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Still Alive, Barely Alive

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Hello there, my name is Steven McCarthy. Right now I'm sixteen years old. Six years ago I moved from the small, little known town of Duck, North Carolina to the big city of lights Paris, France. It was a really impromptu move, but my parents seemed to be sure that we needed to. I'm still a little fuzzy on why we did. Nevertheless, I was ten when we came here. That's when the nightmares started.

Out of every dream I've ever had, these are the most vivid. For the most part, they're all identical. There's a grotesque looking figure that is always present. However, "It" is always blurred or out of my sight, but I always know who is there.

It always speaks in some kind of gibberish language unlike anything I have ever heard. In the beginning, the language was completely foreign and I could not understand what this figure was trying to convey to me. Gradually though, every word became clear to me; I understood the language. Every single time it was the exact same message; "Still alive, barely alive".

Each time I had this nightmare, It would just gaze at me. I never knew where I was besides it was an open plane of what appeared to be infinite space in all directions. Still, I was always laying on an icy surface shaking back and forth ever so subtly. It would always say his words in the moment just before I was ejected from the dream. Like I said, I was unable to see in detail. However, I could see his enormous height and what appeared to be two massive wings.

In all honesty, I never once gave thought about it. They're just reflections of my imagination after all. I never even told my parents, and I seldom brought it up to my friends at school.

I experienced the nightmare again last night. No big deal, I walked to school just like every other day. I completed every dumb, mundane school task on the same school schedule. Today however... was different somehow. I'm dumbfounded; there's not a single way that I can find to justify "why?". Every single proceeding that day was normal, save for one moment.

I was taking my sweet time going back to L'histoire de monde (World History) class from the restroom. About halfway down the empty corridor, I saw something. In the furthest extent of my peripheral, I saw a dark figure that inched closer to the front of my vision. The very instant it moved I whipped my neck around only to see nothing. Absolutely nothing besides the same hallway I walk everyday.

"Just my brain playing a trick on me", I assured myself before laughing to myself and proceeded on to class.

Dismissal bell rang, all of my peers and I filed outside. Just as my walk in the morning, my walk home was just fine. A beautiful, cloudless, autumn day was before me. The shrubbery behind me rustled lightly, even with no breeze to push them. I fell into a deep, relaxing sleep that night.

I dreamt about It again last night. Once again he said his same old speech and it was over. An alteration to the normally set-in-stone plot occurred though. In fact, I was still in my bed this time. I recognized my bedroom and It was right outside my window. It almost felt real, but I was able to put the notion behind me. After all, it's just my imagination.

The thoughts of It must have lingered in my head; for I dreamt the dream again. For me, three consecutive nights was unheard of; it had never happened to me before this. Once again there was a mutation in the usual dream plot. It was- IN my bedroom. As clear as day this time. It was massive; he was at least eight feet tall. Two vast wings protruded from his back; each were equipped with black feathers that featured red blotches as if they were blood-stained. Atop his long body was a porcelain white head with no features except- those eyes. Those pitch black lifeless eyes that gazed into my soul and struck fear throughout my entire being. My shaking was violent and I could feel the bed beneath me rocking. It spoke its ever present one line in the most intimidating of whispers.

As much as I tried to play this one down, I could not. In desperation, I repeated "It's my imagination" over, and over, and over, to no avail. For the first time, I told my parents; they both reiterated that it is just in my head. Today was one of those seldom occasions in which I shared my nightmare with my friends. Both Cole, and Meredith said the same things to me.

I'm unsure. This edition of the nightmare felt too real. I did not suddenly wake myself, but instead my vision went black; as if I was knocked unconscious.

Being forced by homework, I had to reel myself into reality to focus. Upon opening my email inbox, I discovered a message from a "Closerthanyouthink". There was no website to accompany this username; it was truly peculiar. Chills ran down my spine and I was unwillingly launched back into my state of paranoia when I read the message.


You know who this is...
imagination is realer than humans
want to believe.

My mom was not fast enough to get to my bedroom after my call. My eyes tore themselves away from the screen for a fraction of a millisecond, and when they returned it was gone. Poof! as if it was never here. Mother thought I just wasted her time; I'm positive- I am going insane.

Tonight I cannot sleep; I have to stay awake. In all of my heart, I know I can't handle another night viewing the nightmare. Eventually my effort was proven to be a failure. I succumbed to the exhaustion.

Before morning arrived, I awoke in a fetal position sweating profusely. Everything was peaceful until my closed eyes saw two large hand like, clawed appendages reach over to my bed and engulf my face. They slowly moved down to my throat and began choking me with force that could have snapped my neck like a popcicle stick. This could not have been a dream; my neck had marks on it in the morning and I fully experienced the dreadful sensation of being choked.

After forty-five consecutive minutes of deliberation, my parents allowed me to miss school. Cole still doesn't believe me. I don't really blame him; he hasn't seen what I've seen. Anyone would have difficulty understanding this. When I described It to Cole he called it absurd.

"You need to get out of your house and relax some", he told me.

The constant thought that It will be waiting for me at school, or worse, in my own home, haunts me. I've been glued to the couch of our living room for hours and hours. I'm unable to keep food down, and I absolutely cannot sleep. The nightmares are too real to be dreams. And what about that email. HOW DID IT GET MY EMAIL!? I'm going INSANE! Nearly every hour on the hour I have to do a reality check to see if I'm awake. I am completely out of control; I have no power in my own life. I'm scared of every single sound that is made. I'm paranoid of every single thing around me. I absolutely dread the idea of even taking a small cat nap.

I'm not tired at all. Still I fffeeh2s feel myself fading awayyhsa I can't fall asle..

"Calm Down Mr. McCarthy" "Page the Doctor Right NOW!" "We need a sedative"

This is what I heard before fading back into the dark nothing of unconsciousness once more.

Light slowly blended into my visual spectrum. Upon examining my surroundings, I found myself in a hospital bed. The sign on my door specified to me that I was somehow in the Mental Ward.

My last recollection was falling asleep on the couch. I remember being carried to the bathtub. I could hear the water running and I could feel the cold rush onto my body. Those black eyes locked onto my eyes and almost instantaneously I was out cold. My eyes were still slit open, but my body was petrified like a statue. My blank gaze was broken by an object floating past my frozen face. It landed in the water and suspended itself on the top of the surface. My subtle shaking was rippling the water.

Time melted away and apparently Cole came over to surprise me. However, it was him who was shocked with what he found. As he described it to me, I was face up in the frigid water. My lifeless gray eyes were barely open and I was shaking. He said I was mumbling gibberish, and I didn't stop until we got to the hospital and the put me under medication. On the wall of my bathroom was the phrase "Still alive, barely alive." written hundreds of times everywhere. And in the water was a single black feather with blood red splotches on it.

--Odza (talk) 02:57, January 15, 2014 (UTC)

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