When I was very, very little, I used to have these awful dreams. Like, really awful. I used to dream that there were people leaning over me as I slept, their razor sharp teeth dripping blood down onto my face. Or I would dream that this limbless little girl who looked an awful lot like me was floating at the foot of my bed, limbless but for one arm whose hand held a glinting knife as she prepared to hack off my arms and legs for her very own. Another had my hands and feet tied to my bed posts while my parents slowly sliced up my legs and ate them raw in front of me.
Night terrors, they called it. Doctors poking and prodding at me; doing sleep tests and CAT scans and MRI's, to see if I was as fucked up as my parents believed. Psychologists trooped in and out of my house, all picking inside my brain, making sure that I wasn't bonkers. Simple night terrors, they concluded. Sure, it's fucking freaky when your six year old daughter starts screaming at you to stop eating her, oh please, stopstopstop, but she doesn't have some mental problem. Get her a nightlight and all will be well.
Only it wasn't. The dreams kept coming, and now when I opened my eyes I could see them; the teeth, the little girl with the giant knife, and my parents, chomp, chomp, chomping away on the meaty part of my thighs. But I quit talking about it; when I woke up, I held in the screams and stared with wide, terrified eyes at my nightmares come to life, knowing that I would have to take care of this myself.
I started sleeping with the knife soon after. I decided that if any of those apparitions came back, I would be ready. I knew it was a matter of time, and sure enough, I awoke from my nightmare and there they were. My parents. Getting ready for the feast. But they wouldn't get me tonight. With a scream I tore out of my bed and raised my knife high, relishing the terrified cry that my actions produced. Hands grabbed at me and tried to stop me, but I wouldn't be stopped. This would be the last time that my parents stopped by to snack on me while I slept.
After that, they took me away. My life has been this room for so long that it's hard to remember what my old room looked like. But I won, sort of. The little girl and the faces with bloody teeth haven't come back since then. No one ties me up and eats me, either, which is good. But Mom is still there. Always, and not just in my dreams. When I talk to the nice people who come in and give me food and new clothes. When I talk to Dr. Jenkins. When I sit and write letters to my dad that he never answers. She is there, silent and staring. It's almost as bad as it was when I was six, except she doesn't do anything. She just stares at me. I think it's all the blood. I ask her over and over how it got there, but she never answers.
In case anyone wonders where the hell this came from, it was from the day's prompt over at prompt_a_day, which can be found here