The dark room weighed down my silence, and my heart beat faster and faster. Suspense seeped into my body consuming me. I reached out my hands trying to feel for any solid object but all I felt was more darkness and empty spaces. Was I dead? I started to make the faint outlines of the walls and I loomed over to it resting my hand on its icy cold surface. Where am I? I thought shaking from fear. The wall was ruff as if made of old stone not brick or plaster. I could smell something very unfamiliar, something like sulfur. It filled my nose and made it itch. As I kept walking my hand fell upon a sticky substance and I lifted my hand from the wall. I brought my hand to my nose and smelt it; I know immediately what it was from the first whiff even as my nose was filled with that sulfur smell. Blood. I whimpered and backed away from the wall suddenly tripping over something on the ground falling into more darkness. Where the hell am I? I kept asking myself. This isn’t right! I felt more blood on the ground and it was all over me. I screamed and then went suddenly quiet as I heard a creaking sound. It sounded as if someone was opening a door. I heard footsteps clacking on the ground. It came closer and closer. I started hyperventilating as the darkness began to move into the shape of a person. I couldn’t move from fear and my heart felt as if it were going to jump out my throat. Then I heard a voice that I instantly knew belonged to a man’s. “You….” It said, in a deep snake like voice that sent chills down my spine. “You…are….”
Suddenly arms wrapped around my throat from behind and I screamed, then everything was gone and blank. I woke up sitting in my bed screaming sweat pouring off me. My dog, Lilly, lifted her head at me from my soft comforter looking at me as if to say ‘What’s wrong now?’. I hated the dreams. Every night it was the same one and I could never figure out what the strange man said. Not once. I regained my control and fell back against the pillow. My heart was still racing as I pulled out a book. Sleep wasn’t an option anymore I might as well just stay up till morning. Although when I looked at the easily printed words on the page of my book I couldn’t concentrate. The dream kept replaying in my head driving me into a crazy spin to know what it meant. They had been going on for a month now, screening in my head every night like a virtual movie theater. At first I had thought that they were only nightmares because of daily life stress, school, and drama but then they got more vivid and real. I knew something was abnormal about them so I tried to ask mom about it. Of course all I got was “Their just nightmares Roan now go and let me do my work.” So I gave up asking and suffered through them. I just wanted to know what it all meant, why this was happening to me.
As I thought intently time flew and before I knew it my alarm started buzzing at my bedside table. Lilly jumped out of bed and sat at my door waiting to go down stairs and out the backdoor to go to the bathroom, her usual routine. I let her out and then put on some skinny jeans and a T-shirt not really caring what people at school would think. I was a junior in high school, but intellectually I was a junior in college. I spent most of my time reading, studying and drawing my life was a minimum. I was graduating this year though so maybe when I got to college I’d get a life and live it. I ran a brush through my wavy chestnut hair and then walked down stairs. My house was an old colonial style house with lots of room. It consisted of a big open kitchen and dining room painted a cream color with a comfy living room that had a flat screen mounted on its wall. There was a lot of painted portraits that my mom collected from different antique malls. It was a very comfortable house although my family is where I didn’t belong. I lived with my mom, grandma, and aunt. My dad had gone missing 3 years back, my grandfather had died when i was little and my uncle had divorced my aunt last year, so our family was a little “holy” when it came to the men in our family.
I walked into the kitchen, eyes still puffy from sleep thirsty for a nice cold glass of orange juice. No one was up which I took as a blessing due to how extremely different I was from my family. They were out-going, energetic, and loved being with friends and family. I was calm, shy and liked being alone. I didn’t even look like them. They all had blonde stick straight hair, square faces and a little tan in their skin. I had dark wavy hair, pale skin and an oval face. I didn’t like how I was always the odd one. I never understood it, and they always seemed to know that and never included me into anything, ever. I sat at our table with my orange juice and sipped it slowly trying to wake up. I wasn’t a morning person although I loved the night, and staying up really late, just something about the darkness that called to me, and kept me awake.
