This year, three things changed my life dramatically; a redhead, my own obsession with my own creations and the nightmares. Each impacted my life harshly within a short space of time with many small issues in between but those three were the cornerstones of my downfall. About four months ago, my life was great, I was a normal guy with many things going for me, however, one day, one thing changed that. The redhead.
I keep asking myself what would have happened if I never saw her? What if things with Jenn, my then girlfriend and love of my life hadn't when downhill afterwards? I know that things would have stayed great if I hadn't noticed the redhead, but she had already took a hold of my mind and wouldn't let go.
It all started one day Jenn and I decided to go to our nearest theme park. The main reason I suggested it was cause I had the money for it. Everything was fantastic, Jenn and I were amazing, college couldn't have going better and I had recieved an offer or two from publishers to publish my stories. But that day at the theme park, I saw her, marking the beginning of the end. The start of my demise.
Jenn and I were inline for a rollercoaster named 'Space'. Not much imagination. While inline, I caught a glimpse of a redheaded girl. Now, when I say redhead, I don't mean ginger, I mean bright sexy red. She took notice of me and smiled. I couldn't help but smile back despite the redhead and I being full aware that I was with Jenn, obvious to her, my girlfriend. We maintained eye contact before and after the ride, which may I add, sucked. After the ride, I saw that she proceeded to stand inline for the same rollercoaster. As Jenn and I were walking away from it, the redhead kept her eyes locked on me and something in me made me wink at her. When I did this, I saw that was happy I did, noticeably expressing to her friends that me, a guy there with his girlfriend winked at her. Now, I have always been faithful in any of my relationships so I can't say what was really going through my mind. All I know is the redhead stirred something inside me that I couldn't fight.
As the day progressed, it continued. I walked past her many times where we repeatedly shared naughty smiled, while all the time holding Jenn's hand. I know it was wrong and some may conclude this as a form of cheating but I couldn't help it. At one point, Jenn and I were sitting on a bench, her legs folded over mine, while across from us was 'The Big Swings'. The redhead was on them, gazing at me for the full ride.
About a half hour and lots of naughty smiles later, Jenn and I decided to leave. We headed for the exit which was through the main building past the amusements. Jenn went to the bathroom just before our exit. We had to go through the amusements to get to the toilet. The redhead was with her friend behind us the entire time. She and Jenn went into the bathroom at the same time. As I stood outside waiting, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if the redhead came out first. What would happen? Would the redhead say something? Unfortunately/fortunately Jenn came out first and we went towards the exit. Jenn paused to look at the ticket collection section where people could trade winning tickets in for prizes. Due to this minor pause, the redhead ended up right behind me and we looked each other right in the eyes and smiled as Jenn leaded me outside the amusements and out the exit door. At that last brief moment before we officially left the park, the redhead and I shared one last smile and within much notice lightly brushed each others hand.
And then I never saw her again. But she stayed with me. Days afterwards, she plagued my mind constantly. I would spend random minutes trying to remember her face vividly and I always did. She would not leave my mind. I kept creating these hypothetical situations of if I ever saw her again, what would happen? Or if I had said something to her at the park. Part of me couldn't understand why I was having these thoughts. I despised people who cheated and loved Jenn with all my heart but the redhead just wouldn't leave me alone. About two weeks after the theme park visit and obsessing over the redhead, Jenn and I's ten month long relationship began to deteriorate.
Jenn said I was losing touch with her and cared too much about my 'writings', as she put it. She said I had been 'odd' recently and that things would no longer work out. I don't remember even putting up much of an arguement but I remember how I felt afterwards. Empty and hollow, like I had lost a kidney. For two days straight after Jenn left, all I did was write. I wrote nineteen short stories in the space of 48 hours. Every single one of them including the redhead. She had attached herself deep inside my mind, burrowed in and was not leaving anytime soon. It wasn't long before all I could do was write.
It was the seven week summer break from college. My lecturer had told me I looked like I needed a break. The theme park was three weeks before the start of the break. Jenn broke up with me two weeks later. For that next week, I barely showed up to college. My lecturer wanted things sorted after the break or I would miss my deadlines. I promised him I'd be fine. But I wasn't. For the first three weeks of the break, I did nothing but sit in front of a typewriter pumping out story after story. The first day of the break, I stacked up on ink and paper and prepared to write nonstop. In twenty days, I wrote a total of seventy six short stories, one and a half novels, two novellas and four poems. Every single one involved the redhead as either a major or minor character or in some cases, just her description.
One of the novellas I wrote in this period of time I entitled 'MareScape'. It focused on a young man having nightmares every night where shadows visited him to torment his fragile mind. The redhead appears as the only shadow to take human form. The shadows aim to test the young man's sanity and drive it to the brink. It was one of my personal favourites. By the end of that three weeks, I had a number of one thousand, six hundred and fifty one pages.
I spent almost the next week organising every story I had written in the past six months, organising them by my preference of good to bad. My top three were 'MareScape', 'Nostalgic Ponies' and 'Buried'. 'Nostalgic Ponies' was nothing more than a surreal trip through a land of ponies focusing on one group of ponies who reminisce about the past, but I loved it. The third, 'Buried' was about a middle aged man who suddenly has his thoughts constantly plagued by a supernatural spirit. 'Buried' was months old, however, 'MareScape' and 'Nostalgic Ponies' were new, written at some point in the three weeks.
I had spent one month of my life, after Jenn, after first seeing the redhead, writing story after story. At first, I never realised that I had included the redhead in each story but then gradually she became a basis for many characters. At the end of this long, long writing session, I realised that the redhead was a strange obsession that would leave me. She may fade over time but she will still always have a place in conscience. And even though she was a character in each piece of writing, I felt like I had accomplished an impressive folio of writing, in a way, thanks to her.
