Escaping Dreams

Escaping Dreams

A Chapter by WickedPenWielder

Dreams have haunted Celeste since she can remember. Nightmares where a crow, a jet black raven tortures her, and those she loves. What happens when the line between the dreams and reality blurs?

Chapter 1: Escaping Dreams
&&Almost everyone on earth has some kind of belief in a higher power, reigning from the Heavens. The names and stories of said powers change through time, religion, and perspective. But one thing continues to remain...We are not alone.&
Everything is draped in darkness and I cant move.  My body is weak and my tongue numb.  The screams im so desperate to cry fall silent on my parched lips. I have been here so many times, so many torturous times.  A dense fog covers my broken body, seeping its poision deeper into my flesh.  I want so bad to escape but  I can feel it lerking close by, waiting to drag me in.  Shudders convulse my drained body, leaving me withering in silent pain. Somewhere in the distance I hear a familiar mumble, a hum of a voice calling to me.  I try to raise, to make sense of it but I crumble quickly. A shiver races down my spine as the voice comes closer, clearing away some of the fog. My mind is screaming at me to run, to fight, to do anything to get to the warm voice beckoning, offering protection.  PAIN! The only thing my mind can comprehend is the explosiveness of the sudden attack.  Something sharp  rips deep into the flesh of my rib cage, hooking through bone, dragging me deep into the darkness of the strange forest. I crash onto the cold damp ground and hear a hushed gargle were my screams should be.  Despite everything I  struggle, fight  to crawl back to my only salvation. But its ripped away viciously as the hook gives another yank and I hear the wet snap of my bone breaking under my flesh.  Invisible hands seem to cover me in a hot blanket of red velvet. I lay there, trembling... and the last thing I see is the giant raven perched on the stars above, the blood that covers it raining down over me...
I awake drentched in sweat and tears, gasping for air.  My instints jerk me forward and I scan the room for intrusion.  Realizing im alone in the darkness i finally catch my breath and slump back into the comforter, dabbing at my stinging eyes.  You would think after so many years of these horriblly realistic nightmares I would be use to them, or at least be able to tell when im having one.  I steal a quick glance at the neon numbers to my right, blinking 12:02.  Must have had a blackout again, thats 6 times this week.  I only allow myself a few minutes to slow my heart rate and fret over the day ahead.  I've had this ominous feeling building lately, I cant describe it but I know it has nothing to do with today being the first day of senior year.  'What does it have to do with then?' Is the question I cant seem to shake. 
' thats enough celeste!' . Shaking my head to clear the sudden mindstorm, i stumble to my dark pannelled washroom. Trying to ignore the distant hum of my suppressed thoughts.
After morning chores and 30 minutes of hot water I am finally semi- relaxed. I slip on a pair of faded jeans, a rose colored henley layered under a white military style cardigan with cuffed, above the elbow, sleeves. Slipping on my converses I assess myself in the full legnth mirror. Not bad for 3 hours of sleep I commend myself.  I finger comb through my strawberry blonde waves that fall halfway down my back and wonder ideally if my biological mother had the same hair. Then  I trace the clear rose and cream  skin of my cheek and the soft, pink texture of my lips,  wondering all along if they have any of the same features.  A quick glance in the mirror girls light emerald eyes and I feel ashamed. '
They gave me away! I shouldn't care what they look like! I shout internally at myself for letting all this find its way to the surface again.  Closing my eyes and focusing on my breathing i struggle to push down every taughting thought, locking them away so no one can see them play behind my eyes.   In one smooth motion I sweep my lids with a smokey shadow and dab on some green apple lip balm. Dashing down the old creaking staircase I jump the last 6 steps and drop my bag in the kitchen door frame. My mother is pacing back in forth between popping bacon and running dish water, her face distant and pale as if she never heard my noisy entrance.  I gently take the old rag from her hands and finally she lets her gaze meet mine, a brightness bubbles to the surface of her eyes but fades quickly. 'I wont let the thoughts consume me today' i repeat over again in my head as I scrub at a frying pan intensely. 
"Hi sweetie." My mothers hushed voice breaks through my internal hum harsher than it should and I startle slightly. 'What is up with me today? Get a grip celeste!
"Rest well?" She asks, running her free hand over my hair. I shrug, concentrating on my moms awkward tone. It was always off these days, rarely acompanied by her carefree smile i remember from my childhood. I havent seen it since he died. I suppose, like many other things, her happiness was killed that day too.
