Senior 3rd Prize Winning Story
“Obsessed Nightmare” by Hsu Myat Noe Han, Pride ISM, Myanmar, is the Third Prize winning story in the senior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
The door to dream
“Skylark, are you ready? I know you can do everything. You, that’s right, you are Skylark and you must remember that, be stamped on your mind forever.” I contemplated my reflection and cracked a smile. “You look benevolent, genuine and compassionate.” The journey to Eleanor Dreyer would be a miracle. I took my luggage. Then, once again glimpsed at the mirror, being grateful yet guilty.
The train station was packed like sardines in a can and without hesitation, I made my way to the train. At that moment, someone yelled “Sylvia!!” I freeze, feeling the darkness around. I slowly, really slowly turn my head. I can’t see who is calling that name but, it keeps echoing, strangely becoming closer. Then, I catch sight of an adumbration surrounding me but just in a flash, it disappears through a crowd of people. I am in state of shock and fear though hearing the steady chugs of the train snaps me out of it, “It’s just an illusion, just illusion, nothing more,” I murmured as I dash to the train.
“Miss, may I please lead you to your seat?” I followed the attentive, gorgeous Jewish train attendant. In alleviation, I sigh. Taking a deep breath, I do not dwell on the intensity and strangeness I have had earlier. Instead, I slowly close my eyes and is lost through thoughts. The moment I wake up, I have reached my destination. I am agitated and very animated in meeting my pen-pal. I check the address and hire a taxi. I got on the car and sit on the cushiony backseat. But the satisfactory only lasts for a while. Within minutes, I felt caliginous and terrified. I feltl like someone is beside me, also enjoying the cushiony seat. Yet, I ignored it-it’s just a thought. Getting it out of my mind, I only focused on my plan, a plan that must not fail. I am really gleeful to meet Eleanor and fulfill my wish.
Eleanor’s appealing mansion was much more gigantic and glorious than I thought it would be. I got off the cab and press the bell. Even the bell was prestige. The majestic door opened, my jaw dropped. The furniture in the affluent house was high-end and engaging. It was like a timberland placed with exclusive, premium fittings. The fabrics were spotless and color coordinated in muted standardized hues. I picked my way through the room to a vacant grand piano and sink into it. It wasn’t at all what I’d been expecting. Suddenly, when I was flushed with the piano, there was a scream. “Skylark!!!” It’s Eleanor, my pen-pal. With her costly properties and charismatic looks, she is really impressive. I’m green with envy, really green. “Eleanor. I’ve been waiting this day for ages. I’m over the moon to see you!” I exclaimed.
We’ve a long, warm conversation. Yet, suddenly, a luminous ray of light zips up between us. Immediately there’s a sharp breath close beside me, very close. The warmness faded away into coldness rushing down my veins with feelings of fear and wonder. Something is wrong with me since the morning.
“Are you okay?” enquired Eleanor.
“Yes, yes...you know I am just really astounded to see you,”
I answered. As time passes, Eleanor leads me to my room to stay.
“I know you are tired because of the journey so take a rest and I will call you at dinner,” declared Eleanor. The door closed and I laid my back on the bed, the Dunlop mattress was so fleecy with cozy and devastating pillows. It was like sleeping on a cloud. My eyelids were very heavy and I didn’t want to try opening them up.
Moments later, I heard devastating voices coming from different directions- from the ceiling? From the walls? Different combination of voices keeps echoing but what has been highlighted is a very intriguing, bloodcurdling phrase
“Watch the way you live your life because you reap what you sow.”
Then, there is a strong grasp on my hand. Astonishingly, I opened my eyes and it’s Mrs. Velvet- Eleanor’s most promising housekeeper. She asserted,
“Ms. Skylark, your dinner is ready.”
With a cold tone, glaring at me, she looks menacing and direful with vulture eyes and stubborn personality. Without hesitation, I replied
“Oh, yes, thanks for reminding me. Should I follow you?”
Filling the third seat of the table in the capacity of four, I sat beside Eleanor’s mom. I smelled the scent of ambrosial dishes wafting through the air. The appetizing mutton melted in my mouth and blended together with slightly sweet potatoes and juicy broccoli. Meanwhile, something fell on the floor with a clunk- a fork from the empty seat beside me. However, the Dreyers take no notice of it. I felt the presence of a girl beside. I stopped. The delish turn into bitterness.
“What happens? Is the food not good?” asked Eleanor.
I’m petrified. Why does her amiable voice turn into a bellow?
Yet, I tried to smile, replying “I’m fine. I’m just full and want to take a rest.”
I closed the bedroom door, locked it shut. I sat on the sofa and took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down, I closed my eyes. There’s a girl in front of me-I can feel that. Unexpectedly, there’s my best friend standing but blood covering her. I freeze. She doesn’t hurt me but she keeps echoing these words
“Life’s ending”... “Life’s ending”... “Life’s ending”
There’s a knock. “Eleanor’s mum wants to talk with you.” asserted Mrs. Velvet. I followed her. Downstairs, the silence of the living room is broken by men with uniforms. What are they here for? Doesn’t concern with me. Why would I even care?
“Miss Sylvia?” Being on state of hysteria, I stopped. A man grabs my hand and yammers “You’re arrested in case of murder on your best friend Skylark!”