Midnight. They always came at midnight. The chimes from the old grandfather clock in the den jolted Daniel out of his restless dreams. It wasn't the chimes that woke him so much as the knowledge that They were coming. It was the same horrifying ritual, every single night.
The room was illuminated by an eerie pale green glow. Three figures in haz-mat suits stood around his bed. One of them held a large briefcase, another held a gun, and the third--the apparent leader, from the way he acted--was making entries into a large handheld computer. Daniel tried to escape, to run, to even move, but some unseen force held him in place, as immobile as the bed itself. The leader looked up from his computer and signaled to the one holding the briefcase, who set the case down and began to open it. Daniel strained to see its contents, but couldn't from his position. If only he could move...
The leader reached forward, grabbed the bedcovers and--
The shrill blast of Daniel's alarm clock filled the room. He'd had that dream again, the same one he'd been having every night for nearly a month. Except that it didn't feel like a normal dream. It felt more like a memory, but one that had been partially forgotten. Anyway, Dan had more important things to worry about, so he pushed whatever it was aside for the moment. Today was the last day of school, finally. All he had to do was survive his last few final exams, and he'd be home free. He wasn't about to let a creepy dream get him down.
Dr. DiCaoz glanced over his biology classroom. "Is anybody still working on the final?" he asked tiredly. He paused for a moment, then said, "If everybody is finished, you may talk quietly amongst yourselves for the remainder of the period." As the class erupted in chatter, he went back to nursing his hangover.
Daniel loved his biology class. It wasn't just that he was good at it, or that it was the last class of the day. By some bit of luck or fate, he happened to be in the same class as his four closest friends, Gassan, David, Pammy, and Jake. Gassan, David, and Pammy had become absurdly popular since coming to high school. Gassan was Lebanese and therefore "exotic," David was a star swimmer, and Pammy was a cheerleader. In retrospect, popularity was an inevitability. To the other popular kids, Jake an avid follower of the Furry subculture (he called it a craze, but nobody else did) and Daniel, the introspective writer, were social liabilities. Still, Gassan, David, and Pam never let their newfound "friends" keep them away from Jake and Dan. Privately, Daniel was grateful that he had managed to befriend the four people who appeared to be immune to high school drama.
"So, what'd you guys think?" Pammy whispered.
"I'm pretty sure Dr. Di is a nutcase," Gassan answered quickly. He was met with a chorus of approval from his companions.
"Anyway," Pam continued, "are we having our annual Thank-God-The-Schoolyear's-Over party tonight?"
"I can't go," Jake said, "I've got a convention."
"I can't go either," said David, "My dad's taking me camping. He's on a back-to-nature kick."
"I'm visiting my grandma," Gassan said. Pammy rolled her eyes.
"Alright," she sighed, "when do you guys get back?"
"Sunday, but it'll be late."
"So," Pammy continued, "is Monday night alright with everyone?"
The days passed quickly. By the time Monday arrived, he had gone an entire weekend without his mysterious dreams. He was mostly relieved, but part of him wished the visitors would come back so he could find out what they were up to.
The streets were charged with an eerie calm. A summer storm was coming. As Daniel reached Pam's door, he couldn't help but feel a strange foreboding. Something was decidedly wrong. He rang the bell.
"Come in," called Pammy. Dan opened the door and found friend sitting on the floor in a tidy circle. They were all staring at him, an unsettling hunger in their eyes. "We are playing Truth or Dare," Pammy intoned mechanically. "Please, join us. Truth or Dare?"
"Please choose Dare," Gassan said, in the same unearthly voice.
"The Truth is never any fun," agreed David, still in the same tone. Throughout the exchange, none of the four took their eyes off of Daniel.
"Is everything alright?" he asked. "You all seem...different."
Pammy answered in the same monotone as before: "We are collectively unnerved at a series of recurring dreams we have been having. Perhaps you too are experiencing these visions?"
"Yeah," Dan said, "but I'm not acting that weird about it."
