I can’t move.
My body refuses to comply with the simplest of requests, even the twitch of a single finger seems impossible.
I can’t speak.
My tongue feels like it’s been torn out and replaced with a slab of felt, stitched in place to fool anyone around me that it’s real.
I can’t open my eyes.
My eyelids feel heavy, even getting them to flutter feels like a challenge in itself.
Even with my eyes involuntarily closed I can tell that I’m surrounded by nothing but darkness, I should be led in my bed and sleeping soundly, but this feels like something much deeper.
There are footsteps to my side, shuffling along the floor to my left, accompanied by the sound of a girl muttering and whispering. They don’t sound like the typical kind of footsteps, more like a light scraping as if they had to force their feet along the ground.
The voice doesn’t sound like a young girl, more like an adult mocking a child much younger than them in a crude imitation. It’s almost pantomime like.
Within mere seconds I feel them shift on top of me, legs placed either side of me and hands splayed across my chest.
They’re as light as you’d expect a child to be, but yet I still feel my breathing become restricted. Taking in the smallest amount of air becomes a tremendous task and within moments my lungs are begging me to draw in a deep breath.
Their weight begins to shift in a pattern and it doesn’t take long to figure out that they have started rocking, using me like some kind of toy horse.
“You left us,” she coos in that horribly saturated sweet voice.
I want to respond ‘Us who?’ but still can’t speak, all that comes out sound like slurred grunts of incoherent words.
It transpires that I didn’t need to be able to talk as she mockingly replies. “You know who ‘us’ is.”
I half expected to hear a giggle at the end of that sentence, it feels foreign and almost empty when she doesn’t.
The weight shifts again and I feel strangely textured hands running up my neck and along my cheeks, eventually halting as they rest there with the thumbs pressed against my lips.
With a lot of force I manage to shift my head to the side and try to dislodge the hands from the side of my face, instead she shifts my head back up.
My body is crying out for oxygen and I feel close to panicking.
“We didn’t get to finish our last game.”
I want to push her off but it takes so much will power to simply move one part of my body, after an intense struggle with desperation I feel only my right index finger twitch a little, brushing lightly against her soft leg.
That’s when the giggle finally filled the air and shrouded me with dread, it was a haunting sound as she took glee in my weakness.
I feel two of the fingers shift up to my eyelids and push on them ever so gently, she pushed until my eyes are opened half lidded.
Even in the pitch blackness of the room she seemed to be illuminated in an odd light, one that brought out all her features.
I recognised the grotesque, grey skinned and terribly thin ragdoll of myself, her eyes half lidded and staring into my own. Patchwork marks were strewn across her body leaving the closest thing to scars that could appear on her body, her clothes matched my usual shirt and jeans style except they were much more tattered.
Her head was tilted so her straggly, woollen hair tickled the side of my neck.
Her mouth was stitched into a lopsided smile.
“I missed you,” she whispers in a husky tone.
As if she just realised that she should have no free will her arms collapse from underneath her, she drops limply onto me so her head is resting against mine.
Despite no other signs of life aside from her movement, I can hear her breathing in my ear. Almost like she was bragging about the life she was taking from me.
As she lies with her head resting against mine, the stolen breath wafting over my face rhythmically, she reminds me of a child. Cuddling up to the mother figure for comfort and warmth, waiting for those soft words of protection, she closes her hauntingly dark eyes and lets out a sigh of contentment.
My mind starts racing as breathing becomes impossible, no air was leaving nor entering my body and the world around me was getting hazy. It’s a familiar feeling, one I’ve encountered a few times in my teen years when this monster first reared her head and dragged me away from everything.
I won’t let that happen again.
I was defeated once and overcame it all, as I finally make my right hand move with great difficulty, I vow to myself that I will be sure to fight it again, get my strength back and steal my life from back her once more.