By Christian Lara
First of all, let me get one thing straight. This was something that happened only once and most likely won’t happen again. This was pretty much pure luck, so don’t think I’m a hero.
So one day I was lying on my bed like I always do, reading a suspenseful fictional chapter book. Nothing too special. It was unusually dark outside, maybe around 7 p.m., 8 p.m. It was pretty stormy because winter was taking its toll on my area. The oak tree outside of my house kept banging on my window like it had a fight with it. The wind was so violent that pedestrians walked in a zigzag motion instead of in a straight line.
Suddenly, I paid attention to my TV, which was on a local news channel.
“The hunt for David Smith stretches into its ninth day. Smith mysteriously went missing last Monday, sometime around 12 and 2 a.m. The Richmond Police Department questioned Garrett Brown, who is now the prime suspect for the cause of the disappearance. If you have any important knowledge about this case, please contact the authorities immediately,” the newscaster said.
The next moment, my friend Nicholas called me.
“Are you watching this?” he said
“This is kinda scary, isn’t it? I’m coming over to your house. I’ll be there in five minutes.”
Nicholas had black hair and brown eyes. He was about the same size as me, maybe one or two inches shorter, so about four foot nine. He kind of liked to mess with people, either pranking them or annoying the heck out of them.
I was a bit different from Nicholas. I had brown hair and eyes, and I was around 4 foot 10. I liked to keep to myself. Every time Nicholas tried to make me mad or anything like that, I didn’t say anything, and eventually, he would stop.
“What? What’s scary?” I asked
“That guy went missing,” Nicholas pointed to a picture of the man on his phone.
“Wait, that only happened last week?”
“Yeah, it only happened like half a mile away,”
“Huh…that is pretty scary.”
We both eventually got bored and played some video games, but we got tired of that, too. Finally, at around 9 p.m., Nicholas went home. After he went home, I used the computer for about an hour before I had to go to sleep. When the hour passed, I got in bed and turned on the TV. It was still on the news channel, and what I heard terrified me.
“Breaking news: The suspect of the ongoing missing persons case has broken out of custody and is on the run. Anyone in the Eldritch area, near Fairhaven Avenue, should keep safe and stay indoors until further notice.”
I went to my dad to tell him about it, but it seemed he heard about it, too.
“Ah, don’t worry about it,” he said. “What’re the chances he’ll target our house specifically?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
It was hard to go to sleep. I pretty much stared into nothing for like an hour before I dozed off. Right before I began to fall asleep, a voice in my mind told me,
My dreams that night were possibly the weirdest thing I have ever seen. They started off fairly normal with me being in my classroom, sitting in my desk, and staring at nothing. When I finally thought it would be a good idea to listen to what the teacher was saying, I noticed something. Everyone in the class was staring straight at me, not moving or even blinking.
Suddenly, they all got out of their seats and hovered over to the middle of the room. They phased through objects like there was nothing there and, eventually, all gathered into the middle of the room. They all melted into each other, like a bunch of different colors of clay being smashed into one giant ball. It formed an amalgamation of human flesh, body parts, and one enormous, grotesque ball forming the body. It turned into a skin color and had a strange red patch here and there. It would pulsate as it fumbled around the room, pushing desks and crushing chairs as it went.
“Funny.” Although it was my voice, something was…different. It sounded cold, lifeless, like it was the voice of something that had died long ago. I didn’t know why I said “funny,” and I still don’t know to this day. Finally, after hours of staring at the abomination, I noticed something. There was a keypad in the far corner of the room with no reason to be there. As I got closer to it, I saw there weren’t numbers on the keypad. They were strange symbols, all of which consisted of a hand gesture, face, or flag. Although I couldn’t understand what it said, I guessed it was a form of Wingdings. Immediately after, I lost control of my own dream-body. It went from being a lucid dream to being, well, a normal nightmare. I walked toward the far right of the room, where the…jumble…that’s what I’ll call it…was. I melted into the floor and slid into the jumble. As soon as I melted into it, I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant.
The inside of the jumble was extremely disturbing. I could see out of its eyes, like I was watching through a TV screen. Everything was red, and it looked like I could see the veins in its body.
