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  • When I was a little girl I had these vivid nightmares, I would wake up in the dead of night screaming. In the daytime I would dream dreams of happiness and sunshine and I would do nothing but sing and twirl around like a little princess, these moments were the only times I felt safe.

    I saw them in the daytime watching me but the sun made me feel safe so I ignored them. Every night I walked down the extended passages singing to myself to block them out, to pretend they were never there, Id turn around in a sort of naive hope that I was right – one of them favoured rushing toward me screaming and reaching out while the others hummed back, whispering, laughing. 7 of them – there was one for each night. A miserable game they played on me to see if I guessed right which one would be next.

    I remember a woman with red hair the friendlier of the bunch I would hear them even in my dreams. When tossing and turning Id wake up with a start – always silent when she’s near – shed be stroking my face as I looked at her startled.

    Looking around the rest of my room when she vanished I saw nothing but teddies and shelves with my special books on them – the curtains blowing, the cold winter nights creeping in through window glass. Too afraid to switch a light on – too afraid to move, when courage struck in quick short bursts Id manage to run to my mother’s room and when I got there I was suddenly fearless – too afraid to wake her as I knew she’d been tired.

    A whimper of a calling left my lips, “mom – Mommy” as I said those words an uncomfortable pain in my chest grew. I felt helpless and sad – Desperate to be comforted by a response, I started to cry I’d then Go back to my room.

    Pacing all over the room trying to occupy my mind to find some peace to feel safe again, all the while thinking I should go back to my mother’s room and stay with her – some nights I managed a response - others I would get to lie down on her bed hoping that I didn’t wake her. But most nights I remember spending in my room walking in a near zombie state from being so tired, fighting battles to be calm.

    I remember at points being so afraid that I would wet the floor because I couldn’t muster the courage to walk down the dark passage to the bathroom, so Id cry and sing and even talk to them begging them to stop it. When I did so the reactions I got where harshly unpleasant as they made me feel horrible pain all over. High pitched tones in my ears that made me temporarily deaf.

    I’d lie down again and cover my face with the sheets pretending I was with her. Falling asleep to their Laughter as they knew they had me where they wanted me. They’d wait until I dozed off and then start again, some touching me – others standing on top of me sucking the life out of me, The pain sharp and rough. These became normal evenings to me – I started depending on them to be there with me – they’d follow me everywhere.

    I think my mother picked up on it and moved us out of the plot. My sisters never felt these things they were always so happy, had it been because they were older than me? No – My mother was oldest and she even felt them sometimes. I was always puzzled, always asking why me. I thought that they stayed at the plot when we moved. And for a while I was at peace again.

    Until one day I had a Dream about them. Except that they were peering at me through the hedges whispering to me to not say anything as they’d climb over one another reaching for my older sister Jayne who was sitting on a swing at the house we liked to call Evander Street she was younger there, Id then called out to try and stop it terrified that they would take her or harm her, she looked up at me and didn’t even know my name.

    The dream ended and when I woke with the usual start I saw the lady with the red hair above me again – smiling and stroking my face.

    The odd thing with this dream was that they were there from the beginning – long before that plot - as this Evander street house was where I first got my memory. I know there must’ve been some house before then where we lived but I was a baby then. I first got my memory when I was walking to our room with my teddy bear “Goldie” it was a racoon teddy and my mother was in the kitchen on the right making sandwiches and she asked me for assistance.

    There are many memories in that house – My sister Jayne turning 13 I think going out with her friends playing laser tag, the dog Rex – vicious and angry. A hat birthday party, the pile of un built bricks in the back next to a hedge wall where the swings finally sat – My sisters and I wanting to jump off of it with nothing but umbrellas convinced we could fly, the washing line where I was captured and tied up by my cousin victor in our very involved game of cops and robbers, My sister Samantha climbing over the concrete wall and falling on the other side. The First day I felt the Burn on my leg from hot cheese that fell out of a pie.

    The first time I got shocked – standing on a ladder balanced between cushions and sticking my thumb in the light socket, tripping the electricity and falling with the ladder, my sisters laughing as I looked up and saw my father’s feet. In that same room we used to jump from our double bunk beds onto the scattered cushions trying to prove we were brave enough to accept these dares thinking it a long distance to the ground.

    Many more memories – but not many that were bad – well not the bad you’d get from being haunted...

    Yet somehow this dream stuck and with it they came and stayed again, following me from house to house, the dreams – the haunting getting worse - Screaming late at night waking my neighbors up - my poor petrified boyfriends being beaten in my attempts to get them away and then they'd fade away giving me time to think that I was rid of them only to find them hidden away for a while waiting for me to feel lonely again, they preferred it that way.

    I’m still not sure I’m rid of them - though it’s been some time – I have learnt to see the darkness as a playground, I feel safer when the lights are out. My senses liven my eyes glitter in the night – I can see anything, I can be invisible. I am fast - a warrior of the shadows. I sleep soundly now, my mind content, no need to cry anymore no need to fear.
    But when I look into the mirror my once weaker voice whispers the question that shakes my very Soul.

    Have I gotten rid of them? Or have I become one of them?
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