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Nightmare, A Very Short Story By E.M.Chapman

I woke up, on my back, on an air mattress, floating on a river. The sun like a strobe through the leafy canvas above me, it was one of those classic summer days and the gentle river lifted and dropped the mattress as it breathed.
I had two companions, I can’t say I knew them but we laughed at the wonder of the day. I draped my hand off the side of the mattress so it trailed in the water and I had no fear of dipping my toes in after that. Cool, clear lips kissed my hands and feet.
I drifted off to sleep…

…I awoke to the sound of an album I’ve heard a thousand times, my head was gummy, something inside my head felt sore and numb. I tried to capture blurry memories of what had taken place. The blankets underneath me held on to the scent of smoke and sex.

In my memories there were people laughing, music pumping; the heavy obvious smell of the Amsterdam smoke. A friend of mine who looked like he really didn’t belong, there had been talking, drinking, kissing, pawing; a man hung over above me, looking down into my eyes without actually seeing me, fucking me and screwing me over but I had left my consciousness somewhere else, only vaguely aware of the sticky goo sprayed over my thigh. I got up, dizzily stumbled before finding my centre of gravity. I saw a bag which somehow I knew was mine, I picked up books, some cd’s and a statue of a man who was famous for being a no one. I ran out of the shack that had been my prison, to see my partner jump in his car and drive away, I ran, I dropped my bag, my shoe came off and the car just kept driving. Could I blame him? Even I had left myself.

…I awoke in a small room my partner beside me. Slowly I opened the door to see on the landing a black man with a grey beard, his skin was gnarled, he was old, sitting cross legged whispering mumbles I couldn’t make out. Creeping forward I reached out and touched his knee. He lurched at me, grabbed my wrists, pushed me backwards and into the floor, I couldn’t quite make him out but I could feel his hands gripping my wrists and forcing me down, the more I struggled the tighter his fingers curled round. I managed to scream someone from behind him pulled him off and pushed him down the stairs. Slowly I came down the stairs to see my father standing at the lounge doorway, shouting out to the garden, at the intruder to be gone. I looked at the front door, crept closer, looked out the glass window, the outside world was dark but familiar and still, then a face came out of nowhere grinning at me and meaning me harm, I jumped back, closed my eyes and when I opened them the face was gone. I turned to my dad and my mum, people in the house. I looked at the garage door, “is the back door locked” the look on their faces was enough, I crept back, hiding away, the lights went out, I heard the garage door open, I heard foot steps and from my hiding place I saw him walk slowly towards my parents, Looking around I found a heavy, huge, marble ashtray. Grabbing the ashtray in both hands I raised it above my head, I walked up behind the intruder and screamed a blood curdling scream….

I woke up screaming, what a nightmare.

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