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Punishing Sleep

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Sefa was brushing her teeth as she did every night. The white foam caused by the toothpaste dripped from the corners of her mouth. She hadn’t even laid in bed yet, but similar to every other evening, her hair looked tousled and knotted in the mirror. Her deep brown eyes were skimming across her reflection, taking notice of every flaw, every imperfection. Then they suddenly broke contact as she spat into the sink before rinsing her toothbrush.

Sefa had to admit, it was odd having so much space in the bathroom by herself. Usually, her younger sister Laney would stuff her little body next to the sink, right beside her. However, that night, her parents were out of town, leaving her in charge. So, although Sefa liked to think she had authority, tiny Laney would never listen. Therefore, the younger sibling refused to brush her teeth.

The ebony haired teenager didn’t bother with it too much, however. Her little sister's teeth could rot for all she cared. So it slightly surprised Sefa, when Laney’s reflection came into view.

“Finally decided you didn’t want your teeth to fall out? They could you know, one by one, your gums bleeding out as your teeth are yanked from your mouth!” Sefa told the ten year old sibling dramatically, attempting to frighten her.


Laney didn’t move, or show any signs of fear in her eyes like she normally would have. The small girl just stood there, glaring at her older sister.

“Alright, what is it, you brat?” Sefa questioned, her voice filled to the brim with annoyance, as she turned around to look at her sister face-to-face.

However, where in the reflection was her sister, there was nothing in reality. Laney was not anywhere in the bathroom or outside of it. It was as if the young girl had just disappeared, vanished, or evaporated into thin air.

“Laney?” Sefa called, but when no answer came, she simply shrugged and turned back around to face the mirror once more.

Where her sister's normal reflection was, only moments before, now stood a different Laney. One who was pale as death, blood dripping from her mouth, her eyes a cold black.

Sefa let out a scream and turned back around, only to see nothing there.

“Sef? Sef, you okay?” Laney asked, coming around the corner, her stuffed rabbit dragging on the floor.

“Laney? Um - yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Get into bed, I’ll be in there in a sec.” Sefa replied shakily, still slightly frightened.

The teenager just decided to take it as being over tired, nothing more.

Sefa walked into her and her sister's bedroom, Laney already tucked tightly under the flower patterned blankets. She kissed her little sister on the head, brushing Laney’s orange hair out of her eyes. Although they don’t get along on most occasions, Sefa still cared for her smaller sibling greatly.

“Goodnight, little bee.” Sefa said before getting under her own sheets and swiftly shutting off the light.

The darkness in the room brought on drowsiness and then, finally, sleep.

Everything seemed quiet except for the sound of Sefa’s beating heart within her chest and the rhythm of her steady breathing. Then everything went red.

Sefa woke with a start, gasping for air, a strangled scream escaping from her dry throat.

“Laney?! Laney, where are you?!” She shouted out within the empty room. The bed beside her was empty, no little sister to be seen, and although she tried, Sefa could not manage to turn on the lights.

Grabbing a flashlight from her nightstand she jumped from her bed and exited the room with speed she didn’t even think she possessed.

“Laney, where are you? Laney, you need to get into bed! Laney?!” Sefa shouted down the dark halls, and different rooms. She was about to make her way downstairs, thinking her sibling might be in the kitchen, when a painful cry came from the bathroom.

“Laney!” Sefa called out in pure shock and worry, her legs carrying her to the bathroom.

However, when she entered she was met with a sight she did not expect. Her sister was kneeling on the floor, her knees tucked under her chin, arms wrapped around her shins, as she slowly rocked back and forth.

Drip-drop. Drip-drop.

Sefa heard the sound and looked towards Laney’s feet. A steady pool of red was forming as blood fell from what looked to be Laney’s face.

“Laney? L-Laney, are you alright?” Sefa asked worriedly, trying to hide the fear in her voice. It was so dark, so cold, and her sister seemed so death-like, that it was frightening.

“He came for me… He said I was bad, he said I didn’t listen.” Laney whispered, her speech different from normal.

“What do you mean, Laney?” Sefa asked beginning to get concerned.

