By Danielle Clark
In the middle of the night, the stuffy air hung undisturbed in my Woodward dorm room. My head was nestled in my puffy pillow, body wrapped in plush blankets. I kept drifting in and out of sleep, fearing I’d sleep through my alarm clock and miss class. My dreams were fuzzy and spotty. I roll over onto my back and look down at my feet, seeing a strange figure peering over the blankets at me. This small figure is in the shape of a girl with soulless eyes, pale, glowing skin, black hair. She wore a white, Victorian-like nightgown. I flinch at the sight of this apparition, clinging to my pillow like a child to their mother’s side. I flinch again. Did I just wake up? Was that a dream? I managed to go back to sleep.
When I wake in the morning, I assure myself that it was just a dream. At lunch I tell my friends about it, and immediately they say the girl I saw resembles one of the ghosts that haunts campus. I tell them they are being ridiculous. Being a freshman I barely know about these stories, and being a skeptic I have no intention of believing any of it.
I go about my day like I normally would. Classes seem to drag on a bit, but that is probably because I just keep seeing the dream over and over in my mind. The chills still climb up and slip down my spine like a kid playing on a slide. I try to get my mind off of it. When classes get out, I pull out my iPod, pop my headphones in, and listen to some music. My fear simmers down, thankfully. It is just what I need.
After I grab some food from Bear’s Den and walk up to my dorm room, I start my homework. Two small essays to write and a test I have to study for—ugh. That’s okay. I tackle my work one task at a time and take little breaks here and there.
As it got later, I stop to take a shower. I gather my shower supplies and hurry down the hall. The bathroom is empty, which is good news because I appreciate the peace and quiet. I step into a stall, place my items down, undress, and turn the water on. The moment I soak my hair under the showerhead, I hear a rustle coming from beyond the stall. I didn’t hear the door open, so there couldn’t be another girl in here. My name eerily carries through the air: “Ella…Ella.” Immediately, I shut the water off, pull a towel on, and bolt out of the stall to see who called me. No one is there. I look around the bathroom, just to assure myself. Am I going crazy?
On my way back to the stall, I feel something crawling on my foot, so I look down. A house centipede was walking over my toes. Its long legs and slender body scurried on my flesh. I kick my foot up in the air and scream. I look up and see a spider dangling down from its web, inching my way. Whipping around in shock of all this, I face the mirror, where I see a sickly figure looking back at me. The spider and centipede disappear and then reappear on the shoulders of the figure. It’s the girl from my nightmare. She holds her hand out to me, whispering, “Ella…Come back….”