The smack of each droplet is the only sound Trish can hear. Each ruby stain only a strides width apart. Warm stickiness flowing from her body at an impossible rate. Keeping the count of each tiny beat of blood as it runs from the hand holding her scalp in place, down and off her elbow, to the ground.
Seventy-eight and not nearly enough more. Building on the number is what has kept Trish coherent and moving. Stopping would be the last mistake she ever made.
Eighty-two drops. Almost to the old tree fort.
Ninety-five. Made it across the back lawn. Despite the darkness encroaching on her vision she pushes on. She would yell for someone, but her vocal cords have given out and who was around to hear if she could? No one.
Trish could still see his cold face pulling into a crazy-eyed grin. Fully relishing each scream. She had tried so hard not to. But when the pain became overwhelming, screaming was the only thing she could do to deal with it.
Furiously smashing her head, thus ending her misery, only when he realized she wasn’t able to make pitiful noises any longer. Then, at least it was over. He thought she had died. Hell, maybe she had.
The monster of a man left her battered and tortured body to be found or eaten by animals. Thankfully he hadn’t bothered to dig a grave. Trish had awoken from a short blackout in the dirt to watch a green Jeep spray rocks on its way out of the forest.
One hundred and five. Almost there.
Crawling up the steps on the back patio a black void pulled and weighed down her legs.
Not yet! Not yet! A few more feet to the phone and then you can pass out.
Just as she was preparing to haul her body over the last step, a pair of firm warm arms wrapped around her body and lifted her into a cradling position making her feel safe.
It’s a hallucination Trish. Your mind wants your body to give up. It’s not real, wake up!
She forced her good eye to focus on the savior’s face. He looked like an honest to goodness Indian, with his smooth brown skin, braided raven hair and long straight nose. Native Americans didn’t just pop up in your backyard. Trish confirmed to herself that he was obviously not real and she was now bleeding to death on the back patio.
This spurred her on. She pleaded with her broken body to continue walking. Fighting to make her limbs follow her demands, Trish realized how futile her efforts were. She is held firmly by the surreal Indian. Finally she thinks to reason with the man but her words are no more than garbled squeaks.
He doesn’t listen. She figures this is the end and fights it brutally, till she is pulled under a whirlpool of darkness.
Waking in her own bed is a monumental relief that Trish cherishes, even with the fear that still clenches at her chest. Birds chirp outside the window and somehow not even a headache plagues her body. The only explanation for her lack of physical wounds is that last night was nothing more than a vivid nightmare.
A nightmare so horrifying and graphic, the emotional remnants have her clutching the covers to her chin while flashes of the more violent scenes play out in her mind. Trish worked to convince her body that it was not dragged from her room to be tortured in the forest by a monster. And that means she is alive.
A few more deep breaths and she is able to cram the bad dream into the dark pit of her subconscious designated for such things. That place where bad things go in and god forbid they ever come out.
When her parents died it was pushed in the pit and she moved on with her mundane life. Last month when her high school sweetheart decided he couldn’t marry her, all because she didn’t have a career, money, or a set of double D’s; in it went. She read once that it wasn’t healthy to store up negative feelings, but she knew no other way to stay sane. When life kicks you more times than the town’s mongrel dog, you find coping mechanisms.
Before getting in the shower, Trish brushed her brown hair with long lazy strokes until she noticed that her right owl earring was missing. She felt her lobe and found blood crusted behind her ear. Her heart leapt into her throat and began a double pace when she also saw that she wore pink flannels. She was sure she had put on her penguin pajamas last night.
Dashing back into her bedroom she looked for other clues as to what may have gone on last night. Seeing as she was the only one living in the cabin shack, Trish could tell right away that some things were moved.
The underwear drawer that didn’t close completely unless jimmied just right was open and her bedroom door was closed. She never shut the door. The pellet stove is in the front room and if she shut the door it took forever to reheat the bedroom, so she never closed it.
Trish pulled the nine millimeter from under her mattress and in secret agent fashion she checked the living room, kitchen, and guest room. All empty and untouched as far as Trish could tell. “I’m going nuts,” she declared and chalked it up to sleepwalking. She hoped a shower would clean out the shadow of her dream.
With the hot water easing the tension from her stressed body, Trish finalized the conclusion that she had sleepwalked during an extremely bad nightmare. It was probably brought on by the questionably fresh, triple killer tamales she had eaten for dinner.
God knows what had really happened last night. If there had been any neighbors they would have probably called the loony bin.
More to come….
This is something I wrote years ago and is unfinished, but I enjoyed the begining so I thought I’d share.
Picture is from http://www.sleepysole.DeviantArt.com