The Screams Inside
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
A heavy grey fog lingered in the air for weeks. She missed the crisp blue sky, and the fluffy white clouds. She missed the birds that soared above. She missed the happy faces of townsfolk in Morrisville, a small town in the middle of god-knows-where, when they'd go into the market. Although she was always somehow cold, she missed the warmth of the sun on her face, and the scent of pinewood in the air. She longed for all of it.
She sat by the window on an old wooden chair, in an old wooden room, on the third floor of an old wooden hospital. She hadn't left her room since the fog arrived, unless Mother Agatha told her it was bathing time. She hated the hospital—but she knew where she was. She could tell just by the crazy patients and the strict nuns and the dark, secretive walls, laughing at you as you walked past. It was cruel. She knew she wasn't crazy. She knew she didn't belong in there. She knew an asylum wouldn't protect her, it would just risk everyone else's life.
Despite the warmth from the fireplace, she shivered ferociously. She was deathly cold; A side-effect—the doctors claimed—from the illness, but she knew better.
That night, a gloomy, tainted storm consumed the town. The thunder's anger and the "plop, plip-plop" of the rain soothed her restless soul. Condensation covered the window; she quickly wiped it away as if she'd miss something. She left her hand on the window and moved her face as close as she could. It was like she was in a trance. She was infatuated by the storm's horrifying, wild beauty: the rain sparkled like the stage-lights in a theatre, the thunder clashed like the tambourines from a band, the lightning danced across the sky like an undead ballerina.
Undead. That word intrigued her, but it scared her more, for she knew the horrors of the Undead. She knew the power, she knew the curse, she knew the nightmares. She'd known since she was a child, when the nightmares first started. However, the nightmares didn't get so...real...until she got sick.
Her shoulders moved slightly as she let out a quiet sigh. She knew it'd happen tonight, the thirteenth of March. It was the 12-year anniversary of that wretched day. The day she caused the death of nearly an entire bloodline. She remembered it so vividly; the crunching of their bones, the tearing of their tendons, the warm, thick blood that flooded the house. The family was allowing her to live with them until she was able to be smuggled out of the country. And this family wasn't an ordinary family... they were dangerous people. The oldest son was the only one to survive, and the following day he made sure she suffered or the deaths of his family. She shivered and inhaled deeply. The stench of rotting flesh slowly consumed the room, the cold kiss of Death himself lingered around her. She gagged. The smell was all too familiar to her.
It was coming.
Suddenly, screams erupted down the hall. The thumping of dozens of feet ran down the hall, down the stairs and to the front door, the only door. They cried and pounded at the large wooden door. There was no way out; they were locked inside, and their fates were sealed.
Lightning flashed and thunder roared, and suddenly, just as soon as the screams came, they vanished. Just silence. Dead silence. Dead.
There was a slow, heavy set of footsteps walking up the creaking stairs. The wooden floor cried out as if in pain, as the person reached the top step and began walking through the hall, slowly getting closer, and closer to her room.
Finally, the footsteps stopped. It was silent for a second, and only a second. She refused to face her door and forced herself to stare out the window as heard the person jiggle the doorknob. Her body went rigid, and the door opened.
The person wheezed heavily and its foul, rotted odor engulfed her room. Her heart pounded against her chest as her eyes found its deformed reflection, and she shuddered. A strange, uncomfortable, and tingling warmth consumed her from her toes all the way up to her head. The warmth urged her to turn around. It begged her to open her eyes. She fought the warmth as best as she could, but the eerie warmth was too strong. She felt herself slowly begin to turn around; she quickly clenched her eyes shut as hard as she could. Her breath trembled and her hands shook fiercely as she fully faced the person.
She heard the person take small, shuffle-like strides until it was merely inches away from her face. Its putrid breath made her want to retch.
Its unnerving, unnatural warmth poked at her eyelids. She waited a minute and finally surrendered. Slowly and cautiously, she opened her eyes. Her eyes bulged, her skin paled and her heart thumped so hard she thought it'd jump out.
She tried to run away, but her body was frozen. She tried to scream, but no sound came out. She tried to cry, but her eyes were dry. All she could do was stand there silently with her mouth agape as the person—no, the Creature stared into her soul.
The young nurse dabbed away the small drops of sweat that formed on her forehead. The beeping of the heart monitor and the low buzz of the other machines drowned out all other noise outside the hospital room. The head nurse entered the room and gave the young nurse a small smile. Small creases formed in her forehead as she grabbed the clipboard hanging on the end of the bed and reviewed the girl's vitals. They were normal; 100/70 blood pressure, 15 breaths per minute, a pulse of 80 beats per minute, 98.9°F body temperature. So, why wasn't she awake? There had to be something else. "Did you change her gown, Kara?" the older nurse asked. She went to the window and opened it. A fresh breeze rolled in and she sighed.
"Yeah," Kara said, "it was the first thing I did this morning." She placed the slightly damp cloth on the bedside table. The older nurse came over and stood on the other side of the bed. "Any news from the cops? About her family?"
The older nurse shook her head and frowned at the Jane Doe before her, "No, they found no missing-person reports that are could be her. It's like she lived in the shadows, like she doesn't exist." The older nurse checked the machines. "Poor girl. To have no one looking for you? I can't even imagine." She shook her head imagining how lonely it would be if she were in the same situation. Not knowing that you're all alone, or no one knows you exist, or you're barely alive. How awful. The lights flickered, snapping her out of her thoughts, "Those damn electricians. I thought they fixed the system last week."
"Hey Val," Kara said. The older nurse turned to her. "Do you think she dreams?"
"She's in a coma, Kara. And despite her vitals, I don't think she'll ever wake up. There's something else wrong with her," Val raised her eyebrows as she spoke, and sadness filled her. With no family or identity, no one to cry over you, no visitors or flowers or Get-Well-Soon cards; how lonely. The lights flickered again, and Val's mood changed, "I'm going to have a word with that damn electric company. I don't need another power outage this week. Kara, look after her, would you?" Kara nodded and watched as she left the room.
Once she was gone, and she heard the door fully shut, she smirked. The door locked itself as Kara moved to the window and shut it. She went back to the bed and stroked the girl's cheek, "Val thinks she's so smart, doesn't she dear?" She chuckled. "You and I both know otherwise, don't we?" She stepped back from the bed and the lights flickered viciously. She giggled and her body began to dissolve into a grey fog. She began to transform. Her hair began to fall out in chunks, the skin on her face melted off, and rotted, grey flesh was uncovered.
"I'll see you in your nightmares."
He watched the young nurse from out the window. His magic black-cloak made him practically invisible to the human eye. He didn't have much time, he knew that. He needed to help the girl pass into the other world, into the After Life. He needed to hurry before that monster consumed her soul. He knew he shouldn't interfere, that his boss would scold him, maybe put him on probation for interfering with but it was Death's job to help souls, and that's exactly what he intended to do.