Blinded and alone, the blood soaked tears pooled in my eyes bulging against the skin. Pressure grew beneath the sealed lids. Minuscule claws punctured upper and lower tissue refusing to lose hold. My eyeballs wriggled back and forth attempting to find any escape from the increasing tension. A handful of droplets seeped through between pairs of viciously strong legs only to be slurped in again by what I can only describe as tongues stretching over the curve of my cheekbone.
Leaping out of bed, my sightless feet stumbled over toys dropped carelessly on my red, white and blue carpet the night before. Sharp plastic corners of building blocks and electronic race tracks gouged deep lines into my shins and stomach as I fell. Crashing into the floor and nearest wall, I grunted. The sound of my voice muffled beneath the chuntering of high pitched growls racing into my ears.
I slapped the sides of my head flicking at the tiny demons with stinging fingers. Swarms of them dug tenaciously under fingernails biting at the raw nerves below. My arms burning with their venom’s fire. Running every direction I crashed into walls that seemed to move closer with each step.
“Come back to sleep.” A thousand voices whispered together.
I woke shivering under my mother’s hand.
“Wake up kiddo.” Her lips pressed comfortingly on my forehead. I opened my eyes gulping down the image of her smiling face. “You’re having a nightmare.”
Thirty years later that dream comes back now and then. Every time I wake screaming covered in sweat. Every time my eyes open thankful they can still see the cottage cheese patterns in the ceiling when I switch on my bedside lamp. Every time I hold my breath until I examine myself in the mirror for the bite marks and find nothing.
Every time until this time.
the Key to everything
A Chorus of Wolves