Broken Glass

Broken Glass

A Story by Confidential

A young man blunders through an unusually vivid nightmare, only to awaken to a day in his ordinary life, in which he soon begins noticing unlikely and eerie similarities to his nightmare.


Broken Glass


            I've always had nightmares. This one, though...this one was different. In this particular dream, I started out laying down on my bed late at night, watching television. That was the way most of my nightmares started- that is, with me by myself doing something simple, boring, nothing out of the ordinary, just reading or, in this case, watching T.V. It never takes long to change, though. I hear a faint noise at first, a kind of scraping sound that seems to come from overhead (I would always attribute it to some small animal running across the roof, or tree branches rubbing against the side of the house). Then, the scraping noises suddenly stop. And all is quiet- the T.V. was still on, but not making a sound. I would move around in bed, but it wouldn't creak as usual. I couldn't even hear myself breath. The next thing that happens is that I am suddenly overcome with an extreme sense of dread. I knew there was someone outside- maybe more than one person. There was no evidence to base this assumption on, but the thing is, it wasn't an assumption. I KNEW that my house was now completely surrounded by people who intended to hurt me, the way one often just simply 'knows' things in their dreams.

            It is at this point which the dream deviated from the 'normal' plot my almost daily nightmares usually adhered to. I think that's because I actually realized I was dreaming- which had never happened to me before until after I had woken up. I think it may have been better if I never had come to the realization that what was happening was simply a product of my imagination. If I hadn't, I would have stayed in bed like I did in all the other dreams. Soon, the 'people' would begin coming towards the house, eventually climbing through the window and the door to my room. Right as they closed in on me they would reach out, and that's when I would wake up. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Once I realized I was dreaming, I figured that maybe I could somehow wake myself up. All I had to do was DO something, maybe that would do it.

             I was about to creep slowly out of bed when the scraping sounds came back, and then a loud groaning. I looked up, and saw the ceiling briskly coming down, getting closer and closer, to the point that I had to get out of bed and crawl on the floor to avoid being crushed. I started to crawl towards my only available way out- the door. I was nearly  there when these hands started pushing up through the floor around me, grabbing whatever they could- my foot, my ankle, even loose clothing-anything to slow me down and stop me from escaping. It was horrifying. Of course, I miraculously broke free of the dozens of hands holding me back and made it through the door just in time. When I stood up on the other side though, I saw that, while I was still in my house, there was something which wasn't quite right. Everything appeared as if it were getting older much faster than it should, the paint on the walls begin to dull, cracks soon appeared and large sections began to peel and flake off. I could actually see the air getting thicker with dust.

             I also noticed feeling tingly all over, so I raced down the hallway and looked in to the mirror. I saw myself aging along with everything around me, right before my eyes. Already I could tell my hair had grown visibly longer, and was starting to grey. I panicked, touched the wrinkles appearing all over my face and watched as my now completely gray head of hair started falling out. My teeth came next. They were all gone in a matter of seconds. The aging process continued as I looked, terrified, in to my own eyes, and saw as bags began to appear under them and then finally, my eyes themselves turned a milky white color. Within thirty seconds of that, I would have been staring at a skeleton-if I had any eyes with which to see. I felt like I was literally falling apart with every step I took, carefully walking down the hall, feeling against the old walls. Then, I began to fall. And fall, and fall, and fall  like I had stepped right over the edge of a bottomless pit. I tried screaming, but nothing came out. Then, sharp pain all over the front of my body as I smacked into a liquid that I thought for a split second was water. The moment I hit the surface, I could see again; I didn't at all like what I saw, though.

