Mare

Written by: K. Silence

Prologue

Opening scene; a gray misty veil covered the night sky and somewhere in the distance a clap of thunder shook the earth. Nichole's mind was on nothing but a shadowed figure in front of her. How did she get there? Was she dreaming? If she was, then why when she turned and ran could she feel the sticks, and stones bruising and cutting her feet with each leap she took? She was rushing blindly, running through the limbs, brushing through the spider's webs to escape the ominous thing behind her.

The silhouette behind her was laughing, sounding rather at ease and relaxed with chasing her. Very athletic she assumed. She had always been athletic as well. She came in fourth in the state track championship; tall, long legged, and extremely fit. But no matter how hard and fast she ran the laughter continued, getting slightly closer. "I'm faster than you." The voice caught up with her.

Onward she ran, into the darkness that each step brought her. Though cast under the spell of adrenalin, she could feel the thorn of the patch of briars she'd entered rip through her skin like paper on her brow, and the blood was pouring into her eye obscuring her vision even more so. But none-the-less she tore them away, despite how they ripped into her hands, and arms.

"Nichole, I'm going to catch you. Stop running." The voice tauntingly negotiated.

At least he was getting just as scratched as she was. "Stop chasing me, you fucking freak!" She used a forced amount of oxygen to scream at him. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Wake up, Nichole! Wake the fuck up! She fiercely demanded inside of her head.

"Now that's not very nice, my love. I thought you loved a good fantasy."

Onward she ran, figuring she still had a good half a mile left in her before she would get too exhausted. Now the blood was pouring from scratch after scratch after scratch. Her rainbow pajamas were ripped to shreds and tinged with red.

"I smell blood." Taunted the voice of the tireless monster, "Stop running! It's useless, you know? I'll always catch you. No matter how far you run."

"Fuck you!!" She said between gasps for breath.

"Give up." The voice negotiated again. "You can't get away. All I have to do is…"

Everything stopped suddenly. Nichole was staring up at her ceiling, on her bed, in her bedroom. She breathed a sigh of pure relief. A bad dream. Another stupid bad dream. But… what was that? Her body stung with what felt like a thousand cuts all over. Something warm was pouring down her cheek. She wanted to touch it, to see what it was, perhaps just sweat, but something seemed to be pinning her wrists straight out above her head. She grabbed at the wood her hands seemed glued to, feeling the smooth evidence of her bedpost. Funny, she felt nothing binding her but her own paralysis.

"This." A soft voice came at her from within every shadow in the dark room.

She snapped her attention towards the doorway. He stood there, obviously a man, but whether or not he was a human or the devil himself was uncertain. Confusion burned through her veins, diluting the fear to a jumble of incoherent thoughts. How? She hadn't even time to ask. The shadow was on her, the black ominous monster staring down at her through eyes like ice.

"Trista! Chad! Help me! Please…" She thrashed wildly, hitting the headboard against the wall as violently as she could.

"Why are you fighting me, Nichole?" An ice cold hand gripped her tiny neck, and her eyes grew wide. "Don't you recognize me?"

Nichole struggled weakly beneath him, to fight, to breathe, to simply survive the horror that couldn't be real. It was a dream, another dream. Only this dream was a nightmare.

"Look at me." The darkness of him seemed to soften into a more human form. He was a handsome male, perhaps early to mid-twenties; soft blue eyes that seemed to light up at the faintest glare of the street light that floated into the window. His hair was a sandy blonde, or she called it dishwater blonde. At least that's how her mind had conjured him up in such a precise way; such a soft face, but such a hard voice, and ominous presence.

"Look at me, my love." He ordered again, so she gave in. She'd already seen enough of him. "Isn't this what you wanted, damsel in distress? My broken hearted muse…" He kissed her lips, and released her throat.

"No, this is a dream…this is dream." She stopped struggling beneath him, and the tears that stung her eyes felt real. She closed them tightly, ignoring his laughter, the voice was the same deep, sensual, gentle voice that she'd made up along with him, and that's precisely why she had to be dreaming. "This isn't real." She kept her eyes closed. Perhaps, when she decided to open them again he would be gone, and everything would be back to normal. "This isn't real. This isn't real," she continued to chant.

"Then wake up, Nichole." The voice taunted, then became stronger. "Wake up! Nikki, wake up! It's just a nightmare! Nikki, wake up!"

Nichole's eyes sprang open, and she sat upright in bed, gasping, clutching the covers to her chin. "Chad! Oh my god!" She was panting, "I thought… I thought," her mind scrambled for words, and slowly she was putting together the pieces. She was such an idiot. Inventing something in her own bored little mind to come back and torment her. That sounded like her precisely. Her imagination always got her in trouble.

"It's okay. You just had a nightmare," her older brother assured her from her doorway, sounding a bit groggy.

Nichole's breathing began to slow, her pulse was slowing as well, and she laughed slightly, "I'm sorry. I had a… horrible dream," which was odd, since her dreams with him in them were never bad. They were always sensual, and her panties would be soaking when she woke. She had created him, never really seeing his face, she gave him one. The well structured jaw line she'd made up. The enchanting soft blue eyes were also a product of her imagination, and apparently this whole scene was as well. She'd even given her "dream lover" a name. Brad. Nichole laughed nervously, "I didn't mean to wake you. I feel so stupid. Go back to bed, Bubby, I'm fine. I'm going to go get some water."

