Estimated reading time — 14 minutes
It was a gloomy yet peaceful night as I searched my mind for inspiration. Unable to think properly, I lazily put my elbow on the table and leaned on my arm, letting a yawn escape my mouth.
After a few minutes, I sloppily typed up the first thing that came to my mind.
‘The night was dark and the sky was vivid. Too vivid, in fact. As I laid there on the roof of my house I could have sworn I saw a spider jump from one cloud and onto another one as a single string of web hung there deviously.’
“Ugh…” I groaned to myself and pressed my finger down on the backspace key. Giant spiders? What a stupid idea. Sure it probably hasn’t been written about before, but that was because no one would read it. The person I was submitting it to was dealing with really well-known horror writers. If I wanted my submission to be taken seriously, I would have to give him something that would pull him in.
I frowned and looked at my computer’s clock. It was three thirty-three in the morning, time for me to get some sleep.
With a sigh, I took my melatonin and laid in bed. It was extremely important that I always sleep on my left side. The reason for that is because it’s scientifically proven that people who sleep on their left have a forty-four percent chance more of getting a bad dream than people who sleep on their right. Now why in the world would I want to do something so sickeningly unhealthy to myself like that?
The reason is slightly complicated.
A few years back when I first got into horror writing, I created this character named Saiko. I guess Saiko was what some could describe as a muse. She started visiting me in my dreams and telling me about how I was special and had a vivid imagination, and how she wanted me to write more scary things because it provides us both good entertainment. Eventually, strange occurrences started happening to me.
It started small and yet disconcerting. The first time something strange happened, I went into my bedroom to write and the door suddenly slammed itself behind me, making me flinch. I just ignored it and continued on with my writing. After I typed a few paragraphs, I tried to leave the room so I could take a short break and go call my girlfriend, but it seemed the door was somehow locked from the outside, so I couldn’t escape. I heard a manic giggle from the other side and frowned to myself, wondering what was going on. After a few minutes, I finally unjammed the door and put the incident behind me, not wanting to think about it too much or I would get creeped out by it.
That incident kept recurring for weeks until I finally got the impression that whoever was on the other side just simply wanted me to write some more.
A year passed and it started getting greedy. Every time I tried to go out it would lock myself in my own house and I would feel a force push me back into my bedroom, where the door would slam itself shut to reveal a lined sheet of paper sloppily taped to my wall in a crooked saying something along the lines of, ‘WRITE SOME MORE’ or ‘AURORA PLEASE! I WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER BEDTIME STORY.’
I knew the whole time that Saiko was behind this. She told me herself in my dreams without a hint of guilt on her face. Just a mischievous grin and some pale bony fingers digging into my shoulder. “Yes, it was me, Aurora! I will continue to terrorize you until you stop stalling your writing.”
What I don’t get is how. How can a character that I created in my own mind suddenly come to life and take control over me? It just didn’t make sense.
I have a strong belief that Saiko is playing with my mind and causing me to have the lust for nightmares when I sleep, probably so I don’t force myself to wake up from them every time I get chased. You see, dreams are a great source of inspiration. The nightmares that dreamland gives you are truly a form of excitement you can’t get in real life. Getting chased by a deranged clown, watching a family member get possessed by a demon, being forced to eat the flesh of your own friend; it’s truly amazing that we shake and quiver until that final moment where we get stabbed or thrown off a cliff and sweet adrenaline comes to wake us up into the real world, back to safety. If it’s true that Saiko is behind these cravings, then so be it. I will enjoy the strange temptation to its fullest.
I had a peculiar dream that night. I was in a completely blank room and in the middle was a wooden splinter table I was sitting at, feeling like the chair was going to give out any second because the legs were incredibly worn down and uneven. There was a bowl of white rice sitting in front of me, with a rusty spoon by its side. I picked the utensil up and dipped it in the bowl, then proceeded to put a spoonful in my mouth. The rice was oddly crunchy in a way, as if it were undercooked. I took another bite only for the sensation to worsen, as it now felt like the rice was moving around on its own, wiggling its way into the back of my throat or trying to escape my mouth. It was incredibly unpleasant, but my stomach was filled with hunger and emptiness so I forced myself to take another bite. The flavor was weird and fleshy like chunky blood.
I finally looked down to discover that to my horror, it wasn’t a bowl of rice anymore. No, it was hundreds of tiny little maggots all wiggling around as their slimes made them stick together.
