Flash Fiction Thursday–Living a Nightmare

Flash Fiction ThrusdayOkay, I caved. I’ve been trying to put this story off for the longest time, because I plan on this being my next full-length book (after I write another novella). However, this story kept playing over and over in my head, so I caved and wrote the first 1,500 words. Hopefully that holds me over until I’m ready to write the rest of it, which I plan on starting in January.

Here’s the first scene that I have. Enjoy!

Living a Nightmare

When all your dreams are nightmares, insomnia is the only rational solution. Even more so if all of your dreams come true.

Justice sat up in bed. The sheets stuck to his cold and sweaty body like a wet raincoat. Despite the warm bedroom, Justice shivered uncontrollably. Except his shuddering didn’t come from being cold—it came from fear.

He glanced to his right and saw Michelle. Or is it Miranda? he thought. Maggie? Or Melissa? Great!

Waking up to someone different wasn’t a new thing for Justice. Besides, he made a habit of sneaking out well before they woke up, so remembering a name was just a bonus if he was able to manage it. He knew all of the tricks to the trade. Justice left his clothes by the bedroom door and drank plenty of water just before lying down with someone new. That way, he’d wake up around four to use the bathroom, and have everything laid out for him on his way out. Sleeping with new women seemed to be the only thing that calmed him down outside of his good friend Mary Jane. But neither cure worked that night. As vivid of a dream as ever haunted him when he sat up in the strange room.

When his eyes adjusted to the dark, he saw a room infinitely more messy than his—granted he did keep a pretty clean home. Michelle (or whatever the hell her name was) had clothes littering the room, papers and trash everywhere, cups and plates next to her bed, and random debris that he couldn’t even identify. She seemed to break the stereotype of women being the cleaner of the two sexes.

He stepped out of bed, being careful to avoid stepping on the water glasses lying on the ground next to the box spring. With the careful and silent steps of a veteran hunter, Justice made his way to the bedroom door. He paused at the door only long enough to pick up his clothes and check to make sure she still slept, then made his way into the bathroom.

Justice flipped on the light and waited for the fluorescent above the mirror to flicker on. It took it a few seconds. For a moment, Justice thought he’d have to change in the dark—then it came on, illuminating him with a bluish glow. He surveyed the bathroom and grimaced at the woman’s uncleanliness once again. The shower lacked a curtain. Rust built up on the drain in the tub. And what looked to be a spiderweb—or a webbing of shed hair—attached itself on the rings that once held a curtain. Justice shook his head at the thought of taking a bath in that filthy yellowish tub. He gathered himself, stepped up to the commode, whipped out his ‘member’, then handled his business.

After seventy-one seconds of bliss, he shook off, then stepped up to the sink.

At first glance in the mirror, Justice saw Charlton Cook staring back at him. Charlton’s head twisted in an unnatural way just above his jawline. Blood ran down his pale face and onto his shoulders.

Justice shivered once more; this time working himself in all-out convulsions. His legs first weakened, then gave out altogether. He dropped his dusty jeans and collared shirt onto the tile floor as his back slid down the wall. His eyes closed as he moved toward unconsciousness.

Before blacking out, his butt slammed down onto the cold tile floor, jolting him alert.

Justice opened his eyes and tried to stand up. His legs obliged. He gave one hurried glance at the mirror, expecting to see Charlton’s mangled head once again. He flinched away, crouching until his mind processed what he actually did see in the mirror this time. Slowly, he extended his legs to a full standing position. This time, it was a clean cut, young, African American male looking at him through the mirror. Justice exhaled.

Thank you, Jesus, he thought. Before he could make it past the word Jesus, his thoughts returned to his nightmare.

He started shaking once more. Charlton Cook. Twenty-seven. Father of two—run over by a dumb chick texting while driving. What a shame. He started convulsing again, feeling his knees weaken under him. However, this time he controlled it. Justice steadied himself in the strange woman’s bathroom. He knew the dream would continue to replay in his head until the deed was finally done. Or until I get too high to care anymore, he thought.

Justice dressed himself in a hurry, and exited the ladies small apartment before she had a chance to wake up and discover him missing. Did he leave a note? No. He never did. Justice didn’t think that he owed any of them his respect—especially after saving their lives. All he cared about was the money that they always offered them for his trouble—and of course the panties that they offered as well—you can’t leave that part out of it.

In the stairwell, Justice lit up the permanent marker-sized blunt, and smoked his dreams away.

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