October 5: Making a Deal with a Nightmare

The October Diary is a work of fiction originally released serially during October 2015. The complete list of posts can be found here.

October 5th

When a man who has been in your nightmares since you were a kid appears in real life and says he is going to kill you, well, you can’t fully take the blame for your actions, can you? Or maybe that’s just an excuse.

I was at a cafe drinking tea and reading, relaxing, when he sat down beside me the first time. At first I thought I was crazy or dreaming, but he was real. He said it was my time to die. I saw my fear reflected in his eyes.

I avoided eye contact but I found myself looking at his mouth, which was worse than his mirror eyes. Beyond his jig-zagging teeth was an opening so dark it seemed like I could be pulled into its gravity. I turned away, which meant that when he began to speak the moisture of his cold breath raised goosebumps on my neck.

He told me that he had been waiting, but it was time for me to go.

“I’m pregnant. Please spare my baby! I’ll give you anything! Why does it have to be me?” I begged him. I pleaded.

At first I thought I was reacting to a maternal instinct to protect my unborn child. Afterward I feared that I was simply trying to save myself. Maybe it was a bit of both.

Regardless, it worked. He said he would spare my life, for a while, but he said that my husband would have to die in my place. When I tried to protest, he said the deal had been made. I had told him I’d give him anything. This is what he wanted.

At home as I cried I tried to convince myself it had been my imagination. I wondered if pregnancy could cause hallucinations. I almost believed it never happened. Then the police showed up at the door and said Brendan had been in an accident that I knew it wasn’t an accident.

I was so young. I blame that. I was young and didn’t think about the consequences of resisting. How could I have known anyway? How was I supposed to know? Still, I hated myself for a long time, but I’m ashamed to admit that eventually I stopped believing it happened. I let the realness fade into nightmares again. Now the nightmare is reality again. It’s my turn to die.

What happens next? Read the next part of the story here.

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