Feeling startled, I dropped my spoon and prepared to vomit as my stomach flipped over in disgust, but it never came. It appeared I was no longer in control of my own body as my hand was now dipping itself in the bowl of maggots. I cringed at the feeling of tiny little sticky worms all crawling around my hand. It scooped a large portion up and forced it into my mouth. I tried to scream and get up my seat, but it appeared my body was stuck.
I sat there crying for what seemed like hours as I force-fed myself the maggots until they were all gone, at last, to reveal the words imprinted inside the bowl: ‘NOW WRITE ABOUT IT.’
Suddenly my stomach felt like it was on fire as the maggots burst out of my skin and spilled onto my legs and the ground, greedily making a feast out of my flesh and blood.
At last, I woke up in a cold puddle of sweat. Thank goodness for sweet adrenaline.
The first thing I did when I got out of bed was go over to my computer and start writing about my dream. “Maggots,” I said to myself quietly. “That is sure to gross people out, which is a nice element in horror.”
After I had finished, I went into the kitchen and dished myself a bowl of Rice Krispies cereal. When I poured the milk in, however, I didn’t hear the “snaps,” “krackles,” or “pops” you are supposed to. Ignoring it, I took a spoonful into my mouth and immediately gagged it out, dropping the spoon to the ground in shock and horror.
Just like in my dream, it turned out to be a bowl full of maggots. Tiny little disgusting maggots, all greedily eating each other and trying to get out of the bowl. I instinctively retched at the mortifying sight, holding back the urge to scream or vomit. I looked at the cereal box. Instead of “Kellogg’s Rice Krispies,” it now said, “Saiko’s Frosted Maggots (Writers Dream Special Edition)”
Filled with rage and disgust, I knew what to do. I was going to get rid of Saiko once and for all, so she can finally leave me alone and I will no longer be forced to suffer through the terrors she’s always giving me.
I knew how to throw her off. All I needed to do was satisfy the control she thinks she has over me.
Hesitantly, I sat down and gripped the spoon in my fist, closed my eyes, and took a bite of the maggots. Astonishingly, it tasted even worse than in my dream. It was like rotting blood clots mixed with rusty steel and bitter pill powder. The texture was unpleasantly crunchy as I bit the little worms wiggling in between my teeth. For a long time, I sat there coughing several times to avoid choking and splashing it down with water in hopes of not throwing up each time I gagged.
At last, I finally finished, licking the milk and slime off the bowl clean. Immediately, I ran into the bathroom and vomited it all out, crying and moaning with pain regret over the stupid act I had committed, all just to prove myself wrong to a figure of my own imagination. I feared the little creatures I ingested would suddenly burst out of my stomach just like they did in my dream.
I’m not sure what happened after that because the next thing I remember was waking in a hospital bed, with my girlfriend sitting next to me with a worried expression on her face.
I immediately sat up, but then leaned back onto my pillow as my head felt dizzy. “Lucienne, what the hell is going on?” I asked her sheepishly, reaching my hand out to her.
“I rang the doorbell to your house to visit you, but you didn’t answer. I could see the TV blaring, so I knew you were in there and I came inside to see what was up with that.” She paused for a second, as if searching for the right words to say. “Then I found you passed out on the bathroom floor. There was vomit everywhere and you were bleeding out of your head. I think you passed out and hit your head on the toilet as you fell or something. It looked pretty bad.”
Feeling deeply concerned, I frowned and grabbed Lucienne’s hand and whined. “I don’t understand.”
She sighed. “Aurora, I don’t either. I didn’t think it was possible to just throw up so much you knock yourself out. What did you do to cause this?”
I hesitated and looked away, not knowing how to respond to that question. She probably thought I was drunk or something. If I told her I ate a bowl of maggots would she believe me?
“Come on,” Lucienne said, gently tilting my chin and forcing me to make contact with her. “You should tell me. After all, you’re my girlfriend. I know you were in perfect health earlier, so it couldn’t have been because you were sick. Please tell me what you did. I’m worried about you.”
“I ate a bowl of maggots,” I blurted out, instantly wishing I could take the ridiculous-sounding words back into my mouth.
“What?” My girlfriend frowned in confusion. “Did I just hear that right? A bowl of maggots?”
I pulled my hand away and sighed. I knew she wouldn’t believe me. “Ah yes,” I replied, feeling a strange grin crawl across my cheekbones. “Little white maggots, all squirming around inside my mouth, choking me as they desperately tried to get out. I ate them all and made sure I licked the bowl clean. They tasted funny but I didn’t mind. Just as long as they are extra crunchy it was scrumptious.”
