Horror and Thriller Fiction posted January 1, 2013


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Woman prays the nightmare ends

If I Die Before I Wake...

by forestport12

This recurring nightmare takes me further down the road before I can force myself awake. My husband drives a hundred miles an hour, lecturing me, foaming at the mouth and dribbling spit down his chin. "You won't be leaving me! Not ever!"

He grips the steering wheel until it bends. Headlights carve the darkness, revealing rocks and wooded ravines like props staged for my death.

A voice inside my head tells me if I don't wake by the next curve, I will die, even if it is a dream. Can't scream. Can't breathe. My stomach turns inside like bloated worms. A cold sweat swims through my forehead.

I don't pass out because it is a dream, a dream so real I can feel my heart hammering. I'm helpless as a fly in a web, wagging my wings, shrinking and sagging into myself as the blood drains. The predator in him smiles at my helpless state, savoring every tense moment of fear until I surrender all movements, until he sucks the life from me, and I must abandon all hope when I look into his eyes.

His unexpected rage consumes me now, having hid this like a dormant volcano, hiding the fire deep inside the crust of his pathetic existence until it explodes with surprise and horror. He consumes everything in his path. Nothing survives the depth of his fire. He will have his way.

"But I love you," I say, weakly. "Please. Please. I'm begging you...Please." But in this nightmare my voice is mousy, and hardly counts as a whisper.

He laughs with hideous anticipation. "Say your prayers." He smirks.

In my sleep I mumble a prayer. I want to claim the blood of Jesus, but the words don't form. My lips go slack.

Tires squawk. Limbs stab the car. We go airborne into the night sky. There's a chilly second of silence. Even my husband glows with a dark serenity.

Careening into the trees, I hear the metal shriek and shred, slicing open until the coldness seeps into my breaking bones. We somersault until my head explodes. Shards of metal stab my ears. I hear the wheels spin like pinwheels on air. A heavy fog envelopes us.

"Wake-up!" I shout to myself. "It's only a dream. Just wake-up. Please God: let me wake-up."

Then warmth washes through me, a cleansing light. A beam in the night sky offers me an escape. It penetrates and dissolves the cloud of mist.

My husband lives. He moans and groans. His bloody head jerks my way in the seat to see the shell of my former existence, twisted and broken. He wears a satisfied but crimson grin.

I freely rise above him, watching him watch my lifeless corpse. Strangely, I feel sorry for him. He is the one who is lost, lost forever.

I wake-up, drenched in sweat, alone in my bed.

"No! No! No!" My neck cranes toward the sleeping pills on my dresser, wishing it wasn't a dream. Now I remember. I took the remaining bottle of pills, not caring if I lived or died. But the car crash seemed real. I need an exit. "Oh God, your book promises a way of escape for the believer. Deliver me!"

Then a reaper shadow forms from a corner of the room. "I'm here as an answer to your prayers. You know I can't live without you, Jen. If I can't have you, nobody will."

I recognize his demonic voice.

He crawls on top of me, pinning my arms, holding a pillow over my head. I don't scream. Why should I? He molds the pillow to my face.

"You have a lovely face of death, somewhat sensual, Jen. As you die, know my face is the last one you will see. My voice carries the last words you will hear."

I die. But death is not the end.


A radiant warmth, a beam of light pulls me effortlessly along a path of redemption A voice tells me I am safe, my husband will not find me in heaven. Then I hear the sounds of music, a chorus of angelic beings. My husband is not the last voice I hear. As I approach what looks like a mighty throne, a light so bright it blinds my path, but does not scare me. I see the face of my Lord, a masculine face of peace and love. Now I know that my husbands face is not the last face I will see.



All fear is vanquished, and this is not a dream.


Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry

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794 words
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