Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Don’t let the bed bugs bites.

“Hello.” It seethed. It was staring, if you could call it that, right through her and into the white void that presided all around. “You’ve had a very bad day, have you not?”

Despite its appearance, its voice sounded charismatic, polite, somewhat posh but also carrying an unearthly echo that hinted at its paranormality. That hint was superfluous in the presence of its silhouette of a head. Black essence sprawled out of the being’s neck, mingling with specks of white, like the very fabric of space was spilling from his stump of a neck. This leaking of nothing twirled into four black tendrils that formed the image of antlers, the black smoke haze around them gave her the impression of burning branches, though there was certainly no warmth to speak of. His monochrome tuxedo and indistinct bowtie lent some familiarity to the portrait, but in reality, this only leant more into its uncanny valley effect, unsettling her even further. His hands, like mist, seemed to be trying to escape his sleeves, yet they were clasped together upon his lap like smoke in a jar, contained by some unobservable force.

She hadn’t the nerve to answer, she could feel its animosity looming from over here.

“I have… I have had a very, very bad day.” It stood, from the armchair that only appeared to her as he stepped forth. More of that void spilled from its suit with every step, it seemed almost ethereal. She started to step back, but she moved nowhere.

“What are you?” She remained calm. The monsters of her world always responded better to calm and measured reactions.

Black sludge began to run down the blaze of nothingness that spewed from its neck, over its white shirt, through its hands, onto the white void below. She stared into that head, and began to see something. White orbs that floated within, that housed something her mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

“You have caused my day to go very, very wrong.” She saw in that void what it was, a dream eater, the very same that she’d escaped the night before. The over the counter medication obviously hadn’t worked, that or dream-eaters had found a way around it. Either way, she was dead now, there was no escape, not when it had home field advantage. The black sludge coiled its way around her, from her ankles it slithered to her neck, from her neck it crawled into her mouth, holding open her throat whilst more slithered down, she couldn’t even gag. When it reached her pupils, and made its way into her skull, she had already blacked out.

She didn’t snap awake, nor did she slowly rise from her slumber, glad it was all just a dream, instead she lifted her heavy eyelids, then gagged and choked violently on the blackness that had infected her body. Her eyes stung, and dark tears filled with that void spilled onto the white blanket that covered this space. She rose to her knees, still coughing and grasping at her throat. As her eyes accustomed to the space around her, she searched for the pearly gates, or a sign that read ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here.’

“No. Not quite so lucky.” It echoed again, ringing in the back of her ears, sliming around her mind.

“Where am-“ She had heard the legends in old stories, read it up in libraries and on her phone, she was a hollow. This was soon proven by the giant window into her room that had opened up in front of her. She screamed and yelled, banged on the window that was her very own pupil. She was trapped behind her own eye, trapped within herself, unable to control a single action yet forced to witness it all. By now, everyone would know. No one would care, humans were just as monstrous, and an entirely suggestable robot of a human was an exciting concept, even if that was somewhat of an open secret.

“Kill me…” She begged, crying whilst she watched herself get out of bed and lumber over to the bathroom.

“I don’t need to.” It said. She could feel it slithering around her mind, feeding. This creature served only itself, and whilst it had sentience and intelligence, it was still an animal only in search of food.

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