“Oh my god,” she said in disbelief, pulling her hand away from mine and scooting a few inches back in her chair. “Aurora, that’s disgusting. I really hope you’re messing with me.”
“I’m not,” I responded impatiently, looking at her in the eyes. “You have to believe me. Please?”
“I’ll consider it,” she said, getting up from her chair. “In the meantime, I’m going to your house to clean up that mess you made in the bathroom because clearly, you won’t be leaving the hospital for at least a few hours. I’m gonna ask the nurse to take a look at your head. I think it’s pretty serious.”
I watched her flash me an anxious look in her eyes before walking out of the hospital room, gently closing the door behind her.
A few minutes later, a nurse came into the room. “Oh, you woke up. Are we feeling alright?”
“Yeah I’m fine,” I replied, tilting my head to the side. “I’m not really sure what’s going on though. My head feels a bit fuzzy.”
The nurse took a seat. “I’m going to ask you some weird questions, alright? I want you to answer them honestly.”
“Alright,” I replied, suddenly feeling awkward. I hoped she wasn’t going to ask me something embarrassing.
“Do you remember your name?” she asked in a serious tone.
“Aurora Spiral,” I responded, wondering why she asked me such a silly question.
The nurse crossed her legs and wrote that down on her clipboard. “Good, you remember,” she said in a half-joking way. “Do you know why you are here?”
“My girlfriend told me I passed out and hit my head so she took me to the hospital,” I responded, purposely leaving out the main details.
“Alright, last question.” She paused. “Have you been drinking before you got here?”
“No,” I answered. “I’m not sure what caused me to pass out. I think I probably slipped on a puddle of water on the floor.”
“Noted. I’ll send the doctor in here with your tests and if all goes well, you will be free to leave.”
The nurse left the room and closed the door behind her. I heard some shuffling noise coming from the wall, so I turned my head to see what it was. Suddenly, one of the cabinets burst open and a tall figure tumbled out and onto the floor, dusting herself off and moving closer to me.
“Saiko…” I said as a feeling of shock and intimidation tied a knot in my stomach. “How did you get strong enough to appear in the real world? I don’t understand.” It was true that Saiko had moved on from my dreams and started toying with me in the real world, but I never thought I would physically see her towering over me.
She grinned and let a mocking giggle fall out of her crimson red lips as she brushed her long dark hair behind her ears. “Oh Aurora,” she said, caressing my face with her sickeningly unhuman and pale webbed hand. “Don’t you get it? You are special. You created me with your mind and put it into words. You described me as an all-powerful entity that can take over people’s minds. If that’s true, then shouldn’t I be able to take over yours too?”
“Oh, Satan, help me,” I muttered in a sarcastic yet miserable tone of voice, pressing my head against the pillow, as a strong feeling of disbelief washed over me.
“The doctor should be in soon,” Saiko said with a smirk. “Let’s skip this part, shall we? It will be incredibly boring for our readers. We’ll just tell them that I possessed your body and answered the doctor’s questions for you,” she paused for a moment and looked like she was trying to hold back a mischievous laugh, “which is true because you are way too unstable at the moment to answer for yourself. You hit your head pretty badly.”
Those were the last words I heard before I regained my vision as an absolutely mortifying sight lay before me.
I was on the bathroom floor kneeling before Lucienne’s body. She was still breathing, but slowly and unsteadily. She was covered in blood from the head down, and had several tiny little stab marks on various different parts of her body. Confused, I looked at myself. There was blood on my body too, but no wounds. It was all hers. I frowned in disbelief and horror as I looked at the black ballpoint pen I was gripping in my hand. It was covered in blood.
“Aurora, please s-stop…” Lucienne said weakly as tears fell from her eyes, mixing in with her own blood. “Why are you doing this to me? I d-didn’t do anything w-wrong to you…”
Tears started to flow down my cheeks like a waterfall. “Lucienne, what’s happening? I can’t remember everything. Did I black out?”
“You kept sta-stabbing me with your pen!” she cried out, choking on her own blood. “Wha-what is wrong with you?!”
“I didn’t do it!” I yelled, squeezing her hand as she pulled away. “Please believe me.”
“Y-you’re delusional!” she said in a firm voice, attempting to sit up, but falling back to the ground. “Now go run a-away! I’m going t-to call the police. I have my cellphone in my pocket!”
At that moment, rage overtook mind as I screamed and angrily impaled the writing utensil through her throat and pulled it out, causing her to go silent. How dare she betray me and call me such a mean word like that! I clearly told her I wasn’t the one who stabbed her!
