The Voices in the Mist

By B.C. Ross

The voices in my head, they're screaming. Telling me. Trying to tell me something important but I can't decipher it. I feel myself falling, screaming to me let out of this. I don't want to be here. Everything's black, I can't see. In the distance I hear banging;

'BANG!'

"Alina, Alina!"

Someone's screaming my name, it's familiar, the voice. I reach out, trying to find who it is;

"Goddamnit! Alina Harmony Wells! Open this door!"

A crack sounds around me and I'm brought back. I gasp for breath as I opened my eyes, looking around frantically I saw my bedroom door fall from the hinges. Scrambling back I'm suddenly aware I'm naked, I pulled the towel that had fallen from me and covered myself as best I could.

"Alina, are you okay?" Alex hurried in and dropped to the floor next to be. I looked up at my brother not being able to form a sentence, he put his hands on my cheeks and looked me in the eye. Glancing from one to the other and making sure they were normal before pulling me to him and hugging me tight. I returned the hug gratefully, glad that I was no longer alone. Although knowing that I wouldn't be able to do much for myself for an hour or so. I sighed quietly, and my eyes shot to the door as a petite blonde haired female approached it carefully, Alex released me and kissed my forehead in a brotherly way.

"Casey, do you mind?" He asked his fiancé, she shook her head knowing the routine, she pulled some under-garments and nightwear from my drawers and laid them on the bed before smiling reassuringly at him.

This wasn't unusual for us, it may sound it to you, but this was a nightly thing, it had become normal. Casey helped me dress before walking me to the living room.

Now, to explain. These episodes started when I was only 8 years old. Too young to decipher the meaning, but old enough to know somewhat of what was happening. It was like a routine, I'd get home from school and sit down to have dinner. My mother was scared, she never knew what to do, but she knew that at around 9 at night, I'd have to be away from my brother and sister, I was to be up in my room by half past 8. These 'episodes' as my mother called them could last as long as 30 minutes. I'd go from one extreme to another within these episodes at some times I'd writhe on the floor, gasping and crying to the point I could never breath properly.

Other times, I'd thrash around on the floor to the point I'd knock things over and scratch myself, I'd scream and scream and wouldn't stop until the episode was finished. I usually came to reality at this point crying. After these episodes I'd barely be able to move after, thus explaining why Casey has to help me. Alex always checks my eyes afterwards, this was the scary bit for me and everyone around me, my eyes would turn a milky white, my pupils completely gone.

This is just what I've been told, because when I wake up I have no recollection of what I'd been doing, all I know is what I'd saw or what I'd heard. From what I've heard though, when I thrash and scream I've realised are usually when I hear those terrible voices, when I can't decipher those messages and when I'm getting scared.

Within the other ones, I have a kind of vision, I remember that during one episode when I was around 14 I saw Casey being introduced to my family by my brother. Although most of them are horrible visions, I can never know when they're true or when they're just being shown to scare me. All I know is that I'm getting sick of them.

My eyes zoomed around the room, taking in where everyone was, Casey had just given Alex a brush and smiled reassuringly, nodding towards me, he walked over and started brushing my hair gently, I closed my eyes and used this time to relax, trying to will myself into motion again, I hated not being able to do things for myself. Although this never happened instantly, I'd usually come back from the episodes and be able to muster some energy to do something quickly, like cover myself up as I did earlier, but then I'd freeze and I wouldn't be able to do anything for any amount of time up to 2 hours. I'm just wondering when Alex and Casey will get fed up of it.

Casey turned on the TV and I watched it silently, several minutes later Alex put the brush down and moved to kneel in front of me, taking hold of my hands, I cast my eyes downward connecting our gaze. "I wish I could make these episodes stop Lina," He said quietly, I stayed silent. "Or at least be able to change the fact it's you going through this, that it was me. I mean, we're twins. I just wish whatever it is, it hadn't chose you." I was still silent, although trying to push through and smile at him to know that I knew he meant it.

I blinked and managed to move my arm to rub my eyes. I looked over at my twin and saw him asleep with his head in Casey's lap and she looked to be dozing off. I mentally braced myself before attempting to stand up, I succeeded. I began to walk slowly over to them before kneeling down and shaking them both slowly. They awoke "Maybe it's time we all go to bed?" I whispered, not yet having found my voice properly again. They stretched and nodded, rubbing their eyes before standing up and hugging me simultaneously before proceeding to their bedroom. I switched the TV off and walked to my bedroom and laying on the bed.

As I pulled the covers over me, I glanced at the clock '23:17' it flashed. I switched off the lamp as I felt my Alsatian, Caine jump up and curl next to me. I smiled and scratched behind his ear before yawning quietly as I drifted to sleep.

~#~#~

Red, that's all I see, everything's red. And liquid. I kick up and find myself surfacing and coughed, my hair was stuck to my head and I was getting colder. I looked around, red, that's the colour of the haze, there was a wood around us. Trees everywhere, in the distance I see a cabin. Albeit misty, I still see it. Although, the mist was a strange shade of red. I looked down at the river I was currently in. It wasn't water, no it was something thicker, something again red. The smell was nauseating, it was a mixture of metal, rust and salt. Just like that I suddenly knew what I was floating in, blood. I scrutinized the vicinity frantically, my eyes locked on the pier. I needed to get out of this river, I kicked myself up and began to swim towards it.

Something icy and skeletal gripped my ankle, halting my movements, I screamed and looked behind me, surfacing the plasma was a decomposing head, I stopped screaming and turned to float on my back, using my free leg to kick out at my attacker, I whacked him right in the forehead and a loud crack sounded and I knew I'd done some damage, although it didn't help none. My assailant let out a shrill echo that sounded like a menacing laugh before sinking below the surface again, my leg still in it's grasp.

