Shadows

Stalked by a shadow figure and haunted with nightmares that seem real, Sarah Fraser has been sentenced to life in a mental institute for the murder of her two best friends. When the figure begins to invade her every thought, the lines between what's real and what's not begin to merge, causing her to fear for her life....

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2. 1.

The familiar sound of the alarm, signalling it was time for Sarah's medication, woke her with a start. She had been dreaming about the night she had killed her friends two years ago. In the dream she had walked through a dark corrider, a single flickering bulb giving her enough light to be able to make her way down it. Her friends Marcus and Mel had called out to her, she was sure of it. She had almost reached the end, when large, hospital style doors around her began to creak open, each one showing her an image of herself standing in the doorway. These other versions of herself all had different expressions on their faces, some were smiling, not a happy smile but a sinister and cold one, like they had known what she was about to do, others appeared as black silhouettes with no emotion whatsoever. They were all covered, head to toe, in dark, thick blood. Sarah knew this because she could smell it everywhere, the unmistakeable smell of death. She remembers she was crying in the dream, but couldn't figure out the reason. As if the corridor never existed in the first place she was now in a basement, a familiar basement. It was Mel's house in fact, that's where she had remembered being when questioned at the trial. There was a table in the middle of the room and Marcus and Mel were sitting around it, there eyes wide with excitement. Instead of walking to the table to join them, she found herself still standing at the foot of the basement stairs, watching her body move away from her and join them at the table, she was spectating her own dream now, she thought. She looked happy and excited to be there, a complete opposite of how she looked and felt now. Unable to move her spectating body, she watched, waiting for something to happen, subconciously knowing. In the middle of the table sat what she had always known to be a Spirit Board, you could buy them at certain shops around town and all three of them seemed eager to try it out. Mel's house had never been known for having anyone die in it before, so this was just for fun. She could see her other self wasn't taking it seriously as Marcus began to read out the inscription on the board, a rule that must be followed to play the game correctly, or so it said on the packaging. "Spirit of dark, spirit of light, reveal yourself unto us this night", he spluttered, trying not to laugh out loud. All three of them were laughing now, Sarah's spectating body began to walk towards the table, her hand reaching out in a fist, hovering inches above the tables hard wooden surface. The three of them were seemingly unaware of her presence and continued to laugh with each other. Mel had regained her composure enough to speak, "Oh this is bullshit, if there are any spirits in this room..", she started before rejoining the others in their laughing fits. The other Sarah had took off upstairs to relieve herself of the desperate need for the toilet. Her spectating body in which she had no control over, sharply rapped it's knuckles off the table making a clearly audible knocking sound before placing its hand by it's side. Marcus and Mel had fell silent instantly, eyeing each other suspiciously. "Was that you Mel?", Marcus quizzed hopefully. "No, i thought it was you", she replied. They both quickly ran towards the stairs to exit the basement in fear and to tell Sarah what had happened. Before she noticed, spectating Sarah was at the top of the stairs. She saw herself coming back from the toilet, rushed towards herself and threw her with such force across the room that after hitting the back wall, she failed to stand up again. Sarah knew she was dreaming, but this was something else, it felt almost real somehow. Marcus and Mel were still running towards her up the stairs, her body stepped inside and slammed the door shut behind it. They both screamed and turned to run back down the stairs into the basement. Sarah's body was instantly ahead of them, still seemingly invisible to them both. She wanted it to stop now, the fear in her friends eyes was unbearable. Marcus was running directly at her ,trying to escape whatever he thought was behind him. Her body picked up the nearest chair and ran towards him with it. Before she knew what had happened, Marcus was impaled against the wall by the chair legs, his eyes looking straight through her before the life dissapeared from them. She had somehow killed Marcus without meaning to. A piercing scream emanated from Mel's mouth, prompting Sarahs  body to turn and look directly at her. Without hesitation, rushing over and picking her up with ease, her body began to slam Mel against the walls repeatedly until she stopped moving. The body in which she was trapped just stood there, reviewing its handy work. Sarah was unable to shut her eyes to block out the horrific scene before her. That was when she had woken up in a cold sweat, tears rolling down her cheeks. The alarm was too loud to bear, so she quickly jumped out of the bed to the door of her padded cell, opening the hatch to collect the medication she was to take today from Jackie, the ward nurse. By the time the alarm had ceased its endless buzzing, Sarah's nightmare had edged its way out of her mind and so she proceeded to check her schedule for todays events. That was the only thing she found comforting in this place, routine. It was Tuesday, breakfast in the canteen, supervised as always, and then her swimming hour with Mary Conner from cell four. Mary had been admitted to West Lodge for murdering her husband and two children, her excuse being that the man in black had told her to do it, to save them. Putting that aside, she found her  time with Mary, swimming, was a pleasant one. Truthfully she was the nicest woman Sarah had ever met, reminding her of her grandmother and how she was always smiling and smelled of tea. She waited for the guards to open the door and check her for sharp objects, pointless she thought, given that she lived in a padded cell, before making her way down to the canteen for breakfast. She decided on the eggs and toast before seating herself in the usual spot next to Mary at the table, guards suspiciously watching everyone eat. "They can look all they like sweetie, they're not getting any of my tea i can tell you", Mary said to her as she seated herself, just loud enough for the guards to give her a dissaproving look. This was why she liked Mary so much, she seemed so normal and that didn't come around too often in this hell hole. "Good morning Mary, looking forward to our swim later?", she asked, smiling. "Oh yes dear, you bet, got to keep these old bones moving before they shut down completely", she replied, taking a sip of her tea. They didnt really speak much, but after two years together, neither felt they had to and were comfortable with each others presence. Mary finished up her tea and heaved herself up from the seat to return the mug to the canteen, "thank you very much dear, perfect as always, i shall have the same tomorrow with a croissant if you don't mind", she said, matter of factly, before disappearing back to cell four to get ready for the swim. Sarah was just finishing off her cup when for a split second, she felt someones eyes on her, watching her every move and it wasn't the guards. Ever since her dreams started, the ones she could never quite remember before they escaped her memory, she had been seeing the shadow of a tall man, standing in doorways, against walls, in corridors, just watching her. She could never get close enough to see facial features or who he was. Even in the brightest rooms in the lodge, he appeared to be unseeable. The closer she would get to the figure the faster it would disappear. She found it unnerving, firstly blaming the medication she was on, citing that it must have been some wierd side effect she was unaware of. But that was a year ago now and he was still there. Slowly putting the empty cup onto the table, she turned round towards the fire exit at the back of the canteen. Sure enough, leaning against the fire extinguisher was the shadow man, piercing her with his unseen eyes. "What do you want?", she called out knocking a cup to the floor as her arm extended outwards. No answer. The guard was in front of her now, blocking the shadow from view. "Calm down Sarah! I will use force if necessary", he warned. She pushed him aside, running towards the unmoving shadow that no one else had seen. She was just about to reach it when her feet left the ground and three guards were on her limbs, immobilising her completely. She tried to flail wildly to no avail, until she felt the sedative needle stab into her arm. Her vision became blurred and she had an overwhelming urge to sleep. Before her eyes closed themselves, she lifted her head to the fire exit, the shadow had vanished as always. The sedative had won the fight  and she was asleep, guards carrying her back to her cell and strapping her to the bed.

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