"Usual. What do you have planned for today?." I gingerly ask, she barely leaves the house anymore and i hate myself for leaving her here alone so much.  She slouches in one of our old kitchen chairs, smiling assuringly at me.  But the pain it masks shows through, the rawness of it makes my eyes sting and i turn away quickly.  I dont know how to do this! I almost let the cry escape but instead i snap my teeth stubernly and set my jaw. How can i ever help her if i cant even help myself? I let my eyes wonder to the window above the sink. it frames a magnifisant veiw of our rolling 150 acre farm. In the distance the sun breaks through clouds and hits the rusted roof of our large utility barn, the wind rusling the wheat around its faded red wood.
  Most of my first memories are of this shambled barn... and of my father. Since i can rememeber he would take me up there for my lessons everyday. Not musical nor sport like most children learn. No mine were a bit more...violent. Survival is what he called it, at all cost. I would train from early morning until the sun touched down on our feilds and the cadydids started chirping their symphany. I learnt at an early age there was no refusing any of his challenges, just like there was absolutly no room for error. 
I shutter at the bitter memory of his words  "I love you Celeste. Its my job to make sure you understand how to survive... no matter the odds. Weakness is not tolerated, Mistakes mean death. " I remember the somber look he gave me, almost shameful,  before locking me in that same shack with a 500lb bull that I was meant to kill. Weilding only a small hunting knife. I was 6.
"Oh nothing out of the ordinary." My moms voice jerks me visously from my trance and i can feel my hot tears echo on the dish water.  
"You know just trying to manage things around here. I've been thinking lately that its time we hired a few more hands but i just dont know if our budget can handle the hit." She went on and i wordlessly nod where i should but dont turn until i'm sure all traces of my ridiculous breakdown are gone. 
  "I can print up a few flyers at school and hang them around town before my shift at Bart's this evening if you want." I say picking up my bag and kissing my mom on the cheek before crossing to the front door. "I told Peggy Sue i would cover her shift though so im gonna to be late, i love you mom." And im gone without another look into her hollow eyes.
The engine of our old farm truck sputters to a stop as i pull into Cold Creek Highs' small parking lot. The beginning of another dragging year, but at least its senior year. i yank my purple and black bag from the passenger seat and make my way to the small moss and ivy covered brick building. Most people would mistake the place for a rundown asylum, which it was, if not for the red and white wooden sign by the front enterance that reads "Welcome to Cold Creek High School. Home of the Mighty Cougars." an amused smile plays on my lips at the thought of 'mighty' being used to describe our team.  I take a deep breathe and jerk open the heavy gym door to reveal a mess of crimson and gold paper.  The 'mighty cougars' were lined up and down the halls plastered on banners and flyers trickeling from the ceiling..
 UGH! Morgan Roster won a Siemens-Westinghouse Science award last year. Joyce Keller helped build 13 homes for the needy over the summer.  Dylan Ghinn did a video blog about his life in foster care that helped to raise nearly 15,000 to aide victims of child abuse . Where are their banners? And what exactly did the 'Mighty Cougars' do to earn their faces on print? I rip down the red flyer dangling in front of me and send it sailing smoothly into the waste bin down the hall.  Pushing past the scramble of freshmen, i search the faces but none were the one I am looking for. Giving up I uncrumble my class and locker assignment sheet and set out dejectedly, brushing off some of the icy glares with a snicker. It probably should bother me that about 3/4 of the student body dispise me, for whatever reason, but it normally doesnt.  Fact of the matter is, the feeling is mutual for just about everyone but my best friend.  
  "Why so late? Run over a chicken again?" A deep husky voice teased from over my shoulder. A tingle at the familiar sound races down my spine and a automatic smile warms my face. I cant help but forget my internal rant when i turn to face the speaker who is leaned casually againt a locker behind me. His full lips curved into a wicked smile. His taunting, angelic blue eyes, framed by thick golden lashes that match his wavy hair, look me over dramatically. My heart accelerates a little and i play it off to the fact i've barely seen him all summer. 
"Funny... That was nearly two years ago Gabe.  I think its time to let Large Marge rest in peace." A mock pout plays on my face and he laughs endearingly, closing my locker. 
"We're going to be late, Beautiful." Gabe drapes an arm over my shoulders and tows me, unwillingly, to homeroom.  The rest of the day passes in a blur of same ol', Same ol'. I should feel some security or familiarity in that but i don't.  I feel like the stranger among friends even though i've been here my whole life.  
