Glass. Shattered. Poking in my skin. The cold air from the window blew against my skin as I slowly opened my eyes. Water dripped from the ceiling, splashing straight into my eyeball.
I turned to my left only to feel the stabbing pain of the glass dig deeper into my supple skin. My hands were covered in red and my brain registered the blood that was dripping from my head to my torso. I coughed up a great amount of dust, it felt as if my lungs were burning on the inside. I wiped as much blood as possible on my white t-shirt as I tried to get up off the floor. I felt dizzy and could hardly stand on my feet, the hot sun blazing against my skin.
Glass bits lay in front of me and I realized my basement window had been completely shattered. Goosebumps arose upon my arms as the breeze pushed up against my skin, I scanned the basement looking for my parent’s whereabouts. All I could remember was landing hard, face planting into the floor, as the heat rushed to my head and my eyes closed.
Bright yellow captured my attention, I saw a drawing of the blue morpho. My parents always loved butterflies, the symbol of resurrection, they always held it close to their hearts, believed the butterflies represented hope and would always put a smile on my face. The beautiful blue color of their wings resonated in my mind; my heart dropped at a sudden instant as I read the words that followed that beautiful image “Damon. Our beloved son, please, run, don’t look back, save yourself, run, just run, we love you”.
My face turned pale, my heart started to pound, blood dripped down my fingertips. I didn’t know where they were, what had happened to them, my beloved parents. I had to search for them.
Droplets of water began dripping from the ceiling as rain started falling hard. It began leaking through the the creaky rotten wood that made our basement. I grabbed the note and scanned the room for an exit, I ran to the door and pulled it open with every bit of strength I had inside me. With each step up, the floor began to creak and my vision flashed white.
A minute felt like an eternity as I dashed up the stairs. Heavy breathing. Pounding persisted through my head. I could not stop panting as I met the top of the staircase.
“Where are my parents?” I shouted into the dark, complete abyss.
I looked up from the staircase to see a pitch black hallway. The old wooden floorboards were the only thing in my line of sight. A flash of thunder struck the sky, causing the house to shake. I jumped, startled and my eyes bulged out of my head trying to see something down the hallway.
A flickering light turned on; my sanity slowly began to flow back into my body. I walked down the hallway looking for any clue of my parents. I never noticed how long all the walls were. The further I walked, the longer the hallway seemed to be. I began to run, my eyes sunken, my body so weary, I felt the blood, the adrenaline rush through my body.
I began to hear laughter. I ran as fast as I could. The laughing grew louder and louder the more I neared. I stopped and tiptoed my way to the door. Surely my parents are in there, I thought. I couldn’t wait to see their smiling faces; I wanted a sign of relief.
In one instant, one flash, with one swift movement, I swung the door open, a smile on my face. I couldn’t stop sweating from nervousness. There. A sudden silence then a burst of laughter. A group of people stood before me, dressed from head to toe in black.
“What? You’re not… you’re not… What are you? Uh, where are my parents?” I shouted.
Their black pupils peered into my soul. I heard the caw of crows. The room began to darken, the wooden floorboards started to break. The floor beneath seemed to give way.
I jumped. I was in a panic, I couldn’t stop looking at those pitch black eyes. Were they even human? They laughed. They pointed. They laughed so hard that tears filled their eyes. My ears pounded. My heart pounded. Was this it?
“Stop! Stop! Stop it please! When… where… what is happening?”
The louder they laughed the more the floor crumbled. The house began to shake violently and the walls began to crack. I slammed the door shut and ran down the hallway as fast as I could. I prayed to God that their damn laughter would leave my ears for good. Sweat dripped down my head to my neck. The sky turned purple as the rain poured harder, soaking in the cracks, dripping everywhere.
I had to get out of there.
I kept running, looking for a door, the hallway seemed to grow longer and longer. My palms shook and sweated. I began to hyperventilate. Where was the exit in my house?
Broken pictures frames lay upon the floor. Cuts and tears covered the glass as if they had been dragged across the floor. I stopped for a moment, admiring the photo of my father, my mother, and I on our family vacation in Hawaii. My mother’s hair pin was a blue morpho, she looked more beautiful than ever. I laughed at the stain on dad’s shirt from all the drinks he had spilled on himself. He was having the time of his life, and no one could stop him.
