Author's Note: Sorry for the delay, readers. I have been busy and went on vacation. But now that things have finally calmed down, I can start working on this story again. I'd like to thank those who reviewed and left encouraging comments. I can't tell bạn how much those mean to me. So, without further ado, here's chapter four.
Bloom swiftly made her way down the hall; her nerves still on edge over the whole thing that had occurred on the road. She shook softly, and her eyes were wide with unknown fear. As she neared Sky's apartment door, she took a deep breath to calm herself, then opening the door. She was greeted bởi Sky and his roommates drinking beer, bottles upon bottles of it scattered across the room. Sky didn't seem to notice her at first, but his Những người bạn snickering soon aroused his attention. "Hey babe, welcome home." He slurred, Bloom glaring at him in disbelief. "Are bạn drunk?" Sky looked at his friends. "I prefer intoxicated." He đã đưa ý kiến stupidly, laughing. Bloom scoffed at the scene and quickly made her way out; Sky sighing and chasing after her.
"Oh come on, I'm just having a couple of drinks! What's with all the hostility?" Bloom whirled around to face him and snapped, "I had an accident." Sky's eyes widened. "What?" Bloom sighed and rubbed her eyes. "On the way trang chủ I had an accident." Sky looked at her with concern. "Well are bạn hurt?" Bloom frowned. "No..." Sky nodded. "Okay, tell me what happened." She sighed. "Well I was driving out in the middle of nowhere and I thought something ran in front of me so I had to slam on the breaks. I nearly went off the road." Sky raised an eyebrow at her story. "Did bạn hit something?" Bloom shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know...I-I don't think so. I-I thought I saw...I...I'm not exactly sure what happened."
"Okay well, was it an animal?" Sky inquired, Bloom nodding 'no'. "I don't think so." Sky smirked. "Okay so what did bạn hit? An alien?" He said, chuckling. Bloom glared at him before letting out an irritated sigh. "I should have known..." She whispered, then turning away from Sky. "I should have known!" She snapped back. "Oh okay, hey!" Sky called out, Bloom whirling back around to face him. "No, I should have known that bạn would make fun of me!" Sky sighed. "Well what do bạn want me to say?" Bloom shrugged. "I don't know, I just...something scared me and I've got my presentation the ngày after tomorrow and I just don't need to come trang chủ and find bạn drunk with your idiot roommates." She snapped back, Sky narrowing his eyes at her. "Look," He began, glaring. "Let me tell bạn what I've been up to. There was a thirteen car pile-up on Highway 80 last night. So for the past twenty-four hours, I've been cutting dead people out of their cars." Bloom was shocked bởi this, and lowered her head slightly from shame. "There's a difference between what you've been through and what I've been through. Your's is in there," Sky snapped, pointing at her head. "Mine is out here." He explained, outstretching his arms. "Don't get confused about which is which." And with one final glance, he turned around and walked back into his room; leaving Bloom alone.
The following day, Bloom was in her apartment đọc when she heard a knock on the door. She walked over and opened it, finding Layla, Musa and Flora standing there. She was quite shocked to see them, but eventually let them all in when Flora explained that she had to hiển thị her something. They all sat down and Flora soon handed Bloom an old and withered black book. Bloom took it and inspected it, opening it up and flipping through the pages.
"What is it?" She asked, looking at the scrawled nghề viết văn that covered the pages. "Stella's diary. She's been nghề viết văn in it since childhood and we thought bạn might want to take a look at it." Flora explained, Layla then adding in, "Maybe bạn can make thêm some sense of it than we could." Bloom nodded and continued flipping through its contents, soon placing it on the wooden bàn in front of them. "It's pretty deranged stuff." Musa stated, then grabbing the book and flipping through it. "Um like this..."Saw them again beneath the window in the alley. Always in darkness and shadow. Where do they come from? Could it be that darkness is their way in and our of our world?"' She read, shuffling through the pages once again before reading. "'Origins: incubus, bringer of nightmares, Grendel's lurking in the darkness. Can only assume that light is my savior. Maybe it's all in my head; the insane nightmare of a schizo.'" She finished, a somber look crossing over Bloom's face.
