Fantasticoe -- 2012
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Living Nightmare
Ryan Long

It was such a similar feeling, so comparable to the first time I awoke from this hellish nightmare, except then I was so naive, so sure that dreams could not become reality. I searched for something, anything to prove to me that I was awake and not still dreaming. The thing is that I was awake, but that didn't mean that my demons weren’t right along beside me, somehow passing the gap of consciousness. I searched through the mess that I called home, because I knew that if I found what I was looking for it meant the fight of my life was about to commence.

Upon stumbling out of my room and into the cluttered dining hall, it occurred to me that what I was searching for was merely a dream, a fabrication of my subconscious state. I let my guard down, relieved for a moment, thinking that how wouldn’t have to face him. How silly of me to believe that something so incredibly sinister could actually be real. But then I saw something glimmer as I moved passed the window, something metal… something small. The light from the slowly rising son must have hit it just right, for there, in the corner of the room, was the dagger. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no possible way that this was happening. Time stood still. I staggered toward the dagger for what felt like days. It was beautiful to look at, and equally intimidating with it’s several serrations, but that wasn’t the point. Red as his skin, and equally as powerful, the blade called to me. Its enchanted nature was the only thing that could combat him in this realm. It was the only chance I had at defeating him. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that it was sitting there, and that meant…

Footsteps thumped on the front porch, and my heart leaped into my throat. …No, I thought, but I knew better. Sprinting to the window, I looked out already too sure of what I was going to see, and knowing he would in turn know I was home. I peered out the window as carefully as possible hoping not to be detected, but how can you sneak from a demon? You can’t.

His face met mine, no more than two inches away through the thin, defenseless piece of glass between us. Those yellow eyes pierced my soul, although the thick horns atop his head were a much more physically intimidating feature that could tear my flesh from the bone. His fiery skin contrasted greatly with the sun behind him, and he smiled at me as I looked into his eyes. He mouthed something to me, but it was nothing I could make out for I was too terrified to even decode the simplest of words. Glaring, he became impatient, and quickly slammed his fist through the window that used to stand between us sending me flying through my home into the opposite room. I looked up, still too petrified to move or speak as he bent his 7-foot frame through the hole in my wall. He had death in his eyes and hate running through his veins. This, my demon, was here to collect my soul.

I reached for the dagger, knowing his intentions and expecting the worst. Of course, with his massive frame I stood no chance, and I was flicked away with the artifact in hand, sent toppling through a wall into the kitchen. The demon bore down on me. It could not speak, not any human language anyway, and as he descended on me he became thirstier, hungrier. Thrusting his hands down toward my body, I plunged what I thought was my one chance at survival into his heaving chest, but to no avail. He stared into my eyes, and I could swear that I witnessed a smirk come across his face. The dagger hadn’t even left a mark. It didn't have any effect in this world. I realized that I was doomed, and regrettably turned my gaze upward to watch my fate reign down upon me. I began to tremble, began to understand the gravity of what was about to happen, and before I can even summon the strength to let out a scream, he picked me up with my feet in one hand and my head in the other.

Slowly, painfully, the demon bent my body. Bones began to crack, ligaments started to tear. Writhing in pain, I wanted nothing more than death. I watched as the darkness coming from his body began to consume me. Cold came over me, like the feeling of my soul leaving my body. No. I wouldn’t let let this happen. I couldn’t give up this easily. With one last attempt, I thrust the dagger into his eye. He dropped me, staggering back in agony as I struggled to climb to my feet. Each step was more stress on my already broken bones, but I wore on, closer to him. My hand was now acting on its own, cutting and slicing as quickly as it could. Finally, as he knelt in front of me, the dagger was shoved into the top of his chest and ripped to the bottom, unleashing all of the darkness inside. It was like blood, it covered my home and even myself. Thinking nothing of it, I turned to walk away, but something held me back.

I turned. This dark blood was like glue. It held me in place and began to crawl up my leg. Terrified, I could do nothing but watch as the muck moved toward my mouth. It slid its way inside of me, covering everything that had once been mine. Everything went black as the evil moved into my blood and brain. I slowly fell me to my back and became unconscious.

I awoke outside, staring up at the sky. For some reason everything seemed different. It all seemed to have a yellow tint to it. Reaching for the ground, I quickly became aware of what had occurred. Looking down at my fiery red hand, I knew what I had become. And for some reason, I knew exactly what I had to do in order to have my life back. I looked to the home in front of me and made my way to its front porch.