The after school rush at Barts diner is pouring in and its all i can do to block out the noise of my classmates.  I pick a wod of bills up from an empty table and pocket it.  Late shift has its perks I think to myself, stealing a glance at the back corner table were the noise is pouring from. I roll my eyes theatrically when Marcie Edwards catches my gaze with a sneer.  Marcie moved here with her father 6 years ago and the town has been shifting little by little every since. Not just because Miss Monster herself, but because of her obnoxiously repulsive father too. He started buying all the vacant land and property at first then the harrassing started. He would make 'visits' to people he knew were behind. Offer them close to nothing and most would refuse. But then strange accidents started happening on those properties and the fear over came most of the families.  They would just pack up and move away usually without a whisper of goodbye, leaving their property to Malcolm Edwards. Last December he was announced Sherriff but from what i can gather no one ever voted him to the position, i suppose the fear again is what allows him to stay there.
A sudden explosion jerks me to reality where scolding coffee is spewing through my clinched hands and puddling over my shoes. I look around, in momentary shock, and all the faces have turned toward me silently. I can feel a numbing burn on my hands and forarms but dont bother to break my gaze to examine them. I stammer for some sort of explanation to feed these people so they will turn their gawking eyes away from me, but nothing makes its way to my lips.
"Alright, alright shows over. Haven't ya seen someone drop somethin before?" Bart makes his way from behind the register but no one is making an effort to obey, all eyes remain fixed on the sideshow act. 
"I-I'm... sorry..." I dig,dazed, for the wod of bills in my pocket and hold them out to the graying restraunt owner whoes face is now twisted in shock. 
"My goodness Celeste! Someone call 911!" Bart shreiks and the blank faces of my audeince suddenly lapse to a frenzy. I gaze down in wonder,  looking for my leg to be missing, judging by Barts reaction. Instead, i find a jagged glass shard gushing red from my abdomn and beneth me the matching crimson puddle grows. I stare blankly at it for a moment as if im stuck in one of my hidious nightmares. Numbing shock is all i feel and i beg myself to wake quickly. But i know my pleas are worthless, i know this is no dream. My shock is wearing off slowly leaving nothing but searing pain in its wake. Everything begins to spin and I feel hands grab me tightly. A familiar voice whispers to me but I cant make out the words. I clutch at the warmth encircling me and try to focus on the face but its lost in a mash of blurred colors. I try to move but its like walking in quicksand. I can feel my body giving way to a strange new exhaustion... and I let it. The clammer around me fades away and the last thing I see is a pair of sky blue eyes before im drug into darkness.
Im in a dark room lit by one candle alone. No ordinary candle this one has a dark red flame yet casts out pale blue light.  The room is bitter cold and dead silent. A dream...My own hell. I squint away from the flame, trying to adjust my eyes. A sudden scratching sound vibrates the wall behind me and i jump for the candle. I thrust the red flame into the darkness at arms legnth but its light cant penetrate the shadows. A painful cackle erupts around me and i drop the candle to cover my ears. The room explodes in flashes of light, engulfing the floor in thick alien like flames. The unusal fire creates a divide between me and the lurking beast. I know he's here...he's always here. I scan for a moving shadow, a siloutte, anything. My heart is racing and i feel the intense urge to run from the bubbling tension, the voice in my head screaming that this is real. Just as soon as i think it, a silky black figure slowly melts from the shadows, fixing its  blood red eyes on me.
"Oh yes, my dear little bird, i am very real." The rough hiss felt more like it was echoing in my head, slicing at my brain. I tried to focus on the shadow edging closer to the blazing ground between us but couldnt make it out. Still i know what it is...who it is. The heat of the room was suffocating now and realistically choking me. My eyes scanned for any escape but to no avail...just darkness beyond the growing fires glare. A dark yet soft laugh taughnts me and my spine stiffens. I have to get out now, i got to wake up. The panic floods my mind again, screaming that this is not a dream... i can never wake up. The red flames lick up the brick walls majestically, towering over me now. Whitout thinking about it i thrust my bare fist into the flame, hoping that the shock of it will pull me back to reality. I can feel it, magnified pain of what it would actually feel like to be burnt alive. Whithdrawing my blistering hand i cower, wimpering in the corner.
"Come now little one, trying to leave so soon? I havent even begun to play yet..." The raspy hiss echoed in my mind once more and again the pain of it was unyeilding. I chocked back a cry and fall to my knees punching the ground. The smoke seems to be filling my lungs faster and i gasp for a taste of air. Peering through the engulfing flames i see the thing is gone. Another sick game, which way will it toy with me now? Anger bubbles in me, erupting over my fear and pain. Im done bird! i scream internally, knowing it can hear. But the thing remained hidden, no doubt waiting for the perfect moment to stike. I struggle to gulp in as much air as possible, readying myself.
"Come out, come out... where ever you are." I  whisper into smoke and ash. Instantly i fell a prickling on my neck, fingertips and at the pit of my stomache. Like electricity coursing through me. Suddenly I can breath a little better. My eyes seem to be able to peirce through the smog and darkness more easily. A ear splitting skreitch sounds all around and the sleek raven decends mere feet in front of me. The prickling morphs into a hum or vibration, pentrating down to my bones. It seems to make me more brave and stronger...or dumber. 