             I now found myself in the middle of a huge sea of warm, red liquid. At first I thought it might be blood, but as I tried effortlessly to stay on top and scream for help, a huge wave crashed down over my head and the liquid got into my eyes, my ears, my nose, and my mouth. It wasn't blood, but was in fact red wine. I was so exhausted, and so scared, I just felt like giving up. I stopped thrashing around, stopped moving at all, and just let the tides throw me about. Right when I began to sink and my ears started to pop I felt something wrap around me, and suddenly I was being pulled up. Soon I found myself on a small ship- a sail boat. I don't know how it was possible I had been pulled on board- first of all, I seemed to be the only one on the ship. Red lightning streaked through pink colored clouds overhead and bathed everything in an eerie crimson colored glow. As the sky lit up, I saw the boat was headed straight for a huge rock. I wasn't about to jump off the ship and drown, so I stumbled across the deck, nearly getting thrown overboard by an enormous wave which crashed down over the side of the ship, and I grabbed hold of the helm. I tried to steer the ship away, but the wheel was locked in place. I looked up right as the ship slammed violently in to the rock. I was thrown forward, and hit my head on the helm, blacking out.

            When I came around just a few seconds later, I opened my eyes and I was somewhere else. I was in the driver's seat of a car; in front of me, was another car. A man lay about halfway through the broken windshield of the car in front. His neck was twisted at a sickening angle. He was dead. Blood was running slowly down the hood of the car. I tried to move; I couldn't. Smoke was coming out from the car that I was in. I looked to my right, and saw my sister sitting dead in her seat. I was confused. The window on the driver's side had blown out; I could feel small streams of blood oozing down the left side of my face where all the miniscule pieces of glass had lodged themselves. One large shard of glass was stuck in my throat. It burned quite badly. I tried to pull it out but it hurt too much- as soon as I even touched it my neck exploded with pain which ran all the way down my body. So I tried to ignore the pain.

             In the distance, I could hear sirens getting closer. Little flickers of orange began popping out from the front of my car. Then, I heard a voice coming from behind me. "Broken glass, honey," it said sweetly. The voice seemed so familiar. I looked in the dash view mirror and saw my grandmother (who had been dead for three years at this point) sitting unharmed in the back seat, with her big leather purse right next to her and her hands folded neatly in her lap. The broken mirror made it seem like I was looking at ten of her. "It's just broken glass." she said. The sirens were closer now, and the flames coming from the car were getting larger. My eyesight began to fade, I was confused, exhausted, and in pain. I let the darkness take me over.

            Then, right when everything had turned black, I felt myself being shaken violently. I gasped and sat up in bed, sweating. I looked around the room, confused for a second. My sister sat on the edge of my bed, looking at me. "Jesus Larry," she said with a concerned look on her face, "what kind of dream were you having? Was the devil chasing you?"

            "Broken glass," I muttered, unable to recall what it meant.

            "What?" my sister said, almost as confused as me. "Nothing," I said.

            "Whatever, you're finally awake now, which means you get to drive me to the lake!" she said cheerily. "Sure," I said, trying to remember what I had been dreaming about. Normally I would have said no and told her sister to go away so I could go back to sleep, but I was afraid of having that dream again, so I climbed wearily out of bed. "Get your shoes on and wait for me in the car while I get ready." Her face lit up with excitement. "Yes!" she said, "Take your time, by the way- I'm trying to find the bracelet Carmen gave me-if she notices I'm not wearing it, she'll KILL me." She hopped off the bed and scurried out of the room. I got dressed, trying to remember my dream more clearly, but unable to, save for fleeting flashes of images that would come and go before I knew what it was exactly that I was remembering.

            It turns out, the bracelet in question took a bit longer to turn up than expected (almost an hour), but Cindy simply refused to leave without it. I lay down on my bed in my room and turned on the T.V. while I waited for her. Once she finally found Carmen's bracelet, she burst in to my room, "What are you lying around for? Come on, I'm ready!" she said, running back out of the room and down the hall before I even turned off the television. I stopped at my door, and looked around. "Funny," I thought, "I would have sworn I just heard something from outside." I closed the door to my room and walked down the hall, around the corner and downstairs, where Cindy was checking the back of her hair using a compact mirror that had her name written on it in sparkly silver letters (you know, the kind from those sharpie-paint-pen things). We got in the car.

