One Helluva Nightmare

The pain was horrendous, unbearable. Hot wet tears rolled from his eyes. Trying to roll, so many hands held him down as others tried to save him. A constant ringing in his ears, his eyes blurry from crying, he knew where he was, but couldn’t make out anything that was going on around him.

He could remember had happened. He been standing outside his home, just watching the two kids fighting, thinking about how he had been just like them in his youth. The two boys were only teenagers, no older than sixteen, maybe seventeen. Other boys stood around them, watching, waiting for the first of the boys to throw a punch.

And then, for some reason, out of his pocket, one of the boys pulled a gun. Not believing what he was seeing, Nick was in shock. What the hell are you doing kid? Nick thought to himself, praying it was an airsoft gun, or a very realistic toy.

Watching the other boys around step back, and the kid that the gun holder had been arguing with instantly scared, his hands up, Nick began to approach, still hoping the gun was not real. Hoping it wasn’t loaded.

“Come on kid, what the hell are you doing?” Nick said, trying to catch the boy’s attention so if anyone was going to get hurt, it was going to be Nick. “Put that down before some is seriously hurt.” Approaching slowly, Nick had gotten the boy’s attention, but the boy still kept the weapon pointed at the kid he had been arguing with.

“Mind your own business!” the boy yelled, his hand slightly shaking, making Nick even more nervous. Nick, looking to the boy that the gun was pointed at, could see tears forming in the boy’s eyes, scared out of his mind, not knowing that the argument was going to take that dramatic of a turn.

“Put the gun down,” Nick, pausing, had to get the kid to calm down and come to reason. “What’s your name?”

“What’s it matter? This is none of your business!” Inching the gun closer to the boy he had been arguing with, the boy was openly crying, and the other teen’s were tense, not sure of what was going to happened.

“Put the gun down Dave,” one of the other teen’s said, standing closer to the boy with the gun.

“Shut your damn mouth! I’ll put it down if I feel like it! Scared,” the boy, apparently named Dave mocked, waving the gun in the crying boy’s face. “Crying like a baby, scared.”

“Put the damn gun down Dave. You think that makes you a man?” Nick mocked right back at the teen. He knew that Dave was trying to appear tough to his friends, trying to be a man, not backing down, suffering further humiliation from them. Nick knew that the teen was foolishly worried about his image. “Do you Dave? You think that makes you a man?”

Dave, now not so mad at the boy he had been arguing with, turned the gun towards Nick, just what Nick had been hoping, but the moment he was staring down the barrel, realized the carelessness of his decision.

“Do I think it makes me a man? Who the hell are you, man?” Pulling back the hammer of the gun, Dave held it steady, eyes narrowed, many of the other boys taking more steps back, worried of what their friend might do.

“I’m just a guy trying to keep a kid from making a very stupid decision.” Taking a few steps closer, Nick just had to get close enough to grab the gun. If he had to punch the kid out, so be it, but he couldn’t let anyone get hurt because of one stupid kid’s ego.

“You think you’re a man,” Dave said, “walking up here, trying to stop me from blasting him,” Dave motioned with his head to the teen he had pulled the gun on. “Walking up here, asking me if I think I’m a man. Yeah. As a matter of fact…” Pulling the trigger, Nick heard the second shot before he even felt the first bullet hit him. Three bullets before the group of teens jumped on Dave, fighting the gun away from him. Looking at them, none of them were hurt.

Falling to his knees, the wounds burned, all of them in his chest. Looking to Dave, fear was in the teen’s eyes. Dave had pulled the trigger, but after the act, couldn’t believe what he had done.

“Call an ambulance,” Nick whispered, not sure if anyone had heard him. He was looking around, watching the teen’s hold Dave down, some pulling their cell phones out, neighbors coming out to see what the noise had been, one man running up to Nick.

In no time he was in an ambulance, and then the hospital. His eyes burned from the white light coming from the ceiling, the ringing in his ears gave him a headache, and his chest ached with such intensity with each and every breath.

He knew the doctors and nurses were talking to him. But he couldn’t hear them. Closing his eyes, he couldn’t see them anyways, and he was tired of the burning ceiling light. A sudden cold coming over him, Nick knew he wasn’t going to make. It was obvious. The damn kid had shot him three times in the chest. God damn kid.

A heavy darkness coming with the sudden cold, Nick’s eyes shot open suddenly, a sudden bolt of energy flowing through him. Looking around, the light from the ceiling, the bright white light from the florescent bulbs was gone, instead a ceiling fan, spinning slowly, a beige ceiling.

His eyes forced shut again, his body’s muscles tensing, Nick forced them open, looking all around, the florescent ceiling light back, the blurriness difficult to see through. Trying his damndest to see through it, at the nurses, the doctors, the machines, he knew he was still in the hospital, wondering what the hell he had just seen.

Trying to take a deep breath, not able too, the jolt of energy rocked him his body once more, eyes slamming shut. This time when they opened, Nick’s head turned to his side, he was staring at an alarm clock on a side table, a lamp behind it. 4:13. That was what the clock said. Trying to turn his head to see more, his eyes shut once again before he could, the last jolt of energy passing through him with white-hot intensity.

Suddenly comfortable, suddenly calm, the ringing was gone, no noise at all. No doctors speaking, no nurses, no noise. And his body, relaxed, no pain, no one holding him down. Opening his eyes, the ceiling fan above him off, the beige ceiling illuminated by what little moon light spilled into the room from the window, curtains drawn back, the sky outside clear, stars very visible.

Looking to his alarm clock, it read 4:13. Blinking a few times, his eyes still heavy with sleep, he closed them, took a deep breath and slid his hand under his pillow, the coolness it promised welcoming.

That was one helluva damn nightmare, Nick thought, preparing to fall back to sleep.


Hey, I'm Mike, and i love to write. It truly is the last known form to truly be immortal. I was in the Air Force, until a brain tumor forced my discharge. But even without that, I still have the almighty pen & paper. I write everything, but horror is my hobby, and poetry is my passion.


  • Just!ne

    Aside from a few grammatical errors, this is one of my favorite pieces of the week. It gave me this sort of Inception/Vanilla Sky/Nightmare on Elm Street vibe with all the dream in a dream stuff going on. You pulled it off well, and I give you major props for that. This is definitely one of your best stories on the site 🙂

  • Jackytharippa

    After having a very long two days, reading this made me feel so much better. It doesn’t matter how much you write or what you write, having someone say or write something like that about your work is always and will always be a great feeling. Thank you, yet again, much loved. Much loved.

    • Just!ne

      I’ve always believed that credit earned is credit deserved, and your talent does speak for itself. I’m glad my post lifted your spirits 😀

      Will you marry me? Haha =P

  • Craig Gusmann

    I would agree with 80sBabi, as I typically do, this is one of the best works I’ve read from you or anyone else on the site so far. It was very vivid, and very tense. The pacing was great, and the structure helped to keep the reader just outside of your true intentions.

    If I could throw out some constructive criticism, though: Don’t overexplain things to your audience. For example, the line “Nick knew that the teen was foolishly worried about his image.” That’s something you had established in the sentences prior. I’ve heard it both ways, that you should and shouldn’t assume intelligence on the part of your audience. I’ve always leaned towards you should assume intelligence. Even if they don’t get it immediately, that gives them a reason to go back and re-read it, right?

    As I said to start, great story. I’m glad you’ve been posting a lot recently, because your work is definitely one of the ones I look forward to seeing.

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