The Rising

This is a lovely little clip from my demon story. I’ve been working on this one recently and finally edited-up a little chunk to share. Gimmie some feedback! ^_^

Suddenly, the familiar, relentless pressure unfolds in my head and it takes every ounce of self-control to keep from panicking. It bubbles up in the back of my mind, a dim light flickering, announcing the arrival of my most dreaded terrors. The images assault me at full speed. Massive creatures, skin pitch black and solid like concrete, yet grainy and rough as asphalt. Eyes blood-red, four of them lined up one on top of the other and a mouth that split open vertically to release a screech of triumph so loud, so undaunted, it left me breathless. The roar bounces around the inside of my skull, making my entire head ache and a soft gasp left me.

The worst part is the bodies. A vast amount of human bodies scattered at the feet of these creatures, bloodied, broken. Every open eye is wide, dilated and vacant of life, sending chills up my spine. I watch the monsters confer with one another without a coherent word, watch them pull shrieking, terrified humans from a cage and simply snap them in half like a twig. The petrified screams of the humans didn’t end there, they continued, fully aware that half their body is gone. Horrified, despairing pleads fill the air and I feel like I’m suffocating.

“Danny? You okay?”

The whisper comes from next to me, but I can’t reply. My eyes squeeze shut, fingers threaded and locked on the back of my head as I press my forearms tightly together, as if I could physically force the images from my mind.

“Mr. Schultz.”

That voice is more demanding. The images swirl behind my eyelids, refusing to let me go, but I force them open and look up to my teacher. I speak before she can, compelling my voice to be strong and steady; “Migraine, Ms. George. May I be excused?”

They all knew. Every single teacher is aware of my “migraines”. But this hasn’t happened in years. These nightmares attacking while I’m fully conscious haven’t occurred since I was a child – what sparked this now? That question would have to be answered later, because the second I was given the green light, I tore from my seat and left the classroom. My rushed exit watched by every student, some curious and some worried. Only one had a frown and knitted eyebrows, as though my exit proved something dreadful.

The images appear when my eyes close, and for that split moment every single time I blink. I want to be strong and control my fear, as my father had always tried to teach me, but it didn’t work. By the time I reached the restroom, I’m sweating, my hands shaking and my knees feel weak. Instantly, I dive into one of the stalls and vomit my lunch. The sickness cramps my stomach, making me gasp again and I brace one hand against the porcelain bowl and the other coddles my side. I stay there, even when there’s nothing left for me to do but dry heave. But I can’t rid of the monsters in my head; if anything, the images become more fervent and more violent.

I have to push through this. I can’t stay here all day and have the others wondering where I am. No one, aside from my parents, knows of these nightmares and I plan to keep it that way. Forcing my eyes open yet again, I watch the chunder swirl in the bowl when I flush it, hoping to pull some sense of tranquility from the smooth motion of the rushing water. It only makes me queasy again. There’s nothing left for me to force up, so I push unsteadily to my feet and out of the stall. The sinks provide cold, fresh water without the stench of urine accompanying it. I splash my face, wincing every time another body, torn into pieces, breaches my sight.

I have to push through this.

A scream echoes to me, not one from the images in my mind, but outside of the restroom. My head darts up, intending to tilt and listen for it again. Something catches my attention in the mirror, something colossal; towering over me and scraping the ceiling, sending black ash drifting to the ground. Each limb is thick as a tree trunk, the appendages like branches without the foliage. At first, I don’t understand how this is possible; my eyes are open. They’re open. I’m conscious. The sink is sturdy beneath my hands; the floor is steady under my feet. How is that monster directly behind me?

I find the red eyes focused on me. The cruelly positioned mouth, this one tipped at an angle, split open to reveal rows of millions of yellow, needle thin teeth.

My mouth goes dry. My entire body is frozen, a scream of terror petrified in my throat.

It’s real. Every foul, depraved monster that I’ve dreamt of is real. There’s one standing behind me, an image straight from my worst nightmares. I realize, as I watch one of the tree trunk arms rise above my head, that I’m about to die. Even though I’m watching the creature prepare to crush me flat into the ground, I’m also seeing it happen in my mind’s eye. My body flattening and molding to the edges of the tiles.

Wake up! My own voice screams in my head.

But there is no waking up this time.

I’m going to die.

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