Besida had vivid nightmares of something forcefully tearing out of her.

After hours of being paralysed, Besida would try and wake up and other times, she just tried to die.
The nightmare would start like this – Besida would look into the mirror, but she could only see a broken reflection, her body contracted and expanded in this distorted mirror, her skin became feverishly hot and separated itself from her bones which were now extremely weak. Unfortunately for her, this was only the beginning. At this point in the dream, Besida did try to wake up, desperately in fact. She screamed … a lot, more than anyone could possibly scream in real life, if she was lucky, she woke up terrified, but then this would be a very short story. So, her screaming was pointless and her body continued to distort itself, her hair became extremely thin needles, straw-like and brittle and when her strands fell, they stabbed her on the way down. The worst part was the stomach thing; it grew a lot, something stretched its limbs inside her, almost like it was getting comfortable, before she slumped over, partly because of the pain but also because she was tired of the same nightmare she had over and over again.

When she woke up, she hoped this also meant she had woken up in real life, but she hadn’t. Now she realised her mouth was filled with teeth, her molars poked the insides of her cheeks and her tongue grazed the indentations, and she tasted metal like she had licked a spoon so much it began to disintegrate in her mouth.

She spat them out, screaming before they had the chance to fall down her throat and choke her.
She doesn’t know why she did this because, at this point in the nightmare, she was ready to die, but choking on her teeth was not really the way she wanted to do it. Now it was time to deliver
Something, alone in this dark room. Sadly, the room wasn’t even dark enough for her not to be able to see her reflection as her body got destroyed. This felt like hours, maybe days, actually it felt like an inconceivable amount of time, which means it could have been seconds, but it also means that didn’t matter at all and she was stuck in labour for however long it took for Something to tear out of her.

This dream ends the same way, always. She was trapped in labour as Something split her in half, she screamed so much she burst her eardrums and before she got a chance to kill herself,
Something killed her … every time. Then she wakes up nauseated and weak, afraid that Something followed her from her nightmares and crept into her real, waking life.

When Besida finally got up from her bed which was now wet with sweat, she walked into the kitchen to help her mother cook. Hungry and expectant faces dotted around the room, and seeing the less than pleasant look on Besida’s face, they asked her what was wrong, she said she had a bad dream, but it was about “nothing.” As she serves plates of food, she is called ‘little mummy,’ which she thinks is meant to be endearing but the smiles on their faces as they say it morph a little into evil grins and she thinks they are cursing Something into her life. “God forbid” but then she remembers that God also put something into Mary, who was even a virgin, but at least that something was Jesus.

About the Author:

Temi Chukwumah is a storyteller from Nigeria who has been writing since childhood. Across fiction and non-fiction, she is trying to unravel the existential madness that is life through her writing. When she’s not writing she’s daydreaming, watching golden era Nollywood or making great playlists. Find her on medium @temirchukwumah and Instagram @temithelibra.

Feature image by gr8effect / Pixabay