“Now that I’m punished… I think you should be punished too. Always looking into the mirror. Sefa, you’re always looking into the mirror. If I was always smiling… and I was punished… You should be punished too, Sefa…” Laney said slowly, her rocking motion coming to a halt, and her head tilted towards her sister just enough that her left eye was visible.

“What do you mean punished? What’s going on, little bee? Tell me what’s wrong.” Sefa urged, her hands starting to shake.

Laney lifted her head and looked at her sister, slowly standing. Sefa stepped back in shock, quickly placing a hand over her mouth to stop a gasp from escaping.

The ten year old's face was smothered in blood. Then there was her mouth. Laney’s mouth was so full of the red substance, it was gushing out, running down her chin and dripping onto the tile floor. When Laney attempted a smile at her sister, only more blood came. Then Sefa realized… Her little sister had no teeth.

“Holy shit! Laney, we need to get you to a hospital or something! Oh my god! What the hell happened!?” Sefa was nearly in tears, wanting to embrace her sister comfortingly, but for some reason, too afraid to do so.

“You should be punished too!” Laney slurred, more blood gushing from her mouth as she spoke.

“You and your pretty brown eyes, always looking into the mirror. You should be punished!” Laney seemed to scream.

Then the ten year old did the unexpected. She pulled a dagger. A knife so sharp it looked like it could cut the air.

“What the fuck are you doing, Laney!? Put that down!” Sefa ordered frantically.

“You need to be punished!” Laney yelled with anger in her tone.

“No! Stop this! Please just stop!” Laney cried, tears falling from her brown eyes. She hurriedly went to the bathroom door, but it was shut, and as much as she tried, it wouldn’t budge.

“Goddammit! Open! Open!” Sefa yelled.

Laney stepped forward, her head twitching slightly, and this made Sefa slam the door even harder. The teen punched at it so fiercely, the wood splintered, pieces of it embedding itself into her knuckles and making them bleed. Sefa screamed.

“Somebody help me! Stop this, Laney! Please! Somebody! Laney, stop!” She begged and slid to the ground, her back up against the door.

“You must be punished!” Laney said darkly, getting closer to her sister.

“No! I didn’t do anything! What’s happening? Stop this!” Sefa sobbed.

“Punishment… Always looking in the mirror… You need a punishment!” Laney leaned in, bringing the knife up to her older siblings face. Sefa tried to squirm away but to no avail.

The knife crept closer and closer to her right eye. Sefa screamed again.

“Laney, stop!” She begged once more.

“Punishment time…” Laney whispered and slowly pushed the knife into Sefa’s eye.

Blood gushed out, running down the teenagers pale cheeks. She let out an agonizing howl and continued to sob. She squirmed, and flailed, her only wish was to get away. The pain was like fire.

“Only one more… One more and you’re all done being punished. It’s okay, Sefa.” Laney chuckled darkly.

“Please, Laney, please stop! P-please!” Sefa cried, her entire body shaking like a leaf.

“How about I use my hands this time? You’re always telling me I can do great things with my hands. Create, climb, achieve… What about destroy?” Laney tilted her head to the side, a bloody grin on her face.

“No! P-please no!” Sefa yelled. Only, Laney didn’t listen.

The ten year old dropped the knife and then carefully placed her thumb onto Sefa’s closed eyelid. Then, she pushed. She pressed so hard you could practically hear the eyeball ‘pop’ underneath, blood coming soon after.

Sefa simply screamed until her throat hurt, during which, her entire world went black.

The Ebony haired girl awoke with a loud cry, her eyes still closed as she was almost fearful to open them. However, that didn’t stop the tears that streamed down her face as she shook like a thin tree branch in the wind.

“It was all just a dream! Just a dream!” Sefa reassured herself, wiping her wet cheeks.

“Are you alright, Sef?” Laney questioned from beside her worriedly.

“I’m fine, little bee. Just a bad dream.” Sefa said, opening her eyes to look at her sister.

As Laney screamed due to the ugly damage, Sefa screamed due to the darkness.

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