Dream Stalker

 

The police arrived at the apartment of Jacob Jones. Jacob was a twenty-eight year old, healthy young man, and though it wasn’t unusual for the police to find a body of a young person who had died of natural causes, there was one glaring reason to suspect something foul.

 

Jacob’s face was contorted into a face locked in an expression of extreme horror. His eyes were wide, the mouth was open in a silent scream, and his arms were frozen above him as if defending himself from an attacker.

 

The investigators took pictures and as many notes as possible. They hoped the toxicology report would give some indication as to what had happened to him.

 

Unfortunately, over time, nothing other than the state of his body was discovered that led them to anything other than natural causes as the reason for his death, and it seemed to be an isolated event. The police never came across another case like Jacob Jones and quickly closed his case so that his family could bury his body.

 

 

Stephanie was normally a careful person, but since she had broken up with her boyfriend, his constant texts were distracting her.

 

That day alone, her phone interrupted a meeting, she had bumped into a boy at the super market, knocking him down, almost rear ended a car, when her phone went off, and had trouble sleeping because of his constant texts.

 

She wanted to turn off her phone, but since it was a work phone, and she was always on call, all she could do was turn it on vibrate, and hope over time he would stop texting.

 

That night she had a terrible nightmare that woke her up. She couldn’t remember what had happened in the dream, but she knew she was glad to not have kept the memory of it.

 

By the end of the day, she was tired from the restless sleep, but not as tired as she might have been if her ex hadn’t finally stopped texting.

 

She was both relieved, and surprisingly saddened by not having received a text from him. She had become accustomed to the constant interruptions. Now that she went a day without them, it felt less for some reason.

 

She wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth though, and she took the drop in text messages as a win.

 

The couch felt more comfortable than usual as she slumped down, letting out a deep, relaxing breath.

 

She needed to close her eyes for just a moment. She knew she would be ready for bed soon.

 

Her eyes slowly opened when she heard a sound coming from outside her house.

 

Sluggishly, she walked to the window to look outside.

She didn’t see anything near where her trashcans were sitting, but when she started to look around, she saw a kid in a hoodie standing across the street.

 

He seemed to be staring at her and that made her uncomfortable. She closed the curtains and stepped away from the window.

 

She heard the sound again, and curious, she walked back to the window. She stayed on one side, and just opened them enough to peek through.

 

Across the street stood the same boy. He seemed to know she was peeking out the window and was staring right at her. This time when she took a closer look, she saw that he was holding a metal baseball bat.

 

Periodically, he would flick his wrist and strike the metal trash can next to him, which she thought was equally strange, since everyone in the neighborhood used plastic trash cans. She couldn’t remember the last time she had seen a metal can.

 

Suddenly, he lifted the metal bat and pointed it at her, smiling. Then, just as suddenly, his smile vanished, he lowered the bat, turned, and walked away into the darkness.

 

Once he was out of sight, she called the police to make a report. The lady on the other end said she had taken note of her accounts, and would file it, in case the boy showed up again.

 

After some time, she was able to get back to sleep, and she groaned when her alarm went off way too early.

 

She almost called off work, but decided to push through, though she felt she hadn’t slept in days.

 

As she walked out to her car to leave for work, she took a quick glance across the street, expecting to see the boy again.

She didn’t see him, but something else made her do a double take. Across the street, she noticed that the trash cans were all plastic. She looked around to see if the metal one had been moved.

 

She was too tired to care. She figured it was more than likely that someone took it back inside.

 

Half way through the day, she found herself having trouble staying awake. Her eyelids slowly closed and then almost immediately snapped open.

 

‘Okay,’ she thought. ‘Maybe I should go home after all.’

She began to tidy up her office desk to leave, when she heard the same clinking sound she had heard the night before coming from outside her office.

 

She followed it to where she thought it was coming from.

As she turned a corner, her eyes widened as she saw at the end of the hallway the same boy she had seen the night before.

 

He stood there, still wearing the same hoodie, and still holding the same metal bat. Next to him also stood another metal trash can, and she quickly looked around to see if there was anyone else there to confirm what she was seeing.

 

Though she could see people in the office going about their day, none seemed to be hearing the sound, and none looked her way.

 

“Who are you?” she asked, suddenly feeling her legs get weak.

 

The boy, seeing her lean against the wall to hold herself up, charged her, holding the pipe with both hands in front of him.

She defensively held her hands up, grabbing the pipe when he was within range.

 

The force of his momentum knocked her backward and she fell to the ground, with the boy on top of her, and the pipe between them.

 

She struggled against him as he tried to push the pipe into her throat.

 

Desperate, she began crying out for help.

 

When no one came to her aid and her arms began to weaken, she closed her eyes, expecting the worst.

 

All of a sudden, the pipe disappeared from her hands, and she could feel someone’s hands gripping her wrists.

 

She soon realized that the hands weren’t trying to pin her down, but only keep them in place. She risked a glance by slowly opening her eyes.

 

One of her coworkers was on top of her, holding her wrist and saying, “Stephanie! Calm down! It’s just me! Wake up! You’re having a nightmare!”

