My body jerked up from the bed, my wet clothes sticking to my body. In my hand there was a key. My heart was thumping; thrumming so hard it might have come from my chest. My breathing was coming hard. That was when I realised. I wasn’t in my own bed, the sheets were unfamiliar, not my usual sky blue or turquoise colours, but white, stiff, and all too sterile. I glanced around the room, and much to my own disappointment, found it empty. The room was a typical hospital room, but the strange thing was, there was no-one there, and despite the fact that I felt someone had a duty to be here, at the very least, my best friend Sadie. I had come to expect very little of my Father these days. I bit my lip. Was I still dreaming? I couldn’t tell, nothing like that had ever happened in my dreams before. I had never come back with anything, not even a tan, let alone a key and a drenched body. I’d never been to a place as dark as that before, or a place that chilled me further than skin deep. The dreams were in such infinite detail it made my skin tingle. Everything was just too realistic to be a dream, but I had to be dreaming, surely. Because the last time I went to sleep, I definitely wasn’t in a hospital, I was in my own bedroom.
I glanced down at the Key in my hand, utterly perplexed. What could it mean? I shook my head in a slow motion, and felt ice cold rivulets of water run down the back of my neck, tracing a slow trail of ice down my spine. Suddenly, a hot shock of what felt like electricity bolted down my neck and through my spine, causing my body to arc in pain. The room flashed white.
Once again, I was sat in the same chair, but I was in a hospital room. There was a single high pitched beep; the heart monitor screeching through the air like the sound that could wake the dead from their inadvertent slumbers. On the hospital bed was a tall lean boy with oil-slick hair and a body that was unusually slumped against the headboard of the hospital bed. His hair was over his face, and his hands were limp by his sides, smeared in blood. My stomach lurched. It was the boy from my dream, dead. There was a large wound in the centre of his chest that thick scarlet blood had oozed from, as if it had taken his life out of his body as it left, and now his pail skin could no longer hold a life within without the red source to keep it going. My stomach lurched again, and tears sprang to my eyes. I jumped up, and leapt to the side of the bed. Tears were rushing down my face now, for this stranger, this stranger I felt I knew. I put my hand on his cheek, feeling his ice-cold cheek permeate through my skin. I blinked as I looked at my hand. Was that blood? I had his blood on my hands? Shakily, I withdrew my hand from his cheek slightly. Crimson stained my hands, fitting the creases and cracks that lined my palms, spidering down my arm and to my elbow, dripping, dripping. Slowly pooling, but gaining area, staining my clothes, the room, everything, red blood. His body began to fade, and the walls of the room seemed to bleed, seeping through the cracks and staining the white walls that were no longer pure. I screamed, attempting to force the nightmare away, the blood, to bring him back. As the oxygen began to recede from my lungs, the nightmare faded, and I awoke.
I sat up in bed, my hair sticking to my face and throat hoarse, frantically I glanced around the room the check it was definitely mine. I sighed with relief as I realised that it was my room. I pinched myself for good measure, to make sure that if I was going to wake up one more time, it would be now. I didn’t, and as a result, lay back down in my bed contentedly. It was just a nightmare; that was all. I smiled as I glimpsed the moon through the drawn curtains. It was full tonight, throwing its light down over the world, the largest form of natural light in an otherwise darkened night. In the city there was so much light pollution you could hardly get a glimpse of even one star, let alone many. I swung my legs over the bed, and rubbed sleep from my eyes. Today had been an uneventful day, to say it was my 16th birthday today. The most interesting thing I’d seen today was when I’d fried an egg in the shape of a banana at breakfast time.
Sadie, my closest friend, had insisted the week before that I have a party. I really wasn’t keen on the idea, but after she explained it would only be a few of our closest friends I warmed to the idea. It was nice to get out when I could, my dancing consumed a lot of my time. And then there were the ballet performances. I sighed again, and glanced at my black alarm clock –it read 18:00. Sadie had told me that a friend of hers would drop by to pick me up at quarter past six. I was late. To further this notion, my phone bleeped and vibrated in the front pocket, alerting me that I had received a new message. I dug through the bag and delved into one of the front pockets, searching for my phone. The door opened as my fingers finally came into contact with my phone.
“Hey Ella, you’re going to be late if you don’t hurry up!” the shadow exclaimed from the doorway. The phone slipped from my fingers, and fell to the floor. That voice sounded oddly familiar.