[ Read this in Dutch ]
This story is also contained in the short story collection Mashup – A Collection.
Relocated to the safety of a new home far away, Tom is still haunted by his least favorite axe-toting nightmare. But is it only a dream…?
Like an out-of-body experience, I see myself move reluctantly toward the door. I see my hand reaching for the screen door, hesitating when I notice the dented frame, the torn mesh. I see the muddy footmark next to the doorknob, the shattered doorframe, and I see my upper body jerk as my heart misses a beat. Then, with no sense of how I got there, I am in the kitchen.
Two chairs are toppled over. A shattered milk bottle has made a lake of white and glass under the open refrigerator door; steaming hot water in the sink; soap suds blow in the draft from the open back door.
Splashes of red. Deep red. Suddenly, the smell of blood assails me.
In reality, I dialed 911. The dream doesn’t allow for outside help.
Something splashes up above. Running up the stairs, impossibly slow, icily cold, as if wading uphill through four feet of snow. The smell growing stronger. Thick, sweet, metallic. But ever so faintly, like a false note heard in the distance, that perfume.
In reality, I never saw what was up there. But the dream provides me with flashed images of crimson devastation in the bedroom, Joan’s violated body sprawling, blood leaking off the walls.
More information about this story can be found on its own page.
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