The walls are dripping with the blood of the damned.  The dark liquid boiling with all the hate of hell. Burning everything it touches. I try to scamper away from it but I cannot move. I can feel it crawling closer. Feel her reaching for me. Her clawed hand stretching for me, raking her talons down my legs. Shredding my flesh from my bone. The pain is insufferable, and I try to fight her off but every time I swing my arm to hit her away, there is nothing there. But I know she’s there. I can feel her. She is as real as the terror in my heart and the adrenalin in my veins. The heat is unbearable. From somewhere unseen a fire rages, ruled by the pain and loathing of humanity.  I curl up in a protective ball, accepting defeat. The blood reaches the wounds on my feet and I throw my head back in a blood curdling scream as all the agony of the world enters my limp frame. I woke in my scream, my body convulsed and I vomited on my floor. I fell asleep again. How could I let this happen. I wrapped my arms around my knees and waited for the shivers to subside before I did anything, my skin was still alight with heat, and I opened the window to cool down, and to air out my room. The mop and bucket had recently been moved to my closet, so I could use them to clean the remanence of my regurgitated dinner from the floor. The smell clung to my nostrils, but I had gotten used to it. I rinsed the bucket and mop out in my bathroom and put it back in my closet. My clock read 4:47, I still had 2 hours till everyone got up. I couldn’t get into bed and risk falling back asleep. Retreating into my bathroom, I turned on the bath tap and washed out my mouth out in the sink. The reflection in the mirror is not one that I recognised,  it was sunken in and the eyes held dark rings around them, the normally tan skin was pale and slick with sweat. The usually full lips were shrivelled from dehydration. The wild dark hair was dull and matted. The vomiting and lack of sleep had taken its toll. I turned the tap off and stepped in. The cold water felt good on my skin, helping to calm me. I relaxed my body, sinking into the water, and putting my head back. After a while I stretch out my limbs, trying to shake out the lack of sleep. They groan in response, but eventually submit to my commands. I had to clean the death-like smell off me, I grabbed my scrubbing brush and soap, starting at my feet, and working my way up to my shoulders. The scratchy sensation was comforting to me now. It was refreshing. The soap smells like lemongrass and tea tree which cleared my nose and my mind. With the stench of vomit and sweat off me, I felt much better like I had scrubbed the dream from my skin . My hair was difficult, as it always was. I doused it in shampoo until it smelled like jasmine, then wrenched a comb through it with a considerably large amount of conditioner. I didn’t want to get out of the bath, I didn’t want to face school, I didn’t want to face my parents. They always knew when I had the dream. Of course we went to the doctors about it. After the first week we noticed something was wrong, and they prescribed all kinds of sleeping pills. But they didn’t work, they just trapped me I the dream. After a while they just said it was some kind of PTSD like condition, and sent me to a shrink. After a while it became clear she didn’t know what was wrong with me either. Eventually we just gave up. Now I suffer from through every day. I’ve gotten lucky before, and managed to not fall asleep during the night. But every time I sleep, I have the dream. Stepping out of the bath, I ruffle my hair with my towel, then wrap it around me. Time to make myself look normal. I drop my towel and pad over to my make up table. I often get a lot of stick for all the make up I wear. But to me it was a art, it was beautiful. I have been wearing makeup since I was 11 years old. Of course, I sucked at it then, and I cringe at old photos of me in messy hot pink lipstick, and wild glittery eyeshadow. I had perfected my skills since then, but now I used it as a way of covering my exhausted face. I sit down at the small bench in front of my make up desk and vanity mirror and combed my thick eyebrows into place, holding them there with gel. I had to mix two foundations to match my face properly, or what shade my face used to be. I had gotten pretty pale these days. I primed, concealed, creamed, powdered, contoured, shaded, lined, and filled.  Pausing, I sat back and took in my reflection. I had always considered myself at least somewhat pretty. Especially when my winged liner looked this good.. Despite myself , I couldn’t help but smile. My clock read 6:37. I got up and stretched towards my ceiling, taking a moment to survey my room. It was quite clean for a teenagers, there was nothing on the floor, A single bed with sky blue sheets, a clothes basket near the door that was empty right now, a shelf full of mystery and fantasy books, a small couch covered with little throw pillows, a makeup table, and desk with a lamp, wooden floor, white walls covered with my various abstract drawings and paintings. swaying from side to side, I make my way over to my walk In wardrobe. It contained mostly jeans and t-shirt;I was never really a fashionista, or very interested in clothes. The jeans I chose were blue with small rips. While jumping around and struggling to get into them, I remembered what my mum always said about me being lucky to take after her, with my thick Latina thighs and round ass. But at times like this I wasn’t so sure. I pulled on my shirt, and my converses. 7:20, my mum will be cooking breakfast right about now. The wood under my feet creaks slightly as I scuffle along the hall and down the stairs. My mum was bent over the oven, starting a pot of something.

