A Nightmare Too Real (1st Place)

By: Joanna Hernandez

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    The night crept in through my room and ignited the darkness with the touch of the moon. I felt a cold wind travel along my leg making the tiny hairs against my skin shiver. My mind raced through images of the same thing happening everyday like a never ending film. Behind the lids of my eyes was a separation from one world to the next, it was dark, and the air felt thick every time. Each second spent through the night with eyes closed was another minute in the 1960’s. Slipping into deep sleep I awoke a second time, this time somewhere beyond my own world. I walked feeling my feet pound beneath me along the 56 year old world. My hands gripped the fabric of my nightgown feeling strange and odd…almost real. Trees surrounded the area with a long and winding road ahead of me and thick fog everywhere. Sweat poured throughout my body filling in the gaps as I began to get nauseous and the skin beneath my feet ached with blisters as I dragged along the road like a living corpse. In the distance my eyes traveled upwards with my vision blurring. I could see lavish cars of pastel pink and blue along the road ways, next to perfect homes with white picket fences. The fog was rising upon me and I could hardly see anything almost as if my sight had been erased. I blinked and could clearly see the windows of the lavished cars were shattered with glass spilling everywhere and dead cut grass as if the golden years were never here. Every window was barred with hastily cut wood and blood was splattered along the walls of the house. Fingerprinted blood ran along the curves of the cars and windows. White picket fences were broken and run over with corpses of those who were once living scattered across lawns. I began to walk faster with rushes of wind wrapping around my body as I tried getting away from the horror that surrounded me. My feet tangled beneath me sending me tumbling towards the ground, I pulled myself up tasting blood in my mouth from hitting the curve of the sidewalk. My knees were covered with open skin and dripping blood. I could feel the wet, sticky surface of the skin once covering parts of my knee hanging like a limb on a tree. Wiping away the glass from the window of the car I continue to walk through the mist. I looked outward and noticed a newspaper lying on the sidewalk. Approaching the newspaper I picked it up and looked over the lettering. It read in bold letters “Virus spreads throughout the world, thousands infected” and was dated September 13, 1960 like always. The date of the newspaper seemed like a short time ago, only three months but that was time for the human race to decrease, and the dead to populate. I looked around and didn’t notice anything different from the past nights I’ve had this nightmare but I had an unnerving feeling which seemed to always happen but I felt like it was all too real. My heart began to thump louder as if I could hear it through my chest and I began to walk faster passing broken homes from the outbreak. I felt like I was getting closer to death but I didn’t know how, I know this is just a nightmare, and I will wake up tomorrow feeling fine. Time sped up before I could catch up and the next moment I saw a horde of infected running towards me. In the blink of an eye I began running but they caught up like a new breed of humans, only they were the walking dead. The horde was heaving of infected and their main target was me. Faster and stronger they pummeled through the air until they threw me down. I clawed at the street feeling my fingernails burn and my eyes fill with tears. It stung, it hurt, the first bite I felt from the infected and I knew that I had to wake up, that I was fine, the nightmare would stop here… but it kept going. One by one they tore my body open as I let out a yelp thinking I wasn’t supposed to be dying in this world…in my sleep. The next thing I knew I let out my last breath and I was gone.

The next morning the girl was found by her mother dead in a pool of blood with scars and bites all over her body.