I had the dream again last night, always the same sequence of events, the same cataclysmic outcome. Except now it was happening every night, proof as if any were needed that it was almost upon us.
I’m drying myself after a shower in the bathroom. I go over to the mirrored medicine cabinet on the wall, rooting around for something I can never find. As I open it, something catches my eye, a flash of movement, I’m never entirely sure. I slowly adjust the mirrored door knowing I’m being watched I rub the steam away and see the outline of a young woman standing directly behind me, clouds of water vapour gently eddying around her.
I whirl around and she puts her finger to her lips with one hand holding out the other with an odd formality as though asking me to dance. An alien thrumming through my head tells me she’s dead, although the solidity of her body belies that fact. But it’s her face that makes me want to scream: devoid of features apart from two indentations where her eye sockets should have been. But it’s not a smooth blankness, it’s as though what passed for the skin of her face is malleable like putty and has been flattened by inefficient careless fingers, leaving bumps and odd ridges in their wake. I try to call out but my voice has deserted me and I know I’m alone.
She’s dripping from head to toe and her dirty white dress is torn and hanging off one shoulder.
She walks towards me, the mottled flesh of her narrow frame discernable through the thin fabric of her dress. I press myself as far against the wall as I and try again to shout, but can’t summon the breath, choking instead on the hot, sulpherous steam.
My own power blazes through my bones and before I can even direct it, bursts from me and slashes the thing’s face and body and then again and again, numerous times, too many to count. Bright blood wells to the surface of these cuts like a profusion of jagged red mouths just before it begins to gush onto the floor. Something is moving around beneath the skin like a frightened rodent and the more I cut, the more excitable the burrower becomes. I throw myself to the left towards the bathroom door, but the bloodied figure gives me a contemptuous, almost lazy swipe that connects with my shoulders. I hit my head off the tiles, and feel a warm wetness running down my face and pooling beneath me as it cools. My vision blurs and I fight to stay conscious, but it’s only a matter of time.
I can only see the creature’s bare feet from my vantage point on the floor and now they begin to walk towards me slowly. No need to rush, not now. With a detachment born of blood loss and shock, I watch it approach, stand over me for what seems like minutes but could only have been seconds and then it squats down beside me, so I can see its face. The wounds I’ve slashed into its skin gape wide and move of their own volition. Inside the raw meat, the wet flick of an eye, the extrusion of a decayed tooth roils in a fevered constant motion. I whimper and try to edge away but I can’t move, can’t call out, can’t get out of this one.
Because this time, it’s not a dream and she’s finally decided to come for me.
And there’s not a damned thing in this world or the next that I can do about it.