Reality Strikes by Harly Didawick

I watched the sun set behind the distant mountains as the stars began to dance in the sky. The crickets were singing in the break of night while the howling of the wind echoed through the valley. An eerie feeling shivered down my spine and my heart started to flutter. My dad yelled across the house, “Harlow, it is time for bed!”

I replied firmly, “I know dad, I was watching the sunset.”

“Okay sweetheart, but please go to bed now, I will be up in a second to tuck you in.”

My dad walked down the hallway into my softly lit room. He tucked me in and whispered goodnight as my eyes were struggling to stay open.

I was suddenly awoken from a haunting dream. My heart was racing a million miles a minute, and tears were streaming down my face. I screamed, “Dad, someone is trying to take me!” Within seconds, which felt like minutes, my dad came bursting through my bedroom door. He expressed with concern, “What is wrong honey?”

“I had a dream about walking home from school and being killed!”

“Do not worry about such a thing, you are safe.”

“But daaaaaadddddd……..”

“Get some sleep, sweetheart.”

I cautiously laid back down, while my bedroom door remained cracked. There was only a straight line of light protruding into my bedroom from the hallway. The dream was on repeat, racing through my mind every time I shut my little eyes. 

I woke to the blinding sun peeking through the crack of my curtains. Normally, I will jump out of bed as soon as I catch the first glimpse of the sun, but this morning felt different. A heaviness was lingering throughout my body while my stomach was creating its own untieable knot. I heard the sound of footsteps approaching my bedroom door. The sound of footsteps made my hands start to tremble as I remembered the dream I had last night. Watching the door creak open I called out, “Dad is that you?”

“Yes, are you okay?”

“I guess. I am still scared.”

“You’re safe. I promise! Get dressed for school. You’re running late.”

I jumped into my clothes and sprinted out the door. As I approached the halfway mark, I stopped to catch my breath. Suddenly, a loud ruffle in the bush beside me, made my heart skip a beat. The dream replayed once again in my head, but my dad said I had nothing to worry about, right? I kept walking while repeatedly looking over my shoulder to the emptiness that followed. 

Finally, I arrived at school. Throughout the day, the fear of my dream was spiraling through my mind, but I kept hearing my dad’s voice saying “you are safe.” It felt like the dream was the devil and my dad’s voice was the angel. School was finally over, and it was time to begin my journey home. 

There was a cool, fall breeze drifting through the air. Crows yelled in the sky. No cars in sight. I rounded the sharp corner surrounded by bushes. It looked all too familiar. I walked through the path with my head pointing straight in front of me. Taking another step, a cold, frail hand grabbed the bottom of my ankle. Fearing for my life, I kicked my leg, trying to free myself. Nothing I did was working. With one last powerful pull from the frail hand, my body slammed to the cold, wet sidewalk. Laying face down, I slowly turned my body to sit up. The house in front of me looked abandoned and lifeless. 

Tears began to stream down my face. How is this happening to me? Why has this dream come to life? What does this person want from me? BANG! I quickly turned my head around at the terrifying sound. There was a silhouette of a small child standing in front of me. No facial features were visible, almost like a ghost. The figure began to walk towards me as the head began to turn from side to side. The figure stood right above me. A constant stream of tears ran down my face as I began to uncontrollably shake. “Do you remember me, Harlow?” the figure said.

“No?”

“I am Nicole.”

A lightbulb clicked in my head as I remembered what happened a couple of years ago to Nicole. She was murdered by her grandma because she was considered a failure to the family. Nicole’s family lived in the house that stood directly in front of me. Her family moved after her death occurred because all they could think about was what had happened. “I remember you, Nicole.”

“Good, you might be the only one.”

“I am definitely not.”

“It is not fair that you get to be a happy go lucky child, and I have to live as a ghost.”

“I am deeply sorry about what happened to you, but that was not my fault.”
“I watch you walk by this spot everyday, and I envy you even more.”

I was too afraid to respond, so I sat in silence and watched anger spread throughout her body. She reached behind her back and appeared to grab something, but I was uncertain of what she grabbed. Pulling her arm from behind her, a knife came into sight. She pointed the knife at me and began to laugh. “Now you can feel like me.” 

A deathly pain came across my stomach as blood started to stream down the stone. The knife that was once in Nicole’s hand was now sticking out of my gut. “Welcome to the dark side,” Nicole said as she suddenly disappeared. I began to struggle to catch my breath. I knew my time was near as no one could hear my quiet cries for help. “I love you mom and dad.” I whispered to myself. Nicole reappeared with a smirk on her face. Looking up at her with tear filled eyes, I took my final breath of life. 

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