Nightmare

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! The sound of her own heart inside her body was deafening. It was an unusual fast-paced beating, unlike the rush she got at times. THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! She tried her best to listen over the beating heap of muscle in her chest, to collect any sound of the pursuer. THUD! She hit something solid and cold on the ground, and fell face-down on the chilly and soggy ground. After what seemed like hours of trying to get up, she finally managed to roll over, lie on her back, and look around. The pursuer would have caught up, she thought. Whoever, or whatever it was, threatened her life so much that the only thing she could think of doing was to run, run till the night passed.

The incidents started off as small, less bothering. She would wake up in the middle of the night to find a pair of pale, deep eyes staring at her through the gap in the window curtains. She dismissed these as mere imaginations of a tired, half-asleep mind. It stopped for few days. Then during her midnight respite from sleep she would feel someone watching her, inside the room. The figure slowly, over days, made its way to the foot of her bed. Worried, she moved the bed away from the window and near to the bookshelf, under the belief that her beloved characters would protect her.

The next few nights were uneventful. Then, one particularly rainy, chilly night, it happened. Some time past 3 AM, her sleep was disturbed by something hitting her on the head; a book had fallen out of the shelf. She placed the book on the night-stand and went to sleep. Minutes later, books came flying out of the shelf and hit her. Scared, she ran out of the room, closed the door behind her, paused, and turned. It was at this very moment that her heart started to beat loudly. She ran out the front doors into the streets, and ran, ran for her dear life. The tall, dark figure with pale, deep eyes chased after her. The figure occasionally reached out skeleton-thin grey hand to grab her.

And now the figure was standing above her. She closed her eyes, hoping for things to end quickly. A hand grabbed her left shoulder, then another hand grabbed her right, and began to shake her vigorously.

Wake up! Wake up! Nothing happened, you are fine.”

The familiar voice of her best friend. She opened her eyes. There she was, on the bed, covered in sweat, her arms and legs bruised from thrashing around and hitting the wall. The bed was near the window, the books were peacefully resting on the shelf..

Your neighbour called me, said something about noises from the apartment. I came in here, found you thrashing about. Was the nightmare so terrible?”

Yes! That is what it was, a nightmare, all this time. Her friend left, promising to meet for lunch in the day. Relieved, she went back to sleep. At 3 AM, she woke up for water; looking around the room, saw a familiar sight-pair of pale, deep eyes staring at her through the gap in the window curtains.

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