The next two weeks was the beginning of a new chapter for me, or so I thought. It started off, strangely happy. I sent out a lot of my new work to publishers and put some of it online. In twenty days, I wrote more then than I had in my entire life. I was able to put Jenn behind me and try to put the redhead behind me but I knew I had a bizarre admiration for the redhead as she led me to the breakup with Jenn leading to twenty days of frantic, yet good stories and a new point in my life. For two weeks, I was happy. But happiness doesn't last two weeks, never mind forever.
One night after I packaged six copies of 'MareScape' to send away to various publishers, I had a nightmare. An incredibly vivid disturbing nightmare.
It began with me sitting in a ferris wheel, alone. I was halfway to the top. The wheel was being controlled by nothing, I could see there was no one operating it. Every carriage was empty except mine. The air was very cold and the sky was pitch black darkness. Just as my carriage elevated to the exact top, the ride came to a halt. I was suspended in the night by a rusty steel structure. Shadows covered the wheel, in particular my carriage. A thick black shadow, the shape of a person, descended upon my gate and sat across of me, as if a real live human had took a seat infront of me. Slowly but surely, it began to take form. From the feet up, it became a slender yet curvy female figure, dressed in black. Soon, facial features started to appear. I recognised the face right away. Then red hair grew on the shadow. Bright. Red. Hair.
The dream was so vivid. I remember sitting in the ferris wheel carriage staring the redhead in the eyes. And I remember thinking to myself that I should wake up. I knew I was in a dream but couldn't do anything about it. The redhead just stared at me. Her face, pale and blank. While sitting there, I told myself to wake up. I shut my eyes and tried to imagine my bed, awakening from my slumber but when I reopened them, I was even more terrified. The redhead's eyes were now just hollow black holes, her nose was bleeding and her lips were grey, like a corpse. She licked her lips seductively and leaned in to kiss me. I finally awoke, in a freezing sweat.
The next day, the dream plagued my mind. The real redhead's pretty face was now replaced with her nightmare face. Those eye sockets, the bleeding nose and the dead lips. I dreaded falling to sleep that night.
That night. The second dream. Shorter but just as disturbingly moving, in a bad way. I sat in a raft, a yellow scruffy raft. I was at the top of a water slide. The slide's interior and exterior was pretty gloom and grim. But then I noticed the most horrifying thing. The water was blood, thick red blood. The platform under the raft began to raise, prepared to slide me down the pool of blood. At this point, I felt a body press against me, behind me. I froze in panic, then arms wrapped around my waist. I turned my head to see a smiling pretty redhead wrapping her arms around me. If I wasn't in a nightmare world, I'd enjoy this sight. And then, the raft slid down, blood splashing me. Rapidly, we slid down and hit the bottom hard, an incredible amount of blood covering both of us. The redhead then quickly stood up, bizarrely covered in blood from head to toe and evaporated into ashes. It's easy to say what was on my mind that day.
The third and final dream. A carousel. I was on a carousel. A crowd of sad looking horses going round and round. When I looked at the area away from the ride, all I could see was darkness. Darkness surrounded the carousel. I sat on a black horse with an ear missing. All the horses upset faces made me feel uneasy. My horse's face was white. From the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar shadow on the horse next to mine. That horse was white with a black face. As I gazed at the shadow, it quickly took the form of the redhead. Her pretty face stared at me in the eyes and she outstretched her hand. I knew I was in a nightmare but I couldn't help become enthralled by her. My hand outstretched with her and our hands touched. She held my hand and smiled at me. I became lost in the moment.
I blinked. All I did was blink and everything changed. The happiness disappeared and the redhead was covered in blood like the previous dream. Then, slowly her face began to take the form of her face from the first dream. Her eyes vanished and her lips turned grey. This version of her got off her horse and approached me. Her cold hand stroked my cheek, but as soon she made contact, she evaporated into ashes. I awoke screaming, but with a strange realization.
After the nightmare, back in my reality, I realised that the carousel dream was identical to one of the nightmares in my story 'MareScape'. A shadow seduces the character onto a carousel to take the form of his dream girl yet then evaporate into ash. As I processed this thought, I spotted similarities between the nightmares in 'MareScape' and the nightmares I'd been having. A shadow or shadows coming to torment a mind in a familiar enviroment while taking the form of loved ones and people in the victims fantasy. A shadow was in my dream. My familiar enviroment was a theme park, where I originally met the redhead. And the form it was taking was the redhead. Did I cause my own nightmares.
It was as if I had caused my own nightmares. 'MareScape' turned into my real nightmares. How could it be possible to have three dreams identical to the structure in one of my stories, a story that I wrote in an insane twenty day session. Then, while going through other stories, I spotted another similarity in my recent life to different story. 'Buried' was a story about a young man being haunted by a supernatural spirit, a female spirit that seduced him but took him into dark places. A spirit that he couldn't get out of his mind. I wrote 'Buried' a few nights before going to the theme park with Jenn. The supernatural spirit from that story done things similar to what the redhead did to me after I saw her at the park. Despite my efforts, she stayed in my mind, plagued my thoughts. And then troubled my dreams.
I wrote 'Buried' then a few days later, I see the redhead and she stays in my head for weeks, ruining parts of my life. Then I write 'MareScape' and the nightmares from that become my nightmares. Each story came true. What I had wrote became reality, tormenting my life, just like the shadows did in 'MareScape'. My stories had came true and ruined my life.
Three days after discovering this, I write this memoir of sorts to describe my experiences. I haven't slept since then. I told myself I wasn't going to write another story but I need to do something to keep me awake. To see...if it comes true. My next piece is entitled 'Sleep Debt'.
Maybe I'm just insane.