The thought of how joyous I was with everything I had in that moment brought tears to my eyes. My fingertips grew warmer, and warmer. The photo began to burn black. Before I could even put it down, it burst into flames. Bright orage flames faded blue as my photo crumbled into ashes. I dropped them, wincing in pain.
Chattering grew louder in the distance. I rose to my feet and made my way through the hallway. I wasn’t going to fall for it again. I spied a bright shiny doorknob in the distance and made my way towards it.
Time to escape this hell.
“I made it out… Mom, dad I’m coming for you” I shouted the minute I reached the door.
I turned the knob slowly and smiled… I’m free… I’m free.
I opened the door. My mom and dad, drenched in the pouring rain, ran to the door from the car. Mom had brought a towel to wipe me off and alcohol to clean my wounds. Dad entered right behind her and give the tightest hug of my life.
“My baby! You’re okay! Thank God!”
My mom nervously giggled as tears filled her eyes. My dad patted me on the back.
“We got help as soon as we could. We love you so much,” my dad whispered.
I was safe in the comfort of my parent’s hands. I peered into my mom’s beautiful blue eyes as she held me close to her heart. I was so grateful to be reunited with my parents. The hug grew tighter.
“Mom? Mom? Huh, what… what’s wrong with your eyes?”
I stared intently into her blue eyes as the irises turned pitch black.
“What do you mean? Hun… honey? Mommy is fine… What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” Her voice grew lower and deeper and deeper. Her smile slowly faded. Her deep voice now distorted and shaking, my loving mother grabbed my arm. “It’s okay sweetie mommy is here to protect you.”
“No! No, no, no!” I began to cry out, my voice hoarse.
The house I once lived in began to tumble and crash to the ground. My dad’s eyes turned black. He grabbed me by the wrist, violently twisted it. I bit him and he screamed in an agonizing voice.
“How dare you! I thought you loved us, won’t you join us?” He pointed off into the distance. Tears now streaming down my face, my eyes were blurred and I couldn’t see anything. My body began to shake and my legs felt weak.
What is going on? Why is this happening? I was still in disbelief as the people I loved the most were gone, their souls taken from them. I stood up from the ground, my legs shaking as I picked my head up to look at the two standing next to each other. My mother’s beautiful pale skin turned gray, her beautiful silky black hair turned into venomous snakes rattling and slithering against her body. My father’s gaze transfixed on my mother’s hypnotized eyes.
The storm grew louder and shattered all that was left in the house. Everything I had, gone. I knew what I had to do. I had to relieve them of their pain. A piece of broken wood next to me, I realized the only way I could save myself was if I saved my parents. I grabbed the stake and logged it first into my mom, hearing her gasp for life, for breath, she fainted to the floor.
“What are you doing? Why are you hurting your mother!” she managed to make out.
My father grabbed my arm and begged for me to join him and not to leave. I took him out with all I had. One stake to the heart. I collapsed with all the exhaustion I had faced. Their bodies had melted into a goopy substance now turning blue, my favorite color, that bright blue was so familiar. Within a matter of seconds two beautiful morphos butterflies arose, the color of my mother’s eyes resonated in my mind. I knew they were at peace at last as they had flown away.
“Huh?” I shot straight up covered in sweat, the carpet beneath me keeping my body warm. I wiped my eyes and yawned, my neck stiff from the sore position I was sleeping in.
I laughed and breathed a sigh of relief. “Just a nightmare.”
I laid my head against the wall. A warm liquid dripped against my arms and I felt something heavy. The carpet was soaked in red, the walls stained red, and a knife lay right next to me.
I looked to my left and saw the lifeless body of my parents. My hands were stained red. Choking marks circled their necks.
“No, no, no, I couldn’t have.” Just that moment, a blue morpho flew into the room, laying upon my head. I cried. “What did I just do?” I muttered to myself.
My nightmare had become a reality.
Stefanie Brijmohan is a 16 year old junior in high school who enjoys writing creative stories during her free time. Using her creativity helps her reflect on the choices and decisions she’s made in her life and keep that memory alive forever, documenting it on paper.
Featured Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash