Jessica woke up screaming and in a hot sweat. Panting trying to find her breath.
This wasn’t the first time she had seen the pale faced monster when she slept. She had seen him a few times in the past month. At first, her dreams were small clips, segments, of what the monster saw. Seeing things through his cursed eyes. Running from something or towards someone. Hunting. Biting victims.
Last night was the first time she saw him. The first time she was the prey being hunted. Last night was different from the rest. It felt so real. Never saw the same girl twice. But last night was the first time she thought she had died. Last night was the first time she felt like she had died in her dream.
Jessica didn’t understand why her nightmares were becoming more frequent. Feeling as if she was there. She cut out all horror movies to try to prevent the nightmares she was having, but they still kept coming back.
The door to her bedroom flew open. “Jessica are you alright?” Emily was assessing the situation worried about Jessica. She thought Jessica was being murdered by the way she was screaming. Instead she found her sitting up in bed. Disoriented.
Slowly Jessica slowed her breathing and looked around, reminding herself she was home and she was safe. It was just a nightmare.
Sunlight filled the room. Emily stood in her doorway concerned trying not to judge her, but the nightmares were becoming an annoyance. Emily told her to go to the doctor to get something to help her sleep. “Sorry. I just had the worst nightmare.” I think it was a nightmare.
“Ok-ay. Jessi I got coffee brewing.” Emily was not sure what to say. Jessica gave a reassuring smile as she left the room closing the door behind her. Rubbing her face, trying to shake off images that lingered in her mind. The eyes of the devil that stared at her in her dream. Definitely a dream, no one looked like that. Let alone, had fangs like a vampire.
For a moment she stood in front of her window soaking in the warmth of the sunlight before leaving her room.
Sitting at the table she sipped her coffee vaguely listening to the news playing on the TV in the background. Upcoming stories for the eight o’clock hour. Another car crash on the highway. Another murder. Another shooting. She stared at her coffee mug lost in her thoughts. The details of the nightmare slowly fading away.
Her body was aching. Neck stiff. Feet sore. Trying to stretch her neck side-to-side to loosen the muscles. Last night was a long shift at the hospital. Hit the ground running and never stopped until the end of her shift.
“Home invasion turned murder last night at the Palisade Apartments has law enforcement combing through a very violent crime scene. Detectives have not released a statement or details regarding the homicide.” The news went on to interview neighbors who knew nothing. Shocked something like this could happen where they lived, residents getting their 30 seconds of camera time.
“Seems like a murder every other day. Sick people out there.” Before Jessica could look up at the news coverage of the murder, Emily started flipping through the channels finding anything but the news. “Emma and Erika are going to meet us downtown tonight.”
Not this again. “Emily I’m not sure about tonight.” Exhausted she sipped her coffee. She needed caffeine to get her going this morning, still feeling tired from waking up abruptly from the nightmare. Maybe Emily was right, maybe she needed to get something to help her sleep at night. Jessica thought going to the clinic to see if she could get a prescription to help her sleep.
Emily was not going to take another cop out. “Come on Jessi. You didn’t go out last night and you said you would go out tonight for a girl’s night out.” Emily Long was between relationships. On the outs with her current boyfriend and on the search for another. Always trying to set up a new relationship before officially ending her current one. She was never single for long. Wild, beautiful, and available.
Emily rolled her eyes at Jessica. “I had to work.”
“We are leaving at ten. Enough time for you rest and recharge.” Before Jessica could decline to go out tonight, Emily was up and out the door.
Still feeling exhausted, Jessica made her way back to bed. Maybe a few more hours and she would feel like her normal self again. Darkness quickly washed over Jessica pulling her into a deep soundless sleep. No dreams. No haunting nightmares. Just sleep.