• ***Note from the Author (ME): If you haven't read the first chapter yet, hope you would read it first, for it would help to get you started with what is going on. Obviously, this is the second chapter. I have already made the introduction in the first chapter, so I won't say much else here. But for the new readers, I would repeat again, I will only be posting one chapter in each post I make because they are rather pretty long, so please be patient with me. Thank you so much for reading my work.

    Book Summary: Sarina thought her life was normal until the day she started having the strange nightmares. Then everything changed and strange things started happening to her. To many people, night time may have been the best time for them to party, hang out with friends, and go out for fun, but for Sarina things weren’t so easy. Night time for her was not the best, but the worst. One night her life completely turned upside-down after having a very extraordinary encounter with a fearsome creature.

    Chapter II: Summer, Fire, and Books
    Fatigue, possibly from the nightmare that kept me up awake all night, had at last settled on me as I walked out of the school’s square-like building heading to my car. It was the same dream, but this morning it was my alarm clock that woke me up instead of the piercing noise of the smoke detector. I still couldn’t figure out why I kept having the same nightmare, it was getting a bit more frightening each night. Every night, there was a new episode to the dream, as though it just kept building up and building up until it was unbearable to the dreamer—me. Afraid of worrying my parents, I never told them about my constant nightmares.
    My car was parked in the shade under a young cherry tree, closest to the football field. It was a silver-blue 2007 Bentley Continental GTC soft-top convertible that I have gotten from my loving parents as a birthday present last year when I turned sixteen; it was the highlight of my sophomore year. Most of the kids in school adored the car and my friends would rather ride in it than drive their own; not today though. They had all gone off somewhere without inviting me; not that I had anything against it. Knowing that today was my parent’s twentieth wedding anniversary, my friends left me alone to go home without any question. The sun was too hot this afternoon, so I was guessing that all three of them had probably joined some group of teenagers to swim at a rich kid’s pool as soon as the bell rang. I could imagine them now splashing water at each other and laughing together, while poor me had to stay home and babysit my baby brothers. No, I could not complain; it was not usually my nature to complain. Let them have fun without me. I had better things to do than worry of not being with my friends. Also, my body felt unmotivated today and probably needed a break from the rest of the world.
    The drive home was quiet, hot and humid. It felt like every hair on my scalp was taped right onto my skin and never coming off; sweat was soaking through the underarms of my shirt and my back. Only the air blowing against my face and hair made me feel a tad bit better.
    The house was silent as I pulled into the carport. Everyone must be inside, relaxing after a big day; it was too hot to be outside anyway. My parents were in no doubt already preparing for their anniversary dinner date tonight. Soon enough, I found my little brothers down on the floor playing with their toys as they watched a kid’s cartoon show on TV. I kissed them both and went to drop my book bag and all I had in my room, and came back down later to get a drink in the fridge. The couch felt like heaven as I sat down, closing my eyes with a big yawn.
    “Oh, hello there, sweetie, when did you get home?” I quickly opened my eyes and saw my mom walking through the door in her black evening dress with black shiny heels to match it. I looked down at my wristwatch and saw that it was almost seven. I didn’t know I dozed off and slept while sitting up in the couch that long. I must have been more tired earlier than I could admit.
    “Around four. You look nice, Mom.”
    “Thank you, dear. It was my hair that keeps getting loose, I had a hard time pinning it down, but I finally got it together.” She turned around to show me what she had done to her hair. I smiled.
    “Looks great.”
    I watched her stoop down to kiss the top of the twins’ heads and then came over to the couch to kiss mine. Dad came in the living room soon after, dressed in a nice pair of suit, to say goodbye to us and gently ushered my mom out of the door.
    The twins didn’t give me too much of a hard time, which was great, because I could just sit there watching them play. Now and then one of them would come to me and ask me for a drink or escort either one to the bathroom. Our parents just called earlier to check up on us and to tell me how nice the restaurant they were eating in was, and the food was delicious as my mom said. It was good to know that they were having a great time. I distracted myself by browsing on the internet and reading my emails. There was not much to look at, but it kept me from getting bored.
    I just had my little brothers tucked in their bedroom when I heard my parents come in the door, creating only a small sound. I could hear them laughing a little downstairs as they headed to their own room. I was glad they had fun.
    Fear of having the nightmare again, sleep was the last thing on my mind. My heart would pound maddeningly whenever I think of what would happen in the dream. It didn’t help a bit that I felt tired enough to beat a snoozing elephant on a sleeping contest. Right now just looking at the bed covers in front of me, my body seemed to be telling me to give in, but my mind would not yield to it. I shook my head really hard, trying to keep myself from dropping dead on the floor. With an exhausted sigh, I walked out to my balcony thinking that maybe the warm air of the summer might keep me awake. The night sky was a solid black mask with a billion stars that blinked at me every second. It was beautiful. If only I could dream of this every night rather than having a nightmare, I would not crave anything else but sleep.