"Perhaps," Pammy said, "All will be made more clear if you answer this simple question: Truth...or Dare?"
Written by Zodiac on 31 May 2008
“It´s been just a dream, just a dream…” Daniel muttered to himself, pacing around his small bedroom. His short hair was damp with sweat, his breathing coming out in small gasps.
“Just a dream…”
The problem was that Daniel didn´t even remember his dream. Only the unsettling presence of them, and that they wanted something from him. During the last few weeks, he had this dream again and again and he never remembered who they were or what they wanted from him.
Only that they wanted it badly.
Running his fingers through his hair, Daniel tried to calm down. It was just a dream, whatever it was about. It probably meant something in dreams theory too, something silly like internalized guilt for not studying hard enough for his tests. It was no big deal.
But he would be really glad if the dreams stopped finally.
Eventually, Daniel went back to bed. No point in loosing whole night worth of sleep over some stupid dream, he thought. He had chemistry test tomorrow, he should sleep a bit before it.
Written by lulu-illussions on 01 January 2018
For the rest of the week, Daniel didn´t have time to worry about his dreams too much. He had tests to pass and spent most of his time studying with his friends. It´s been so normal, that he brushed his dreams off as something unimportant and focused more on common life.
They were sitting in the school´s library, crunching over history books. Daniel was taking notes and reached for the book on the opposite end of table – “Hey, Pammy, can you pass it?”
“Sure,” Pammy said, pushing the book towards Daniel. She was twisting a strand of her perfectly golden hair around her finger, while listing through another book.
The others silently sat around, slowly browsing the books. Lebanese guy Gassan was leaning his chin on his hand and lazily stared at the pages. David was sharing the book with Pammy, despite they weren´t actually dating like everyone assumed just because they were the most popular boy and girl at school. Next to Daniel, Jake was turning pages of his book, a bit too fast to be actually reading it.
Daniel noticed that he was the only one who was taking any notes, but he didn´t pay it much attention. Later, when he was done and suggested having a dinner, the others just closed their books and stood up, in eerie synchronized motion.
“Everything´s all right?” Daniel asked.
“Sure,” Pammy retorted. “Why would you ask?”
It sounded like her, not to worry about anything and Daniel just accepted that answer.
Written by lulu-illussions on 05 January 2018
They went to their favourite dinner place to have tacos. It´s been a while since they just hanged around like this, Daniel realized. Lately, all his friends were too busy. It was weird, because he didn´t feel like they had that many home-works. But the others acted like they were buried under the work to do.
“Hey, what about doing something the next weekend?” Daniel asked. “The tests will be over, we could go camping.”
“That´s good idea,” Gassan said to Daniel´s surprise. Lebanese was usually the last one to agree with outdoor activities and the others had to persuade him.
“Cool,” Daniel said. “Are you coming too?” he asked, turning to the others.
“Sure,” Pammy nodded and her golden locks waved around her face. “It would be great.”
“I agree,” David said. “We should go out.”
“So it´s deal,” Daniel said, knowing that Jake wouldn´t beak the gang. “I´ll talk to my parents, maybe they´ll borrow us van.”
“Don´t worry about that,” David said. “I´ll get us a car.”
They chatted some more about the details, until the camping plan was finished. Then they parted, to study some more at home and have some sleep before tomorrow´s test. Gassan and Jake left sooner to catch the bus, leaving Daniel with David and Pammy.
Written by lulu-illussions on 08 January 2018
“I know about great place where we could go,” David said. “For camping, I mean.”
“Oh, I thought we would go to usual place,” Daniel said in surprise. They had favourite campsite in the mountains, it was barely 50 minutes of driving to get there and the location was really quiet.
“Not this time,” David said unusually seriously.
“I agree, we should do something different this time,” Pammy said. “The change is good,” she added in strangely flat tune, as if she was quoting something.
“Yeah, the change is good,” David repeated. “You´re gonna like it, don´t worry.”
