Her sleep is a portal. She’s not known a full night’s peaceful sleep since that moment in childhood when they first found her and filled her with visions of her bed crawling with spiders and other such creepy crawlies to taunt a small girls mind. She’s an adult now, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less immune to them when they choose to approach. When she sleeps, somewhere within a dusty window into another dimension opens, and things cross over.
Sometimes they’re so focused on the cross over that they can’t wait for full sleep to reach her, shouting her name in terrifying voices just as she’s begun the decent into oblivion, snapping her awake with a violent jolt, leaving her with a sheen of sweat and choking on a fight or flight response. Often while sitting up in bed she wonders if her mind has been touched by schizophrenia. The voices had been male and deep and clear as day, so clear she looks around to be sure they weren’t murmured in her ear by a strange man in her room.
Then there are the times they exhibit patience and wait for her to be swallowed whole by sleep. They slink through the portal into her mind and taint her dreams, leaving evil fingerprint smudges wherever they touch. Her dreams are tortured and inescapable and grotesque shards of what they should be.
Sometimes she jolts awake before they can fully approach from their domain, leaving them half buried in both worlds, dancing in and out of her peripheral vision. They are shadows of where evil used to reign. They’re never seen directly but loom just beyond her sight, making themselves known with the briefest of glimpses of dark malevolence. They make sure she knows they follow her and that they watch.
Sometimes when she jolts awake she brings them fully with her. These are the whole ones, the ones her family calls night terrors and the awareness of these often leave her screaming with insanity. They weren’t halved upon the awakening so the full scope of their evil engulfs her like the churning frothy apex of a wave.
Her eyes open and she can feel them, their faces pressed up against hers, the humid and putrid breath of evil on her face. Watching her. Still she cannot see them but in the darkest hours of the early morning she can see the void they occupy. They blanket her with their misery, tucking her snugly in a quilt of horror, and steal her ability for words. They drip with poison and ooze with eternal isolation. As the moment passes and she begins to fully waken, for a brief moment she knows what true horror is. She has looked fear in the face and been rendered speechless, left without words and alone in a sea of oblivion. She reaches for her voice to scream and breaks the spell woven over her in the darkness, and all is again as it should be. Until they next choose to cross over and visit her sleep.