Stephanie de Winter: Indigo Awakes
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Screams of terror ripped through the darkness. Indigo awoke with a start. An icy chill shot through her. The screaming was high-pitched and primitive. Jerking upwards, she attempted to sit up, desperate to awaken fully; but something had hold of her hair, tugging it, pinning her to the bed. The shrill sound intensified. Fear gripped her in its vice-like skeletal clutches, shooting to her bowels. Her ears and throat hurt and suddenly she realised that the dreadful screams were her own. The digits of the clock glowed red in the darkness reading 4 a.m. and, as realisation dawned, the screams ceased.
Sense prevailed. Another nightmare had visited her and she had been lying on her long dark hair. Wriggling from the constraints of her restless sleep, she flicked on the side light, staring manically into the glow. Clammy skin saturated in a cold sweat, her wild hammering heart beating at an explosive speed. Feeling battered and exhausted, she lay back on the soft white plump pillows like a convalescing patient, allowing her mind to drift back to the dream that had terrified her.
It had been night-time and the sky was a dark midnight blue. A smattering of wispy clouds partially blocked the half-moon from time to time. Indigo was running along a path at the side of a field near her home. Dark green leaves rustled to her right and silver prickly barbed wire glinted in the moonlight to the left. The field was full of shadowy black horses and she could feel energy surrounding her. A sensation began to build in her hands, initially the size of a tennis ball, like a huge force swelling, growing larger. It was as though she was cupping something powerful. Frightened, she glanced behind her. Something was following her, chasing her. A presence that she couldn’t see but knew was there.
She awoke with a start, or so she thought, but couldn’t find her lamp. Leaping out of bed, she rushed to the main light switch on the far wall. Turning, Indigo saw herself lying in bed fast asleep, pale and peaceful but empty of life-force, with long dark hair spread over the white pillowcase. For a moment she felt upset that she’d died and a sinking feeling of disappointment engulfed her. She hadn’t done half the things she wanted to do yet. Indigo wasn’t ready to die. A practical calmness descended telling her that she was in the wrong place and should return to her body. She tiptoed back to the bed.
She awoke properly this time, screaming. In the dream she had been calm about the out-of-body experience, but her waking consciousness had a different perspective on it.
The darkness of the night outside enveloped the safety of her lit cocoon and she lay inside the brilliant white bubble feeling exhausted. These frequent nightmares had left her feeling tired, restless and anxious the next day. However she’d always been able to put them to the back of her mind and carry on with the monotony of daily life. But this experience had been different and it really bothered her. Seeing herself lying there, still fairly young and beautiful, but dead, had disturbed her. Obviously she’d soon realised that she was alive but those few seconds had made an impact.
Mike’s side of the bed was cold and empty like their relationship. Mike, her partner of the last four years, had gone to a poker night.
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