Nightmare: Haunting Images

Date: 3/2/2017

By Ecnelis_Lataf

I don't recall my name exactly. I think it was Emma. I just know I was a street kid who befriended a girl named Kathleen. Both of us were about 19 in age. Kathleen lived with her Aunt Sherry and her older brother Kristian. Good family in a good home. I was the outsider and Kristian didn't trust me. He was always thinking I was gonna steal from them but he also didn't know what Kathleen knew. That I didn't have a home. That the college she and I met at..I didn't actually attend. That the visits to her house were my happiest times. Though...her Aunt Sherry could see more about me than even Kathleen had realized. I could see things other people couldn't. Sigils, spirits, and occasionally events before they happened. It was the whole reason I'd been kicked out of my last home. She had made sure Kathleen knew of this. “Can you get down some snacks?” Kathleen asked me. She'd invited me over for the weekend and let me borrow some clothes. I'd just gotten out of the shower and gotten changed when she'd hollered that. “No problem.” I told her and headed up the stairs to the pantry. They're house was huge. Kristian had followed me. I'd gotten used to him acting like he was my parole officer. I grabbed the cheese cracker sandwiches that Kathleen and I loved and turned around to see Kristian right behind me. “Please move. I need to get these to Kathleen.” I told him as I tried my best to calm my ‘fight or flight’ feeling. Kristian was taller than me by about half a foot and was an martial artist. He was built for a fight. I was good at escaping more than at fighting. “What do you want with my sister? Why do you keep hanging around her?” Kristian asked me. I glared at him. “We've had this conversation before. Kathleen is my friend. That's all I want. Her friendship.” Kristian rolled his eyes at me. “You don't know my life. Your sister...she makes me feel safe. Normal. Something I never had.” I told him and pushed past him. His eyes seemed to show some softness despite there still being the distrust. “Just don't betray her trust.” “I'd die before that.” I told him quietly. It was some time later. I was putting up the dishes back in the cupboard and once again Kristian was hovering close. He leaned back against the stairs railing and let out a sigh. “Kathleen told me. She and Aunt Sherry filled me in on all the details.” Kristian’s voice was surprisingly soft as he spoke. “Exactly what details?” I asked as I put the last few dishes away and braced for possibly a need to run. “That you've bounced from home to home since you were 13 because no one could handle” He explained and I felt a chill go down my spine. I turned to face him and just nodded. “It feels like a curse half the time.” Kristian just nodded, as if sympathizing. “Aunt Sherry also said you refused her offers to have you move in. Why?” “Because I don't like imposing. A weekend visit was already hard enough when one member of the house wanted me gone. Living here in that situation wouldn't be comfortable at all.” I explained. Kristian seemed to think it over. “I'll back off. I think you should reconsider Aunt Sherry’s proposal. She and Kathleen worry about you.” With those words he walked off. I headed out to the front room not long later. Kathleen was talking to her Aunt Sherry about the camping trip she had just gone on the previous weekend. She was showing her Aunt Sherry some of the pictures. I got a look at one and I felt a chill run through me. I could see a sigil over the faces of some of the people in the picture. “Kathleen…” I started as the chill grew colder. “Em?” Kathleen whispered as she looked over to me. Her eyes widened some. I'm sure she could see it. The faint glaze that always crossed my eyes when I saw something I shouldn't. “Get her some water. Quick.” Sherry told her. I felt sick. I could see the people in her photos stepping out. Walking to me and then past me outside. I followed them, arms wrapped around me to keep the nausea down. Kristian and Kathleen followed behind me while their Aunt Sherry watched from the rear. I stepped outside and saw as the same sigil from the photo became noticeable on the street. I covered my mouth as my dinner tried to resurface. The people from the photo now looked half dead. Some became charred. Some missing limbs. Some looked like they'd been hit by a car. Kristian held me up and steadied me. I was trembling. “Kathleen...your friends...what did they find?” I asked her as two girls from the photo walked over to us. “What do you mean?” Kathleen asked as she held a water bottle for me. “A symbol? A relic? What did they find?” I asked as the same two girls got closer to us. To me. I was actually grateful Kristian was keeping me steady now. “Some kind of disc. It had some carvings on it.” Kathleen confessed. I held out my hand to one of the ghostly figures and bit back the scream as she carved the sigil into my hand. “Help us.” The girl told me. I faced my hand to Kathleen. “Was this one of the sigils?” Kathleen nodded, still processing the sudden carving. Sherry’s eyes widened at the symbol. “It won't stay in my hand. It will last just long enough for you to see what I already could.” I told them but started to feel dizzy. Kristian held me up more. “How many do you see?” I looked at him, surprised by the question. “How many of her friends do you see?” he asked me. “Ten. There are ten people. Two young women stand out the most. That tells me they'll be first.” I said and looked to a trembling Kathleen. “We need to find the item and burn it.” Sherry told her niece. “ us…” The ghostly whispers grew louder as that phrase kept getting spoken. My heart rate spiked as I saw them start to surround me. I awoke there.