by Khulya Jafarova
Olivia was a new mom and a good one. She was fulfilling all of her commitments, such as taking care of the baby, feeding timely, taking for a walk, waking up with multiple intervals to check if she’s breathing at night.
But she wasn’t always like that. Once she was a diligent accountant, day and night playing with the numbers. There was only one thing that matters in life for her at those times: work, work, and work.
Then she met John and unexpectedly fell in love. The proposal, wedding preparations, honeymoon made her replace the work obsession with the love obsession. She left her beloved job. Now there was only one thing that was important for her: love, love and love.
They didn’t wait long to have a child. There was no doubt that their love would be eternal. Then why not have a beautiful result of this love? Their daughter was born right after their anniversary. And the meaning of Olivia’s life and existence became clear for her: baby, baby, and baby.
She was ready to defeat all of the obstacles in order to protect her child, such as struggling with the microbes, not allowing strangers to touch the kid, running to the doctor when sees a little dissatisfied expression on the baby’s face. The devoted mom sacrificed her social life, health, marriage, hobbies and everything else to her cute, little baby by drawing the line at any kind of entertaining activity. While so many dangers were eager to take away that perfect, lovely creature, there was no time to waste anything else. Olivia’s daughter was her everything.
It was an ordinary night. John was asleep. Olivia waited for the baby to fall asleep. She has placed the cradle right next to her bed so that she could wake up even to a faint rustle. After the baby fell asleep, she stared to the ceiling and waited for her eyelids to become too heavy to keep open.
Soon she woke up with a dull pain in her head. She didn’t know how long she has slept. There was a thing inside the bedroom. She freaked out seeing the thing. It was black and looked like a thick fog shaped like a faceless human. It was dragging Olivia to the window.
I don’t want to die! I will do anything to survive!
Olivia grabbed the bed sheets firmly, but wasn’t strong enough. She needed help. Of course! She wasn’t alone in the room. John was sleeping right next to her. She gathered her strength and managed to throw the blanket off the bed. There was nobody under it. Her husband had disappeared. Shocked, she suddenly felt the room begin to shake. It was impossible to even take a step in the dark room that rolling like a ball. She tried to scream but nothing came out. Besides, she was feeling that her mouth, nose and whole face was being crooked. The black fog-man was slowly destroying her body while she was glued to the bed.
Her body was as rigid as a scarecrow. She was unable to do anything except thinking.
Why the hell I can’t scream?
She tried once more.
Where is John? We’ve come to the bed together after all. Thank God unlike her body, her brain was still working.
It was just two of us, wasn’t it? Or…
She was a mute spectator.
Did I forget something?
It was becoming more difficult to resist the fog-man as the seconds were passing.
I guess I did, but what?
“Jooohhnn!!!” she finally screamed as loudly as she could. The room immediately stopped dancing. The black fog-man slipped through the window and vanished.
“Liv, wake up, Liv!” John was shaking her.
Yes, I definitely forgot something.
She was slowly coming to herself. Suddenly the ‘something’ flinched at her mom’s terrifying scream and started to cry.
◊ ◊ ◊
Khulya Jafarova is a journalist, writer and translator in Azerbaijan and a quadrilingual person. She lives in Baku, Azerbaijan with her husband. She believes that everyone has their way of searching for themselves and writing is hers.
2 thoughts on “The Nightmare”
A nightmare indeed. Olivia’s external priorities are re-evaluated. The use of italics for thoughts isn’t quite consistent, and the use of “such as” is a bit repetitive and stilted. But the terrifying sense of paralysis in a nightmare is conveyed. AGB
And I meant to add…especially to a control freak. AGB