Genre: Crime – Horror. Word count 124 – 458 – 371 (final word count)

A Nightmare in Consequences

The dream was the same, a nightmare, falling, terror strangling him, his wife clinging tight, her screams unending as they went. Tangled in her dress, drenched in terror, they were both screaming.

Waking to darkness, sweat pooled on his skin as he heaved his breath, hair dripping, and sheets soaked. Wiping the saltiness from his eyes, he reached over and felt her arm; her cool, smooth skin reassuring him.

Taking a deep breath, slowing his heart, he sat up and nearly vomited.

A fly buzzed somewhere in the dark and landed. He turned, and in the dim light, he watched the fly crawl over his wife’s face. Her eyes were half-open and body completely still.

He waved his hand, and it flew off, the thick sound of its flight echoing in his thoughts. The man whispered garbled words in the dark, but a weight sat in his mind, halting his voice.

On shaky legs, he went to the kitchen and forced water down his throat. His body felt dry, having sweated out all the fluid in his body. He walked back to the bedroom, watching her from the doorway, and for a second she looked asleep, but she wasn’t.

The crisis had passed, but the consequences were coming.

He went back to bed, closed his eyes, and welcomed the terror that waited.

Looking at the ceiling, a hint of dawn already creeping, sleep evaded him. A hand touched his arm, and he turned his head to see his wife smile at him. His mouth opened wide as she grabbed him, and they fell through the bed down into a dark pit, screaming and tangled in each other.

Struggling against her, he wanted the end, he wanted it over, and with a guttural scream, they tumbled down endlessly, locked in struggle.

Air rushed his ears, drowning his screams.  In the darkness he felt her, but could not see her. Turning over, spinning through nothing, he understood.

His frantic struggle wore him down. All fight left him. A worn, broken spirit in the arms of the woman he once loved and betrayed.

They no longer fell, but floated, always with her, trapped in her arms, tormented with her hands around his throat.




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