The Ladies of Horror
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The Place I Long to Forget
by Kendra Hale
Enjoy the outside air, it will do you good. Smile more and take in all around you. My friends meant well but these notions don’t stop the nightmares. This camping trip was meant to help me get outside and take in the fresh air. But of course when the body is at rest the mind will not follow…a true mind of its own. And on this night like all others, my mind goes back to the place I long to forget.
My vivid nightmares always start the same, in that way they are predictable. The dimly light corridor, covered in that sickly sweet floral paper tinged yellow at the peeling places that litter the hall. The musky smell of mold and urine that has sat long enough to be stale. A wooden door that is not quite five paces from where I stand, slightly open and taunting me to move closer and open it to look within.
The knob is just a plain brass fixture, dented and loose from the years it has been used. The door is lightweight and hollow, sweeping open at even the barest of touch. From within comes what I have dreaded and what leaves me in a cold sweat each time. The shallow breath that stays in the air for too long in a gasp as it struggles free from the skeletal figure under the threadbare blanket that once must have been a vibrant pink but is so stained with fluids that it has become a dismal brown compared to what it once was.
The figure is contorted and can barely move without a gasp of pain, weakly emanating from the darkness. A lamp on a small nearby table lights the room but only enough for the shadowy shapes of the furniture and fixtures of the room to be made out so as not to be bumped into or tripped over. Death watches over this soul and they wait patiently for each struggling breath to be the last one…and as it happens, as that last feeble whisper escapes, I wake up.
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.