This story was based off of the first nightmare I’ve had in a long time.
by Brian A. Lynch
The old woman stares, her gaze coming not towards me – but through me – and recalling an unearthly origin in my eyes.
Her mouth opens wide, and in an instant, it is not a mouth.
It is something, an abyss of swirling teeth and deadly intent, and I fear it is only purposeful to one end.
That end, in particular, is not one I would like to meet; and so, I run through the night.
My heart beats quicker with every hastened step. The hag gives chase, but seems to float above the ground, her feet hardly used.
Her dress, once harmless and oversized, takes on a sinister aesthetic as it flaps and billows in the wind.
The voice calls, twisting in the air.
I choose to save breaths. A scream is a fool’s move.
I run, still. My heart drums impatiently.
I look back. She – it – gains.
It does not shriek as it beckons me; it only growls.
The sound carries and swings through the air, bringing fear with it and bouncing off the trees. It is alone and legion, all at once.
Through the grass and over the road, I run, but my chest frightens and tears stream down my face. I do not need to look behind to see those swirling teeth, for they are in my mind’s eye, pushing me forward out of fear.
I know I cannot run forever. But I am either a dead man now, or five minutes hence.
I have always appreciated the value of time.
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