Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I used to think nightmares were fun, so I asked for more. They were the only source of excitement in my endless rut of a life. I never used to get nightmares, and for that, I should have been grateful. I wasn’t. I wished for more, I craved the adrenaline and the pounding of my heart as my eyes flew open. They say be careful what you wish for. They are not lying.
The nightmares started to come quicker and much more often. It was small things at first, the things anybody would have. Being chased by wild dogs, being abandoned, or running naked into school. I tired of them quickly, I had no reason to keep myself awake after them. Soon, they began to become more intense, my brain began playing with me.
I’d be held down by my throat, unable to breathe, unable to scream, my chest heaving but no air entering my lungs. I’d be torn at, my skin coming away like butter. I’d be tied down as those I trusted sliced into me. I began to dream of Hell. Then I’d wake, my eyes not quite focusing on anything in my small box room.
The purples of my cushions would merge with the cream of my wall, and the giant teddy bear that sat in the corner would blur. But I could breathe. There was no pressure on my throat. I would take in deep lungfuls of air, as if I hadn’t breathed for hours. I scratched at my skin to check if it was still there, and it was. I would check my clock, and it would always be the same time. Five minutes past three in the morning became my waking hour.
My eyes would try to slide closed, but I couldn’t let that happen. Instead, I’d pull myself to the bathroom down the carpeted hall and splash icy water on my face until I was in no danger of sleeping. The sleep deprivation, I concluded, would be better than facing the horrors of the night.
I’d go into school like a zombie, and nobody seemed to notice that anything was different. I began to become paranoid. As people walked past me, the memories would come rushing back, invading my mind. She was the one who made the first incision two nights ago, he was the one who had his hand over my neck last week, and they were the ones that retrieved the knives in the depths of Hell. I pushed everyone away, in fear that they would build Hell on Earth, so I sat alone, excluding myself from the drone of conversation and the inconvenience of life.
My nightmares would plague me. Creative writing assessments in English were easy. Just pick a night and there was a horror story right there. Talks of battles in History shocked others, but barely even struck me as odd. The drawings I did in Art made everyone feel nauseous, but seemed quite normal to me. Lessons on Hell in R.E. would strike fear into my very soul. Of all the things I needed, more imagery about Hades was not one of them. Those lessons began to creep into my dreams too.
A human being can go fourteen days without sleep before they die. The record for days without sleep is eleven days, a record which is held by a university student from America. My record is five days. I started hallucinating so horrifically on day five, I couldn’t take it any more. The susurrus whispers began first. Those voices assuring me I was crazy, that I was worthless and doomed to be ended by my own mind. Next, it was the high-pitched, sempiternal squealing. It sounded like nails running down a chalkboard, or a knife scraping against a plate, only twice as high and five times as loud. Then, inanimate objects began to turn clinquant, the spots of brightness emitting from plants and pictures blinded me. I knew that these were merely chimerical, but can a schizophrenic stop having hallucinations? Neither can someone suffering with extreme sleep deprivation.
I decided to suck it up and face the monsters every night.
I’ve been sleeping well. When I say well, I mean I’ve been getting six hours of sleep a night. That’s why I know I’m not hallucinating when I see dark figures in my bedroom at night. When I hear the creaking of my door opening, I know it’s real. When the piercing screams of tortured souls invade my eardrums, it’s actually happening. When I hear the hissed threats that they’re coming for me, sadly, I know that’s real too.
They say be careful what you wish for.
I wished for Hell.
I got it.
It’s five minutes past three in the morning.
I can hear them.
Credit To – Anabiel