posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 02:09 AM
Gina awoke with a start. Her heart was threatening to pound right through its boundaries of bone and skin. Her breath came in ragged, panicked
gasps. She was instantly alert; all her senses heightened with awareness of a presence in the room. Some primal instinct made her lie perfectly
still and focus to keep her breathing quiet and controlled.
Lying on her back she let her eyes scan the room slowly, thoroughly. Someone or something was in the room! She could feel it! Her sister, Jenny,
was snoring fitfully in a bed across the room. Gina could see the face of the alarm clock on Jenny's nightstand. It was three minutes past
midnight. The household was quiet save for the metronome like 'tick-tick' of the bedside clock. Still, Gina strained to hear any minuscule
tell-tale sounds that might pinpoint the location of the presence she knew was there. It was a faint malignancy that lingered in the corners of the
room. The shadows seemed alive. The darkness felt predatory.
A half hour went by. She watched the minutes pass and, though the terror had not subsided, she began to feel a little foolish about it. It was just
a dream.. A horrible dream, to be sure, but only a product of her overactive imagination. She was nearly 15 years old so she tried to scold
herself with an authoritarian air. She should never have let her friends talk her into smoking that plant 4 months ago. She'd heard about
flashbacks but she couldn't be sure if the term referred to war experiences, plant smoking or more dangerous chemical substances. Was 4 months too
long ago to have a flashback?
While she tried to calm herself with such mundane queries her reverie was interrupted by a subtle shift in the atmosphere. Something was moving! Her
eyes darted swiftly into all the dark recesses of her once familiar room. It was then she realized that she couldn't move. Hadn't moved since she
woke up. She lay there paralyzed with stark terror, afraid to move even if her limbs had been willing. The very air was becoming oppressive,
stifling. The walls seemed to be closing in on her. The darkness grew closer. Mocking darkness.
For the first time in her short life, Gina had come face to face with Evil incarnate. What had she done to deserve this? Why would the Evil come for
her? She opened her mouth to scream but only succeeded in hyperventilating. A faint, high-pitched squeak was all she could manage. If she could
only wake Jenny, help would find her. If she could just grab the book on her nightstand she could throw it across the room and wake her oblivious
sibling who would surely raise the alarm. Gina looked in desperation at the would-be "Jenny waker" just inches from her grasp but could not will
her arms to reach for it. She knew in her heart of hearts that she would die this night.
The clock ticked on and death did not come for her. At least not right away. This hell-spawned personification of evil was savoring the kill. It
would take its' time. It would enjoy the lasting suffering of her final night of life. It would slowly feed on the smell of fear in her
sweat-soaked sheets, the helpless panic in her widened eyes, the choked cries of hysteria as they strangled in her throat.
Gina's once spacious room now felt like a coffin. Though her eyes could still see the familiar items in the dimly lit room, the darkness closed in.
It enveloped her, weighed her down, suffocated her. As she lay there helpless against the forces of evil, frantically reciting every prayer she'd
ever learned in Sunday school, her mind broke. With a sudden resignation born of abject hopelessness, she committed her spirit to the god who had not
come to save her.
And as quickly as it had come, the night terror was gone. The coffin transformed into just a room again. The shadows fled.. She could breathe
again. Not daring to trust in the miracle of being alive, she lay perfectly still, taking a mental note that her heart was indeed still beating. She
chanced a glance in her sister's direction. Jenny snorted loudly, pulled the blanket closer and turned on her side. The clock read 1:30 am. Gina
was elated. All was well again. She felt the familiar pounce at her feet that let her know Tabby, her beloved cat, had decided to spend the rest of
the night curled up at her feet. Gina craved a familiar friend right now and smiled as she looked down to greet her precocious pet.
What she saw made her blood run cold. She felt the ice turn her veins to stone. It was not Tabby. It was not possible. It was against all reason.
It was a hand! Just a hand. And it was inching it's way from the foot of her bed up the blankets toward her. There was no blood, no visible signs
of having been detached from whatever body had possessed it. And possessed it was with vicious intent. Like a spider closing in on it's prey it
crept deliberately, steadily along the side of her leg moving ever closer, closer. Gina felt the hairs on her arms and neck raise suddenly as if
trying to flee her endangered flesh. She could only stare in impotent horror as the hand slowly progressed the length of the bed.
When it reached her waist it jumped and quickly skittered to her chest where it poised, waiting with malevolent confidence. Gina's mind reeled
against the insanity of the moment. Every nerve was alive with the certainty of death but her body refused to move. And then the hand pounced! It
grabbed her throat and squeezed until even the screaming in her mind was growing quiet. It clamped her neck in it's strong grasp, it's fingers
tightening, cutting off all sense and sensations.
She was dying! Murdered in her bed! She had only moments left! In the sure knowledge of certain death, lucidity came. She begged whatever god that
was willing to listen to please help her. And with her final prayer she mustered some dormant fortitude that had lain untapped within her. With all
her might Gina threw herself bolt upright in the bed and screamed a blood-curdling, primal scream that pierced the quiet night, waking the entire
Startled out of a peaceful slumber, Gina's sister sat up, rubbed her eyes; aggravated to be so rudely awakened. She grumbled and threw a pillow at
her sister. "What the hell's the matter with you?" Jenny accused. The clock showed that the time was now 4:06 am. Mother stumbled in to the room
pulling her housecoat around her ample frame, flipped the light switch and squinted against the sudden brightness. "You have a bad dream? mother
asked. Gina just sat in petrified silence, staring vacantly past the postered walls and into another realm. With no answer forthcoming, mother
rolled her eyes, exasperated, and said, "for Pete's sake go back to sleep!" Before mother could flip off the light and shuffle back to her room,
grandma was hurrying in to see what all the commotion was about.
Grandma made her way to Gina's bed and sat down beside her. It was apparent that Gina was in shock. Grandma gingerly picked up Gina's cold, clammy
arm and began rubbing it vigorously to restore some semblance of circulation. They sat in silence for several minutes. Jenny couldn't wait for the
light to be shut off and had pulled her blankets over her head and promptly returned to dreamland.
Slowly Gina turned to face the kind, silver-haired fortress of solace and strength that was her grandma. Grandma reached up and smoothed the wild
disarray of tangled hair, brushing it out of Gina's' face. She looked concerned and a little alarmed by the pallid girl before her. Gina broke
down sobbing on her grandma's shoulders.
"There, there, girl. Tell me all about it", grandma cooed. Gina blurted out the whole horrid tale. When she had finished relating the night's
events she sobbed, "Oh grandma! Am I crazy? Have I lost my mind?" Grandma stared in fearful wonder and was silent long enough for Gina to regret
having to hear an answer to the question. Slowly, grandma shook her head and said, "I don't think so child but we need to pray." Gina looked
quizzically at her wizened grandma. Grandma simply said, "come".
Gina had been immobilized for so long and her muscles so tense that grandma had to help her get out of the bed. She steadied Gina as she guided her
into the bathroom. Grandma turned on the bathroom light, pointed at the mirror and said, "that's why we need to pray." Confused, Gina looked in
the direction her grandma was pointing. There in the mirror Gina saw the deep red and purple bruise on her neck............ in the shape of a hand