 

Seeing that it wasn’t the boy on top of her, and knowing that she was no longer in danger, she relaxed, still breathing heavily.

 

“My God, Stephanie,” the man said, releasing her. “Are you alright?”

 

She blinked away the fogginess and looked around, seeing many of her co-workers watching.

 

The man helped her up, and half-carried her to her office.

 

He could tell she was exhausted, so he said, “I think you should get home and get some rest. You look like you haven’t slept in days.”

 

She agreed and collected her things.

 

On the drive home, she tried to remember the nightmares she was having, but couldn’t remember details. She could only remember there was a boy in it them, and he seemed familiar, though she didn’t know from where.

 

She was having a hard time keeping her eyes open while she was driving. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was close to home, she would have pulled over to take a small nap.

 

All of a sudden, she saw a person standing in the middle of the highway, and she slid off the road to avoid him.

 

The car stopped so quickly that she hit her head on the steering wheel.

 

When she looked up, she saw the same teenage boy she had been seeing in her nightmares standing in front of the car staring at her.

 

He started to move towards her, and she tried to climb out of the car and escape, but he was on top of her as soon as she was out of the car.

 

“What do you want?” she screamed at him.

 

“I want you to die,” he replied.

 

“Why?” she asked, trying to push him off.

 

“Because I enjoy watching people die,” he said with an evil smile.

 

“Now,” he continued. “I’m going to take this rock and crush your head in.”

 

He held up a big rock for her to see.

 

She screamed as he lowered the rock, snapping her awake.

She found herself in the front seat of her car, still parked at the top level of the parking garage at work.

 

Still shaken, she tried to regain her composer. She felt so tired, all she wanted to do was go back to sleep, though she knew the boy would be waiting for her.

 

She let out a scream when all of a sudden, something hit her windshield hard, shattering the glass. She quickly realized it was the boy. He had swung the baseball bat, crashing it against the windshield.

 

Panicking, she switched the car into reverse and slammed on the gas pedal.

 

She knew her reflexes were affected because she was so tired, and when she saw the small wall in her sideview mirror, she didn’t have enough time to slam on the brakes before she crashed through the barrier, and began falling backwards towards the ground.

 

She was still screaming when the car hit the pavement.

 

She snapped her eyes open, and found herself lying down on her couch at home.

 

Her heart was racing, and she felt like she was going to have a heart attack.

 

She slowly sat up, when suddenly her front door was kicked in, and the teenage boy entered carrying the baseball bat.

 

She stood up and tried to run the opposite way, stopping in front of the front window where she had first seen the boy.

 

When she turned to see if he was chasing her, she saw that he was holding the baseball bat with both hands like he had with before and using his momentum, shoved her through the window, glass spraying everywhere.

 

She was still screaming as she opened her eyes, and found herself at the grocery store bumping into the teenage boy, knocking him down.

 

It was at that moment she remembered where she had seen that boy before. He was the stranger she bumped into earlier at the grocery store.

 

“I’m sorry,” she said, noticing that he was holding a baseball bat.

 

He stood up and spat, “You will be!”

 

Her heart was racing as she walked backwards, crying and panting, trying to catch her breath.

 

His eyes seemed to be glowing as she moved away from him.

She barely caught a glimpse the truck before it hit her, silencing her for good.

 

 

 

The police found her body a day later when a coworker stated she hadn’t been to work in a few days and were becoming worried.

 

They found her body on the couch. She appeared to have suffered from a severe heart attack, and that would have been the end of the report, if it wasn’t for the way her face was contorted in a frozen look of fear, and her arms being up in a frozen state of defense.

 

News broke out about the deaths that were beginning to mount. No one was able to determine what the causes were, except from acute heart attacks.

 

It was a year later before the deaths suddenly ended. There was never an explanation as to what had happened, or why it had stopped.

 

 

Jake was upset that he had to move to yet another city, but his mother always had trouble keeping a job.

 

It wasn’t long before someone annoyed him, and he began the short wait for her to fall asleep.

 

To his pleasant surprise, he didn’t have to wait long. He followed her in her dream as she walked down a city block.

 

When she turned into an alley, he decided it was his chance.

She stopped in her tracks when he followed her into the alley, dragging his metal baseball bat.

 

“Well, hello there,” he said, anticipating her fear.

 

“Well, hello there, Jake,” she replied, turning around with a smile, instead of fear in her eyes.

 

“What? Who are you?” Jake said, unsure what to do next.

 

“I’m Emma,” she replied. “You’ve been a very naughty boy.”

Jake let out a scream as Emma flew towards him.

 

 

“I’m not sure what happened Mrs. Anders,” the doctor informed Jake’s mother. “It would appear he had a brain aneurism, and though it didn’t kill him, he appears to be brain dead.”

 

 

Emma woke in her dorm room. She shook off the fogginess of sleep and walked to the wall where she had mapped out Jake’s crimes.

 

He wasn’t the first Dream Stalker she had encountered, and he probably wouldn’t be her last.

 

“One more down,” she said to herself as she used a marker to check off his name. Her list had grown, but she knew one day, her work would be done.