“Objective completed. Well done, Ann Smith”
My hands reach the back of my throbbing neck, instinctively. Where did that voice come from? I squint. There’s no one else around. My nostrils burn with the smell of iron from my wet hands, I look to find them covered in crimson liquid – blood. My chest constricts and I’m unable to breathe. The bright lights of the kitchen add to my headache.
Startled by the oven-bell, I stumble over something while glancing at the blinking numbers on the oven clock. It is 18:30. Raising myself from the floor I realise with horror it’s Mom’s lifeless body sprawled across the floor. A blood-curdling scream fills the air and I slump to the ground falling into the pool of blood resulting from her stab wounds.
Silence resonates within the hollow inside me.
I make my way to the lounge, screaming for Dad all the while. The scene before me sends me reeling. Dad and Jake are splayed across the double sofa, their bodies illuminated by the flicker of the TV. Dad’s throat is sliced open, flesh and blood spilling out of the wound. A broken neck is evident as Jake’s head lolls onto Dad’s shoulder. The gaming consols sit in their hands. Blank eyes dig into my soul and fear grips my heart. My thirteenth birthday cake sits in front of them, soaked in blood. Pink and blue balloons dance in a deathly celebration from the breeze of the opened window. My throat is raw.
And then I’m lifted onto a stretcher. Bright lights flit above me. The pounding behind my neck continues and extends upwards causing my head to throb to near explosion. Suddenly the world is still.
I wake to noise coming from somewhere far away. Mom’s voice sounds from the kitchen. I realise I’m at home, waking from a nap. I head downstairs. Mom is busy heating the oven… ok, she’s getting dinner ready. The door closes behind Dad and Jake, they just got back home.
“Honey, I’m setting down Ann’s cake on the coffee table.”
“Alright sweety, she’s awake now. Dinner’s ready in half hour,” Mom replies as she gives me a bright smile.
I head to the lounge to see Dad and my brother sitting down to some action game on the Xbox. I stare in horror at the cake lying in the exact spot as my dream. They reach for their consols.
I need to tell mom about the weird dream. Glancing at the clock, the time reads 18:05
“It is time, Ann Smith.”
This time I know the voice originates from the thing embedded in my throbbing neck.
My eyes roll to the back of my head as my hands reach for the chef’s knife on the counter near Mom.
The world turns black.
About the Author: An avid poet and fiction writer, Nerisha Kemraj resides in Gauteng, South Africa with her engineer husband and two young daughters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science from UNISA and is currently busy with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. She is a freelance writer and proofreader.
She has poetry and fiction accepted for various upcoming 2017/ 2018 anthologies and is published in various magazines and anthologies, including
Celenic Earth Publications (October 2017) – which is an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for Most stories included in an Anthology.
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