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Three Days Left

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Lucy set up the camera on the tripod carefully. She pressed the record button with her shaking fingers as she managed to sit on a chair in front of it. The clock was ticking exactly eleven when the camera lens finally focused on her weary face. She wiped her tears abruptly and tried to collect all her strength to speak in front of that recording screen. The room was a little gloomy, but the soft light of the full moon was reflecting well enough through the windows to let the camera witness her devastated appearance. Her eyes were saggy, blood was dried up on her temple and her face looked like somebody tampered her under the feet and tormented mercilessly until she ran out of breath. She stared at the camera blankly for some moment and then finally started to speak.

  – “I’m Lucy Finch and right now I am standing on the verge of my death. But before I die, I need someone to know the truth and I don’t have much time left. Cause the moment I am going to fall asleep I’ll kill myself.”

  Her lips were trembling as she finished that sentence. She looked around that room once more terrifyingly, only realizing how drastically her life took a leap to this death well. 

  – “I have moved here three days ago from Seattle, after I got this job at Newman’s Publishing House. I was contented, had hopes and dreams in my eyes while I was looking forward to start afresh in a new city. But never in my dreary nightmares I imagined moving here would turn out to be the final three days of my life. 

      I came across the advertisement of this apartment a week ago as I have been looking for an average place to settle down for the first few months. And this one, I found on one of the housing sites met all the requirements at an affordable price. I immediately contacted the landlady, Mrs. Jessica Owen and she happily agreed to give me a quick tour of this place before finalizing the deal.

I flew here from Seattle on that weekend. Everything seemed alright during that short visit – the place looked nicer than I expected it to be and I was relieved to seal the rental contract with her for the next six months. 

But never in my wildest dreams, I imagined I was going to be trapped inside an eerie unsolvable mystery which I believe, is not going to unravel until it completely destroys me. And the most bizarre fact is, that this horrifying nightmare I am living for the last two days, never ceases being some flashes of my weary subconscious; it unfortunately merges with my reality and is gradually succeeding in killing me.” 

      Saying this suddenly she turned towards the mirror and started sobbing frantically witnessing her ghostly appearance. She caressed her fingers over the deep red scar at her temple; the blood has been dried as it was untreated. It seemed like not a single cell in her body was permitting her to stay awake. She struggled to face the camera once more and continued talking as she breathed heavily, 

– “On my first night in this apartment when I went to sleep, I had a dream; a really vivid dream. I saw an empty bedroom, decorated with soft dim lights. It was hazed all around to see the surroundings clearly. Suddenly I saw myself standing in front of a huge dressing mirror looking at some scribbles written in black spray paint. It said – 

  ‘”WELCOME TO YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS

Follow the instructions and you will get your freedom at the end of it. 

Step One: Put a chair into the middle of the room and find the coil of rope.”’ 

The whole welcoming message followed by that task seemed so bizarre; I couldn’t make any sense of it. It started like a game they were asking me to participate and I would be free if I was able to finish it. But the strangest thing was, my body commenced to move in certain directions so vehemently I felt like something or someone was controlling my every single action. 

I remembered moving a chair from the corner of the room and picking up the rope coil from a hook, resting it on the chair back. Until this moment, everything seemed normal; just like any other meaningless bizarre dreams everyone gets in their lifetime. But the actual nightmare started when I woke up. The buzzing alarm clock beside my table suddenly made me realize, I was standing behind a chair in the middle of my room holding that coil of rope. I was completely astounded for a minute or two to figure out if I was still in my dreams or stepped back into my reality. I slowly stared around my bedroom, the first rays of the morning sun slithered through the drapes and eventually I got into my senses that I was obviously awake and standing in my actuality. 

My head was hovered with countless queries about how I ended up standing behind that chair. I searched a bunch of articles over the internet only to conclude that my situation to be defined as some extreme kind of sleepwalking. I cleared my head thinking maybe I was too exhausted from the last day and convinced myself saying that it was only a nightmare. I decided to go to work to drift my head from this twisted dream to something fresh, something positive. 

But little did I know that the cursed nightmare was still waiting for me to enter the next phase. That night when I went to sleep, I eventually understood the game; the terrifying game my subconscious was playing with me. I woke up into that same room with the dimming lights, except this time it was the second step that was written for me to follow, vividly in that mirror. My heart just skipped a beat as I finished reading the task and wanted to wake up right away. 

It said – ‘”Tie the noose to the ceiling, wear it around your neck and stand over that chair.”’ After seeing this, my mind just went numb for a couple of seconds but my legs were already walking towards the chair where the rope was still sitting on its back. I did my best to resist my own actions; I tried to stand still; I tried to walk away from that chair yet my body wasn’t listening to me. I realized I was fighting blindly with some mysterious power that was trying it’s best to control me. I sensed like someone was pulling my strings like a puppet behind an invisible cloak. 

So, when I couldn’t control my movements, I tried to wake myself up. I started to hit myself furiously against the floor; I banged my head on the wall ending up bleeding my temple, only with the hope that the pain would wake me up from that killer dream. My never-ending screams were the only sounds to be heard in that room; The more I tried to wake up the more I hurt myself and at the end of that struggle I wasn’t even able to cease myself wearing that noose, standing over that chair and tying the other end at the ceiling.

I regained my consciousness with the alarm ring only to find myself again in that dreary position; just a step behind to hang from the ceiling. I carefully took off that noose, jumped down from that chair and rushed to the bathroom. My heart was pacing in an unknown terror; someone is trying to kill me and it only acts inside my subconscious, while I sleep. I gazed at the mirror and finally noticed the cut in my forehead and the strip of blood was flowing steadily down my cheeks. I couldn’t think clearly anymore. I sat on the bathroom floor the whole day bawling and trying to process everything that happened to me for the last two days. Yet every time I tried to clear my head, I lost myself in a perpetual bewilderment; I couldn’t separate the reality; whether I was dreaming, or I was awake. 

This is the third night. I tried to call my landlady Mrs. Owen a couple of times to state my situation, but my phone was shut down every time I tried to call. I wanted to run away from this doomed place, only ending up standing in front of the bathroom mirror. I feel like I am stuck in a never-ending loop between my dreams and my reality, and that invisible force has somehow been able to control my consciousness too. I am still in the dark about what or who is trying to kill me. Is it me, my subconscious that is getting out of control during my sleep or is it someone else that is controlling my every possible muscle in my body, every possible thought inside my head? My eyes can’t stay awake anymore, and with every second passing in that clock I know I’m entering my death coven. Maybe the only way to get rid of it, to achieve that freedom is to finish this dreadful game. But I don’t want to play, I don’t wanna fall asleep, I don’t wanna…. ” 

Lucy couldn’t finish her sentence anymore. She gradually sank into the sleep she was trying to avoid all this time. Suddenly the lights in that room started to flicker abruptly and it became blinding dark all around leaving the camera screen completely black for a few seconds. And just after the last dangle of the pendulum, commencing the witching hour, a sky crackling thunder flashed vehemently over the ground and in the light of that flash, the camera recorded Lucy’s lifeless body, hanging from a tree branch in a cemetery, surrounded by the gravestone of Mrs. Jessica Owen, the landlady of her apartment.

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