CHAPTER 1 – THE NIGHTMARE.
June 3, 2019 , Monday, 6:30 P.M. – ‘ Beep beep…honk honk honk !’ Cars honked, as the red BMW raced past them along the sharp curve on Bourbon road. But, despite the constant blaring of horns , there was no sign of slowing down. Instead the beautiful red sports car broke all traffic rules, flew at double the permissible speed limit and headed straight towards the highway….. and oh no ! Oh ! It almost hit a car , and then….
The persons in the other vehicles heaved a sigh of relief as they lost sight of the car. But, who knew, what was waiting for them just a few miles away?
The traffic suddenly came to a standstill. A lane ahead was closed and all the vehicles began to squeeze into one lane.
Isabelle peeked out of her car. She could spot police cars at a distance. After a while, a digital notification gleamed on the information board on the highway, ” Car crash ahead. Expect delays.”
The cars progressed steadily and gradually approached the crash site. Isabelle pulled her car forward , moving at the pace of the flowing traffic. The paramedics and the fire trucks were also there. She has come closer to the spot now. “Smoke ! I think that’s where the crash happened. A terrible one it seems !” she muttered. As she drew closer she could see an almost totaled car on the side of the road. “Isn’t it the red BMW?” she whispered while gazing at the car. “Aargh ! this was bound to happen, the way he was driving !” She could see one person being dragged out of the car and the paramedics promptly attending to him. Her car was quite close to the lane, and even amidst all the chaos, she felt she knew the person..
Isabelle gasped for breath. She met him just an hour back in college. “Huh ! Oh no ! Adam ! It’s Adam !” she screamed. But, she was in the middle of the ongoing traffic and could not get down. She grabbed her phone and clumsily browsed through her contacts.
Adam lay on the stretcher surrounded by the paramedics. His status : Alive and his heart was beating. The injuries were bad.
Lub dub lub dub lub dub Lub dub—- his heart was beating fast, steady and loud . So loud that everyone could hear. Drenched in blood, breathing heavily , Adam had a hard time opening his eyes a little . He could sense all the people around him shut their ears , including the paramedics. They were all looking at him in shock, with their hands placed tightly on their ears. Adam was breathing so heavily it seemed like his chest would explode. He opened his eyes wide and tried to sit up. He was covered in sweat and blood …blood? No, there was no blood . He looked around him aghast.
The same old room. Huh ! It’s the same room, where he sleeps every night.
So, he was dreaming …AGAIN !
He hung his head down in frustration. This cycle never ends. Every night he would see the worst of nightmares and now sleeping has become a nightmare itself. “Why do I see such dreams ?” he screamed in agony. He pulled his hair with both hands and then reached out for the bottle of water on the bed side table. He looked at his watch for the time. It was 2 A.M. He was getting severe head aches due to lack of sleep. Closing his eyes again scared him, and his head was hurting too much, so he sat on his bed, staring at the wall in front of him for the rest of the night.
The next day, August 01, Thursday, 8:30 AM – He had breakfast and left hurriedly . He tried his best not to make eye contact with his mum all the while. She is a damn good mind reader when it comes to her son. But, she worries too much and hence even if he wants he cannot pour his heart out to her.
9:47 AM – Adam looked at his watch and looked up. This was the exercise he has been doing since the past half an hour.
Henry parked his bike and walked into the pharmacy. Adam was leaning against a wall, lost in thoughts. He ran to him with a mischievous smile and tickled him. “So now you are dreaming with open eyes,” he giggled. Adam looked at him sternly and said, “You are late as usual. Now let’s not waste any more time and get the meds. Did your dad tell which one I should take ?”
Henry’s dad is a psychiatrist. Adam felt on several occasions that he should take his help. But, every time he made up his mind, he stepped back reluctantly for the fear of becoming a laughing stock amongst his friends. Henry can hardly keep secrets.
They grabbed an over the counter sleep aid and walked to the cash counter.
A weird looking man stood right before them. Henry nudged Adam to take a look at the man’s clothes. The man looked like a…a…. the word should be a ‘wizard’. He was clad in an oversized cloak, woven in a combination of fabrics of different colors and materials. He wore a large black hat with a pointed tip that bent down to kiss his wrinkled forehead. He had put kohl in his eyes and had piercings on his chin and nose . Henry tried to suppress his giggles, while Adam gazed at him curiously.
“Next,” the woman at the cash counter called .
Adam took out his credit card and was just about to swipe it when suddenly the lights started to flicker. Then there was a complete black out. He stood still and moved his hands forward to hold the edge of the counter. Darkness was the only other thing that scared him, apart from his nightmares.
He felt a thick coarse material brush against his hand. A chill ran down his spine and his jaws tightened . He couldn’t move a muscle. And then a voice whispered something in his ears .
The lights turned on.