By Na’Imah Laurent Dixon

Where was the sun? The land was barren, contorted, and desolate. An eerie white light radiated from the trees around me, bringing them to life. They were watching me! Waiting! They knew! I walked ever so calmly towards her. You should have seen how calmly, calmly I walked knowing what I was about to do. She was a nice girl, my friend, my companion; she was my light in the gloomy darkness that had now become my life. Only one thing troubled me, the red dress that blew stealthily in the wind. The dress that made my blood boil, the wind howl. The thing we saw in our nightmares

Suddenly I heard a loud noise; thud, thud, thud. Adrenaline shot through my body, shivers ran down my spine and out towards my limbs. I felt all my senses heighten. I closed my eyes, listening intently to the loud, unnerving sound. I saw a figure emerge from the shadows. It was her! She was wearing her red dress!

The dress whispered in a menacing voice ‘She’ll protect me instead of you! I’m her favourite!’

The voice began moving in closer… I could feel its cool breath against my cheek.

‘What are you waiting for? RUN! LEAP! FIGHT! STRIKE! I’m here and I’m waiting”.  

She knew it was coming! She knew what I was planning to do! She was waiting for me to make the first move. She stood there seemingly unaffected by the howling wind, the storm that was coming, her eyes where vacant. The clouds screamed in agony as they were ripped open; their blood poured out, pounding my skin and filling my ear drums. This sound – this sound of rain blocked out the sinister voices of my doubt. It removed all traces of uncertainty. I looked towards my monster wearing the red dress. The way her mouth twisted into a malicious grin; others would have thought it a sweet smile but I knew better, I knew her and her evil ways. The darkness within my thoughts slowly grew and engulfed me, suffocating me in tormented thoughts. I knew she was watching, waiting, watching, watching, and waiting. I heard the first crack of thunder.  It lashed across my brain and suddenly I knew. I knew! That she knew. I knew the time had come. The red contemptuous dress smiled a wicked grin at me challenging me to come. Some people think me mad, but if I was mad I would have turned down this challenge. However, being sane I welcomed it with open arms.

“Villain, Devil” I shrieked. I leapt, I clawed, I threw, and I raved. The world spun around me, twisting and turning violently. You should have seen how easily I stayed on my feet. How I leapt and bounded out of the trees’ grasp. Suddenly silence; she lay cold and pale on the ground. Her red dress lifeless, tormenting me no more. Unexpectedly I heard her voice frail, distant and hurt.

“What did I ever do to you?”

 I fell to my knees screeching in agony – the thunder deafening, the lightning crashing around me, the rain bombarding my skin. The trees outstretched their menacing limbs, contorting them into weird shapes. The wind whispered sinister words into my ears. A tree branch grabbed at my leg and held fast! Their demonic screeches filled the air; long dark twisted branches snaked towards me. The sky took on a faint red glow; the ground opened up and swallowed me whole. I hung my head in my hands and prayed that I had joined those in the heavens, though I knew better by now. I already felt as if I was burning in hell.

I lay on the cold, hard ground and looked at the barren landscape. The shadows lingered in the darkness; the trees reached out their lifeless limbs the fog suffocated me. Some of trees were twisted in agony. The landscape was dreary, gloomy and barren.  I heard the distant sound of sirens, rushing towards me. If I was my old self I would have fought savagely for my right to remain at home. However, having been dominated by the hollowness inside me, I gave in.  

***

I put down my pen and look at the passage I’ve written about something which happened long ago that has haunted me ever since.  I hear the officer patrolling say “Do you know what the worst thing about her is?” The searing pain returns, taking hold of me. I drown in guilt. I block out the sound of his taunting voice, and write down the one thing that still haunts me. My sole regret, that I killed my sister.

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About Miss Thomas

I am an English teacher at The City Academy, Hackney.

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