Which is the true nightmare: the formidable dream that lurks at the back of your mind or the infernal reality that awaits you? Because once you close your eyes and surrender yourself, you are only subject to revolting desires. What drives the minds of those who find sanctuary in the blood of their victims? A wicked soul, of course. They submerged themselves in the warm, thick souls that lifelessly fell to their knees, grinning at the sight of its next meal.
We watched the last light gnaw through our fingers, our eyes bound to bodies that surrounded us as we sat in a blanket of blood. Where the walls of the room sought to rid all comfort and loomed over our helpless breaths, we could not escape the chains that bound us here.
I can still see the bloody marks on the wallpaper: You’re going to die in there!
I must write as fast as I can. Someone has to find our souls, right? Maybe this pathetic, crumbled toilet paper riddled with bloody ink can pave that path.
If this note finds another living being, please come find us.
Thunder smashed across the sky as if the heavens were about to cleave into a million pieces that day. The storm came to quench the earth and wreaked glacial rain among the streets. Knocking on every door and window, children fled into their homes and sought a warm sanctuary in their mother's arms. My brother and I had just finished school that day and the bus never came. We walked within the sleet of rain and listened as the storm raged within our presence.
Where the cold feasted off his warm flesh, my brother cowered into my arm and pierced his nails into my raincoat. I remember looking beyond the street knowing that our home was way out of reach.
“Can I have your raincoat too?” His teeth trembled.
His weak, pale skin could not fight against the storm, so I blanketed my brother with my raincoat.
“Maybe we should see if people would– would help us.” I stuttered. “How– how does that sound?” I could barely touch my lips together.
We knocked on every door and were greeted with silence. We were turned away with knobs locked and windows shut. We were turned away with hands in our faces and voices that claimed that there was no help to be given.
The sun began to bleed across the horizon, and we agreed that we would try at least one more house. We approached the most extravagant house, enchanted with luxurious glass windows and pale, white walls. Charmed with a beautiful garden and a warm-looking porch, my brother and I rushed towards the door.
Childhood should be a time of innocence, where your soul is submerged with wonder and safety. If only I knew that before I knocked on the door. My brother can never forgive me for what I have done. Nor could I forgive myself.
You’re going to die in there!
When we reached the porch that day, a woman had greeted us with a smile. Her hair of platinum, like the chains that bind me now, curled around her waist like a devil’s tail. Nails like sharpened fangs clutched onto the door frame as she welcomed us.
“Hello! How can I help you?” Her misguided kindness enchanted us.
My brother hid behind me like a shadow and the woman’s eyes fell onto mine. “We just need a phone to call our mother…” I stared back.
Her smile grew.
“I have a phone inside. You can use it, if you’d like?”
The woman pressed her back up against the wall and revealed her home.
It felt like witchcraft. My brother peeked around my arm into the house and gasped at the sight of a fireplace. It burned so bright with a dancing glow that brought a comforting warmth into the woman's home. Beside the flames was a wooden, crooked table with a dirty bowl drowned with all sorts of sweets. Baited in like prey, my brother launched into the house, feasting away until the candy crumbs had stained his lips. The woman gazed at me as I ambled behind Havel.
I rushed towards my brother: “Havel, don’t leave my side.”
“Havel?” The woman locked the door, “that’s your name?” Havel reluctantly nodded.
“And what’s your name, sweetie?” The woman walked towards a polished kitchen table.
“Mara?” She gasps. “That’s an interesting name.”
The woman slips her hand into a drawer. It was as if her claws had gouged out my throat. I stood there in her silence. Beneath her thin fingers was a knife, embroidered with a dark oak handle and stained with cherries on the blade. Is she getting ready to cook dinner?
“Did you know Mara means death?”
Maybe she was cleaning the dishes? But why just–
“Young lady?” The woman interrupted.
I regained my consciousness: “It’s my mother’s name…”
The woman fell into a deep silence. She smothered the knife in her wrinkly palms.
