05 Dec The Woman From the Beach
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"The Woman From the Beach"Written by
Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
I still remember a nightmare I had when I was about five years old. I was near the ocean that I loved so much, with just my Dad and I playing on a swing set in the middle of an abandoned beach. Everything started out very innocently, I remember having the time of my life, smiling and laughing while playing with my Father. After what I recall as a couple minutes of fun, the scene started to develop a sense of unease and discomfort. The sunny, beautiful day turned dark and cloudy, even the once inviting swing set seemed to become slightly more sinister.
It started pouring intensely and stopped as suddenly as it began. My Dad at this point noticed my apparent discomfort and attempted to invigorate the once happy mood I was feeling. He started dancing around in the puddles of sand and water, while making funny faces at me. I began to start laughing again when suddenly, he bent over and placed his face in one of the larger puddles. My smile disappeared and I started to feel slightly hesitant, I called out to him softly after he hadn’t pulled up his face. A couple of seconds later he pulled up his head and turned toward me. At this point, I would start screaming and wake up in my childhood bedroom screaming my head off, feeling clammy and cold. My Father would always rush in to comfort me, and I was always filled with a great relief that his face was still intact.
When my Dad turned his head to look at me in my dream his face was gone. There was nothing left where his eye sockets, nose, and mouth used to be. His face was literally just a blank slate with sand dripping down from his chin. To this day, I am not sure why that dream has startled me so much that I remember it quite clearly twenty-seven years later. I am also unsure why the dream repeats itself most nights of the week, leaving me to wake up in a state of panic every time.
This morning was no exception, and I woke up to my sheets soaked with sweat and feeling the sticky aftermath of the nightmare. I sighed and struggled to my feet, noticing it was about time for me to wake up for work anyway. I was wiping the sleep from my eyes while I walked to the bathroom and with one half-open eyeball; I noticed my face in the mirror. I let out a startled cry when I realized my face was gone. I closed my eyes as tightly as I could and told myself to get a grip. I had just closed my eyes; obviously they still exist on my face. After a couple minutes of struggling with myself to not be such a wimp, I opened my eyes and saw that my face looked exactly the same as it had last night, if a little disheveled from sleep.
I laughed slightly to myself from my own paranoia and told myself my brain was just scaring me since the memory of my nightmare was so fresh. I went about the rest of my morning ritual: exercising, showering, eating, and feeding my cat. Even though I convinced myself logically what the cause of my mirror incident was, I still couldn’t shake my feeling of unease and avoided looking into any mirrors the entire morning.
It was a beautiful day, and because of my unexpectedly early awakening, I had extra time and decided to walk to work. I only worked about a half hour walk from my apartment in downtown Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It’s an adorable little town, so I greatly enjoyed my walk and soaked in all of the fabulous scenery. I consider myself to be a professional window shopper, since I’m consistently broke, and I used my talent to the fullest this morning to shake myself from my growing paranoia. While I was looking through the glass at a particularly adorable pair of cheetah print stilettos, I caught a glimpse of a woman with a blank, featureless face standing directly behind me. I gasped and quickly turned to face the woman. Once I turned I saw a woman standing behind me, with a perfectly normal face. I must have looked downright insane because she regarded me with a skeptical expression. I quickly apologized and shuffled to work.
The rest of my day at work was blissfully uneventful and I was eventually able to calm myself down and convince myself both blank face occurrences (this was the easiest way to refer to the incidents) were just a result of my overactive imagination. I walked home in a better mood than I had been all day and even treated myself by buying the stiletto’s from earlier (even if it would cost me gas money for the week). I live alone with two cats, Moe and Beevil, so I made myself dinner and fed my fur babies then settled in on my couch with a glass of Moscato and a new book.
I must have dozed off at some point during my reading because I awoke in a cold sweat from my torturous, repetitive nightmare. I attempted to calm myself by petting my adorable tortoise shell, Beevil, who was sitting on my lap. From my hand touching her she woke from her probably fifth nap of the day and looked up at me. I let out the loudest scream I could even imagine myself capable of and jumped about ten feet high. My poor, lovely kitty was missing her face. It didn’t appear to be a violent or malevolent occurrence; her face was just simply gone.
