Red Scratches: We Face An Evil Force

By Vexen Crabtree 2002

Occurred: 2002 Jan 21 (Monday morning)

There is a forest, perhaps it includes an adventure park nearby. In either case, I am running and not wanting to be with a group of people from my past. They haven't done anything wrong to me, but they wish to taunt my younger brother and lock him inside the old, disused "haunted" tower. The tower is a corner of an old, wooden castle, built for kids to play in, but now disused.

There is a sense of foreboding because the last time I had a similar dream, they locked my brother in there. I could "see" what was happening inside. He was petrified, terrified, utterly afraid beyond the capacity to "shake it off". After only a few hours in there, he was losing his sanity, and I knew they wouldn't come back until morning with the key to let him out. That dream ended (a few years ago) without a conclusion.

The group wanted to repeat their joke, their prank, and lock my brother in that tower again. I ran away towards where I thought my brother would go to hide, running and crouching behind bushes and trees, because my heart did not want him to be locked in there again. Or anyone.

I guessed that my brother actually hid in the tower, hoping that they will never go inside to look for him and think he has escaped. I run past the tower, into thick trees, but the group of Humans see me. I flee in one direction, then secretly double back, and enter the tower. I know the layout of the upper corridor. At the end of this wooden corridor is a room with a thick wooden door that locks firmly shut, my brother is hiding in there. I feel I have to hide quickly, and hide in a side corridor.

I remain utterly still and quiet waiting to see if they find us or enter here. Noises and echoes start filling the corridor. I am not entirely sure that my friends are in this building. Suddenly I am aware that a great metal chain and padlock have been locked over the main entrance to the upper corridor. We're locked in here. Silence and shivers begin to descend over me.

The space we are locked in is very big in comparison to last time. I light heartedly "jump" into the room where my brother is hiding, trying to scare him. He is, however, not surprised, and just thinks I was immature. All of a sudden, the sound of a crowd of footsteps and noises can be heard in the corridor. We hope it is the group of Humans come to pesky us. But just in case, we push closed the heavy wooden door, and both sit on the floor with our backs against the door, pushing against it with all our might, willing it to close.

Something very nearly pushes on the door, but at the last moment it vanishes. As it had come closer to the door, the disguise of it being a group of people diminished, and its multiple footsteps turned into an increasingly fast and heavy footed charge at the door by a single thing.

There is a sense of fear, sometimes, in dreams that is hard to convey. I was aware that I was dreaming, but also aware that the dream wasn't going the same as it did last time. Last time, I was not in this room, and there wasn't as much optimism for my brother, now there are 2 of us, it seemed less scary.

But, we realized the wooden door was locked, that we could no longer open it. The room we are in is wooden, 7ft by 7ft, on one wall there is a glass window, showing nothing but the pitch blackness outside. It is night. We've been here ten minutes. I remember last time, that the window was not openable, it was hopelessly stuck. A swelling, brooding, uncontrollable fear overtook both of us, and we fled from the door to the opposite wall. There was something utterly, utterly evil about the presence of that closed door. Something so terrifying, with so much energy, utterly withdrawn on itself.

The growing, unstoppable fear is because we know how it goes, it "comes for us" for ever and ever, showing its signs to us, and drives us insane until we become it. The terror, mind-numbing and an altered state in itself, is the worst you can feel. It makes your heart pound so much it hurts. A red horizon of pain, despair and torture awaits us minute by minute as we stay in this room.

Suddenly the fear dissipates. I look across the room. From underneath the doorway, a series of red scratches have appeared in the wooden floor. They look like the footprints in mud, of a small bird, but elongated. They have spread from beneath the locked door across the room. I follow their path, and realize that they've stopped just before my coat. My coat is on the floor. The red scratches travel from the door to my coat, then stop.

There is blood dripping, from nowhere, on to my coat. My belonging, something personal to me, I feel that if I do not escape from the room, this incredible evil will use my coat, and every part of my body to tear me apart. Suddenly I look up and realize that the window, on the far wall, has not got bars over it. Last time, when I dreamed my brother was in this room alone, it did.

I dart over to it, and fling it open, breathing the fresh air. There are branches of an old, withered tree not far from the window. I can jump out, cling to them, and climb down the tree and we can escape. But then something happens that breaks my heart. I realize I am not with my brother, but E, my real life lover, soul mate and best friend. The most special person to me!

She's not entirely scared, but is somewhat immobilized. She is unable to jump to the tree, and escape. I climb to the window, ready to jump out. But I can't leave her behind, and am stuck there, unable to figure out what to do. I feel that I would rather stay with her and die with her, rather than let her face that pure, absolute terror on her own. I think about jumping and escaping. I could run as fast as I possibly can, hurting my legs, until I find help (which I know is only 30 mins away if I run very fast).

I have to leave her there for 30 mins, with the red scratches on the floor, and the mind-fucking, painful terror that is also in that room. Then, I have to get keys and come back, and run in, and pick her up, and carry her to a hospital. Where doctors will reassure me that, over time, she will return to normal, but they do not know what caused such a trauma.

I am paused on the windowsill, not knowing what to do. I look at her and can see her looking at me with tears in her eyes. She is willing me to go, to run and get help. But emotionally she can't bear to be there without me. Even the Darkness in that room is willing me to go, so that it has her alone, for an hour, time enough to wreck her for years.

Suddenly, I feel I am floating, falling through blackness and grasping for branches of the tree, but not doing very well. It's almost as if I've been pushed. As I fall, I look up and see the solitary window, with E nearby it. There are silhouettes around the room, and a faint red light. She is alone with those things now. I see, emblazoned on the wall behind her, the remains of an old drawing, or a projection that is just faintly appearing there. It is a faintly glowing halo, glowing an off-yellow, dirty color. In my dream, I realize that the Halo is "Church" or "Saint", and that the pure evil in that room is going to win her friendship, coax her to make its final treachery all the more agonizing.

In my dream, I end not knowing if I will grasp a branch of that tree and climb down to safety, where I can get help. The dream ends with me not knowing how long it will take me, but at the very end the feeling is that even if it takes years and years, I'd stay with her in hospital until she got better, that I'd be her carer, and the only one who knew what had happened to her.