posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 08:32 AM
She loved her Grandfather very much. The dream she had about him made her miss him, even though it was a happy dream. He had been holding her hand
and walking her through his little garden by the house. Together, they picked tomatoes, just like they had when he had been alive. Always when she
dreamed of him, his face was hidden with shadows. Her Mother said it was because she was so young when he died that she couldn’t really remember
what he looked like. It didn’t matter if she couldn’t see his face. It was a good dream. Nothing like the other dream from last night. That
dream had been terrible.
She was only ten years of age, but the nightmare had made her feel old. When she woke from it she was cold and miserable. There had been no more
sleep. Now, as she brushed her hair before going out to the bus stop, she relived it again with a shiver. The details were fuzzy, but the fear she
felt was sharp. In the dream she had stepped off of the bus after school. There had been a car parked at the corner. It was a funny looking car,
the kind that has a lot of space in the back. She thought her Dad had called them wagons before. For some reason the color reminded her of toast.
There was a man and a woman in the front and both were wearing big sunglasses. When she looked into the backseat, everything was in shadows, kind of
like Grandpa’s face. Even in the shadows, whatever had been in the backseat had terrified her. She knew that the backseat meant death. It would
She came to the kitchen table and poked around at the bowl of cereal that her Mother had made for her. She wasn’t hungry. After the nightmare,
she didn’t know if she would ever be hungry again. Crystal couldn’t understand why this dream had frightened her so badly. There was nothing
really scary about it. As a matter of fact, most of the dream should have been funny. It was a funny looking car, the man and the woman were wearing
funny looking glasses, and now she could remember Mike tripping over the last step on the bus in front of her. If Mike ever really tripped on the bus
steps, she would laugh until her sides hurt. He was mean to everyone and no one liked him. Now, though, Mike tripping felt like the beginning of the
Getting on the bus didn’t instill any more fear than usual into the young girl. There was the daily wondering if she would be picked on today for
being too short, too funny looking, too smart. There was the insane fear that the new boy in her class would catch her writing his name over and over
on her math book cover. There was even some fear of what monstrosity would come on the lunch tray. But there was no fear of the bus or the dream.
Soon, the school day washed away all memory of it and the day went on as usual. It would be much later that she realized that one incident in
particular was not usual and was very important to her. One of her schoolmates, a girl that she had never even met, didn’t show up to school that
On the long bus ride home that afternoon, Crystal sat quietly as always. Most of the time she would sit directly behind the driver, where it was
peaceful, but today to kids were placed there for misbehaving. Instead she was forced to share the fourth seat behind the driver with a horrible
smelling girl that she had never met. Thankfully the girl didn’t attempt to talk to her.
Crystal finished her math homework just minutes before coming to her stop. She rushed to put her book away in her back pack as the air brake hissed.
By the time she had stood up to walk to the door, Mike was running past her and pushed her back down in the seat. When he tripped going down the
steps, the entire bus erupted in laughter. The driver stood up and reached out to help him, but he pushed her hand away and skulked off toward his
driveway. All at once the dream came back to Crystal in full clarity. Her heart was pounding so hard that she could hear it in her ears. There was
only on thing that she wanted to do less, than to step off of the bus. That was to look like a scared crybaby by refusing to leave the bus.
She tried to swallow as she stood again and adjusted her backpack. She stared at the scarred rubber floor as she walked, willing it to remain
steady. She brushed past elbows and knees and all too soon made it to the steps. Sudden relief washed over her as she realized that there was no car
parked at the corner. Her breath let out in a rush and it was only then that she understood that she had not been breathing. She bounded down the
three steps and her shoes crunched on the gravel.
As the bus pulled away, Crystal’s only friend, Trista, yelled at her to call her later. She turned and waved at Trista and watched as the bus
rumbled away. As she turned to walk toward her house, she froze. There at the corner was the funny looking, toast colored car of her nightmare. She
recognized it by details that until now had escaped her. There was a dent in the front by the light. There was a little tree hanging from the mirror
inside. There was even a clump of mud stuck to one of the back tires.
She did not want to look inside the car. Her mind screamed at her eyes to stop looking and her feet to start running, but her body parts were not
listening. The throbbing pulse was back at her eardrums, but it was quiet compared to the sound of her panting breath. There in the front seat were
the man and the woman, complete with clown sunglasses. She could see details about them now as well. The man had gloves on his hands and the
woman’s hair looked funny. They turned their faces back and forth quickly as if they were searching for something.
As her eyes continued to disobey and look toward the back seat, real panic set in. The back seat contained death. She could not look into the back
seat. It would surely make her collapse into a little ball and cry until her mother found her that way. Then at first glance there was relief again.
The shadows were still in the back seat covering what ever monster waited there from her view. She wanted to scream at the man and woman to get out
before the back seat death monster could get them, but her mouth would not open. Her feet did seem to understand the importance of the situation and
began taking her in the direction of the car. She thought that she could knock on the window and get the man and woman to follow her away from the
car by waving her hand in a “come here” motion. Though it was not a great plan, it was what she intended to do.
She watched the shadows in the back seat closely as she slowly approached the car. If the monster came into sight or made a sudden move she could
still run home. As the shadows shifted she realized a funny thing. The monster had curly blonde hair, almost the same color as hers. Her feet
stopped while her brain processed this puzzling information. Then as if a light had been turned on in the backseat, Crystal saw what should have been
obvious from the beginning.
The driver’s door opened with a ping and the man began to step out. In the backseat, someone very small, about the size of a ten year old child,
slowly rolled their head back and forth. A lone lock of curly blond hair had slipped out from the solid black hood pulled over the face. Crystal
could see the tiny shoulders adjust and realized that for some reason the person couldn’t move their hands. She could see that the person was
wearing a bright yellow shirt with no sleeves and that there was a dark stain on the front of it.
As the man took one step toward Crystal, she suddenly understood that she was in great danger if he reached her. She ran as fast as she could to her
house and busted through the kitchen door. She knew that she had been sobbing when her mother rushed to her to see what was wrong. After locking all
the doors at Crystal’s insistence, her mother comforted her as best as she could. When the entire story was spilled in great detail, her mother
insisted that it had only been the fear of the nightmare and not a real car with real people. Crystal knew it had been real, though. She knew
because a little girl that had been absent for many days never came back. She knew because the people on the news asked anyone that had seen the
little girl to call the police. Mostly, however, she knew because she had seen what was in the shadows. Sometimes the things that you should be
afraid of live in the light, and the things in the shadows just need your help.