    I sat in the balcony for a few more hours putting up with one mosquito or two that would not leave me alone and the humid air that was warmer than usual. For a moment, I even thought I saw a bright light flying across the night sky, but when I blinked once it suddenly vanished as though I only imagined it, which I probably did. I stretched my arms and yawned loudly. I felt so tired. When I looked down at my watch, the time told me it was past midnight. Wearily, I stood up and walked back to my bedroom, almost forgetting to close the glass doors behind me. For a long moment, I only sat down on my bed, still unwilling to dare go to sleep. But in the end, even my mind could not take it anymore and I completely passed out over my covers, not caring if my legs were suspended to the side, almost touching the floor.
    “Help me! Please. The fire is coming to get me,” I screamed while running down a stairwell, sweat beads pouring down my body like raindrops. I was breathing so hard that I sounded as though I had asthma. My hair was tangled and had tiny singes everywhere. When I reached the ground floor, the doors would not open and the knobs burned my skin like hot iron. Tears flooded my eyes from the pain. Feeling more helpless than ever I looked around for any passage of escape; there was none. I was cage in by stone walls and manmade steel. “I’m going to die. Lord, I’m going to die,” I kept telling myself, sense of surrender was gradually gripping my heart.
    But then, just after I sat heavily down on the warm tiled floor, quick heavy steps from above reached my ears and I hastily stood up looking expectantly at the stairs that I had come from earlier. I waited for what seemed like forever for whoever it was to emerge down the bottom of the stairs, but the steps suddenly ceased.
    “No!” I cried—when I opened my eyes again, I found myself sitting over my bed. I was breathing hard, eyes wide and mouth opened. I put my face in my hands while my elbows were propped on my knees and abruptly felt pain in my palms. Fearing what I thought was burnt marks, I switched the light on and looked closely at my palms. My eyes registered strange tender red spots on my skin similar to those I get whenever I burn myself on the stove while trying to cook something. Wonder and fear raced into my heart mixing as one; I shuddered knowing that if I didn’t find out what was wrong with me soon, this could get even uglier for me. The nightmare seemed to be getting worse. I have never heard of a situation close to this happening to anyone; I wondered if perhaps I was going crazy and just didn’t know it.
    The house was silent when I walked downstairs. Mom left a note letting me know that she took my brothers to the park and would not be home until noon. Dad on the other hand left for work early this morning. It was past eight o’clock when I last looked at the clock on the living room wall. I made myself some scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, making a mess on the new stove that I had to clean up afterward. My neatly wrapped hands gave me a bit of a hard time when I tried to wash the dishes after I ate. The red marks were still tender to the touch.
    The twins and mom didn’t get back until it was almost time for lunch. Mom made us a quick meal and took my brothers to their nursery for their afternoon nap. It was Saturday and yet there was nothing much to do but sit around doing nothing. At around three, an idea came to me after staring at my palms for what felt like an hour. Leaving a note on the fridge, I headed downtown.
    The library was still open when I got there. By looking at the doors, one sign said that it wouldn’t close until seven-thirty at night. Inside the building wasn’t so bad, it was cooler than outside, but what amazed me was the great number of books that were piled up from floor to ceiling. Where did all these books come from? I’ve only been here once before, and at the time this place didn’t have as many books as it had right now. My amazement must have shown in my face because an older lady came up to me and asked if I needed any help finding a book.
    “No, ma’am, I’m okay, but thank you.” She just nodded with a friendly smile and left. I shook my head, I didn’t know where and when to start. I had to find a book relating to supernatural occurrences or anything that was pertaining to paranormal activities, or just anything out of the ordinary. What had been happening to me up ‘til now must be investigated before it gets worse. It seemed to me that my nightmares weren’t only affecting my mind and sleep, but it was also affecting my physical body as well and not in a good way either. If there was anything that could give me a good idea of what was happening to me, it could save me from having the nightmare again. Come to think of it, I’ve only started having it when I turned sixteen, but the first nightmare, or I could say a dream, wasn’t as bad as the other dreams I’ve had after that. It was truly strange.
    So far, I hadn’t told anyone about this yet, and I wasn’t planning to say anything until I figured out what could this be and why it was happening to me. Today during lunch I did my best to hide my hands from my mom’s sight, making it almost impossible for me to act normal. It was fortunate on my side that I had my baby brothers to divert mom’s attention from me.
    Two hours later, I walked out of the library pulling a cartload of books behind me. They all contained supernatural stories and whatnot, facts and lies, whichever one may call them. I have never in my life carried this many books.

    (to be continued...)

    Next Chapter

    Previous Chapter

    Other Submissions:
    A Heart's Awareness (Poetry)
    The Crimson Queen (Fiction - Tiny Story)