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  • Writer's pictureElara W.B.

Nightmares Claim My Reality/Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Short Story

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Snippet #3 A portal beneath her home. Sky’s first meeting with the presence of the dark world.


Art By Author

A Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Short Story


Sky’s eyes kept nervously darting to the basement door every few minutes. The door pulsed with a powerful force, drawing her towards it despite her fear and trepidation — this door that had once held no mystery or power was now full of both. Sky wished to know the answers beyond — answers Carol had died trying to find. She moved robotically to the kitchen table and sat down heavily, her gaze fixed on the entrance to the dark world.

With trembling hands, she slowly reached for the door handle. Taking a deep breath, she finally mustered the courage to turn it and open the door. Shining her flashlight into the darkness, she strolled down the stairs cautiously. With every step, her heart raced faster as the pitch-black basement filled with a haunting silence that threatened to consume her. She shined her light around at the bottom of the steps but found nothing — not even a whisper of life in the abyssal depths.

Nothing. There’s nothing down here.

She forced herself to face the boxes that loomed ominously in the dark, dank basement. Each box was adorned with a handwritten label — her parent’s handwriting from years ago. She felt a stab of fear in her heart and shuddered, but she refused to give in, as she had done many times before. She lifted one of the boxes with a strong will and carried it rapidly up the stairs, barely managing to contain her anxiety.

Sky felt a presence and stopped before exiting the basement. It wasn’t the feeling that made one uneasy, like when scared of going someplace strange. This was something else. Something that made her skin tighten and sent sharp shards of fear into her heart. The fear she felt every time she even thought of entering this basement. She breathed deeply and turned toward the seemingly empty room. Trying to hide the fact that she was terrified, she closed her eyes and listened for a familiar sound, quickened heartbeat, or the squeak of shoe leather on the concrete floor. Something was slowly walking toward her. She flinched as each footstep echoed with a thump on the concrete.

“It’s not real,” she whispered, closing her eyes tighter.

Sky’s body froze, and her breath became ragged as she heard the methodic thump of footsteps get closer. It felt like an eternity had passed, every second stretching out with tension until every beat of her heart was pounding in her chest. With trembling hands, she shone her flashlight beam into the darkness toward where the sound came from. As a shape emerged from the shadows, her fear spiked, and without a thought, she threw the box and dashed out of the room, locking the door behind her. Drake bent down to retrieve the box, a satisfied smirk on his face, before turning to leave.

Sky took a few deep breaths and sat down at the table.

“Was that real? No, of course, it wasn’t,” she said.

Her imagination had gotten the better of her many times, and each time she gave up on exploring the unknown world of the basement her parents died protecting.

She descended the creaky stairs, the light from her flashlight bobbing ahead of her like a beacon. As she moved it over the boxes and other items in the basement, she almost felt like something was calling out to her, urging her towards the bottom step. With one last scan of the basement, she finally reached the bottom, feeling an odd sense of accomplishment.

A guttural yell reverberated through the air as a car’s headlights abruptly aimed at her stunned eyes. Startled, she fell to the basement floor, and her flashlight tumbled from her hands, its batteries rolling away in various directions. With little light to guide her way, she scrambled to reclaim them, but before her grip could close around them, she felt an agonizing sting across her face that sent her sprawling back to the hard ground. She screamed with terror as she tried to escape, only to find that there was nowhere left to run and nothing but thick darkness to fight against.

The wind howled like an enraged beast through her hair, and she was sure she wasn’t in the basement anymore. Her feet pounded against the hard ground, but no matter how much she ran, it seemed like she was getting nowhere, engulfed in deathly darkness. The screech of tires broke through the night and the blinding force of headlights charged straight for her. With every stride, the sound of an engine grew louder and closer, sending terror coursing through her veins until she felt like she couldn’t breathe, and her fear got the better of her, making her stumble over her feet and tumble to the ground. Her heart beat wildly as the lights drew nearer.

Sky’s heart stopped as the car’s headlights filled her vision. She desperately tried to move, but her legs were like lead. The vehicle was only feet away, and she braced herself for the imminent crash. She screamed out in terror, yet somehow the car seemed to vanish right before impact.

Sky felt strange as she opened her eyes and saw nothing but darkness. A faint light shone in the distance, and Sky longed to reach it. But her legs remained firmly in place each time she tried to stand. She cried for help, knowing she would be stranded in this dark void forever without it.

A man’s silhouette towered over the dimly lit path, dragging a woman’s body along the pavement by her foot. Sky could only make out his shadowy form, but she could feel the intensity of his stare as he passed her by. The woman was still alive and breathing, yet her eyes were wide open, fixed in a trance-like state. Sky felt helpless, unable to move or call for help. She glanced at the man, wishing for a way to break free from her paralysis, but there was none. He slowly backed up, stopped a few feet away in front of Sky, and, with a heavy thud, dropped the woman’s leg to the ground.

Sky’s bottom lip shivered. If I can’t get up, I can’t fight.

“Please. Don’t,” she begged.

The man thundered toward her, his facial expression twisted in rage. With a mighty swing of his fist, he smashed into her face with enough force to render her unconscious and send her body crashing against the basement stairs.

Sky groggily opened her eyes and leaped up, quickly taking in her surroundings. She fumbled with the flashlight in her lap, pushed herself up to stand, and fled out the door, quickly locking it behind her. She sprinted to her bedroom. When she looked into the mirror, a huge bruise was bulging from her left cheek in shades of red and blue, stark evidence of the violence that had just occurred.

It was obvious she had a nightmare. Sky had had nightmares before, but this one felt different. It seemed so real — almost too real to be just a dream. She was convinced she was slowly losing her grip on reality, and the thought terrified her. Sky sat on her bed in tears, feeling hopeless and scared.

Drake couldn’t stand watching Sky cry. He lingered quietly beside her bed, feeling her pain but unable to do anything about it.

“Go away, ghost! Please just leave me alone,” she muttered through tears.

He sighed and slowly walked toward the door. But before he reached it, he paused and turned back toward her.

“I will never be far,” he whispered softly.

Sky gasped in surprise. Had he really spoken? She glanced around frantically for any sign of him, but there was nothing.

“Hello? Mr. Ghost, are you still here? Come back! I’m sorry for being so rude,” she called out pleadingly.

Both disappointed and frightened, Sky lay down and curled into her pillow, the silence around her oppressive.

Sky desperately needed a friend now, but the idea of having a ghost lurk around made her uneasy. Despite being unnerved by the idea, Sky still longed for her ghostly companion to return.

Thank you for reading. I hope you liked the story. Please comment. I’d love to know your thoughts. Have a blessed day.

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