If only I could see the false kindness within the woman's eyes. I was bewitched. I was foolishly blinded and now I sit here alone in this bitter cell feeling my fingers numb as I write my past mistakes.
“Where is your phone?” I asked.
The woman raised her kitchen knife towards another room and muttered that the phone was just behind the grand stairs. I walked towards the other phone which was two rooms away and saw that it was attached beside the stairs, spoiled with dust, and festered with splinters. I remember tangling my fingers in the dirty cable from the phone and biting at my own nails as I dialled my mother’s number. Holding my breath, I peered through into the previous room to see Havel still by the fire. I could hear Havel feasting away at the candies. As he chewed the phone rang for a few minutes until it suffocated in the silence. I rang her number over and over again, begging that she would answer.
I will never hear my mother’s angelic voice again.
I peered my head into the other room to see Havel still sitting by the warm flames as if he finally found sanctuary from the storm.
You’re going to die in there!
I remember feeling small pinches in my stomach as if worms from rotten corpses had entered my system. I knew, somehow, that I needed to defend Havel and keep him safe. I held my breath once more and dialled a new number. I tightened the phone cable around my wrist until my fingers turned purple.
A male voice broke the unforgettable silence: “Hello, what is your emergency?”
“Hello? My name is Mara. I am in a woman's house, and she is acting strange.”
You’re going to die in there!
“Are you with your parents?”
“No.” I whispered. “Please come find us. Our mother hasn’t answered her phone.”
I leaned over to the other room once more.
You’re going to die in there!
“Us?” The man questioned.
A loud smash screams from the other room. I felt the rubber cable of the phone untangling through my fingers…
“Who is us? Hello?”
The phone crashed onto the floorboards as I stared into the bleeding fire that welcomed my brother inside the woman’s house. The bowl of sweets was shattered across the floorboards and blood was splattered across the ground.
“Mara, are you there?”
I could feel the blood pumping through my veins as I stumbled towards the fireplace.
“Mara! Where is your location?” The man’s voice faintly muffled behind me.
I got closer and closer seeing the fragments of the bowl tainted with blood. I could barely breathe. My knees collided on the hardwood floor beside that knife the woman was holding.
“Havel?” I trembled at the sight of the knife.
The blood that crawled along the floor grazed and infected my flesh. I grabbed the knife and felt
a warm sweaty grip on the handle.
“Havel!” I yelled. “Havel, where are you!? Please, Havel!”
A broken crown of sadness was cursed upon me.
“You old crone!” I tightened my grip on the knife. “Where is my brother!?”
I raised the knife and saw myself. What have I done? I looked once more into the reflected blade and saw a figure behind me. And just before I could blink, the world before me fell into darkness.
I woke up and heard piercing screams bleeding into my ears and cries that haunted my dreams. Surrounded by moulding walls made out of stone was a cell filled with spiritless youth. Children with disfigured faces, puffy cheeks, and bloodshot eyes were chained to platinum iron from the walls.
“Mara?” A soft voice echoed through the room.
Just beyond my toes was my brother, sitting in the corner of the room hiding away in his raincoat. His hand was tainted with blood from pressuring his palm against his hip.
“Havel! Are you okay?”
He tried to speak but all I could hear were his raspy breaths.
Screams echoed in the room as if it was bleeding through the walls. A scent of rotten flesh perfumed the air and the children around me leaned away from this isolated door.
It didn’t take me long to understand what was going on. Havel and I sat in this cell watching as children vanished in the arms of the old crone with her butcher knife. We sat in this cell hearing flesh peel and teeth grind against bones. And when the old crone came back for another child her lips were smeared with blood.
I couldn’t save him.
My hand is becoming numb as I write, hearing Havel wailing in the other room. It’s only a matter of time until I–
The door is opening!
Whatever you do, find this note. Find this letter. Please, come find us.
Please, come find–