I quickly found the cat carrier, shoved her in and ran her straight to the vet, panicking and driving like a mad woman the entire way there. I rushed into the vet’s office and demanded my cat be examined right that second. Seeing my panicked demeanor, the vet quickly took us into a room and let my cat out of the carrier. She walked out of the pet carrier and looked up at me, with her beautiful green eyes looking right into mine. Her face was completely fine, I must have still been dreaming when I thought she had lost it. The vet was now looking at me curiously and asked what the issue seemed to be. Not wanting to appear insane, I made up a story of thinking she swallowed dental floss. The vet examined her, charged me a decent amount and sent us on our way telling me she would be perfectly fine. We drove home and I went straight to bed.
That incident happened about a week ago and since then the blank face occurrences have only gotten worse. I see a faceless woman standing behind me in every reflection I dare let myself view. I have stopped going to work or anywhere out in public because no matter how hard I try, I simply could not avoid each and every singly reflective surface. I would rather have been a shut-in then have to see that woman’s blank face again.
I had temporarily given my cats to my sister, terrified for their safety. I had also gotten rid of every single reflective surface in my house. I was honestly unaware if I am truly insane or if I really am being stalked by a faceless woman with the ability to change my perception of reality. Maybe I should have gone see a psychologist, maybe I was just overworked. Every time I started to think that way and decided to brave and go out into the world, I would relapse into a panic attack and ended up shivering violently under a blanket on my couch.
I had the dream again tonight, but it’s different. There’s the beach, the swing set, my father, and the rain, but this time there’s a woman. She is standing with her back to us the entire time and from what I can see of her she is about average height with long, matted dark hair. It hangs from her head in knotted, bloody patches. The skin on her arms and legs is pale and sickly in appearance, loosely hanging from her bones. She has many open sores that bleed profusely. She doesn’t turn around until my dad places his face in the water. Time seems to stand still as she moves over to him with her nasty, greasy hair covering her face. She places her hand on the back of his head and shoves it even further into the sand. I’m screaming at her to let him go, to leave him alone, but my voice disappears with the wind. She pushes his head even harder into the sand puddle, making it appear as though the sand is literally grinding away his face.
It’s at this point she finally looks up at me and I realize she is the woman I’ve seen haunt me in every reflection; she had no face, just a blank space with bloody sores where her features should have been. The most terrifying part of this moment is that even though she had virtually no face, I could feel that she was smiling at me, taunting me and driving me insane. I woke up screaming and thrashing in my sheets like a wild woman. I bolted up in bed and immediately noticed my large mirror on my bureau has been uncovered. The minute my eyes meet my reflection, I see the faceless woman with her nasty, bloody hair, standing directly behind my head. I could feel her evil taunting grin pointing down toward me as I felt her hands cover my face.
I woke up again in my bed, relieved that last night was just an awful remix to my repetitive nightmare. My relief was short-lived as I reached up to rub the sleep away from my eyes and felt nothing where my eye socket should be. I feel an immense sense of terror about to overwhelm me, when I realized I could still see so my eyes had to be there! I rush to my bureau and uncovered my large mirror. I attempted to let out a scream at the image that confronted me but I was unable make any sound. My face was gone, where my blue eyes and full lips used to be; now there was nothing but a blank space that made me look like a deformed monster.
I don’t understand how I can still see and breathe, it’s as though there is a thin layer of skin over my facial features that enables me to feel normal, while looking like a freak on the outside. I have tried to cut off the layer of skin that seems to cover my face, only to feel an immense pain and see nothing revealed but blood. No matter how deep I cut, I never find the eye sockets or nose that I used to have. At least the nightmare has finally stopped; the woman from my dreams seems to have moved on to torture another poor soul.
Credit To – AirIn D