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The ending to a portion of a short story. More to Come.
[... posted by Ryan]
The Dream always started the same way. The same church, the same stained glass windows; the ones with all the etchings and collages of color creating pictures of burning hearts, the sun shining light from halos on the darkness of the world, shining light into the church from the sun outside. He always woke up, fearing for his life, in the all too familiar cold sweat. The sweat forming a cooling barrier between him and whatever lurked in his dreams and the humid night air. He never could figure out what the dream meant, but he figured it probably had something to do with his childhood. If he told the shrink at work about the dream the Doc would tell him hes supressing something. You know how those Freudian and Psych types always wanted to analyze you and get inside your head, but never thought about analyzing themselves. He couldn't tell his girlfriend because because she already thought he was slightly weird and he actually wanted to keep this one around. Being a Professor on the Occult wasn't something many women found fascinating. Creepy; yea. Fascinating; not so much. It was 3am all the same. He knew that anything that would disturb him during this "witching" hour would purportedly be evil. "An insult to the Trinity," as he had once heard Ed Warren, who was a kind of ghost hunter, call it. But, was it really? He knew the stories about all the devils of this world and the ones hereafter. Sure, it's possible there are some demons, succubi or whatever out there who attacked to insult the Trinity. That doesn't mean he actually believed any of it. He'd grown up under the watchful eye of a conservative Republican minster and a born-again Christian mother who beat the belief in God right of him. "How could a merciful God let this happen to me?" he'd say over and over again as the switch his mother beat him with struck; severing whole portions of skin into remnants of tree bark split vertically. His name was Johnathon, John for short. And, as much as he hated his mother for naming him that, he hated her even more for the scars that lined his back and arms; like the flogging wounds of an insubordinate soldier in a dysfunctional army. John sat, staring into the darkness of his bedroom. The only light provided by the moonlight streaming in from the balcony window to the right of his bed. He heard the creaking of the branches from the trees outside, frogs and toads chirping their call from a distance. The house still creaked a bit, "one of these days this house will settle and maybe I'll get a good nights sleep." That explained his restless behavior after the nightmare he thought. There was too much noise, too much going on outside. Birds and bats still flying past the moonlight making it look like there was activity going on outside; and it was coming in. He looked around his room one last time, hearing the buzzing of bugs outside, the wind blowing and decided that the night's sounds weren't worth losing sleep over. "I have a class in the morning," he said aloud. He threw the sheet over his head, the one he superstitiously always needed to use, and threw his head on the pillow and drifted back into the realm of sleep, ignoring the fact that he did indeed see something in the shadows of the doorway to his bedroom.