A Haunting Embrace
When I was only 15 years old, I lost my cousin to a horrible accident. She fell to her death from a bridge that stretched across the Randike River. The Randike River is one of the deepest rivers with a muddy bottom, as well as one of the dirtiest, it's filth and grime well known. It was the worst feeling I've ever had, knowing that Helene's life and beauty perished in the stink of that disgusting river. The night before her death, Helene had called me and I had been furious with her; not even taking the time to talk to her. She was only two years older than I was and we had had a teenagers' fight over a boy. She was the youngest daughter of my mother's sister, Teresa who was over wrought with grief at her loss. Helene was a dark haired, dark eyed beauty who attracted guys like moths to light. The guilt that I felt haunted me.
But later that same night, I dreamed of Helene. In my dream, she spoke to me with tears streaming down her face. It felt so real, almost like she was in the room with me. She told me that her death was not an accident; that she had been attacked, drained of all of her blood by a mysterious creature who whispered her name and drew her to the bridge. She felt compelled to go to the bridge; unable to stop her questing feet. She had been murdered by this creature and thrown to her death. I awoke with a start, my heart pounding and the blood rushing through my ears, to find tears upon the pillow next to mine, yet my own face was dry. I jumped from my rumpled bed and raced to the bathroom to peer at my own white face. Though my eyes were wide with terror, there was no evidence of the moisture I had found upon my pillow.
The next night, the same thing happened again. Helene came to me, almost frantic this time. Begging me to help her, begging me to help myself. But how was I going to help her, I was just a 15 year old girl with an over active imagination that couldn't quit dreaming of her departed cousin. Helene in a panicked voice screamed at me to take care, that she feared for my life. By this time, I was starting to question my own sanity. Wasn't my father's uncle living in the McLaird Center? Was I crazy, should I seek help? Why was I having nightmares about my cousin Helene and her accidental death? Sure, I was sorry that I hadn't talked to her when she had called, but now I was afraid to go to sleep. Afraid that she would invade my dreams again, terrified of what she would tell me next. With the daylight slowly seeping away and night quickly approaching, I refused to let sleep take me. But, try as I might, sleep came to me when I least expected it.
I fell into a hard fast sleep on the sofa in my parent's living room. I woke to Helene shaking my shoulder, telling me it was the last night that she would be visiting me, for a time at least, but she would be watching and waiting. She seemed almost happy now, saying that she finally understood. She again urged me to be wary of the darkness of the night, begged me not to go to the bridge, no matter what. When I awoke again, it was to the bright sunshine of morning and I was in my own rumpled bed, but with Helene's favorite doll on the pillow next to my head. How it had gotten there, I hadn't a clue. I called my aunt Teresa and casually asked her about Helene's treasured doll that had rested on her bed for as long as I could remember. But she said that Helene must have had it with her since Teresa had not seen it since the night of Helene's death.
Two months had passed since the death of Helene. I was finally sleeping all night without worrying about the nocturnal visits from my cousin. But then I started having the dreams. He was the most gorgeous guy I'd seen, tall and pale with the deepest blue eyes that I had ever beheld, but there was an oldness about him that belied his teenage appearance. I could almost smell the scent of death upon him. And he kept whispering my name, begging me to come to him with those beguiling eyes. What fun we could have, and God help me, I wanted to go. But remembering Helene's parting words, I was scared near to death. I started swallowing pills to keep myself awake for the night time hours. I was once again afraid to close my eyes, feared the sleep that would bring him into my dreams. I used to be fun, happy, popular; now I was a freak that people stayed away from, like I had some contagious disease. What was I going to do? I was exhausted all the time, pale as the ghost that Helene was. I no longer wanted to eat, the only thing I really wanted to do was to go; go to he who called me from my dreams. If I allowed this to happen, I knew my fate would end the same as Helene. But, I was starting not to care. I needed help, but who could save me.
And then Helene came again, and told me what to do. The next night I gave myself to sleep quickly and easily being deprived as I had been. When he called to me, I went greedily, eager for the caress of his hands, his embrace, his lips upon mine. But little did he know that I had my own secret. Pressed to the inside of my right thigh was a pointed death stick to be delivered to his heart in the heat of his excitement to complete his deed, to quench his desirous thirst with me, body and soul. As he eagerly brought me to his side, enveloping me with his one desire, I delivered mine. Surprise was in his eyes as he roughly released me, pulling at the embedded stick as if the poison of his kiss would not have been as deadly, draining his life as he would have surely drained mine; as he had drained Helene. I watched with terror as he dissolved before my eyes, turning to dust and smoke, forever to leave this place and time.
It has been many years since I have been reminded of my past deed, and I have slept easily for all these long years. It has been a lifetime ago for me. But now my fears have returned and I have begun hearing his voice calling me, greedily and hungrily, begging for my return to his embracing arms. I had thought his existence ceased with the plunge of the pointed stick. I was wrong... I don't believe I can refuse his call this time, I'm weaker now and more easily won. His need and desire for my life, body and soul, have begun to be my own. There is no one to turn to; I fear that I am lost.
© 2009 Dottie Taylor