Waking Nightmares

By Insanity Lord

Prologue: Ring around the Rosie

The fog closed in around her, chilling the girl to the bone. She held a knife in a shaking hand, her heart racing, beating too loudly in her chest. She didn't know where she was, or how she got here, but this place was a living nightmare. She had no way out, there was no escape. The horror of this place…of the place that didn't exist…it had trapped her completely.

"Ring around the Rosie, a pocket full of posies…ashes! Ashes! We all fall down…"

The child-like voice of a girl echoed in the fog. Footsteps and giggles.

God, she hated this place….this nameless place of nightmares made real. She didn't know how long she had been trapped here. It could have been minutes, hours, days…years.

Slowly, her sanity was slipping away…breaking…

The fog cleared and she staggered back at the sight before her. A guillotine…

She shook her head, stepping back. She bumped into something and turned around in shock, screaming at the sight in front of her.

It was a child holding a woman's head in her hands. She looked up at her with empty eyes, smiling with all the innocence of a child….

The fog closed around them, the child becoming a shadow and vanishing after placing the head in a basket.

"Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water…"

The words came from the fog. A sweet, childlike voice echoing.

"…Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after…"

The fog grew colder, and she stepped back again, shivering from fear. She backed into the guillotine, twisting around and staring at it in horror.

"No, no…oh god no…"

Slowly the world changed. The fog turned red, a pulsating, living skin growing along the ground, creeping up the device, covering it…

The blade fell as figures started appearing in the fog. She heard the sound of chattering, rattling teeth and chains being dragged along the ground.

"Rock a bye baby, on the tree top…"

The girl's voice was in her ear this time. Screaming, she turned and stared in horror. As with everything else in this place, the child had changed with the world. She smiled up at her sweetly, her long dark brown hair falling down to her waist. It was the eyes that scared her the most.

This child had no idea. They were empty sockets, but she could see trails of dried blood running down her face, as though she once wept tears of blood…

The child started spinning on the spot, singing the nursery rhyme. "When the wind blows, the cradle will rock…"

"God, no, please…make it stop…" the girl pleaded. "Please…"

"When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall…"

Behind her, the blade of the guillotine rose again, fell, and something fell into the basket in front of it. Slowly, she turned to face it, eyes wide with fear.

"…And down will come baby, cradle and all…"

It was a child's head…and it was staring up at her, smiling and singing.

"Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies…ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!"

She screamed.


The blue eyed girl turned to face her visitor, smiling. "Hello. It's nice to meet you. I'm Rosie…"

She sat in the corner of the room, knees held against her chest, her dark hair falling into her pretty face as she rocked back and forth, repeating nursery rhymes over and over again.

The visitor sighed and wiped a tear from her blue eyes as she stared at her twin sister. She stood up and straightened the wrinkles out of her dark blue blouse. They were 19 years old, and both of them were supposed to be attending college together.

But Rosie had gone insane a year ago after going missing for three weeks. When she was found wandering around a highway near a forest, she had clearly gone insane. Rambling about a haunted area, deep in the forest. A nameless place of living nightmares.

But the visitor, Ceria Yerikson, knew for a fact that there was no town anywhere near the forest. It was a large, deep forest, true, but the entire area had been explored from the air. She had seen the aerial photographs, and there was nothing there except for trees. Mile upon mile of trees.

"I'll see you next week, Sis," she said.

"Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies…ashes! Ashes! We all fall down!"

Ceria bit her lower lip and walked out of the room. Back in the room, Rosie stared at the door as it closed.

"Shadow Creek," she said to herself, and shivered before rocking back and forth…

"Mary, Mary quite contrary…how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row…"

A little girl giggled, and Rosie shivered and continued to rock back and forth in her corner….

Author's notes: I admit that this original story was inspired by the brilliant survival horror game series, Silent Hill, but of course I'll make this story completely original. I hope you enjoyed it.