Daniel shrugged. “Okay. We´ll see about it.” He stood up from the table and grabbed his backpack. “I gotta go, see you later.”
His friends bit their goodbyes and he left, heading home. All the way, Daniel felt that he was missing something, or forgot something, but he couldn´t quite place that feeling. Maybe it was something about school, he decided eventually and shook his head. That can wait.
When the next weekend came, Daniel couldn´t wait to get out of the town. He was stressed out because of the tests (hopefully, he passed them all) and his dreams were worse than ever. Every night, he would wake up at midnight, panting and trembling. And he would never remember why! He could only remember that they came to visit him again and led him into dark room filled with mirrors.
Written by lulu-illussions on 09 January 2018
Daniel really tried to forget about the dreams, but it was hard. During the day, he would feel eyes watching him and when he turned, there was no one around. And yet, everywhere he went, he felt followed.
Hopefully, spending the weekend with his friends would help him to get rid of this paranoia. He was even glad that they were going to some new place. Change of the setting could stop the dreams. Or spending time with friends could. Either way, Daniel was looking forward to the weekend.
If only he knew better.
“Here we are,” David announced, when the car stopped at the wired fence.
“I thought we´re going camping,” Daniel said with a frown.
“We decided to play a dare,” Pammy explained. “And dare was to visit this place. It´ll be all right,” she added, when she saw Daniel´s puzzled look.
“What´s even that?” Daniel asked.
“Just an abandoned military complex, no big deal,” Jake joined the conversation. “No one was here for years,” he continued, “so we´ll have the whole place for ourselves to explore. Don´t worry.”
“Right, don´t worry,” Pammy and David said in unison.
“Okay,” Daniel retorted, still unsure. On the other hand, visiting weird abandoned facility could push his dreams away. In the worst case, he´ll have new nightmares to worry about. “Okay, let´s go,” he said, taking a deep breath.
Written by lulu-illussions on 13 January 2018
They all got out of the car and climbed over the fence, boys throwing the backpacks over. It was dark, gloomy place, but clearly vacant. Moss was covering some areas and the grass began growing though the gaps in concrete. There was no sign of anyone visiting here for years and Daniel tried to relax.
But the feeling of being watched was back and he couldn´t stop himself from glancing over his shoulder every now and then. Shaking his head, he tried to push that thought away. He was with his friends after all. Nothing to worry about.
“Here,” Gassan pointed to one of the buildings. “We should start here.”
“Yes, we should start here,” Pammy repeated mechanically.
Daniel glanced at her with a frown. It wasn´t like Pammy to act like this. She was proud to be unique and the centrum of attention, the most popular girl at school. It didn´t sound right for her to repeat things said by others.
Thinking about it, all his friends had been acting strange lately.
But this didn´t feel like right time to talk about it. He could ask them tomorrow. Maybe they were just tired after all the tests in school.
“So, here?” he asked, entering the building. “People?” Daniel turned around to check his friends. But there was no one behind him. He frowned and walked back to the door, but it slapped closed so abruptly that he jumped up.
Written by lulu-illussions on 15 January 2018
Swallowing, Daniel looked around. It was dark in the building, but he could see some light coming thought the windows. He tried to open the door, but the handle wouldn´t bulge.
“Guys?!” he called thought the door. There was no answer and Daniel felt his pulse speeding up. “Hey, it´s not funny!” he yelled, hoping this was just a stupid prank.
“It´s not supposed to be,” voice behind his said and Daniel yelped.
“Who are you?” he asked, spinning around. The room was empty, except of the opened door at the opposite end.
“Come here,” the voice ordered. It sounded like male voice, with foreign accent which Daniel didn´t recognize.
“Who the hell are you?” Daniel demanded, trying to sound confident. “Where are my friends?” he walked to the opened door, wanting to know who was talking to him. He carefully glanced though the door and gasped, seeing his own image staring wide-eyed from numerous mirrors.
Written by lulu-illussions on 18 January 2018
Enter the room