SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

7 min read
sleepless-nights

the protagonist Robiel navigates unsettling experiences, confronting fears and a haunting entity.

A strange smell emanated from the side of the room. It was the smell I dreaded: mildly rubbery, like latex. I had always hated the smell of new gloves. It reminded me of the pain I had gone through when my four premolars were extracted.

It had been almost an hour since the nurse had left me here like this. "The clock seemed to be stuck. Maybe it needed a battery change. How could they be so neglectful?"

She should have taken care of everything here. Wait, why was there a stack of dirt gathered in a pile in the corner of the room? "Am I even in the right clinic?" I started to panic.

"Doctor! Doctor!" I tried to shout, but my mouth was stuffed with a dental wedge. I couldn't move my legs; my hands were frozen, and my head was glued to the pillow on my bed. A squeaking sound was coming from the pile of dirt.

It was moving. The sound's frequency increased, and its pitch became higher. It was coming closer. The sound multiplied. I felt like it was a pack of...

"Rats!" I screamed. "Help!" They were foraging toward me. They got on the bed; one slid under my sweater, and two began to nibble my toes. Pinworms crawled out of my flesh, and small, black crawling things came off every part of my body that was bitten by the rats. I wanted to cry out, scream, and shout, but I couldn't. I felt as though I was mute. The door swung open. I thought I was rescued, but what came next was not a doctor. a creature with twisted, human-like features with his nose cut in two. His eyes popped out of his mouth, and filthy worms were coming out of the holes that were his eyes. He came close to my face, and with his demonic voice, he said,

"I will haunt you forever."

All of a sudden, I found myself trembling, and a cool, soothing liquid started to run down over me. "Robiel, wake up!" Mom was screaming. "Cross yourself, son." She started to empty the cup of holy water she got from church all over my face. "What happened?" I asked, confused if it was just a dream.

"I told you not to watch spooky movies before you sleep. If you had prayed, nothing would have happened to you. You always waste time watching them instead of praising God and going to church," she started to cry. "Mom, I'm not possessed or something; please, you need to calm down," I said.

"It's easy for you to say. Have you seen yourself trembling and screaming? Your eyes were upside down. Do you think it's easy for me to see you like this? I'm your mom, you stupid pig!" She threw the pillow at my face and stormed off to the kitchen, warning me to pray and put the holy bible under my pillow before I sleep.

It was still 6:00 am, and I had plenty of time to get ready for school. I put on my usual boring outfit and went to school, where I had physics class. I hated this subject since I saw the first page of the book. I just failed to see the part where it explains my reason to suffer only because a hundred years ago, an apple decided to fall on the head of some super-bored man. My physics teacher pointed at me and wanted me to solve some gravity stuff. This man hates me.

"Do you have any idea how to solve this?" he looked at me. Were his eyes always like this or were they more greenish and there's something wrong with the shape of his eye's pupil? His breath smelled awful and it was uncomfortably close to my face.

"Can you solve it?" he peered through his ugly teeth. They were darker than usual. I noticed the hole between his teeth. It was not a gap like my cute crush had. It was small and circular. His appearance was reminiscent of something I couldn't quite put my finger on. The school bell interrupted my thoughts."

"The school bell saved you this time," He grinned, showing his teeth "I will..." The physics whiz of our class interrupted him, "Sir, when will be the next exam?"

They made their way to the door. What a relief. I got back home completely drained. I said hi to Mom and hopped into the shower. I came out feeling refreshed. "Mom, what's for lunch?"

"Guess what? It's your favorite," she said excitedly.

"Doro wot??" I said, excited.

"You got it, son. Now, get a glass of water and come here." She put the injera, and it was time for my favorite part: the eggs. But they looked peculiar.

"Mom, why are they so small?"

"Roll them over, son."

They were not eggs; they were eyes. Everything got quiet. It took me ages to look at the face that was looking over me. Only to find out it was not Mom.

It was a skull with shredded flesh, and it had mom's braids with empty eyes. It smiled, worms coming out from between its teeth. The demonic voice was back again.

"I WILL HAUNT YOU FOREVER!"

I felt something wooden on my forehead, and I opened my eyes. I was soaked in sweat, breathing fast.

I looked around, and there was Dad, Mom, sister, the family priest, and our neighbor, Dr. Elsa. The priest's cross was still on my forehead. I kissed the priest's hand; he blessed me and went out with Mom. They were probably going to discuss how I was possessed. Dad and Sis followed them.

"Are you okay, Robiel?" I was startled; I almost forgot she was there.

"I'm okay; it's just sleep paralysis," I said in an assuring tone.

"Your mom told me you've been having nightmares these days. Do you have any idea what they are?"

"They are mostly about worms, eyes, teeth, and stuff," I shrugged.

"Nightmares are sometimes our natural alarms. We should not ignore them. Maybe it's trying to warn you of something you've been neglecting lately."

OH MY GOD!

How could I forget it? Worms, teeth, eyes!!!

"I haven't been to my dental appointments, and it's been over a month."

"Have a good rest and go to your doctor, okay?" She hugged me and went to talk to Mom and Dad.

I took a shower, ate breakfast, and went out for a walk with my sister. It was such an amazing day, finally.

My phone rang, it was my dentist, "Hello, Robiel."

"We've arranged your appointment for Sunday at 10 am."

"Alright, I'll be there. Thank you.

It was such a beautiful day. Since I knew what my problem was, everything was peaceful, no more nightmares.

"Hello, Robiel."

"Hello, Doctor."

"You got lost. Don't you care about the health of your teeth? Or is it because you don't use them at all?" he smiled.

He ushered me to get inside the room. The nurse made me choose my favorite color for the braces.

Dr. Degu came in, and he said, "Hey, Robiel, we hired a new skilled doctor today."

"Come in, Doctor."

I didn't get to see his face, but I heard a loud, distinctive voice.

" I will haunt you forever."

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