“Goodnight sweetheart,” Mom whispered, slowly closing the white wooden door, just as her fingers slid through the tiny crack to close the lights, my sweaty hand shot out, “Wait Mom!” the words spilled out of my mouth. Click. The lights and the door were shut. I was engulfed in darkness. With beads of sweat forming on my forehead, I clutched the corner of my fluffy blanket and brought it to my chest, as if it were a shield. My eyes scanned my room, brown orbs lying on the darkest parts of this prison. Woosh. A movement caught the corner of my eye. My heart beating faster and faster, my eyes darted to where the movement was. Nope, it wasn’t there. Looking at the darkest parts of my room, my eyes lay on a shadow in the corner of my wooden desk, I sucked in a breath and the creature’s dark red eyes met my own, shrieked, and everything went black.

Panting, I woke to a windy, cloudy Saturday. My caramel hair was matted with sweat and my room was bathed in sunlight. After being abused and locked into a dark room by my biological parents, I finally went to the guidance counselor and I was put into a couple’s care. Who were, luckily, looking for a teenage daughter to adopt. After about 2-3 weeks of settling in, the nightmares started. I glanced at the alarm clock that was besides my bed. 7:34am. Sighing, I flopped down on my bed and stared at the blank white ceiling of my room. Tick, tock,tick, tock. I listened to the repetitive sound my alarm clock was making. Then, of what felt like 15 minutes, I grew bored and rolled out of bed, opening the door and walked into the bathroom. I started to do my daily routine.

Creak, I plopped down on my bed after eating breakfast. It was 8:16am.  Having nothing to do, I unlocked my phone and called Katie so that we can start Algebra homework.

“But if X is 4, that wouldn’t make sense when we plug it in,” Katie bemoaned. “Oh my god, at least we have an answer,” I replied. “Sol, I have an average of a B in Algebra. I can’t fail homework.” Katie exasperated. “Let’s go to Google.” I muttered. “You just said like 10 minutes ago not to use Google because there’s a test next week!” “Well, I changed my mind.”

Four hours passed and Katie and I finally finished. I went downstairs and made myself a boiled egg for lunch.

The rest of the day breezed by. Before I know it, it was 10:49pm. Not wanting to sleep, I scrolled through Tumblr on my laptop.

“Honey, it’s late! Go to sleep!” Mom ushered. I shook my head. Mom pressed her lips into a thin line and asked, “Nightmares?” Slowly, I nodded. Sighing, Mom sat on the corner of my bed, “How about Katie sleeping over?” she questioned. “Tomorrow,” I muttered. Mom was silent for a couple of minutes, then she got up, snatched my laptop from me, and before leaving my room, she whispered, “Goodnight.” and closed the door.

Sighing,  I stared at the blank ceiling of my room yet again, and slowly drifted into sleep.

“I’m winning!” I teased. “Psh no, I am!” Katie exclaimed, throwing her laced pillow at me. I quickly hit her pillow with mine and it flew onto my desk. “Haha, oops!” I giggled, going over to pick it up. I gave it back to Katie and fell onto my bed.

“I guess we should sleep, huh?” Katie giggled, and quickly turned the lights off before I can answer.

I sighed and cuddled into my blanket. I stayed awake for of what seemed like 30 minutes. I tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t. Desperate, I tried counting sheep.

59 sheep. 60 sheep, 61 sheep. 62 sheep. 63 sheep. 64 sheep. 65 sheep. 66 sheep.

Suddenly, a piercing shriek came from Katie’s direction. I quickly sat up from my bed, heart slowly speeding up and looked to where Katie was. Sucking in a breath, my eyes widened at Katie’s limp, dead body, and next to her was the creature, sprinting away.

Footsteps echoed across the hall and Mom and Dad barged into my room. “What happened?” Dad asked. Panting, I started screaming, my hands covering my ears and eyes shut tight.

Gasping, I woke up to find myself drenched in sweat. My blanket was over the edge of my bed.That was one of the worst nightmares I had. Grudgingly, I got off my bed and started my daily routine.

After I changed my clothes, I went downstairs and into the living room. Mom was preparing breakfast and Dad was sitting comfortably in his old armchair, with his feet propped up on the coffee table, reading a newspaper. “Good morning.”Mom said while chopping up some tomatoes. I muttered a quick good morning and walked over to the TV.

“It seems that a major storm can hit us. High winds and chilly temperatures this week. Maybe a little drizzle here and there.” The weatherman stated.

“Good morning honey,” Dad said. I replied with another good morning and continued my day.

Katie came over with her stuff in the afternoon. We played Turtle and some other card games in my room. Afterwards, we made a lame fort out of blankets and a sofa cushion. Before I know it, the time to sleep has come.