“Buenos Dias Mama” It came out more deflated than I wanted, and I knew right away that I had given myself up. She looked up from her stove.

“Hai, mi hija, did you sleep at all?” Her voice was sorrowful, but not surprised. Everyone knew I wasn’t sleeping. It wasn’t a big secret.

“A bit” I muttered weekly. Even trying for a smile to try and ease her worrying. But it was weak and unconvincing. It made me worry for her, this had taken as much a toll on my family as it did on me. I was saved from my mum’s heartrending gaze by my little sibling. They ran un and wrapped their arms around my leg and buried their face in my shirt.

“Hola Hermano” I sigh, ruffling their long brown hair, which strongly resembled mine and mum’s.

“Hai, porfavor. Tie up your hair before it gets knotty” Mum scolded, not wanting the challenge of taming their main again. They ran off giggling, and came back with a scrunchy. My dad waltzed into the kitchen leisurely, dressed for work, in his pyjamas. He’s a mystery novel writer, and works from home. Mum scolded him for being late for breakfast.

“lo siento mi amor” He purred, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her in for a kiss. I didn’t have the energy I once would have had to remark on the grossly romantic display. So I let them be, and allowed myself to collapse on a stool at the breakfast bench. Mum had laid out breakfast there, and I dug in to my plate, hungry after ejecting last night’s dinner onto my floor this morning. Dad and his English stomach couldn’t handle mum’s Latina cooking, so we usually had pancakes for breakfast.

I took my time getting to school, cause I had pe first, and I was not in the mood to run laps. Which sucks, cause I used to be quite good at basketball. But sleep deprivation and sport don’t mix.  I get into my car and drive around the back of the school to avoid prying eyes. My school was quite small, and we only had one court for pe, so I knew where to find anyone. I don’t bother changing into more athletic clothing, instead I just sit down by the edge of the court and get out my sketch pad. My coach knows about my situation, so he doesn’t bother me, for while he is usually hot headed he is compassionate as well. My blank page stares at me. I hold my favourite pencil in my hand. I always draw what I see, and how it felt to me. I would draw the black and white swans at the park as daemons and angels, and the water as a parallel universe, and the trees as tired old soles. It helped me to draw how I saw the world, Calmed me. I look at the individual people in my class. Izzy, Cristian girl, very pretty and polite. I draw her as an angel. Ethan, quite boy, loves anime. I draw him as a shadow. Coach, loud man, large personality. I draw him as a volcano. I draw their gladiator arena, and battle amor. A simple game of capture the flag became so much more. The bell rang, and I crumpled the paper up, and threw it in the bin on my way to history. My teacher is ramping on in her South African accent about trade in the Ming Dynasty. It’s not that I didn’t like history, it’s just that it was boring, and it was hard to focus while getting no sleep. I’m just kind of staring out the window when the principal’s secretary comes in and hands the teacher a  piece of paper. She takes a second to read it. Then glances out the door, past were any of us can see.

“We have a new student joining our class” Her voice was warm and exited. It was a sharp contrast to the utter dispart the had come to blanket my life, and I found myself repulsed. However, what walked through that door was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Her skin was deep shining ebony, her hair was a simmering black halo around her head, her eyes were deep endless pools of gleaming brown, her eyebrows and eyelashes were thick, and well groomed, her full protruding lips were a deep shade of red, her cheekbones were high, sharp and slanted, giving her a sophisticated look. She was tall, thin, willowy. She was wearing a pale yellow, flowy knee length summer dress, dotted with bright pink flowers, with a light white vest. She resemble a spring nymph. The was the fabric swishes around her knees was mesmerising. She truly was an angel. She walked in on powder pink ballet flats and turned on her heal to face us. I was sure my mouth was hanging open, as she pulled back her face in the most amazing smile, her teeth sparkled with the purest white, and her cheeks dimpled.  Her celestial swept over the class, then came to rest on me. Our eyes locked and I felt Thor set my spine on fire as an army of enraged butterflies attach my stomach. Her smile settles into a slight smirk. She nods at the teacher, and glides down the isles of desks, her arms swaying by her sides. She comes to rest at the desk next to mine and adroitly sits in the chair, we never take our eyes off each other. I am fully aware that I’m staring, and probably drooling, but I can’t help it. I have always like girls, but I have never seen a girl quite like her.  

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