Looking at my now empty glass I put it in the sink and got my books together. Ap Physics, Ap English, Ap government, and even Ap Spanish just because I liked the language. I then grabbed a jacket and walked outside to the nice October weather of Mena, Arkansas. It was an incredibly small town of only about 5,000 people with small run-down schools and little antique shops. I got in my old run down jeep Cherokee passed down to me by a close friend to the family. I had gotten my license the month before, but I was a good driving and liked it better than having to wait for a slow, broken down bus to get me. I backed out of the driveway and started to school. It was foggy and it clouded the roads densely. My mind went back to my dream. The stone walls, blood, creepy guy trying to kill me and tell me something, what did it all mean? There was a meaning behind every dream right? Aren’t dreams a reflection of a person’s feelings? Yet, I couldn’t find a relation between my dreams and my feelings. It all felt so…real, like I was actually there in the dark room with the blood and creepy guy trying to kill me.
I arrived at the busy school parking lot my, jeep’s engine roaring loudly as I parked in the back of the lot away from all the other crowded spots. I sluggily walked up to the entrance of the small, old school. There was only about 700 kids in the whole school and only about 150 kids just in my grade. Although it was small that didn’t mean that there weren’t any cliques in fact all my school was were cliques. Jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, band geeks, Goths, Emos, and then there was me, the only loner in the school, the one that didn’t belong in any of the cliques. I didn’t bother to join any though. I spent my time reading or doing homework, it wasn’t worth the time to be with those people.
I walked down the dirty, white, and crowded halls occasionally bumping into kids walking past as they gossiped or told others about their night. My first class was Ap English 11 which was on the far side of the school. I walked past school banners and posters asking me to “Join SCA!” or “Join the astronomy club!” I ignored them moving on heading to my class. When I arrived I sat quietly and pulled out the book we were reading, Grapes of Wrath, and my sketchbook that I took everywhere with me. I had a few minutes before class started so I got to drawing a fake potted plant on the teacher’s desk. It had purple lilacs sprouting from a round earth green pot. I drew every curve and delicate line shading in shadows and depth. I felt someone poke my arm and I jumped, awaking from the trance I was in from drawing. A guy who sat next to me was looking intently me at me with a small grin across his face. He had brown slightly wavy hair that hung a little in his face, a bold jaw that had a small tuff of hair on it and his eyes were a striking green like an empty field.
I blushed a little then grabbed a hold of myself and spoke hesitantly. “Yes?”
His grin widened and he said. “Where’d you learn to draw like that?” His eyes crinkled a little as he spoke.
“Um…I don’t know. I’ve just been drawing my whole life.” My voice trailed from my shyness. Why was this guy talking to me?
“You’re really good. Do you think I could possibly have that? I’ll buy it from you?” He tilted his head leaning back in his chair.
a little surprised I tore the paper neatly out of my sketchbook and quickly signed it then handed it to him. He started to pull a wallet out of his pocket but I said “No, really its ok. You can have it. I don’t want any money for it.”
He raised an eyebrow. “You sure?”
“Yep.” I said smiling a little.
Just then I heard a girl’s voice that sounded as if it were on helium. “Jay? What are you doing?” I looked at her as she stood on the other side of Jay’s desk facing me, eyeing me like a hungry raptor ready to pounce. A shudder slowly ran down my body and it took everything I had not to shiver.
Realizing she was behind him Jay turned a serious expression forming on his face. “I just got a free drawing from this girl. It’s really good look?” He held up the drawing and she smirked shrugging it off.
“Put that away. It’s pathetic.” She looked at me her raptor stare hardening on me. Great. I thought. Someone else to hate me.
Jay made a hard stare back at her and she sashayed away her attitude filling the room like her helium voice. He looked back at me and mouthed “sorry” as the bell finally rang. After the continuous noise of the bell finally stopped the teacher stood from her desk and started her lesson on the assigned book. The information stuck to my brain like super glue as class went on but then my dream came back to my memory. A flash of the darkly lit room came to me and I closed my eyes trying to forget it but it just wouldn’t go away. Then I felt the blood on my hand, I even smelt the sulfur, all in the middle of class. I opened my eyes but all I still saw was the darkness, I started to shake all over my body wanting to be back in class, to be anywhere but here.
Suddenly a voice came from the darkness. The man’s, the one who wanted to kill me a cry escaped my mouth as I shrinked back. “Roan…” the snake-like voice was all around me and I covered my ears crying. The voice then melted into my teacher’s voice, Mrs. Wells. “Roan! Roan!”
