Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I’m running as fast as I can down the road ahead of me. It’s a long gravel road, and as far as my eyes can see there is no end. I’m in heels. I’ve tripped and stumbled and nearly fallen countless times, but I can’t risk stopping long enough to take them off.
I can hear them behind me, chasing me. There are three of them. They are tall and fast, and they’re each wearing the same black robes and mask. I don’t know why they’re chasing me, and I don’t remember how it started. All I can remember is running.
Suddenly I see another one, and he is coming toward me from the opposite direction. I begin to panic. I consider dashing into the trees on either side of the road, but surely I’d twist my ankle and be doomed. No, I must keep running. I must stay on this road and hope for the best.
My heart thrashes wildly in my chest as I reach the figure, but he continues past me. A moment later I hear screaming behind me, and I can’t help but to turn and look.
He’s attacked them! All three of my pursuers are lying motionlessly on the ground, presumably dead. I see no weapon, so I’m clueless as to how he’s done it. I’ve stopped running now, and I stare wide-eyed as the figure approaches me.
“Th-thank you…” I stammer nervously. The figure’s breaths come loud and raspy through the hole at the mouth of their mask. We both stand still for what seems like an eternity before they finally respond.
“You wouldn’t be thanking me if you knew what I looked like.”
I’m surprised at the voice. It’s female. I watch curiously, and more than a little scared, as the figure raises her hand up to her mask and slowly removes it.
I scream. This person has my face! Only it’s been beaten and mangled. She has two black eyes, a bloody, broken nose, and a busted lip.
“What’s going on here?!” I cry. She stares blankly at me.
“I couldn’t let them do to you what they’ve done to the rest.” she says. “It’s time for you to return, now.” I open my mouth to demand a real answer, but then I start to feel very tired. I try to fight it, but I can’t. I fall to the ground.
I’m in a hospital bed when I wake up. I moan in pain because my head feels like it’s splitting open, and my parents rush to my side. I hadn’t noticed them.
“Sweetie, are you okay?” my mother asks, taking my hand in hers and kissing me on the cheek. I shut my eyes and try to remember what happened.
I had been watching the news. There was an interesting story going that people were mysteriously dying in their sleep. Not unusual for the elderly, but these were people my age. Autopsies repeatedly revealed that the victims were perfectly healthy.
I must have fallen asleep. But that dream… It felt so real. So eerie.
“Yeah, mom, I’m fine.” I answer. “What happened?” My mother looks at my father, as if to ask him if he wants to take over. He shakes his head.
“No one really knows, dear.” she tells me. “You weren’t answering my calls, so I got worried. I rushed over and used the spare key above the door to let myself in. I found you unconscious on your couch. You were holding this..”
She reaches into her purse and pulls out a mask. The mask from my dream.
Credit To: Sarah Jane