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Wake Up

Estimated reading time — 5 minutes

Everything started out normal. It was just a simple nightmare, right? But the more I thought about it, the more unlikely that sounded. No nightmare could be that detailed, that gruesome. At first I thought I was alone in that dream, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was something there, in the far corner of the room. It sat there, watching, waiting, taunting me, almost drawing me towards it. It looked like a statue, made of dark stone with glittering eyes made of rubies. It’s hands were crossed over it’s heart, as if holding a small object close. Silently, I walked towards the object, somehow knowing I would regret the decision. It was only a few feet away now. Something was off about the statue. It had a deathly cold air around it, almost like an invisible wall that you had to push through to get past. Once I was only a foot away, I immediately knew what was off about it. This wasn’t a statue. No, far from it to be exact. It was some sort of…phantom, reaper, whatever way you want to describe it. It just stood there, unwavering, unblinking. I desperately wanted to move away, to turn and run as far away as possible, though something rooted me to that exact spot. Was it fear? Fascination? Maybe a little bit of both? Whatever it was, I despised the feeling for keeping me in such a dangerous spot.

It all happened so fast. First, I was standing there, watching the creature. Then, it lunged at me, wrapping it’s robed arms around me, the cold air chilling me to the bone. I blinked, a new scene unraveling in front of me. I couldn’t exactly describe where I was, because there was nothing around me except snow. The white fluff was blowing in the wind, like ice cold razors cutting through my flesh. All sense of direction was lost, replaced by desperation to get out of the freezing temperatures. Sprinting off in what I thought was north, I stumbled a few times, quickly getting up in fear that something was chasing me. I must have been running for hours, though I couldn’t tell. Off in the distance, I thought I saw what looked like a cave. It was still a good two hundred yards away, but surprisingly clear through the blizzard. Seeing it as my only option, I ran towards the entrance, finally stumbling into the blackness. Upon reaching the bottom, I found myself in a jungle, heat beating down on me, the sweat refusing to evaporate into the already humid air. Getting up, I brushed the dirt off my pants, carefully slinking through the trees and undergrowth, not wanting to attract any unwanted guests. There was a sound in the distance, almost sounding like an elderly man’s voice. Ignoring it at first, I continued to walk, the man’s voice getting louder with each step until I reached a small clearing. In the center, an old man sat, his knees pulled to his chest. The man’s back was towards me, but as I walked around him, I was surprised, no, terrified when I saw what he looked like. Pale, emotionless eyes sunken into his skull. Thin lips muttering something I couldn’t hear. Skin wrinkled and burnt from sitting in the blistering hot sun. The man looked up at me, recognition flashing in his gaze. “I saw you in my dream. Can you save us?” He asked, still rocking back and forth. The words shocked me, and as I backed away, he repeated himself. Over and over he spoke the words, each time his eyes growing wider and wider, his voice raising to a shout. Turning, I sprinted off in the direction away from the clearing, though the words still followed me the whole way.

Another few hours passed, and I was in a field. The change of scenery confused me, and I knew that it had to have something to do with the reaper that attacked me. Off on the horizon, there was a mountain, it’s peak reaching high above the clouds. Walking towards it, I tripped over something, falling onto my face. Turning, I saw what looked to be a young girl, about 13 years old, laying in the grass, her hands folded over her chest. “Don’t believe what they say. You’re dreaming. You have to wake up,” She said, returning to her pensive state. Backing away, I continued my trek towards the mountain, though I didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Frustrated, I kicked a stone, falling back onto the ground. There was a cold wind, red eyes flashing above me before the world went black.