“Come join the fun.” It sounded like 30 people were talking at the same time.
“Wh-What?” Despite me saying it, everyone still talked.
“Help, help, help, help…”
Then, it all stopped. For about two seconds, everything was pitch black. After that, I woke up. I nearly screamed, but I was already crying. I couldn’t stop. Seeing all of my friends, and even some people I didn’t know, got to me. After about five minutes of crying, I finally got myself together. I wanted to get that dream out of my head, so I got ready for school.
I was scared that day, so while I was in school, I practically stared at my desk and did nothing. Although most of the day was normal, there was one thing that stood out. I had a vision of the dream except this time something was different. A code was drawn in…something…on the wall. They were the same symbols that were on the keypad in the dream. Almost immediately after I saw it, I wrote it. When I got home, I Googled what the symbols meant.
“Find him? What could that mean…?” Then I realized. It was referring to David Smith. Although it may sound funny, I thought that I had to go to sleep as soon as possible. And honestly, it was kind of true. I was tired anyway, so I took a nap.
Again, I started to dream. I was in the same weird dream-world, but this time the outside world was color-inverted. Inside of the class looked more or less the same, but outside, the sky was orange, and the grass was yellow. Nobody was in the classroom this time except for me. I went over to the keypad and typed in the code. Suddenly, the keypad folded in on itself and turned into a door.
“Honestly, after seeing everything else, a keypad turning into a door isn’t weird or scary anymore,” I thought to myself.
Inside of the weird keypad-door thing, there was a map on a pedestal. That was it.
“A…map? Kind of underwhelming,”
“It is, isn’t it?”
I spun around as fast as a cheetah.
“Ah, geez, not you again.”
“He, he, he, ehe, he, ehe, eh, ehe.”
Its various arms stretched out towards me and grabbed me by the head. Slowly but surely, it was sucking out my own brain, and I had the feeling that if I didn’t get loose, I would be dead where I stood. Although I couldn’t get free, I ripped off a glob of jumble-goo.
I desperately clawed at it, and it was working. Its grip was getting weaker and weaker, and eventually, I broke free. I grabbed the map and ran out of the keypad room. I practically bashed the door open and jumped down the stairs. I ran down the hall, opened the door to get outside, and froze. The houses on the street approaching the school were upside-down. The mountain in the distance was red, and it was in the sky instead of on the ground. When I finally realized the jumble could still be following me, I ran for my house. My house wasn’t far from my school; all I had to do was run to the right and run forward. When I saw my house, I thought the door would be where the roof would be, but it wasn’t. It was where it had always been, and strangely, my house was the only house that wasn’t changed.
When I got inside, I realized nothing was different. Everything was the same as when I was awake before. Although this was relieving, it was odd nonetheless.
I went into my room and saw myself sleeping on my own bed. Already this was kind of a red flag, but I wanted to wake up. I shook my own sleeping body and—surprise, surprise—I woke up. Something strange happened, though. I felt myself being shaken while I was shaking myself. My own dream-body was moving while my physical-body was moving. This was kind of creepy, but I shrugged it off as being those weird out-of-body experiences psychics talk about. I realized I had the map in my hand, but then I noticed something. It wasn’t a map; they were coordinates. I got on my dad’s computer, typed in the coordinates, and saw that it was some woods near a park. I immediately called 9-1-1 and told them about it. Anticlimactic, right? I didn’t want to go there. I didn’t want to die. I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. I saw myself in a dream, saw an inverted version of my own world, and saw all of my classmates jumbled together into an amalgamation. I decided to just watch TV all night as there was nothing else I was going to do.
The news channel was reporting on the missing persons case, and sure enough, I was on there. They were giving me credit for saving the guy, congratulating me, blah, blah, blah. The only thing I was concerned about were the kids talking about me at school. Thankfully, no one did. Everyone went about their normal lives, not caring. Everything went back to normal.
For the most part.
A few nights later, I had another dream.
“Well, well,” it said.
“I thought we were done with this,” I said.
“Then why am I here?”
“See you soon.”
Then I woke up. After that, nothing happened. Everything went back to normal.
Everything is fine.