With a sigh I leaned my head against her stomach like a pillow to regain myself, causing her blood to ruin my already tangled blonde hair.
Suddenly, I felt a huge wave of disturbance crash over me as I realized what had just happened.
I killed my girlfriend. I killed her. Saiko killed her. Saiko killed her. To hell with that monster!
My head began to get fuzzy as the part where I got hit suddenly produced a painful pulsating sensation. My vision grew blurry and I had to blink several times to get my senses back.
At that moment, I shakingly stood up and noticed a disturbing note had been taped to the mirror.
‘USE HER BLOOD AS YOUR INK AND HER BONES A QUILL. THE WALL IS YOUR CANVAS.’
“Oh god, why?” I muttered to myself, cringing as I slowly used the tip of the pen to widen one of the holes I stabbed into her hand. It took several minutes of blood, sweat, and tears as I pulled one of the bones in her finger apart from her body, trying to suppress the urge to gag as it made an unpleasantly disgusting popping noise.
I dipped the bone into the warm blood as it continued to flow from Lucienne’s corpse, allowing me to use it to write on the wall as the nonsensical words began to play into my mind.
‘I tasted rice for the first time today. The worms told me I have brain bubbles. I’m not sure what that is, but my head hurts. The nurse said I needed to cut back on it, but she never told me what it was. I’ve been thinking about maggots a lot lately. It’s kind of funny because I feel a tingly sensation in my head every time I hear that word. I think I got one crawling around in there.’
After I finished writing the last sentence, I heard a menacingly familiar giggle from behind me. I turned around and gripped the bone in my hand as I faced the mirror. Instead of my own reflection, however, it was Saiko’s. She had a malevolent grin on her face stretching from ear to ear as she looked at me with a wicked sense of defiance and amusement in her eyes.
“Don’t you understand, Aurora?” she said in a high pitched voice. “It was you all along. I didn’t do anything at all.”
“I don’t get it,” I said, looking into her deep black eyes.
“I’m not real, just a figure of your imagination. All this time you’ve been torturing yourself and scaring yourself silly for no reason. It was entertaining to watch you force-feed yourself a bowl full of maggots.”
“I still do not understand. What are you trying to tell me?”
“You’re crazy,” she said, leaning closer to me, just a few inches away from touching the glass border that was comfortingly separating us.
“I still don’t get it!” I whined like a child, starting to feel frustrated.
Her grin grew wider and more disturbing as she reached her long arm out of the mirror, breaking the glass and grabbing my wrist with a pale webbed hand. “The only thing I truly ever did to you since you first created me,” she said, pulling me closer to her, “was put the maggots inside your brain.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but gasped as she forcefully pulled my body into the other side of the mirror. The last glimpse I got of the real world was Lucienne’s sorry corpse and the manic words I wrote on the wall using her own blood.
I found myself opening my eyes to a dark and unfamiliar room. There was an uncomfortably cold breeze sending shivers down my spine as I felt a weird pressure around my chest and legs.
It appeared my torso and legs were strapped to a chair. Feeling alarmed, I struggled and tried to wriggle my legs out, but that only caused the rope to tighten, making me feel even more uncomfortable. Astonishingly enough, my arms were not strapped down. I reached my hands down to loosen the rope around my ankles, only to retreat back and squeal, as the rope sent a painful burning sensation through my fingers.
I looked up to see Saiko freakishly towering over me with an expression of amusement on her face. “You are in your own personal dream world,” she said. “The only time I will let you get up from that chair you’re strapped to is when you are finished typing a story and need to live another nightmare to write about. This is what you wanted, right? You said you enjoy nightmares because of the excitement and inspiration they give you.”
“No, I don’t want this anymore,” I begged. “Please take me back.”
“Take you back? Where did you get that from? You’ll be staying here forever, always writing scary stories even after the day you die. There’s a computer in front of you so you can post your stories on the internet to have an audience that will praise over you.”
I felt a lump begin to form in my throat as my eyes began to get misty.
“Now write about it,” she said in a powerful tone. “Write about how you got here, about all of the suffering you put yourself through without even realizing it. The audience will be very intrigued by it.”
With a sigh, I wiped a tear from my eye, put my hands on the computer, and allowed my fingers to caress the keys as I typed the first paragraph of my story.
‘It was a gloomy yet peaceful night as I searched my mind for inspiration. Unable to think properly, I lazily put my elbow on the table and leaned on my arm, letting a yawn escape my mouth.’
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