Chapter V

The Dreams

Xiao Ling couldn't think straight, her brain was scrambled. She tried getting up again but collapsed back onto the ground. She closed her eyes and let the darkness take her.

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I look into the cabin, there's nothing there. I sigh, What's the point of pretending? I am going to starve anyway. I look at my numb hands. Winter's coming and I have to prepare. I hear a noise, my acute hearing picks it up, heading from the road my way. My hands curl and my feet begin cracking, I narrow my yellow eyes and envision where the stranger is, almost here. I twitch my ears, and allow a small smile. He's just about to turn the corner and see me, I turn around to face him, let just enough time for comprehension to dawn on his face before I appear on top of him. But I arrive somewhere else, and it isn't a man underneath me, it's a small girl.

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Xiao Ling couldn't breathe, there was so much dust inside her throat. She cracked her eyes open enough to glimpse where she was. There was a little bit of light in the otherwise pitch black darkness. She brought her left hand up to her face and saw that it wasn't emanating any glow, she used her right hand, in her confusion, to gently press the skin to see if it was still hard. She was confused as to why she didn't feel neither happy nor sad, happy that she still had the cool arm that was strong but sad that it wasn't back to normal anymore, and, why wasn't it glowing? Was there something wrong with her? She sighed and laid her hands back down. As she closed her eyes she heard a noise that made her hairs stand on end. She tensed up ready for a fight. She cracked her right eye open and saw a small fiendish creature come in. She heard the noise again. There was tiny glowing moss on the ceiling casting the glow and she saw the creature's eye and skin. It was horriying, its eye was a giant pit of red with a tiny little black bead in the centre she could only hope was its pupil, there was so much slime on it- and there was a hole near the centre of its face, a black black hole, where a tongue came out of and almost caressed its eye before disappearing again. Its left eye was gone and all that was left was a humongous scar in the shape of criss-crossed lines. Its skin looked like it was rock hard but it had cracked into many pieces that were making way for new skin. It was all so red. Some skin was so new you could see the tiny triangles like in your own skin if you look hard enough, but it was blood red. The hard rock outer crust sort of skin was a darker red but this little creature was red all over except the miniature rabbit ears which were tinted purple at the top. It had hair running down its little hunched form which reminded her of a Gremlin. It had a pug nose before it reached the chin. She couldn't see any mouth so she leaned a bit closer. Just as she did she realised she was supposed to be asleep! The Gremlin thing brought its little red furred hands together and the bottom half looked like the body of a red bear cub but at the bottom were little bunny feet- where had she seen bunny feet before? She felt like she was in danger yet she wasn't scared. She felt drawn to it. Her mind was screaming at her to run but she was stuck to the spot. She had somehow sat up. And as if the creature new what she was thinking, did something. Below its dark nose a hole opened up- no! It wasn't a hole- it was a mouth. It was smiling! It had long thin yellow teeth all lined up in rows. It opened its mouth and Xiao Ling thought it was going to smile but it did something much much worse! Its tongue came out licked the front teeth. Xiao Ling almost gagged. It suddenly dropped into a crouch and came scuttling at her at a crazy speed. Xiao Ling tried to run but found spiders had woven her into a cocoon with sticky red web. She tried to move but couldn't, all the while the thing was closing in. She gave up and, as loud and pitchy as she could to whoever in this Hell could hear her, screamed.

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Xiao Ling woke up and downright screamed as she threw herself down the hill. It was green and lush. The sky was blue and warm and welcoming. No, that's wrong. I'm in Hell. She rolled a couple more times before skidding to a stop and looked up at the ceiling. This time it was night time, the stars were out and it was a full moon. She saw a cemetary in the distance and walked closer to it. It was so dark. It suddenly reminded her of the vision or dream or whatever it was that she had seen. She shivered and looked around. Everything was shimmering. There was a girl in the distance. She was kneeling in front of a grave. She said something then lifted her hands to the sky and glowing orbs shot out, they looked like giant fireflies. She allowed a small smile to creep onto her face. When she looked to the grave again the girl was not there. Xiao Ling was instantly on the defensive and tensed up. She looked around her and the saw the girl hiding behind a grave creeping up to her. She turned and began to run back towards the little opening that she had spotted that led to Hell.

"Wait!"

The shout pierced through the silence like a dagger.

Xiao Ling abruptly stopped and slowly turned around. The girl was a few metres behind her. The girl held up her hands and said:

"Don't run."

Xiao Ling cocked her head at her, "Who are you?"

The girl answered, "My name is Cindy Hathern. Are you a ghost?"

The question caught Xiao Ling so off guard she didn't know what to do, "You-you think I'm a ghost?" It was almost laughable, almost.

"Well, you are translucent and-"

"-No. Let me cut you off there. I am not translucent. You are."

Cindy looked stunned, "I know what I can see. But never mind. What's your name?"

Xiao Ling looked at her. How could she change from one subject to another so easily? "My name's Ling, Xiao Ling."

"Right, okay. And how did you die?"

Xiao Ling sputtered, "Dead?! Dead?! Just because I'm in Hell doesn't mean I'm dead!"

Now it was Cindy's turn to sputter, "Hell?!"

Suddenly a sucking noise and shaking from behind her made Xiao Ling turn around. The little slit to Hell was shrinking, stitching itself together. Even if it was Hell there was no way she was going to stay in this shiny, see-through place. She began running towards the slit that was ever-shrinking. She heard Cindy take after her running, shouting something. Xiao Ling didn't understand what Cindy was saying so she screamed "Bye!" just before she jumped through the tiny slit as it closed behind her.


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