It must have been around 3 am when my sister came to my room and asked:
Shanu, are you awake? I did not respond at first. Then she continued, “I am hearing strange creaking noises in my room, coming from the cupboards as if someone or something is gradually opening them from inside, like it creaks and shrieks, it sounds scary and disturbing.
I sure was in a deep sleep, and when her voice pulled me back to half reality, I first did not address her problem but instead asked her, “Come inside, don’t stand at the door, come and hit on my arm” She hesitated, probably this question scared her more, I said, “Come inside, do as I say, don’t be scared.” She followed my instructions but asked, “what happened? Why are you asking me to hit you? Did you hear anything I said?
By then, I was part awake; I told her, “I asked you to hit me because I wanted to confirm if it was you? You see, I was having a nightmare when you woke me up suddenly; in this dream, I was in a dual with an evil warlord, dressed head to toe in shiny armour. He had this strange sword forged in the shape of a snake dragon, and he was charging at me while I was defenceless in my regular clothes, without any armour or a weapon. Then he threw his sword and me, transforming it into a monster. It looked like a giant snake, with the face of a fire-spitting dragon; it had eight tentacled claw-like legs, enabling it to move at razor speed, and a sharp tail forked into two halves that can slice anyone or anything into small pieces. It was chasing me, and its snake-like body gripped me tightly, and I was unable to move. Hence, I was sleeping tightly in one single position. You saved me from the nightmare; I will be there in two minutes to check what’s disturbing your sleep. My sister left the room saying, “maybe I will sleep in the front hall room for the rest of the night; I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in my room.”
It took me some time to fully come to my conscious self, shrug off the strange nightmare, and address my sister’s concern. I got up sluggishly, tired, yawning and moved towards the front hall. I noticed my sister had already landed on the recliner in a lying posture, covering her body with her warm blanket to ward of the winter chill. But she peeped out, she was awake, seemed rather pale, she told me” what took you so much time? The creaking noise won’t stop; I am sacred. “I got irritated and said, “It’s Just been like two minutes; what are you saying? She retorted, “It’s been an hour; it’s 4 am now; I was waiting for you to come.” Confused, I said, “Okay, I am sorry, let me check what’s happening.” I entered her room, and a wave of cold air struck me, chilling my bones, even with the doors and windows shut. I checked the cupboards, opened and closed them and told my sister, “Look, there’s nothing, there is no creaking sound, you must have dreamed or imagined.” I turned around, but my sister wasn’t standing behind me; she was not in the room. Hence I checked the hall; she was not there too. Then I heard a creaking noise coming from her room. I rushed inside and noticed that one of the left compartments of a cupboard started opening, making a creaking sound; I moved closer towards the south end of the wall, which felt like the coldest spot in the room. As the compartment door creaked open, I witnessed an unimagined horror. Inside the compact space, the giant serpent from my dream was coiling, twisting and squeezing my sister’s body like a lemon fruit as her face grew grimmer and paler. At the same time, its dragon face opened wide, and the creature started retching out a ghoulish humanoid; it had rotten skin sticking to the bones, a gaunt skeletal like figure. Its head represented a half-decayed human skull, and inside the eye sockets, a pair of giant greyish eyeballs, reddish-orange iris and a bright yellow pupil. Broken jaws with rotten teeth made groaning noises while spewing out from the monster’s belly. At the same time, my sister’s body was pushed inside the snake’s rear end by its sinister forked tail. I screamed in horror and disbelief when I heard my sister’s voice from the front hall. “Shanu, why are you shouting? It’s okay, go back to sleep; I will sleep on the recliner tonight; I feel better now; I am not scared. I rushed towards her; she seemed fine; I told her, “Thank god you are fine; instead of consoling you, I imagine things, please sleep, let us not think about anything negative, everything is fine, I am going to sleep now, wake me up if you feel scared again.” Startled and shaken, I got back to my bed, trying to sleep, it took me a while, but I think I entered the slumber again.