"You don't seem surprised bởi any of this." Layla said, Bloom nodding. "Well it's a lot like the stuff she talked about the night she died...it's not too surprising that she would write about it too." Layla nodded in agreement. "No, I guess not. It's just that—well, we were wondering if..." She began, but then trailed off. "What?" Bloom asked, confused. "If you've had any gần đây night terrors." Musa finished, Bloom nodding 'yes'. "Yeah...actually I have." Musa nodded, and pointed to herself. "Us too." Flora states, a look of shock appearing on Bloom's face. "Ever since Stella killed herself, I've had this uneasy feeling. bạn know, like I'm being watched. I mean, I'm twenty-two years old, but when I walk into a dark room...it's like I'm five again." Flora explained, Bloom chuckling softly at this statement. "Come on bạn guys. We've all been through a traumatic experience. It's only natural that certain uncomfortable feelings would be stirred up." She explained, appealing to their common sense. Flora gave her an odd look. "You don't remember..." She whispered, Bloom frowning at the odd statement. "Remember what?"
"How powerful those feelings were." Bloom raised an eyebrow. "What do bạn mean?" Flora took a deep breath, but soon answered Bloom's question. "When I was five, I watched my sister drown in a lake that we used to spend our summers. Right after, I started having these terrible night terrors. There was one particularly bad night. I woke up screaming my head off, and my parents tried for some time to get me back to sleep, and I eventually did. A couple hours later, my mother came up to check on me and I was gone. They looked everywhere; in the attic, in the basement...all over the house. My mother was hysterical. She thought that I had been kidnapped, hoặc run-off, hoặc who knows what. Then my father went into the backyard, and he heard a noise in the doghouse—of all places. He stooped down, looked in and there I was, huddled in the back. Naturally he reached in but...that's when I stabbed him in the eye with a phòng bếp, nhà bếp knife. I was convinced he wasn't my father. That he was some kind of demon coming for me—I was absolutely sure of it. I haven't had that feeling since I was a kid, but I have it now, and so do Musa and Layla. We thought...that bạn might too."
Bloom sat in a small and quiet waiting room. The area was quaint and filled with teddybears, crayons, small toys and big comfy chairs. She looked around and waited silently, the office door soon opening with a soft click. A girl with pixie-cut purple hair and blue eyes poked her head out, she then smiling. She wore a gray dress áo sơ mi and black pants, her flat shoes barely making a sound against the soft carpet. "Bloom?" She asked, Bloom nodding and getting out of her seat. "Yes?" She asked, the woman scribbling something unto a piece of paper. "Doctor Faragonda will see bạn now." She said, opening the door and allowing Bloom to walk inside. This room was much larger and two large couches stood on opposite ends. In the back was a large wooden desk, where an old woman sat. When Bloom had made her way inside, she smiled.
"Bloom?" She asked, Bloom nodding. "I hardly recognized you! In fact, I don't recognize bạn at all but sit down!" She said, chuckling, Bloom nodding her thanks and sitting on one of the plush sofas. "It's hard to think of bạn as the frightened little girl who used to come in here." Faragonda said, getting up from her bàn and making her way to the other sofa, sitting down.
"By God what's it been?" Faragonda mumbled. "Twenty years." Bloom replied, the Doctor scoffing. "Twenty years? It's a wonder I'm still around." Bloom smiled but her attention was soon brought back to the purple-haired woman who made her way to the two and took a ghế, chỗ ngồi tiếp theo to Faragonda. "Oh I see you've already met Tecna. She's my assistant for the tiếp theo few months and if bạn want, will be part of this session." Bloom shrugged, indifferent about it. "That's fine." She replied, Faragonda smiling. "Excellent! But before we work, we must chat. So, what have bạn been doing with yourself?" Bloom chuckled. "Um well, actually, I'm going for my Master's in psychology." Faragonda grinned. "Psychology? That's wonderful. Now tell me, outside of studying, how are bạn doing?" At this Bloom frowned. "I'm not doing that well Dr. Faragonda. That's why I came to see you. I haven't been sleeping that well. I think I had a recurrence." This time, Tecna spoke up. "A recurrence of what?" Bloom sighed. "Night terrors." Faragonda frowned at this information. "What makes bạn say that?"