"Who are you?" I had always longed to ask this before but my mouth could never find the words. The shreik faded into another hidious cackle.
"I am all." The thing replied evenly yet amused. Its tone that of someone picking wings off an insect. Toying with something helpless, believing they are all powerful. It sickens me.
"You are nothing." I merely whisper, twisting my face once more to look at the beast before me. It simply stares. Not replying or mocking. Not lashing out. So i fell compelled to continue, being pushed by steady pulse of energy growing beneth my skin. 
"What do you want from me?" I ask with a little more venom in my voice. The raven moves faster than i could see and is now merely inches in front of my face. It's lava like eyes lock in to a death stare with mine.  Its great wings fan at the flames building around us like a furious tornato.
"YOUR' SOUL!." It shreiks, striking out with its razor beak. I throw my hands up to block the attack, pushing my palms into the great birds chest. Suddenly A blinding explosion of brilliant white light passes between us at my touch. Heaving the beast into the, now crumbling, dream scenery.  All i can see is a tranquil glow lifting me up, all i can feel is its cooling breeze kissing my blistering skin, and the distant sounds of my nightmare drop away easily. 
Beep...Beep...beep. Its the first sound to break through the darkness. Next comes a rythmatic dripping sound right next to my ear. My fisrt thought is i left the faucet on again. I try to move my arms but they feel so heavy i lapse back, hearing a crinkle like paper under me.  Finally after what seems like hours of being between two worlds, dreams and reality, I break through the surface. The lights are dim and I squit to see just blurry shapes in a small boxy room. I blink a few times and sluggishly rub at my eyes, trying to make them focus...Where am I? I struggle to remember where i was when i must have fallen asleep but its like trying to remember a forgotten dream, just bits and peices. Finally my eyes adjust and what appears to be a small hospital room unfolds before me. The beeping sounds from an ancient looking monitor hooked to an IV pole which was pumping me full of clear liquid. What the hell? I reach to jerk the needle from my bruised arm but a sudden voice jerks my head up.
"I wouldn't do that." Gabe stood in the door, his arms full of cakes, sodas and bags of chips. "Your moms on her way in play dead." He mock whispered, plopping down in a chair and popping open a bag of doritos at the same time. That second my mom came rushing in and throw her self almost on top of me. Her voice muffled against my hair as she sobbed. 
"I can't do this...I cant watch this happen to you. What...agree..." I peeled her gently off of me and looked at her hollow face. Its once youthful, glowing complextion was now dull, pale and etched with worry lines.
"Im fine." I croaked. I had no idea what the hell was happening here, why i was in this bed and hooked up to all these wires. I tried again to remember where i was before here but it was to fuzzy. "Mom, Gabe...What happened exactly?" I asked glancing at Gabe as he scarfed down some kind of chocalote cake and smiled at me with a full mouth. I couldn't help but grin back at him but it was my mom who answered me.
"You don't remember? You were at the diner, the pot you were holding shattered in your hands Mavice said. A piece of it went right through your abdomon. You lost so much blood but it is building up quickly so you don't need a transfusion..." My mom trailed off and busie herself folding sheets and emptying a bag she brought from home. I immediatly jerk up my gown to reveal a small cut to the left under my ribs...weird thing is it looks like its almost healing. I noramlly do heal fast, I always have. But i haven't really had a serious injury to compare to...not that I can remember. I push on the skin surrounding the cut with staples holding it together and it was barely tender. Maybe its just really deep...
"I feel...Fine." I say stretching my legs and back, flexing out my muscles.  Gabe come to sit on the end of my bed, putting his hand over mine, smirking as usual. 
"You look fine to Celly. Honestly I think your faking the whole thing! All the pressure of Barts' and trying to be the premo waitress must have pushed you over the edge...Its all my fault!" He mock shreiked and throws himself back on my bed. "Why Celly? Oh, I think I know now...all these years of being friends and looking at me day after day...well its enough to drive any woman crazy with lust!" His antics work and I cant hold back my laughter as he pretends to rip his heart from his chest and present it to me. 
"Your right." I say, watching as his face goes from devilish to wishful in seconds. He stammers slightly at my serious expression. "I-I am?" He swallows hard and looks around to my mother who seems as though she was lost in a world of her own.
"Yeah, being friends for so long and having to look at you everyday could drive a person crazy." I smirk and he smiles back halfheartedly. "Ha Ha Celeste." He pouts and plops back down in the blue hospital chair, shutting me out with ear buds blaring Metallica. 