I woke up again by the noise of low groaning coming from the hall, which kept getting louder into a wail; my sister was having a nightmare probably, I tried to move, but I remained stuck to my bed, profusely sweating, yet feeling very cold, I tried to scream. Still, my mouth gagged and chocked by the sharply forked tail of the beast. At the same time, I trembled, wrapped around by its thick slimy, curled skin. This time the face of the snake dragon was towards my feet; my body felt paralysed, unable to move a bit for my sister’s rescue. I was myself in trouble as the ghoulish humanoid sat on my chest wearing shiny armour while his pet monster squeezed my existence. The forked tail started covering my whole face and formed a tunnelled opening that started pushing my body from front to torso inside the beast. The ghoul was still sitting on my chest, grinning and enjoying the devouring process while I watched my misery not through my wide unmoved terror-filled eyes, but my mind. It seemed like some messed up mind trick, a ghoulish nightmare, and I was a prisoner trapped in it, unable to break free. I visioned from the other side of the beast, the dragon face, something vomited out, but the thing that came out looked like me, just a little more pale, dead and ghoulish. It moved slowly towards the hall room, marking perimeters around my sister, strolling in a circle, stalking her as if she were some prey. She, now awake, scared of the ghoulish form of me, is screaming in fear, calling for the real me, asking for my help, while the giant snake is eating my body. The ghoul had seemed to take my appearance and now was torturing my sister. I prayed for positivity and applied all my strength to free my had, and I was successful somehow; using my hands, I pulled my body out of the snake funnelled mouth and, with all my might, freed myself from its grip. I ran towards the hall room in fear and terror and saw what appeared to be a shed skin; it was my sister’s but a deflated meat suit without life. I was quivering with fear, muttering mad rantings, praying for this horror to end; I invoked the ghoul and his snake pet, begging to leave my sister and me at peace. I got a push by a large forked tail and stumbled down on the floor, now defeated.
The snake monster appeared to me, now raising its upper body, its torso on the ground and its long-forked tail curled behind, its dragon-like face snarling in rage and over his head sat the ghoul with shiny armour. I wondered he was the warlord; he wanted the battle to end. Hence, he is tormenting me with these frightening visions. The ghoul warlord raised his hands to aim his dragon-like blade towards my chest; it pierced me, and my whole body burnt like fire. In those final moments, I saw myself in a muddy puddle and the impact of the blade reducing my body to mud as I saw the ghoulish warlord grinning with pride and arrogance; I heard it, in my mind, the shrill gnarly voice of the ghoul.” I got you.” He kept giggling.
I woke up around 8 in the morning, all sweaty, my bed wet with my sweat, but I was alive. I quickly rushed to my sister’s room; she was sleeping, not in the front hall on the recliner, but peacefully in her room. She woke up by my worried presence, and I asked her if she was okay and started crying. She got up, concerned and asked me, “Shanu, what’s the matter? I told her all my experiences about the last night and the nightmares. Quite startled, she told me, “I don’t know what happened; I never came to your room; I slept early last night and only got up when you came to my room. All that you experienced must have been a terrible nightmare.” I was glad that we both were doing fine and was relieved that my terrifying experience was just the worst nightmare I ever had. But I was fear struck, with so many questions, who and what was that ghoul warlord and his snake dragon? What was the meaning of all these frightening experiences? Why does an evil demonic entity like him torment me? Will I ever see him again in my nightmares? If yes, how will I face him? Was it all a product of my mind, and everything I saw was a big freaky illusion or some sort of paranoid hallucination? While my mind grappled with these thoughts, I heard a squeaky noise and then the creaking of a cupboard door; I was startled and jumped in fear. My sister laughed and said, “Looks like the nightmare took a significant toll on you; the cupboard has problems with hinges hence creaks at times. Will you check on it and fix it soon?”. I just walked out of her room, scared, confused and bewildered.
A horror fictional short story by Rain Alchemist