"Well, a few nights ago. I woke up in my bathroom totally disoriented. My boyfriend came to help me and I attacked him." Bloom explained, Tecna nodding. "Well that certainly does sound like a night terror." Faragonda nodded in agreement. "Indeed, but it's not unheard of in adults." Bloom sighed. "But it's really quite abnormal?" Faragonda nodded. "Yes, that's right. Night terrors can be part of normal childhood development. But I have found that the most violent and persistent cases occur in children who have suffered profound, emotional trauma. If I recall, bạn came to see me shortly after your father took his own life, is that correct?" Bloom's eyes filled with unshed tears and she swallowed hard to keep her emotions at bay. "Yes." She replied. "So, you're gần đây night terror could be caused bởi an increase of stress hoặc fatigue...am I far off?" Tecna inquired, Bloom nodding 'no'.
"Bloom," Faragonda began, smiling lightly. "why don't we schedule a formal session? I don't usually treat adults, but seeing as we have history, bạn could come in here and describe the things you've been going through. Then we'll try to figure out if it really is a recurrence of night terrors hoặc if it's something else."
Layla, Musa and Flora all busied themselves in their apartment. Musa was painting rather intensely; Flora was pouring some trà and đọc a book; and Layla was tying up her quần vợt shoes, just about ready to go for a jog. "Well, I'm off. Don't wait up!" She snickers, running to the lift and hopping in; it humming as it went down.
There was an awkward moment of silence before Flora broke it. "What do bạn think went through Stella's mind as she did it?" She asked Musa, the girl shrugging. "Bullet.'" She snapped, Flora rolling her eyes. "I don't know, Flora, the same thing that could through everyone's mind before they kill themselves. That they hate their life; better off dead than alive; blah, blah, blah." She hissed, rigorously dragging and splatting paint unto the canvas.
"I wonder what it's like to get to that place..." Flora whispered, soon picking at a band-aid on her ankle. "What?" Musa snapped, then rolling her eyes. "Look Flora, stop picking at it. It's never gonna heal." Flora scoffed. "It's not healing anyways so I might as well get some satisfaction." She peeled off the bad-aid and poked at it, flinching from the pain. "I think it's getting worse." Musa snorted. "Maybe it's cancer." Flora gaped at her friend. "You know there is something seriously demented about you, did bạn know that?" Musa stopped painting and walked over, grabbing a áo, áo khoác and flinging it on. "Ya know, maybe I should have gone to law school." Flora smirked up at her. "Like I said, demented." Musa chuckled. "Look I'm gonna go out, try to detox for a little bit. You're gonna be alright bởi yourself?" Flora nodded. "You sure?" Flora sighed. "Yep." She replied, beginning the book chapter once again. "Okay...bye." Musa says, walking to the lift and soon going down.
Flora peeked at the machine to make sure Musa was gone and checked on her wound again, a sudden scratching and snarling sound catching her attention. She could hear the lift making its way back up, and she walked over, watching as it chugged its way up, soon halting and shaking the metal bars. Flora was about to return to the đi văng when the strange sounds filled the room. She looked at the rectangular silver vents that crawled their way across the rooms walls. She listened intently and then a snap was heard. She smirked. "Gotcha."
Flora pulled off the baring for the vents and poked her head in, flicking on a lighter to see a con chuột scurry back into the depths of the air-vents. "Damn rats." She spat, and reached for the mouse-trap to replace it, the thing snapping on her. She jumped and dropped her lighter, a strange sound filling the vent. She grabbed the lighter and tried flicking it on, but it wouldn't light. The crackling and hissing continued to resonate in the vents and she peered into the dark, just barely making out the dark form of a creature. Thinking it was merely a rat, Floda continue to try and get the lighter to spark. She could hear the thing jolt to life and it made her jump, her eyes straining against the dark to see where it went. She rolled her eyes out of annoyance and clicked the lighter once again, the creature snarling and lunging towards her. She gasped, but a flame erupting from the lighters tip; causing the thing to howl and vanish. Flora blinked, dumbfounded, but decided it would be best to ignore the whole thing. She jammed the bars back into place and plopped back unto the couch; trying hard to forget the strange encounter...