“Katie are you sure you want to sleep over?” I asked, with a desperate tone in my voice. “Yeah sure Sol, of course I am! Why would you ask?” Katie answered. “Uh nothing. Just wondering.” I replied. Katie settled in her purple sleeping bag besides mine and I sank into my bed.

“Goodnight, sleeptight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Katie whispered, slowly reaching over to the light switch. “Goodnight to you too.” I whispered back.

Click. Darkness came down.

Swiftly and quietly, I propped myself onto my pillows, so that I had a full view of my room. Eyes wide, I began searching my room. My eyes darted towards my Oak wood bookshelf. Before I could glance at the creature, it moved towards Katie.

“No!” I screamed inside my head. Heart speeding up, I scrambled onto my feet.

“Aaaaah!” Katie shrieked.

I was too late. I slowly stepped towards Katie, the bed underneath my bed creaking along with each step. She laid there, motionless, her red dyed hair sticking out and eyes rolled back. I fainted and fell on my bed.

“SOL!” Gasping, I woke to find Katie, shaking me. “Aren’t you d-dead? Am-am I dreaming?” I stuttered, in disbelief. “Ha. Ha. Very funny. No, you’re not dreaming. It’s Monday. School. Now go get ready.” Katie rambled. I sighed and did what she said.

It was last period, meaning Algebra. About 15 minutes into the class, the lights suddenly were shut. Because, the building was covered in scaffolding and the shades were stuck at being closed, it was dark, only little light coming from the cracks in the shades. My breaths started getting faster and my eyes scanned the room for the creature. The class was out of control, with Mr.Savei trying to yell over the noise for everyone to be quiet.

I felt someone staring at me and looked towards my right. Out of nowhere, a girl screamed. My eyes immediately went over to her and the creature was on top of her dead body. Sweat forming and my breaths getting quicker, one person dropped after another, their screams making me scarred for life. I was about to scream when a warm hand tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and saw that it was Don Parks. He was a particularly nice and quiet guy. Perhaps maybe the male version of me. He handed me a yellow post-it that read, “Woodland Park tmr. 7:05pm.”

Unable to take it anymore, I burst out,”People are dying and you want to ask me on the DATE?” He sighed and and replied,” They’re not dying. You’re hallucinating,Sol. Believe me, I experienced it.” I scoffed and said,”Yeah and I’m Taylor Swift.” in a sarcastic tone.

“Just choose. I could help.” Don mumbled.

Ring, ring, ring, ring. The bell rang and I quickly left.

Sighing, I fell face first onto my bed. After getting home and eating some beans and eggs, I decided wether or not to go. It’ll be dark by 7:05pm. However, Don said that he experienced it and can help. After about 5 minutes, I drifted into sleep.

Ring, ring, ring. Sucking in a breath, I woke up to find my blanket thrown across the room. Groaning I shut off the alarm clock and picked up my blanket, I started to get ready for school.

School breezed by and it was 6:58pm. I just finished homework with Katie. Looking out my window, I saw complete darkness. Thinking over my choice, I decided to keep it and ran downstairs. I said a quick goodbye to Mom and rushed out of the door. The cold air slammed into my face. I hastily stuffed my hands into my sweater pocket and started walking towards the park.

“Honey! It’s cold outside!” Mom yelled, running over to me and placing a jacket over my shoulders. “Thanks Mom.” I said and continued walking.

I arrived at Woodland park at 7:08pm, trying to ignore my worries about the creature showing up and killing Don, I looked around for him.

“Over here!” Don yelled, running towards me. Woosh. I gasped and the creature was behind Don. “Don!” I shrieked. I ran towards him and pushed him away. Don said in a calming tone, “No Sol. Remember, this is not real.” Then, he hugged me.

Breathing heavily, I pounded against Don and shrieked,”It’s right there! It’s going to take us both!” The creature’s red eyes met mine and it sank into the shadows.

I thought it was the end for Don and I. “Sol, without darkness, there cannot be light. Without light, there cannot be darkness. You’re not in complete darkness.” Don whispered.

I ignored him and continued screaming, I didn’t care if people thought I was crazy. I tried to pull away but Don’s steel arms didn’t let me. Suddenly, it hit me. You’re not in complete darkness. My breaths slowed down and I searched for light. There. The moon. I thought. I calmed down and Don let me go.

“There was light the whole time. I wasn’t in complete darkness. I wasn’t alone.” I stuttered, tears forming in my eyes. As if right on cue, the creature sprinted towards the Park Ranger name Juan, halfway through the moonlight, where it suddenly stopped. It let out a piercing shriek and vaporized. I’m finally safe. I started sobbing and muttered thank you to Don many times. He replied with no problem and we went our separate ways.

For the first time since then nightmares came, I had a good sleep.