20 Sep 2011Labels: Flash Fiction
Yes I know, I'm quite a bit late on my supposedly fortnightly post. I don't have any particular excuse, only that I've been very, very busy. Late nights, early mornings, always on the move; you get the picture. I haven't even been able to read my new books and I always find time to read. I don't know what's happening, it just seems like time's getting away from me. Anyway, I finally managed to whip something up, even if it's only a very short story with no title.
When I was a child I suffered from nightmares. Nightmares that were so vivid and so close to my life, to my loved ones, that I would be terrified for hours, days, weeks even. But my nightmares weren’t the normal nightmares that awoke you during the dark of the night, shivering, short of breath and terrified to go back to sleep; no, my nightmares were of a much darker kind. My nightmares attacked my waking hours. I would be working, reading, watching a movie, and then I would be paralysed with a fear so strong I would feel sick to the stomach. It would overpower me, and I would be in the grasp of something I didn’t understand, could ever understand. And somehow, I didn’t want to know; I just wanted it to stop.
And one day it did. Nothing happened, no dreams, no terror. I thought it was just a good day, one of few in which I didn’t suffer from the dreams. But the next day was the same, and the next, and the next. Soon a week had passed and I hadn’t suffered from any pain, I was at peace. I used to think back to the day the peace started, tried to recall if I had done anything differently, but I could think of nothing. I couldn’t figure it out. Why had it stopped? Yes, I was glad the pain and the terror had stopped, but why? Then slowly I began to forget, I began to forget the dreams, the terror and the pain. I became neutral, and I forgot what it felt like to feel the safe bliss of peace.
So the dreams came back, as if to punish me for my neglect. I once again felt the heart-stabbing pain the dreams gave me. I once again felt helpless in its grasp. And then, once again on the brink of insanity, only then did I realise why the nightmares had stopped. They had stopped because I had asked. Never a religious person I had gotten down on my knees and pleaded for the pain to be lifted, for the demon that plagued me to be cast away. And my prayer was answered. The pain had been lifted, the terror struck away. And I had walked away without a single word of gratitude to the one who had cured me.
Once again I knelt, once again I prayed. But this time I would remember, this time I would show thanks. Because I knew now, I had learnt my lesson. And for this, I was once again let free.
Posted by H. J. Stephens on the 20.9.11