            As I was pulling out of our street and turned on to the main road, Cindy looked at me. "So seriously, what was your dream about? Must have been pretty intense from the way you were moving around in your sleep the way you were." I kept on driving, trying to remember. "I'm not quite sure," I said, "I think Grandma was in it." Cindy's smirk faded quickly away. She still wasn't completely over her death. "Was it about what happened at the funeral? I get nightmares about that sometimes, too." I thought for a moment. "I don't know, maybe. Honestly, I can't really remember."

            "Well, maybe that's a good thing." said Cindy, smiling again. "Yeah," I said, "Maybe it is." I smiled at her. I was about to say something else as I was making a left at an intersection when Cindy screamed, "LARRY, LOOK OU-!" I saw the car that slammed in to us just a moment too late; I tried turning, but there just wasn't enough time. The other car hit us at almost forty miles an hour. I hit my head on the steering wheel and blacked out.

            I'm not sure how much later it was when I came back around, but it couldn't have been longer than a few seconds- a minute at most. I looked at the driver of the car that hit us; his blank, cold eyes seemed to look right into mine as his dead body lay twisted and mangled, blood running down the front of the car. Everywhere- especially my neck- I was in pain. I looked to my right; Cindy was dead. As fire slowly began creeping out from under the hood of my car, I could hear sirens in the distance. I jumped slightly as a voice coming from the backseat spoke out to me.

            "Broken glass, honey," it said in a comfortingly soft, sweet tone. I looked in the mirror; it was my three years-dead grandmother. "It's just broken glass." My heartbeat quickened as the memories of the dream came flooding back to me in an instant. The sirens were getting a lot closer now. I tried screaming, but the pain from the shard of glass in my throat was so intense, I just choked and a steady stream of blood came running out of my mouth. It tasted oddly similar to red wine. My vision started to fade. I felt really tired. "Maybe," I thought, "maybe I'll just rest my eyes, for a moment...until the ambulance arrives." I closed my eyes. The pain all over my body was as strong as ever, yet the one thing I couldn't stop thinking about was my grandmother, who still sat calmly in the backseat. "You shouldn't have gotten out of bed, honey." she said, her voice seemed to be getting distant as my hearing failed. "You shouldn't ha.......bed, h.............ame about your sist...............ust broken glass."

© 2010 Confidential

Author's Note

Keep your critiques as harsh as possible, so that I may maximize the quality of this story and my overall writing technique in adhering to the advice of those more seasoned in the craft than I.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Featured Review

I'm not much of a reviewer of short stories, and after reading this, I thought it was great! (Also, for your note- I'm not seasoned in writing unfortunately) Your story was interesting and definitely has a dark undertone to it. Some dreams, I believe, have special meanings in them. With that being said, I feel like this was very authentic and a well written piece with meaning behind it. Keep up the writing and thanks for the read! :D

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Wow! I haven't yet begun to read your story, but your blurb sounds GREAT.
However I definitely will read it.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Very good. You're use of imagery makes the story quite vivid. Not much else, really. The plot is a bit cliche- you know, horrific dream is actually a premonition of some future tragic event.

Posted 7 Years Ago

You a very great story teller, I wish I had your ability to write short stories such as this. Great imagry, and this kind of reminded me of freddy Kruger with the whole dream thing. great work.

Posted 7 Years Ago

I'm not much of a reviewer of short stories, and after reading this, I thought it was great! (Also, for your note- I'm not seasoned in writing unfortunately) Your story was interesting and definitely has a dark undertone to it. Some dreams, I believe, have special meanings in them. With that being said, I feel like this was very authentic and a well written piece with meaning behind it. Keep up the writing and thanks for the read! :D

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


4 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on July 30, 2010
Last Updated on July 30, 2010
Tags: scary, creepy, dreams, nightmares, short story, dark, sad, death, horror, teen



Maumelle, AR

Haiku 1 Haiku 1

A Poem by Confidential