"Are you sure?" Chad asked, as she climbed from beneath the covers and slipped her hand beneath her pretty pink lamp to turn it on.

"No. Don't turn it on."

She stopped. "Why?"

"You'll wake Trista."

Nichole shrugged. She could see okay anyway, she decided as she stood, her feet chilling upon the cold floor. But why was Chad staring at her like that?

"Nikki, what happened?"

Confusion twisted her pretty features. "What?"

"You're bleeding."

Nichole swept back her long blonde hair and brushed her fingers across her brow. The cold was creeping up on her again, starting with the soles of her feet, then making it's way upward, passed her knees, her hips, her breasts and finally shrouding her with the iciness. "I - I don't know," she stammered. Then upon looking down at her feet she realized with deep unease that it wasn't cold stinging them. It was cuts and tears upon her briar ripped feet. "But…"

"Are you okay? What happened?"

Nichole swallowed, turning again to the lamp. She would turn it on to get a better look. She reached but a hand struck out and gripped her wrist, "I said don't turn on the light." Chad reminded her harshly.

Nichole attempted to pull away, but she didn't call him "big bubby" for no reason. It was like pulling against a steel cuff. "Bubby? What are you doing? I need the light."

"Light isn't such a good idea, Nichole."

Nichole? He never called her anything but Nikki. She looked up into his eyes. Blue eyes that should have been brown stared back, and a menacing grin along a well sculpted jaw line separated her from her sanity. "No… No!" Again she was fighting, kicking against the frightening figment of her imagination. "Let me go! Chad! Help me! No!"

Weight that could have easily been a thousand pounds held her down to the bed. She tried to move, to fight, to kick, but she was paralyzed by him. "Scream, Nichole. Scream so loud that you wake the dead."

She tried to gather strength in her mind to open her mouth and to let loose a shrill scream but nothing came. Her mouth, her voice was just as paralyzed as her body. All she could do was look up into those eyes, so like a summer day, warm, unlike his cold breath, and his icy cheek against hers. "This is what some people like to call dream paralysis. Enjoy it! Not many people have such an opportunity to feel and experience what you are feeling."

Scream, she told herself. Do it. Just open your mouth.

"Have I told you what hell is like?" He whispered into her ear.

Cold hands felt as if they'd left a trail of ice up the bottom of her silky pajama top. Her nipple was already erect when he crushed her breast beneath his cold hand. She was so cold then. Her body was involuntarily shivering. Her lips were turning lavender like her opened curtains. She once loved the coldness of his hands, and of his lips in those dreams of sexual excursions beyond any she'd ever had in reality. Her loving incubus wasn't as gentle as he once had been.

"You've been a bad girl, Nichole. Bad girls have bad dreams." His hand still crushed her flesh, and they were so cold they hurt. "It's just a nightmare. Wake up, Nichole." He kissed her lips, freezing them like a block of ice. "You can do it. I've released you." His lips again covered hers, and his cold hand slid down her stomach, as his tongue brushed against hers. Nichole could feel his hand slipping by the elastic waist of her pajama's, and down to her sex. The cold made her gasp slightly, and when she began to cry she realized she wasn't paralyzed.

"Aw. Shh… don't cry now. All you have to do is wake up, Nichole."

Cold fingers crept between her thighs spreading them slightly to slip between and up, deep into her warm body.

Again she tried to force consciousness, but she couldn't have been anymore conscious than she was then. "I can't." She wasn't paralyzed, since she was still struggling beneath the weight of a thousand bricks, but the freezing temperature of his body was beginning to take her breath away. "What do you want?"

"What's wrong, love? You're trembling."

"Wake up." This time she said it aloud. "Wake up. Wake up. Wake up."

"Yes. Wake up, Nichole." His ice kisses were on her neck, and then his teeth rending flesh ripped a scream from her crushed lungs. The blood from her neck was warming her, but the warmth was also escaping with it, leaving her trembling so hard her teeth chattered relentlessly. Nichole stared up at a smile covered with blood, her eyes were wide, her mouth frozen agape in absolute terror as she battled herself as to whether it was real or not. The blood looked so black on his flesh, and his eyes were changing slightly. The calm blue became a tumultuous sea of waves crashing and blackening him, as he tore away her pajamas with such ease, and began to move above her in a rhythm she'd experienced quite often before.

But the cold within her seemed different, and quite more painful than ever, freezing her insides with each jaunting thrust of his hips, "Your blood is so warm."

"No." She pushed, and his cold muscular chest, like black polished granite only pushed back harder. The shadowed demon's cold smile wrenched her thoughts away, and the cold was numbing. "It's just a dream." She spoke aloud. "It's just a dream."

"It's your dream, fair maiden." A sharp thrust, and an eruption of ice ended her breath, freezing her lungs, her thoughts, but not her fears, as a remnant of a dream clung to the corners of her dying mind. "Goodnight, fair maiden." The demon whispered to the fading dream, "Fly the voyage of angels, kissing the cheeks of all the cherubs."

Closing scene; the dream blackens. The shadow stands tall, licking the black blood from his satisfied lips, and lifts away into the darkness of the small town, hiding in the shadows of each darkened room in search of another mind, another dream.