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|This has nothing to do with Annie Harrington. I wrote this a while ago, and the name was perfect. This story is a prime example of how a person's fear can overcome their sanity... and the universal consequences. This is also a spin off of Ripple, including Chaos, Order and Sandman.|
This story is dedicated to those who feel trapped in their own fear of everyday things and the monsters hiding in the dark recesses of their own minds... this is mine.
Annie shivered pleasantly. She liked when he called her that. He had said that it meant beloved in Gaelic, and that his mother had called him that before she had left his dad. Annie really liked the way he said it, too. His voice was always velvety and rich, like dark chocolate, even over the phone – like his eyes.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
Whenever he called, she knew something was wrong. She just knew.
“You may want to get secure.”
Annie’s blood ran cold. She knew what that meant. She took her old, ratty bear from under her bed and began running her hand over its head. She could feel the tips of pins sticking out of its fur, and the soft scratching soothed her.
“I found someone – a man – near my door this morning.”
Annie’s hand pressed a little harder against the bear’s head. The gentle scratching had become muted pain across her palm.
The way he said her name made her close her eyes in terror. She gripped the phone tightly and held the bear’s body between her knees, still stroking its head.
“He was – dead, ashke. The man from your dreams.”
Annie’s hand convulsed and the pins dug painfully into her hand. Small pinpricks of blood fell from her hand to land on the bear’s head. The pain dulled her mind almost enough to drag her back from the edge. Opening her eyes, she realized it wasn’t enough. She gripped the bear’s head, pins digging deep into her flesh before the muscles went limp.
Terror gripped her heart like an iron clamp as the phone fell from her lifeless fingertips. An icy chill brushed the back of her neck, the fine hairs standing up on her skin. The phone fell with a muffled thud to the bed, and Annie turned with growing fear towards her door. She never heard the deep chuckle that came from the phone before the line went dead.
Standing leaning against the doorframe was a man. A sneer twisted his face into a grotesque mask, a mad light in his dark eyes. Unkempt and unclean, the room suddenly smelled of death. Annie could see maggots and lice crawling through his tangled hair. Leeches bit viciously at his body, putrid blood trickling down his arms and staining his clothing.
Annie fought cold terror, the urge to throw up going unnoticed. She swallowed against the growing lump in her throat that threatened to suffocate her. The mans smile grew wider and blackened gums without teeth gaped like a cave. A small whimper escaped her lips and the man cackled with laughter. His laugh was sharp and cold, slicing through her skull and destroying the last faint threads of her sanity. A scream ripped itself from her throat, a scream that brought the walls of her life crashing down.
The scream cut short. Annie merely sat there with her mouth open in a silent shriek of terror, not even breathing. Her eyes began to glaze over, oxygen lack making her lose consciousness. Fear paralyzed her, her muscles refusing to function.
The man continued to laugh until Annie slumped over. He quieted and gazed at her lifeless form, confusion forming on his disgusting face as his purpose became null. Then he turned and walked from the apartment, disappearing slowly bit-by-bit. He became nothingness, nonexistent, as Annie’s consciousness winked out of existence.
The teddy bear’s sweet face began to turn in on itself, lying between Annie’s knees on the rumpled bedspread. The pins stuck out farther as the bear began to curl inward and disappear. Pretty soon, only a spiked ball remained, with two small red glass beads – the remains of the eyes – and one black – the nose – skewered securely on the pins.
Fear had destroyed her. The balance rocked unsteadily, and Order’s end of the scale lifted as Chaos’ lowered, heaving. Sandman gazed sadly into his time turner as one more grain of sand faded away, leaving the time once again unevenly balanced. Sighing regretfully, he turned away, and swept his cloak of sleep over the sleepless city.
|Like a Day Without Sunshine**||Repeating Myself *|
|The Seer's Garden*|