Dark Thoughts

The creek behind Olivia’s house loomed from the tree line, seemingly growing larger as the sound of cicadas grew increasingly louder. With effort Olivia finally wrenched her eyes away, shaking her head as if to clear it. She slammed the blinds down and shakily walked to her bed. 

Olivia plopped down onto her bed, pulling her laptop into her lap. Flipping it open the screen came to life lighting up her face. She winced as her eyes adjusted.

Keys clacking she typed into google “swamp monster”. A flurry of images popped up, some of them terrifying creatures dripping with sludge. “Ughhhhh” Olivia sighed as she rubbed her eyes. “What the hell am I doing,” she said aloud to herself and gently closed her laptop and set it on her bedside table. 

Olivia nestled under the covers, closing her eyes she thought to herself, “Please don’t have the nightmares again…” 

Olivia woke in a cold sweat; jolting upright she whipped her eyes around the room. Darkness surrounded her until her eyes adjusted, her dresser top drawer still open with clothes spilling out, posters all in place. Until her eyes landed on the corner of her room. It looked like a slump of clothes, but it was moving up and down ever so slightly as if it was breathing. 

“No….” Olivia gasped under her breath. 

She couldn’t peel her eyes away no matter how hard she tried. She was afraid if she looked away it would move. Suddenly she heard a squelching noise, like tentacles sloshing through mud, and the slump began to shift and grow. Empty lifeless eyes began to shine inhumanly in the dark and fix themselves on Olivia. The slump began shifting and sluggishly moving towards her. 

Olivia’s heart felt like it was beating out of her chest, her vision began to swim. She yanked the cover over her head, her breath hot and heavy.

 “1… 2… 3…” she counted under her breath until she reached thirty. She snapped back up and threw the cover off towards where the slump was, but the cover just floated to the floor. No trace of anything being there moments ago. “The fuck,” Olivia said as she slammed her head back into the pillow.

The next afternoon Olivia’s twin brother Oliver rushed up to her, lightly hitting her shoulder with his. “Hey Oli, I was thinking we could go skip rocks and hang out by the creek,” he grinned mischievously at her, “and maybe see who can get across the rock path the fastest?!”

Olivia sighed. “Can I tell you something?” She was suddenly feeling anxious.

“Sure sis, what’s up?” he replied.

“Well,” she said biting her lip, “I’ve been seeing that swamp creature thing again, the one with the dead eyes.” She looked up at Oliver expectantly, like he would say something to fix everything.

Instead, he laughed and said, “You’ve been seeing that thing since we were eight years old Oli, it’s all in your head.” He swirled his finger around his temple making a face like she was crazy.

Olivia nervously chuckled. “Yeah I guess you’re right…” she trailed off.

“Of course I am,” replied Oliver, “now let’s goooo!” He skipped off to the back door that led to the creek. Oliver seemed like a light in the looming woods and creek. Olivia sighed and followed.

An hour later, Olivia and Oliver were laughing and seeing who could skip rocks the furthest. Oliver was throwing a very thin, smooth rock. Olivia watched as it skipped seven times and flew into some brush on the other side of the creek. It landed out of sight with a sickening squish. Oliver didn’t seem to notice, but Olivia felt shivers down her spine. Her hair stood on edge, and she began feeling uneasy.

“Oliver is it okay if we head back now?” she said as calmly as she could.

“Why?? Because my rock went the furthest so you’re giving up?” he said laughing and began to skip another rock.

“Oliver, please…” she trailed off, seeing movement in the brush. She saw two glimmers of those dead eyes fixated on her. “OLIVER NOW PLEASE,” she screamed this time as she scrambled up and began turning towards their house.

“Shit okay, are you seeing it again?” he asked brushing off his hands on his clothes making his way back to Olivia.

Her bottom lip trembled. “Yes… it’s looking right at me.”

Oliver calmly made his way back to Olivia and they headed home as quickly as they could. 

That night Olivia crawled into bed, unnerved by the day’s events. But Oliver always made her feel better, sometimes even silly for “seeing” the creature. She sighed and hit the light next to her bed. She began to close her eyes but felt that same uneasy feeling creep in.

She dared a glance around her room and noticed dark spots on her carpet leading into her room. She flicked her light again in a panic. Muddy smears that vaguely resembled footprints lead straight under her bed.

“What the hell,” she thought, “these weren’t here when I came in.” Panicking she glanced around wondering if she should make a run for it.

Then she heard it, a sickening sloshing sound.

A sludge covered hand emerged and curled its tentacle-like fingers on the end of her bed. Olivia couldn’t move a muscle, couldn’t speak, couldn’t look away. Gradually the creature became visible, and with slow heavy movements pulled itself into her bed, those lifeless eyes peering through layers of mud unblinking, unwavering.

Olivia tried to speak but couldn’t find her voice. Instead, she just watched the creature as it crept closer, hearing nothing but the sickening pop and squish of its movements. It spoke, breaking the eerie silence.

“Do you believe in magic?” The creature smiled wickedly at her, dead eyes fixated on her, unmoving, unblinking, just staring. The raspy muddy voice continued, “Magic is real my dear, but it isn’t always good. Some of it is evil, even unintentionally…”

“Wha- what do you mean?” Olivia stumbled to get the words out.

“All those years of imaging me, thinking of me, even seeing me in your head. You created me. I manifested from your thoughts Olivia, YOUR magic.”

“I don’t… How?” Olivia’s vision began to blur as she grew more frantic. “What are you going to do to me??” Olivia said, trembling.

“Well, you made me Olivia… I can do to you whatever you’ve imagined…” Olivia’s eyes grew wide in panic, realizing all of the horrid painful thoughts she’s ever had, as the creature of her making descended upon her.

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