The nightmare was so real. It was coming every night. She couldn’t sleep and felt like she was about to break.
Once again she woke screaming, choking back the sound as she realized once again that it was just a dream. The horrifying, bone chilling feeling hung onto her, refusing to leave even as she took slow, deep breaths.
She got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, noting the cold tiles under her feet, looking at the words printed on her nightshirt, trying to bring her mind back to reality.
Still, the image of the terrifying face she kept seeing in her reflection every night wouldn’t leave. It was as if it were burned into the backs of her eyelids, making it impossible to escape. The skin so scarred that it looked as it it might be melting from her bones. The nose that had seemingly caved in, showing the skeletal remains in the middle of her face.
She shuddered, blinking back tears. That only reminded her that in her dream, even her eyelids appeared to be… wrong. Like they were pulling back into her skull, refusing to protect her now protruding eyeballs, bloodshot and full of horror.
She shifted, letting the ice cold tiles of the bathroom seep into her feet. The discomfort bringing her back to reality. She didn’t even question why it was so cold. Placing her hands on the edge of the sink, she took in a deep breath and then another.
She turned on the faucet. Splashing her face with icy water, she finally started to feel a semblance of normalcy coming back to mind. She smiled at herself in the mirror, shaking her head at the way her brain had tormented her. “You’re being absurd, Sarah. Utterly bat-shit crazy. Stop it right now.” She splashed her face again,t he water feeling almost refreshing. Eyes closed, she grabbed for the towel hanging by the sink. The softness of her favorite towel scratching at her face as she patted the water away.
‘Scratching?’ she thought. ‘That’s not right.’ She looked in the mirror, noticing the water still clinging to the edges of her face. The scratchy feeling growing, feeling as if something was crawling under her skin. She shivered, taking the towel and roughly drying off her face, turning back towards her room.
The itching continued. ‘There must have been something on the towel’ she thought, planning to give her husband a stern talking to for using her good face towel. She scratched and felt something on her face. She turned back to the mirror to find the thing that was annoying her. There was something, right there. She leaned closer to the mirror. There was definitely something on her skin.
She picked at the spot right there and felt something give. Her finger poked. Prodded at the wound that had appeared out of nowhere. Leaning closer, her eyes squinted, trying to see better. Her fingers caught at a piece of it and she pulled. A bit of skin came off in her fingers. The itching increased. It was unavoidable. She scratched and another piece of skin came off and another. She watched in horror as her fresh clean skin peeled away to reveal the melting, horrifying, skeletal remains from her dreams.
Her screams weren’t going to wake her up. Not anymore.
Cover Photo from Pixabay