What Lies Beneath?

By Vivian Long (Sun Valley High School, Aston, PA)

I darted through the woods, blood dripping from my arms. Sensing the men behind me, I glanced over my shoulder. Catching sight of them in my peripheral vision, I turned back around only to trip over a tree root and fall flat on my face. I rushed to regain my footing, wincing at the pain in my ankle. Thankfully, the door and the staircase leading up to it were drawing nearer. The guards were almost in arms reach of me so I pushed myself harder and sprinted faster than before. Taking the winding steps two by two, I reached out to grab the door handle and…

Sitting up straight, I gasped for breath. My head throbbed as I tried to comprehend why I kept having this god awful nightmare. Wiping my eyes, I groaned and rolled over, not wanting to get out of bed. As I pushed myself up into a standing position, flinching at the cold feel of the floor on my feet., sunshine streamed into my window causing my eyes to squint. Moving to my closet with the speed of a snail, I had no clue what I was going to wear today. I was skimming through my shirts when a loud ring! startled me. I looked around, trying to find my phone and grabbed it in the nick of time. I flipped it open in a hurry and sighed out a hello.

“Hey, babe,” the voice said smoothly.

“Mmh, hi Wells,” I grumbled.

“I’ll be at your house in a few,” he said. “Are you ready?”  

“Son of a-! I’m getting ready right now. I just woke up late. Sorry, gotta go! Byeee,” I yelled hurriedly through the phone.

“Okay…Goodb-” he tried to say. His voice getting cut off when I clicked the red end call button.

I dashed to my dresser and picked out a pair of black jeans, pulling them on in a flash. Dashing over to the mirror, I examined my outfit. Black on black would made anyone look like an angsty teenager, but it was the easiest kind of outfit to put together. My dark hair flowed over my shoulders like waves in the ocean while my face on the other hand looked like a racoon who had not slept in twenty years. I racked my hands through my hair, wiped under my eyes, grabbed my bookbag, and ran out the door. Running down the stairs, I could hear the car pull up, so I sprinted outside.

Wells’ new, red Toyota Corolla sparkled in the bright sun, the reflection causing me to squint. He rolled down the window and flipped me the bird. I rolled my eyes in annoyance at him, then threw my head back in laughter, giving him the same finger. Wells flashed me his ever so charming smile and I yanked his car door open.

“Be careful with my car, love,” he said. “It cost a lot.”

“You mean that it cost your parents a lot of money,” I teased.

“Shut up,” he chuckled. “How are you feeling today?”

“Horrible. I had the strangest dream last night. It felt so real and I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

“Don’t worry about it. It was a dream. It can’t have been that important, right?” he laughed, as we pulled into the school parking lot.

“Yeah, I guess. It just felt so real.” I said as I drifted off into though.

I had been having this dream since I was around nine or ten, but had never told anyone about it, not even Wells. The dream always began with me falling, then ending up in a large forest right in front of a wooden door. The door was could change between big and small, almost like a camera moving in and out of focus. The door always intrigued me although in the dream I never find out what is behind the door.

“Ronnie!” Wells yelled.

“What? What? Sorry…What happened?” I said hastily.

“You kind of just drifted off. I’ve been sitting here for the past five minutes trying to get your attention.” Wells said, the concern showing on his face.

“I’m fine. Seriously, I’m fine,” I chuckled. “Let’s go, I don’t wanna be late again.”

“Okay, okay. You’re just acting strange. I’m worried,” he said hopping out of the car and running around to open the door for me. Together we marched up to the school doors and entered hell.

When the day finally ended, I raced out of the building to meet up with Wells at his car. Five minutes passed, then ten. I grew antsy and bored, pacing back and forth in annoyance and worry. Looking down at my phone, I realized that he had texted to say he could no longer drive me home. The annoyance lingered for a few more minutes before I began trudging home. About ten minutes into walking, I felt a presence behind me, but saw no one there. Person behind me or not, an eerie feeling was now surrounding me from all sides, so I picked up my speed to a slight jog. My breath began to quicken as I became more and more paranoid with every step.

I sighed in relief as my house slowly crept into view. My heartbeat was finally slowing down when out of nowhere I was grabbed from behind and dragged around the side of my house. A black gloved hand was covering my mouth as I attempted to scream for help. My ankles scraped across the wet grass, now soaked in lumpy mud. The longer I struggled against this masked person, the more I grew tired and weaker. We were now in the backyard and he was pulling me towards a partially covered wooden door that I had never seen in real life, but brought back all too many familiar memories. He struggled to push me through this door, the opening barely big enough for my body to fit through. The masked figure with one final push managed to hurtle my body into the dark hole. He pulled off his hood and threw his head back in a chuckle. All I saw as I was falling into the abyss was his charming smile fading away as I fell deeper and deeper.

I jolted, feeling grass and roots beneath me. I looked around, surveying my surroundings and realizing I was surrounded by trees on all sides. For a second I thought that maybe I had hit my head a little too hard on the way down, but my mind finally registered where I was.

My dream. I was in my dream, my mind told me, but I just could not wrap my head around how any of this was real.

I hoped that this would not end how all my other dreams had, being chased by guards constantly. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down. Putting my anxiety aside, I began to walk not knowing where I was going or how I could find the door that brought me here. A few minutes had passed when I heard an all too familiar rumbling sound. I sensed that there was danger, but tried to play it off as something that was all in my head.

Men suddenly began spilling out of the forest from all around me. Charging at me with their swords and shields, I began to sprint towards the closest clearing, which was a number of yards away from me. I darted between men and trees as fast I could. If this was in fact real life then there was a chance that I could die, and I did not want that to happen. After making it to the clearing, men in toe, I had no clue where to run next. Thankfully, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the sun reflecting off of an object. A doorknob.

I raced towards it, hoping that it was the right door that could take me away from all this madness. The men, being almost in arm’s reach of me, caused me to speed up and charge for the long staircase. Taking the stairs two by two, I prayed that I was going to make it to the door in time.

I reached out for the doorknob, almost having it in my grasp, knowing that this time I was not going to wake up.

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