Colleen’s story prompt was: when dreams/nightmares become reality.
This is the first suspense story that I have written, so with that being said, I present to you the story that Colleen inspired.
Bridget sensed more than felt the hand cover her nose and mouth. As she struggled for air she inhaled more of the acrid fumes and lost consciousness.
On awaking Saturday morning, Bridget held her head in her hands. The pounding was so intense that she heaved into the waste basket. It took Bridget a moment to focus in the bright sunlight shining into her east facing window. She was in her bedroom and everything was just like she remembered, even the glass of water that her mom puts by the bed. Reaching for the water she drank deeply, but remained thirsty.
Images of yesterday passed before Bridget’s eyes, and her heart started to pound. The last thing she remembered was waking up and hearing the window creaked open in the dark. At first she thought that the sound was her imagination, but a cool breeze had slid across her bared shoulders. Then nothing—she could not remember anything else about the previous evening.
Bridget ran her hands over her body checking for signs of pain or abuse, but found none. It must have been a dream. She got up and walked over to the window. The sky was brightly lit, but was washed out and green in color. Looking at the latch, Bridget noticed that is was not in the locked position.
“Shake it off, Bridget,” she said aloud.
“Bridget!” her mom yelled from downstairs. “Bridget get up honey, you are going to be late for practice!”
Bridget sprinted through her morning routine and grabbed her gym bag on the way down stairs.
“I thought I was going to have to come up there and wake you.”
“I slept late, but I can still catch the 8:15.”
Bridget took a banana from her mom, and ran out the door. She jogged down the block to the bus stop. The 8:15 arrived at 8:17. Bridget hopped on the bus and slid her pass for the fare. Finding a seat near the rear she relaxed and ate her breakfast.
At the next stop a familiar looking boy got on the bus. Bridge smiled and boy reciprocated. She couldn’t remember where she had seen him before. He sat a few rows ahead of her, but she could not see his face. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head obscuring his features.
The next stop was the soft ball field as Bridget got up, the boy did as well. In her haste to get off the bus she bumped him in the upper thigh, but he didn’t look back.
“It’s not a problem,” the boy said looking over his shoulder. His voice was like honey, and Bridget’s breath caught in her throat. She wanted, no needed to see his face.
As he reached the sidewalk he headed away from the ball field. Bridget paused. She wanted to follow him, but the team was expecting her. Bridget was paralyzed by indecision. As his moved down the street he looked over his shoulder at her. Bridget feet turned to follow him. She felt like she simply must follow him.
At first he walked at a leisurely pace but as Bridget got closer he sped up. Soon the two were running down the street full force. Bridget lost track of where they were; her only concern was catching up to him. At a tee in the road he ran left into an industrial area and ducked into a warehouse.
It was so dark and Bridget’s eyes strained to see. She dropped her bag and inched forward.
“Why are you following me, Bridget?”
Bridget froze. The voice was close, but she couldn’t be sure what direction it was coming from.
“Why are you running from me?” Bridget spoke to the darkness; she did not receive an answer.
Coming to her senses Bridget realized she needed to get out and back into the light. She slowly backed toward the door.
Right by her ear the boy said “I am the one who asks questions here.”
Bridget screamed and tried to bolt, but she was caught in his vice like grip.
“Stop struggling, Bridget!” He commanded and clamped his arms tighter.
Bridget felt faint and sick, desperate. She stopped moving hoping to relax her attacker.
“There now isn’t that better,” he whispered while nuzzling her ear.
“You are shaking, Bridget. I am not going to hurt you.” He droned.
“Why are you doing this to me?”
“No questions, Bridget. I do not like to repeat myself.”
“OK I’m sorry. I just want to know what is going on.”
“Nothing is happening, Bridget. This is not real. I am the one you want but cannot have. I am your dream, your wish, your desire.”
“No! No! No!” Bridget yelled.
“Honey are you OK?” Bridget’s mom ran into her bedroom and flicked on the light.
Bridget was sitting bolt upright in her bed, sweat streaming down her face. Her mom sat on the bed and held Bridget tight.
“It’s fine, honey. It was just a nightmare.” Bridget’s mom said stroking her daughter’s hair.
Bridget relaxed in her mom’s embrace, “I’m OK, Mom. Go back to bed.”
“If you’re sure, honey.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Bridget leaned back on her pillow.
Once her mom was down the hall, Bridget hopped out of bed and walked to the window. It was unlatched. As she reached a shaky hand to the lock she looked down. Next to the oak in the back yard was a boy dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. All she could see of his face was his smile.