I opened my eyes to Mrs. Wells in front of me veins popping out of her head. I was in my seat my knees up to my chest and my hands over my ears, tears streaming down my face. Everyone was looking at me a huge expression of confusion stretch over each and every one of them. Except for Jay. He wore a serious face, his lips set together tight and his eyes concentrating on me as if deep in thought.
The teacher almost screamed. “Get out of my class!” and pointed to the door. I jumped up grabbing my things knowing not to argue with her, and walked out the door. As I walked down the hall to the main office I thought about what happened in that classroom. What had happened? It was like the dream…wasn’t even a dream. It was like I had literally teleported into that dark room in my dream right in the middle of class. This was getting worse and worse I needed to find a way to stop this and stop it soon.
I walked into the main office feeling like crap, knowing I was going to get it bad. I’d never gotten in trouble before at this school in my life. Even though, I had no idea what I was in trouble for. I handed a filled out pass from the teacher to the heavy-set lady at the front desk. She looked at then back at me with a “what the…?” face. Then went into the back room where the principal was. Ugh…now I was going to get reprimanded by The Principal. How could my day get any worse?
Our principal was a stick-thin asin woman who hated kids with a passion. How she became a principal at a high school no one knows. All I knew is that she was not a pleasant person to be around whether you did something bad or not. She came around to the front in her normal all black, two piece business suit, and half inch black heels. She looked at me coldly and said “Office. Now.” I swallowed and walked behind her to her office in the back room. This wasn’t good.
Her office was ordinary. Her walls were a cream color with a couple pictures of sail boats or our school symbol, The Eagle. There was a large cabinet in the corner with lots of files and on her large mahogany desk were papers and pens with a large paper calendar lying flat on its surface. Two chairs were positioned in front of it for parent conferences. She gestured to one of the chairs and I sat down as she went to the filling cabinet and searched in it for a moment then picked out a manila file and walked back to the desk, sitting down. She opened it and looked through it quietly as an aurora of irritation filled the small room. I sunk back in the chair waiting for the bomb to fall and explode. Finally she said “Well your records clean. What happened today Mrs. Roan Kathleen?”
I hesitated for a second then said “Well I really don’t know Mrs. Teague…” I held my hands together nervously.
“Well your teacher says you we’re screaming in class and disrupting it incredibly.” She looks at the slip of paper more. “She also says you speaking a different language and trying to make chaos.”
My heart fell to my stomach as I heard the unreal words coming out of my principal’s mouth. This couldn’t be right. It was impossible. First of all I’d never disrupt the class. Ever. Second of all, what language could I have been speaking? And how did I not even know I was speaking it? My head was spinning. What the hell was going on?!
“There has to be a mistake. I’d never do that.” I said weakly still trying to comprehend everything.
“Clearly it wasn’t Roan. I will be calling your parents and you will be getting a week detention! Do you understand?! This is a disgrace!” She was yelling now but I wasn’t listening. I was thinking back to my dream, then back to the classroom. This wasn’t a dream. It was something else and she was going to find out.
She zoned back in to the principal yelling “You’re dismissed!” And so she darted out of there as quickly as she could. When she got back into the hall the bell rang and it flooded with people making it extremely hard to get anywhere. I pushed through trying to get to my locker. My thought wild from what I had just been told, frantic to know what was going on. I finally reached my locker and turned my lock shakily to the correct codes. I opened it and then started to put my English books away when i felt a tap on my shoulder. I screamed and spun around my body shaking. When I saw it was Jay I calmed clutching my chest and breathing out. “You scared the crap out of me…” I turned back around fiddling in my locker.
“Are you ok? You seem a little…” He paused to find the right words. “Tense…” His voice was deep and concerned and I turned back around to face him.
“I’m fine. Thanks for asking though.” I blushed a little as I saw he wild green eyes looking in mine.
He took my hand then let go disappearing into the crowd. After watching him dazedly I realized there was a piece of paper in my hand. I uncurled the paper and read the tiny writing. Meet me at the plaza at 6:30 tonight. J.
I put the note in my pocket and then raced to class. How much more hectic could this day get.