Death in a Gothic Cathedral

I was lying in a large bed next to a middle-aged man that I didn’t recognize.  We were in a […] room that was old and [g]othic […] – the ceiling high and painstakingly chiseled to fine detail.  It was like we were in the center of a […] medieval cathedral.  I [lay], shrouded in shadow.  Then I turned […] away from the man, and saw a dead, young woman lying […] next to me.  Her eyes were open and staring blankly […] while blood spilled from the corner of her mouth onto the pillow.  Her neck was […] bent and broken, a deep gash slicing across […] it, oozing blood […].  […]  I got halfway on top of her, grabbing her […] neck […], and proceeded to strangulate [her].  […]  I stopped – suddenly stunned that I had murdered someone.

Then I woke up […].  The clock read 5:30am.  […] as I drifted back asleep, I listened to my breath hissing […].  Gradually, my breathing began to sound like gasping and each time I gasped, I heard a creaking […] coming from the floor beside my bed – […] as if someone was shifting […].  And then I realized that I wasn’t alone – there was an old woman sitting in a rocking chair […] and the steady creaking […] came from her chair […].  She was dead and transparent […].  She saw that I was afraid of her and a slow smile spread across her […] wasted face, revealing […] withered and yellow teeth. […]

. rese

Die Twice

It was the wee hours just before the break of dawn when I woke […] and sat up in bed in that transparent darkness that fills one’s room in the early mornings.  It was exactly the way I wake up every morning – to that exact same lighting (or lack thereof) – before getting ready […].  I got out of bed and saw that my body was still lying down beneath the covers.  I felt […] light and weightless as I floated to the guest room where I saw my mother sitting on the bed, crying.  I was floating above the ground in front of her, but she didn’t see me.  I called out to her several times before she turned to me – finally seeing me hovering in the air – and gasped.

And then it was as if I was being sucked into the dawning sky – through the ceiling and through the roof – and I felt free but, oddly […] hindered as I flew amongst the gray and deep blue clouds.  I remember liking […] flying through the air, but then I became sad because I never got to do all the things that I had wanted […].

And then I had a […] passing thought that this must all be just a dream and I woke up, sitting up in bed in that familiar darkness just before dawn […].  I was so relieved that it was all just a dream – that, in fact, I hadn’t really died.  I got out of bed, glad to see that I hadn’t left my body behind, and proceeded with my morning routine.  I noticed that the light in my bathroom was on and as I walked in, I saw that my mother was in my bathroom, standing at the sink counter.  My makeup was spread […] in a mess in front of her.

“I’m sorry […],” she said to me, her face expressionless as she stared straight ahead into the mirror.  “But I’m going to have to kill you.”

I pretended like I was okay with it, coming forward cheerfully and putting the makeup away.  But deep down I was crushed and afraid. […]

My mom walked out of the bathroom and into her bedroom where she sat down in the darkness at the edge of her bed.  “I’m sorry,” she said […].  “But I have to do it.  You have to die.”

And I had a sinking feeling […] before I woke […] and sat up in bed, my eyes meeting once again, for the third time, that familiar, translucent darkness just before dawn.  I […] wondered whether or not I was really awake this time.  I turned around to make sure I couldn’t see myself still lying in bed.  I walked out into the hallway and saw that my bathroom light was thankfully off. […] It wasn’t until I finally reached school that I became convinced that this time I really was awake.

. rese