© 2012 WickedPenWielder

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Comments as I go: 1. overall plot sounds similar to the Nicolas Cage portion of Kick A*s, raised to kill etc. 2. i think of edgar allen poe. 3. 6 times in one week, might as well just be everyday so far this week or a smaller number like 4. 4. bitter against athletes. 5. Well done first person perspective, dad sounds badass.
I get the feeling that the protagonist knows more about the dream stuff than we do, not a bad technique early but it needs a little clarification as you go on.

Posted 10 Years Ago

WICKED... you sure is!!!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wow. I am intrigued to read more. You do paint a wonderful picture with your words. I could feel, and most importantly SEE what y ou were describing. The only things I would suggest..would be some minor editing for grammatical errors and spelling. This would be something that I would be interested in reading more of.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wow, this is amazing! I believe that you are more of a writer for books than poems (In my own opinion) Your imagery is amazing and it helps the readers understand the chapter itself. I would buy this. Keep on the good work!

Posted 10 Years Ago

This had me hooked from the beginning. The first scene put me right into the story (and I'll admit starting out with sheer violence got my attention), and the rest of it is paced evenly through the dreams and reality to keep you reading. If this were at the book store, I'd buy it!

Posted 10 Years Ago

I really liked this, i found myself captivated. Unable to stop reading even tho i should since it is so late. However, this story has a pretty good plot. I wonder what the connect the girl has to the bird and. Why she can heal fast, what up with evil Malcolm.....

Posted 10 Years Ago

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This is fantastic, imagery and word choice is beyond amazing. A lot of your I's aren't capitalized, just a heads up. But overall I really enjoy your piece, you definitely have skill. I can't wait to read something else of yours!

Posted 10 Years Ago

i'm reading this a bit at a time so i can't give an overall impression yet - but the first two paragraphs are wonderful. the language is dripping with expression, some utterly unique lines, my favourites of which are:

- Something sharp rips deep into the flesh of my rib cage hooking through bone

- the wet snap of my bone breaking under my flesh

- Invisible hands seem to cover me in a hot blanket of red velvet

i will continue to read with anticipation of greatness :)

(typos - lurking, convulse, viciously)

Posted 10 Years Ago

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8 Reviews
Added on June 17, 2012
Last Updated on November 18, 2012
Tags: Dark, fantasy, fiction, space, girl, love, alien, planet, earth, angels, demons, good, evil, save, stars, amazing




I have been writing stories since I could write. Even before then I was telling them to anyone who would listen. I seem to just look at an everyday thing and my mind turns it into some type of complic.. more..


A Poem by WickedPenWielder