Before I had chance to think or even breath I plunged under the surface and to the bottom of the river, my leg still in the attackers clutch the liquid filled around me. My lungs felt strained and my throat burned with trapped air. I opened my mouth and tried to scream but all that came out was a queue of bubbles, I realised I had only a little time left. The liquid flooded my mouth and I started choking on the blood. My ears pounded and I felt my heartbeat slow as my sight started blurring and my consciousness started to slip away. The red dissolved into black and I felt myself being released, I stopped fighting and let it surround me until there was nothing left.

~#~#~

I woke up and gasped for breath, that was by far the most vivid dream I've had in years, I mean I actually felt like I was drowning and it was a little hard to gain control on my breathing, my chest hurt. My hair was sticking to my head, I wiped my forehead it was sticky peering down at my hand there was blood on it. Horrified I looked into the mirror beside my bed, nothing. My forehead wasn't bleeding, although it was slick with sweat. Looking back down at my hand I saw nothing. Must've been my head playing tricks on me after the dream.

I looked up suddenly to see that Caine had his front paws onto the windowsill, peering out into the garden and growling. I frowned and sat up before crawling to the bottom of the bed, daylight was streaming through the netting and as I put my hands on the windowsill I watched a horned silhouette walk towards the window, it stopped a few meters from the window seeming to beckon me forward. Caine started barking loudly as a gust of strong wind flew through the room. I lost my balance of the windowsill and fell off the side of the bed with a dull thud, hitting my head against the floor.

I sat up quickly as Alex came into my room, he walked over and calmed the dog before sending him out the room. I looked out the window, knowing that the figure would've disappeared the instant I looked away. I sighed quietly and stood up, watching Alex walk over and smile warmly towards me.

"I was just coming to wake you when Caine started barking. C'mon, breakfast is ready. I nodded to him, following him to the kitchen and picking up one of the plates I moved to sit at the small table off to the side and ate slowly. Alex came and sat next to me, watching me as if intrigued. "You had a night terror?" He stated softly, I nodded. "You haven't had one of them for a couple years now." I nodded again "Do you want to talk about it?"

I looked back down at my plate and he sat back in his chair, I glanced at the clock, '9:30' Casey was already in work. I looked back at my brother "I was drowning." I muttered.

"Drowning?"

I nodded "I was in a lake of blood, in the distance there was a run down cabin. I was trying to swim towards the pier to get out..." I trailed off.

"Go on, it's okay." He smiled reassuringly.

I took a deep breath and continued. "Something grabbed my ankle. When I looked at it, the thing was decomposing. I kicked it to make it let go but it didn't help.." He took hold of my hand, I was trembling. "The thing let out a laugh before going back under and dragging me with it. It wouldn't let go, I thought I was actually drowning Alex, it didn't feel like a dream. It felt real, my lungs are still burning."

He moved his chair closer to me and wrapped his arms around me, I closed my eyes. I liked the hugs from my brother, they always made me seem safe.

He released me as his phone sounded around the silent apartment, he got up and smiled reassuringly at me before going to answer it. I finished my breakfast quietly. The only noise was Alex rushing around to get everything together. He'd just been called into work urgently and had to leave as soon as possible. Once everything was collected he walked into the kitchen, smoothed my hair down slightly and kissed my head, muttering a farewell before almost falling out of the door. I got up after a while and washed the dishes before going back into my room and finding my outfit for the day.

Before long I was stepping under the steaming shower head. As the water rushed over my I thought back to the horned figure outside my window. What was it? I thought on this question as I tilted my head back to wash out the shampoo. A sudden feeling of dizziness fell over me and I grabbed onto the wall before sitting down under the spray. What did the figure want with me? Why did he appear to ME? Why outside MY window? I sighed quietly, these questions were all unanswerable to me. I finished my shower in a thoughtless silence.

"Take me I'm alive

Never was a girl with a wicked mind

But everything looks better when the sun goes down

I had everything

Opportunities for eternity

And I could belong to the night

Your eyes, your eyes

I can see in your eyes

Your eyes

You make me wanna die

I'll never be good enough

You make me wanna die

And everything you love will burn up in the light

Every time I look inside your eyes

Make me wanna die..." I sang a long to my ringtone as I walked from the bathroom to my bedroom, only stopping when I hit answer and the music stopped. "Hello?"

A loud squeal erupted from the other end of the phone and I had to hold the receiver away from my ear until it had stopped, "Hey Cait, glad to see you're happy today." I heard a laugh, followed my a girlish voice who at that moment had chosen to speak the fastest she could,

"Alina, oh my god. Where are you, you're going to be late if you're not here in like five minutes. You'll never guess who just spoke to me..." I put the phone down on the bed and dried my hair with the towel, this part of the conversation was something that happened daily. Cait would get excited because her crush would talk to her, although I knew they both liked each other neither would do anything about it. Probably because Jer was in a different social group from her. It really bugged me, they needed to sort it out.

I managed to get dressed and brush my hair before Cait had finished her rant "Cait, that's great. You should really ask him out. I mean c'mon, you've been crushing on him for months, take some action." I said as I slipped on my shoes "As for me being late, give me a couple minutes and I'll be leaving. Tell jackass I missed the bus or something."

"Lina, you live round the corner.."

"He doesn't know that." I defended. She sighed,

"Alright, just hurry your ass. Got it?"

I mumbled an agreement before moving to the mirror and quickly drying my hair before styling it into a messy bun with my fringe swept to the side. Picking up my bag and keys I petted Caine and walked out the door and headed off towards college.