She was entering the borderlands again. She struggled to bring herself back from the edge of that place as the foreboding came in pounding wave upon
wave crashing over her. She felt that she couldn’t, just couldn’t, survive another night of dread and terror, waking in a cold sweat, beads of
perspiration trickling down her forehead stinging her eyes, the blood curdling scream lodged deep in her throat with no way to escape and no one to
hear or help her if it did. Why was she sentenced to this awful deluge of horror night after night?
The dream (nightmare) always began the same way. I was sitting beside a girl in a tent. The girl’s long dark hair always kept her face just out of
my view. She never seemed to feel my presence and although I would try to speak to her, the words never came. Once, I tried to reach out to touch her
shoulder. My arms were unable to move, they were dead weight at my sides. Night after night, I watched the scenes unfold before me.
The location was familiar to me. It was my favorite camping spot, miles away from town. The moon was full and even at this late hour it seemed to be
twilight. The night air was still and the woods quiet, almost too quiet. The girl, appearing to be unable to sleep, lay on top of her bed roll reading
a novel by lantern. She began to rub her eyes and laid the book down beside her. She reached into a backpack and pulled out a towel, her belt knife,
slipped on her shoes and began unzipping the doorway of the tent. I stood up to follow her along the all too familiar trail.
As she and I walked along the path for what seemed a half mile, the sound of snapping limbs pierced the silence of the night. We both stopped.
Although it is not unusual for many sounds in the forest, it feels unsettling and unnerving. Goose pimples began to rise on my arms and the girl
crosses her arms in front of her squeezing her shoulders. I am still unable to see her face. Gazing up at the full moon we both wait for the
predictable croaking squawk from the Great Egret alerting us that the lake is just down the trail a bit further.
Setting off again down the path, crack snap, limbs breaking somewhere close. The girl turns her head, peering over her shoulder, as she quickens her
pace and pulls her knife from its sheath. I hasten my step as well. It’s almost as if we are being warned to turn back as rustling is heard in the
trees above our heads. As we crest the hill, the lake comes into view. The moon is dazzling and dancing on the smooth and glass like surface of the
The girl takes off down the bank while I am stuck in place. My feet are heavy and I am unable to move as I am forced to only stand and watch,
helplessly, knowing what is to come. She begins to peel her clothes away and lays her knife down atop them. Inside my head, I scream at her to
“take the knife this time!” My lips seem to be glued shut and I cannot utter a single word, nothing will come out. She wiggles her toes in the
water and walks deeper in, ripples on the surface of the lake flowing out from her body breaking the calm façade that was the surface.
She bends at the waist and eases her arms out in front of her in a straight line. She glides across the water, like a swan, twirling over onto her
back and bathing in the warmth of the water, the moonlight and the freedom of this place. On the other side of the lake I see another being slip
silently into the water. The being is tall and too far away to gauge male, female, human or not. I am filled with dread as I have relived the outcome
over and over for many years, night after night.
It is after what seems hours when she suddenly comes up straight and bobs under the water. The light shines brilliantly, illuminating her face
although; she is too far away from me, now, to recognize her. Her arms come up from the water and she seems to be grasping at the air, reaching for
something, anything, to pull herself up from whatever is pulling her down. I try to move, again but, am still weighted, my feet will simply NOT move.
The shine of the knife blade just out of my reach taunts me. She begins to swim toward the bank and is yanked backwards through the water by whatever
dark and evil creature is just below. The thing that slipped in the water has her by her hair dragging her as her back arches and she is being swirled
through the water around and around. This is the place that I normally wake up but, tonight, something different seems to be happening.
Suddenly, she looks in my direction. Does she see me now? She screams at me “HELP!” and at that moment, my body snaps to life. I am able to bolt
down the embankment toward her, reaching down to grasp the knife as I go. I dive straight into the water and swim furiously toward the struggle. The
water has suddenly calmed. Am I too late?
I dive deep and see the shadow of her limp body sinking toward the sandy bottom. I reach out and grab her arm, pulling her into my grasp. Not knowing
where the killer is, I keep the knife at the ready and as I begin to kick for the surface the moon becomes my mark. We finally break through and I
gasp for air, my lungs burning as my chest heaves. I’ve got to get her to shore. With her body drawn into mine I kick and pull our bodies, together,
as we get closer to safety. Her skin is slippery and wet and I am only able to get her halfway onto the bank. Exhausted, I get up on my knees to begin
CPR. I brush her hair from her face as I tilt her chin back.
My heart begins to race at the sight before my eyes, her eyes, my eyes… I drop down and sit in shock, confusion and horror as the truth hits me. It
simply can’t be. I perch up, again, and look on the inside of her right arm. There it is, the same strawberry birthmark. Down to her nails, the
bubblegum pink polish applied just yesterday. It was yesterday, wasn’t it? The infinity tattoo with the dates of my daughter’s births on the left
forearm! Feeling sick, I am unable to see as tears well up in my eyes. The world around me begins to swirl and as I am dizzying, I am unable to hold
on. The light from the moon fades as the forest in front of me seems to be narrowing to a tunnel. I feel as if I am falling backwards into
nothingness. I feebly attempt to scream.
I was entering the borderlands again. I am struggling to bring myself back from the edge of that place as the foreboding is coming in pounding wave
upon wave crashing over me. I feel that I can’t, just can’t, survive another night of dread and terror, waking in a cold sweat, beads of
perspiration trickling down my forehead stinging my eyes, the blood curdling scream lodged deep in my throat with no way to escape and no one to hear
or help me if it did. Why was I sentenced to this awful deluge of horror night after night?
Thanks for reading
edit on 7-10-2017 by TNMockingbird because: oops!