If only the most exciting and frightful dreams could come true.
Alison woke from thrill-induced dreams nearly every night during October, fantasizing about a world beyond her own, a place filled with darkness,
magic, and everything Halloween. Each morning, she awoke disappointed to find the world wasn’t a reality. Perhaps it was all the time she spent
writing wild horror stories in school rather than doing her school work, or perhaps it was all the time she’d spend in the Halloween aisle at the
store during the holiday season. What was it about Halloween that made her mind wander? How wonderful would it be if there was an entire world made of
everything from the Halloween aisle—skeletons, werewolves, vampires, red-eyed crows, and more? How marvelous would it be if there was a world made
entirely of the misunderstood, of misfits and outcasts? God, she’d kill to be there.
Her suburban family was enormous, with seven children, a workaholic father, and a distant mother who enjoyed mixing drinks at home a bit too often.
They weren’t abusive—they weren’t horrible people, really, but they simply didn’t understand her, and they didn’t have time to try. Their
jobs kept them occupied and exhausted, and Alison’s siblings demanded much of their attention. So, most of the time, Alison was locked in her
bedroom, writing stories on her laptop, sitting at her desk and surrounded by Gothic décor, rock band posters, and Halloween decorations that never
seemed to leave the walls. Her room was a dark contrast to the rest of the home, which was spotless, bright, and looked almost untouched by human
hands. Truthfully, Alison hated everything about her family, but she didn’t hate them
. They weren’t bad, but they were
different—different from her, the same as everybody else. And they strived to be. They wanted their lawn mowed to the perfect one-inch length, and
they wanted all of their children to dress prim and proper, looking responsible and presentable. Her parents grew distant during her teen years as she
adopted a sense of darkness, spikes, black nail polish, sleeve warmers, and anything else punk or Gothic. They almost seemed embarrassed of her, but
she didn’t care much anymore.
After all, she was eighteen now. It was about time to start planning for the future—she’d have her own home, far from all the noise and
judgmental eyes. Alison always planned to make a living off her fiction stories, but as she stared blankly into the laptop screen, she let out a sigh.
Over the past year, reality was catching up with her. Realistically, it would be extremely difficult to make a living off of horror novels and short
stories. She’d have to find another job, at least until her stories took off. The thought of burning years of her life away at a nothing job put a
disgusted knot in her stomach. No, she wanted to live in her stories—the worlds of survival, serial killers, friendships, betrayals, supernatural
creatures, and adventure. Another job would snatch her away from that world for long periods of time, and—as necessary as it was—she hated the
idea of it.
It would be just like her routine now, only worse. She marched off to the bus stop every day, never talking to anyone and avoiding the bullies,
escaping into her stories and putting forth a fraction of effort into her school work. She came home and talked to no one, and whoever was home would
either ignore her or pick on her. Then, after some time on the laptop between typing in chat rooms and writing stories, she fell asleep, and the
routine would repeat. The future would be the same, but with one major difference—she wouldn’t be able to slack off at work. There would be no
writing, and there would be no daydreaming or story-planning. There would only be work, sinking fries into a deep fryer or mopping up a floor
somewhere as a janitor.
Alison glared vacantly at the open word document, her hazel eyes shining with dread. What kind of future was that? Why was it so impossible—so
ridiculous—to want a life like the lives of her fictional characters? Reality was nothing compared to fantasy. It was a selfish thing to want—she
knew that—but she couldn’t help it. There had to be more to life than school and financial stability… right?
Releasing another sigh, Alison glimpsed around the room, suddenly feeling trapped. She stood and left, marching down the stairs and out the front
door, the cool autumn breeze sweeping over her as she strolled across the front yard, the night sky hovering overhead. Her parents hated it when
anyone would walk on the lawn, and she had trained herself to stick to the sidewalk—but now, she felt as if she had to break her routine just to
feel a glint of freedom, even if it was in a tiny, mundane way.
Alison walked down the side of the empty street, passing by all the large, look-alike houses. Some of them were sporting a bit of Halloween décor,
but not many. She swiped her black bangs aside and stuffed her hands into her hoodie pockets, marching out of the neighborhood and heading toward the
woods. When she was younger, she often visited the woods with her brothers and sisters, playing daringly near the railroad and sometimes even risking
the tunnel. There was a tunnel that resided under the hillside, and the railroad extended through the tunnel. She didn’t know what was on the other
side. She and her siblings never traveled the whole thing, fearing that a train might come along during the journey. Perhaps now was the time to
explore the tunnel—after all, her childhood was almost over, and she’d have to move away sometime after high school. If she didn’t explore the
tunnel now, she probably never would. It was a stupid thing to want, but it gave her a feeling of freedom, and that was all that mattered.
After maneuvering through the trees and crunching layers of autumn leaves, Alison emerged at a clearing. Across the way was the railroad, followed by
the mountain and trees as far as the eye could see, a thin fog hovering near the ground, the moon shining ominously from above. She hesitated, a
mysterious sensation overcoming her. Her eyes fixated on the tunnel, and as she gazed into it, she felt a faint tug of her heart strings, an urge to
approach, almost as if the tunnel was beckoning her, whispering to her, calling her to enter. It’d been years since she visited this tunnel, and
she’d never gotten such a strange feeling from it before.
Gulping, Alison strode over the grass and stepped onto the railroad, inhaling heavily and marching into the dark tunnel. The farther she ventured,
the darker it became—and soon, she was lost in pitch-black, unable to see an inch ahead of her. As time passed and a slow, looming fear began to
grow inside her, she pressed on, determined to find the end of the tunnel.
It was incredibly unsettling to walk in such a thick darkness, trying to march along the railroad’s wooden planks and occasionally missing one,
nearly losing her footing a number of times. Her heart thumped anxiously, her ears perked, listening intently for the faint echo of a train. If a
train came along, she’d have to dive aside and flatten herself against the concrete wall. Nervous, she bit her lip and continued forward, trying to
stifle the anticipation.
Perhaps she could keep walking forever. Maybe, when she reached the end of the tunnel, she could start a whole new life where ever it came
out—maybe she could avoid that dull future of hers.
edit on 6-10-2018 by XxKonspiracyxX because: (no reason given)
edit on Sat Oct 6 2018 by DontTreadOnMe because: characters
removed from title