I'm being followed. She finds me. Talks to me. Threatens me. She wants me to do something for her. Something big. Something important. Something horribly wrong. She's everywhere - in my dreams, in the streets...she finds me no matter where I go. If I don't do as she says, she will do something bad to me. Very bad. Unimaginable. There's no place safe. Where do I hide? What do I do?


2. Chapter 1

The room was pitch black and endless. None of my senses seemed to be working. I was bound by taut ropes that kept me from moving even an inch. My throat was dry from screaming for help. But I knew I couldn't be heard. I was trapped. There was no way out.

Somewhere ahead of me, standing in a circle of light, was a tall figure. Her face seemed to have been sketched by an artist himself; such was the perfection of each feature. Those uncanny sapphire blue eyes, her pale skin gleaming in the light that encircled her and tresses that flowed down her back like a golden river. I was awestruck. Enchanted by her exquisite beauty, even though I knew of the evil that dwelt inside of her.

"Please," I croaked, even though I knew it was no use. Mercy was not characteristic of her. I knew that only too well from the times I had met her before. She relished this...the pain she inflicted upon me...the way I writhed upon her mere touch. She found pleasure in the pain she gave others, she found happiness in knowing that she was superior, that she was powerful.

She strode towards me, wearing a cold sneer that gave me shudders. As she moved, the circle of light surrounding her moved too, as though it thought she was the only one in the room who was worth shining on. Maybe she was. I was a weak, worthless lump of flesh, left completely at her disposal. She was mighty. And she knew that.

"So we meet again," she whispered. Even her icy voice gave me goosebumps. "I did not want this to happen, my dear. Trust me. But you leave me no choice."

"Please," I begged again, hoping she would listen. "Don't...don't..." I could barely speak.

She held up a hand to hush me. "Listen," she ordered. "I have given you enough time to think. I do not like to be kept waiting, and I hope you know that."

"I can't," I said. "Please, I can't."

She cackled. "You are so naive. You have no idea, my dear, you have no idea what I can do to you. You have no clue of the pain I can cause you...it would be better for you and easier for me if you comply. Either way, I assure you that I will have the job done. Now it is up to you to decide if you want it to be painless or..." she left the threat hanging.

"But why? Why?" I demanded.

"Why?" she mocked surprise. "Because I order you to. Believe me, you would be making the right decision by agreeing to this. The world will be much better if you work with me."

"You're wrong!" I mustered up to courage to yell at her. "I won't ever do this!"

She bent low, so much so that her face was inches away from mine. I watched in horror as her sapphire blue eyes turned blood red within seconds, boring into mine, holding them in an unbreakable gaze. Without warning, she extended her finger and touched my forehead. My head exploded in pain. It was like a thousand atom bombs were being blasted inside my head, destroying everything that was inside. The pain coursed through my body at the speed of light, burning my insides as it spread - burning my heart, my emotions, my humanity...

She withdrew her finger and just like that, the pain was gone.

"See?" she laughed. "This is what I can do to you. And believe me, it will be worse if you remain this adamant. Do what is better for you, girl. Or I will have no choice."

I couldn't speak. There was nothing I could do to stop this. She was much, much more powerful than any other creature on this planet. She would go to any lengths to get this job done, but how could I give in? How could I let her do this, when I knew of the destruction it would cause...

"No," I said decisively.

"Alas," she sighed. "You leave me no choice."

I woke up, sprawled across the floor, drenched in cold sweat. My breathing was fast and my heart was thundering inside my chest. In a few moments, I heard the sound of footsteps outside my bedroom door.

"Ava? Oh my God, what happened?" my mother's shrieks filled my ears. She crouched down beside me, gently shaking me, telling me to get up.

My father and brother came in too. "How did you get on the floor?" my father said, nonplussed.

"I fell," I said, assuming that must have been it. I had no idea what had happened and how.

My parents struggled to get me back on the bed. "We heard your screams," my father explained.

"Are you okay, dear? We were so scared!"

"Yeah, I'm fine..." I lied. "Don't worry about me. Just a nightmare."

"You're not saying your prayers before you sleep, Ava," said my little brother, smiling. "Look at me. I haven't had any bad dreams ever since Mummy and Daddy told me to pray before bed."

I managed a smile. "Thank you, Ben. I'll say my prayers next time."

After my parents had left, I lay on the bed, staring out of the window at the night sky. I wondered what this was all about. These nightmares. I talked to the woman in my dreams every night. In fact, I saw her everywhere. It was like she was following me no matter where I went. She came to me with the same proposal, but I denied every time. It was wrong. It was evil. I would never do it. But after my last encounter with her, I was afraid she had plans to do something far worse to me...

No. I assured myself that my nightmare was just that. A nightmare. After all, how stupid was the idea of a rendezvous with an evil woman who came in my dreams to threaten me? I calmed myself and went back to sleep.

But little did I know that that was the last time I would see my world in peace. 

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