of, even if you don’t believe, you don’t need to be scared.
Your monsters will devour you.
Your demons will change you.
Your ghosts will haunt you.
But monsters have a weakness.
But demons are afraid of some things.
But ghosts are harmless.
All you have to do is get back up and fight.
All you have to do is find that weakness.
All you have to do is walk on.
You matter most in this world and those creatures want that. You have a light inside of you and they want to destroy that. Don’t let them win. You have a sword and a shield. Fight back. Fight and don’t go down without hanging on to hope. That hope will get you through everything, that is the best shield. And your sword is your plan. You don’t go into battle without a plan, know your enemy and you can defeat them.