A soft dripping sounded in the distance, soft whispers followed by a beep…beep…beep. I didn’t open my eyes in fear of seeing the reaper, continuing to listen to what was going on. There was a louder voice off in the distance, and I sat up, my eyes opening to take in a white hospital room, flowers and a card sitting on the table next to me. There were doctors out in the hallway, whispering softly. One must have seen me, because they all rushed into the room, huddling around my bed. “What did you see? Did you dream? Was it there?” They asked, all the questions making my head start to ache. Someone from the back of the crowd hushed everyone, pushing his way to the front. He was tall, and though he only looked to be about twenty-two, he had dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep. “Let the poor girl wake up a little first,” He said, setting a clipboard down on the edge of my bed. “Here, I’ll explain,” He said. “Police found you in the woods about a mile away from your house. There were several puncture wounds all over your body, and you were shivering as if you were in the snow without a coat. A few of us checked you out, though we were unable to identify the cause of said wounds. You’ve been in a coma for over two years,” The doctor explained, his eyes dark in sadness. “During the coma, we have written down several things you have said in your sleep, most of them inexplicable,” He said, looking down at the clip board. “Your stable now, so you’re free to go home any time you wish,” The doctor said, grabbing his clipboard and heading out of the room. A nurse handed me my clothes, the rest of them leaving the room to let me get changed. After doing so, I walked to the lobby to check out.




That same night, I crawled into my bed, pulling the blankets up to my chin and looking out the window. The branches rattled against the window in the wind, making me jump every time they brushed against the glass. I could’t seem to shake the memory of the reaper, especially the red eyes. Something about them seemed so foreign, yet so familiar. Shaking my head, I turned over so my back was facing the window, deciding to think about it in the morning. Closing my eyes, I heard a soft whisper.

“Sleep tight… I’ll be waiting.”

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25 thoughts on “Wake Up”

  1. It wasn’t exactly scary, though I liked the story itself. Though some of it didn’t make much sense, waking up from a coma 2 years after it started, being able to walk somehow, and still having a home/family that cares about you? I would of given up long ago if my daughter hadn’t woken up from a 2 year coma.

  2. Okay, normally I would complain about waking up from a two year coma and everything being peachy keen hunky dory. BUT, I think y’all might have missed something. A very important something that takes place right before the hospital scene.
    Turning, I saw what looked to be a young girl, about 13 years old, laying in the grass, her hands folded over her chest. “Don’t believe what they say. You’re dreaming. You have to wake up,” She said, returning to her pensive state.

    I don’t think our protagonist is awake at all. I think the hospital scene is a false awakening. The entire scene runs on dream logic. Doctors that are too young, events moving at a schizophrenic pace, and an odd acceptance of it all. And I think since she failed to realize she is still dreaming she is effectively trapped now. It was a fun read, with a nice blurring of the real and unreal.

  3. I liked the story the reaper or whatever was detailed very nicely but the ending part especially the hospital was a bit stupid she wakes up after two years and they just practically throws her out? Really? And what happened to.her family? But it isn’t the first time either a lot of people do the same thing so

  4. One does not simply go straight home after two years in a coma. Wouldn’t you want to tell anyone “Oh just so you know, I’m conscious again”..

  5. The only pitfall was that a hospital would not discharge a patient as soon as they wake upfront a coma. They’d keep them for a while longer.

  6. I was getting into it, but the part with the hospital threw me off. It’s been said already that it wouldn’t have happened like that so I won’t go into it. The ending was so abrupt and left too much unexplained to leave me satisfied.

    There is a lot of potential here and you were off to a very good start. With a few changes, mostly the hospital part, and some more some explaination you could have a really fantastic story.

    Overall I enjoyed it. Good job.

  7. I was really hooked until the girl just hopped out of bed and trotted to the lobby after a 2 year coma. Have we heard of muscle atrophy? Even with physical therapy there would be a long time before that would be possible. A little more research on hospital procedure and effects of a coma is needed. But overall I liked it.


    I liked it, liked the reaper, but in the end it made no sense. Why the reaper, why the all the different places? Why were you bleeding in the woods? Where are your family? Am I just being dumb here and not catching on to anything?

  9. Stop tripping on the Acid and The only thing besides the weird acid trips was the fact that you were able to walk normally to the lobby after not moving for 2 years and BUT THEN WHO WAS REAPER?

  10. They usually keep the patient for a bit once they wake up from a two year coma. Why were there so many people around a young girl in a coma?

    I gave it a 6. Not because it was particularly scary, but mostly because it was at least different.

  11. Meh. There were so many ways you could have seasoned this pasta to get a Ramsey sticker of approval but unfortunately it lacked a certain spice and made me add alot of salt. 5.8 at best. I have definitely nommed on better pastas.

  12. Very cleverly done. It’s one of the few pastas that successfully blurs the boundaries between dreams and reality without losing too much realism.

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