( I hope this is allowed here. I'm very VERY new but Writing is my biggest passion, so Hello WritingAdvice ;D I guess I'm just looking for advice on my style, perhaps. I dunno. So if this isn't ideally what should be here, go ahead and delete. )
I knew it was a dream, but I'd never dreamed a dream that seemed to breathe behind my ear, and stir in some dark shadow behind my back. It was like a living thing, slithery somehow, more real then I was comfortable with. And quiet. Very, very quiet.
I had fallen to sleep without realizing it on my couch after chewing away at the long hours of a very dull day, busying myself with the most mundane of activities. You know the type -- mow the grass in your backyard, clean your garage, take your loyal dog to the park since you know he hasn't done anything but lay on his bed in the corner for a week. The type of activities you do with this nagging need to prove that yes, you do in fact fill your day with productivity, because society hates laziness, and you certainly don't want to be one of those people, now do you? But as the sun was setting and a bloody shade of dying sunlight was pouring into my living room, something lulled me to sleep. Perhaps just the vague sound of a summer night with an uneven heart-beat of cars flashing past outside acted as a lullaby. Or maybe something called. Having seen what I did, I think I'll lean towards the latter.
From my couch at dusk to the midnight silver of moonlight on the snow, I only vaguely became aware that I was somewhere I shouldn't be. I was in a hollow, a deep, small depression on the brow of some nameless mountain. The snow buried my knees, yet I could not feel the cold. It was silent; the type of silence that seems to make your heart quake. From my snow-covered feet, I drew my gaze upwards and out straight ahead, where the hollow opened up like a meadow, and at it's center was a pond. The water was not frozen, but it was black as the night-sky above it, and still as a corpse, with dark trees drawing in behind it, and the mountain face rising there-after. I glanced to my right to find the trees swept round the hollow and behind me. Same to my left; it was a perfectly round clearing, the snow unblemished as if it had fallen mere moment before, and flat as if not so much as a single boulder or log lay underneath. And behind me, two or three feet at the very most, the darkness of the forest yawned at me, impenetrable, with crooked branches seeming to lap at my back like a parched dog reaching for water that is only inches away.
There were no tracks. Not behind me, or before me. Not to either side. It was as if I had simply appeared here. The place made me wildly uneasy, but I was so aware of my dream-state that I whispered to myself, closing my eyes, "Don't worry, that's how dreams work.. they're not real, just pictures in my mind--.."
I fell silent when I opened my eyes mid-sentence, my gaze falling on the pond.
The waters were roiling.
Yet, I couldn't hear it. Still. Nothing but silence. Eerie, unnerving silence. Like a huge pot of boiling water, that pond was positively dancing, yet I didn't hear a sound. I could see in the fretting waves rising and crashing down that there was shimmering sands--presumably from the bottom--being thrashed about somewhere under the surface.
I watched this strange show for a while before I became aware that it was not silent. There was a sound, though not of water. And it was behind me. I became aware--somehow--that the sound hadn't only just begun. In the same way that you become aware of the sound of a jet overhead, knowing that you've been hearing it for a few moments but not registering it until just that moment, I realized this sound--this breathing--had been thrumming directly behind me for at least a few seconds.
I whipped around, and when I did so, three sounds occurred simultaneously; the crunch of the snow as I moved my feet, a monstrous splash in the pond, and the thunder-crack of a tree being blasted just yards into the forest precisely where I had turned to look for the breathing. I yelped and flinched, for it seemed like someone had just turned on the volume in my little dream. I could hear the chaos of the pond as it's roil became more violent by the second. Above that, a howling wind dashing itself on the mountain's peak and sliding down it's face into this hollow like a banshee. And the breathing, that horrible, wet, mucus-filled breathing.
I peered desperately into the blackness of the wood, trying to find the source, horrified of actually seeing he to whom it belonged. I stepped back and another violent splash erupted behind me, but I couldn't turn to see the pond. The horror lurking in the woods held me fast. I knew any second I'd see the red glowing eyes of some Jersey Devil-esque nightmare just as it flies out and disembowels me. But I never seen anything of the sort; no, no eyes, no shimmering, drool-covered teeth. I'd have preferred that, I think, to what I actually saw.
I'd been looking eye-level into the woods, between the trunks, but there was nothing but shadow there. I heard the snap of a branch--but it wasn't on the ground. No, it was high above, in the canopy somewhere, not directly above me but close enough that I could see pine-needles fluttering down just inside the treeline. I swung my gaze up, and found my view mostly blocked by the thick pine trees. But not entirely. There, in a gap made by a tree leaning dangerously away from it's closest companion, I watched as something moved sideways, headed towards my left-hand side. It's surface was glistening as if soaked, but not made of fur or hair. Instead, it seemed like rocky, uneven skin or hide, yellow-green like the color of bile. I was only vaguely aware of a glow, too, emanating from this moving, colossal thing, pale yellow that seemed to only just shimmering through the trees.
Then a monstrous footstep, deep in the trees, seeming to come from the base of the colossus hidden in there. The power and size of the sound sank around my heart and over my stomach.
A second footstep, closer.
I turned and fled through the snows, toward the boiling, tumultuous pond. It's waves were now so violently agitated that it was spewing the silt of the bottom up onto the snows.
I made it halfway before I saw the other one.
The waters split over a form that rose up out of the pond. Between the veils of the torrents sluicing off the things back, I saw a single, massive glowing white orb. A clawed hand, bigger then a family sedan, rose up and out before crashing down onto the snows. It was coming up out of a pond that should never have been large enough or deep enough to house such a fiend. But rise from there, it did.
Even over the cacophony of the pond birthing this horror, I could hear the breathing behind me, louder, rising, and I didn't have to look back to know that it had come out of the woods, now. It was drawing up behind me. My mind trembled and my tongue seemed to shrink back into my throat.
I closed my eyes, opened my mouth, and screamed as loudly as I could. The sound rose and rose around me and up into the sky. Finally, I rose with it, up from my couch on which I had fallen to sleep, then crumpling onto my living-room floor. I was still screaming, and mixed with this sound was the gut-wrenching howl of my dog.
I have not slept for two days, dear reader. I have not slept a wink. And I will not. For every time I lay in my bed, I can hear it breathing. It comes from the walls, the window, the air vent--I cannot find it's source, no matter how hard I look. It's just there, louder every night as if it's getting closer. So I won't sleep. Because if I do, if I dream again while they wait like starving wolves in my subconscious, I'll have to see their faces. And I just can't see that. No, sir, I just can't.