At the Lowe House
Several neighbors are standing around the Lowe house lawn in nightclothes and house robes watching as several police cars and ambulances are in front of the home. The night sky is illuminated with the red and blue light of the vehicles. Crystal, Mike, and Jarhet come running down the block fully dressed and it really sinks in that the news about Sabrina is true. Blake, who is standing outside, sees his friends and quickly runs to join them. His shirt and pants have streams of blood on them and he is obviously shaken.
Mike: "What the hell happened?"
Blake shakes his head smiling slightly out of shock as tears begin streaming down his face.
Blake: "I…I don't know. I was smoking a cigarette on the side of the house when I heard her scream."
A mental flash of Sabrina crashing through her bedroom window and being tugged back in causes Blake to physically shake. He closes his eyes and regains himself.
Blake: "Someone was inside her room with her. I…saw her when she crashed through the window and someone yanked her back inside. By the time Kevin and I got inside, she was alone. She was so fucked up…."
Blake erupts into uncontrollable sobs and Crystal and Mike both console him. Jarhet looks around at all of the spectators.
Jarhet: "Where's Kevin?"
Blake: "Inside with the police."
Crystal gathers her nerves and begins walking towards the house. Mike, Blake, and Jarhet all join her as an older police officer walks up to the group of friends.
Officer: "Young man, I need to ask you some more questions if you don't mind."
Blake nods in agreement.
Officer: "Now you say you were having a smoke outside the house under the window of Ms. Lowe when you heard her screaming? Now when you saw her at the window, was she trying to escape and that how the window broke?"
Blake takes a deep breath.
Blake: "…someone rammed her head through the window breaking it…she grabbed the sides of the window frame and tried to get out…someone yanked her back inside…hard."
Crystal turns and buries her face on Jarhet's shoulder.
Crystal: "Oh my God…."
Officer: "You then ran into the house, where you were met by Kevin Lowe at his sister's door trying to get in?"
Blake: "Yeah, her door was locked from the inside. She never locks her door."
Officer: "I know this is going to be hard, but can you describe what you heard behind the door?"
Blake rolls his eyes up in exasperation and another tear rolls down his face.
Blake: "Jesus Christ!"
It takes a while; however, Blake describes the horrid details of the thumping, crashing, glass shattering, bones breaking, the screaming and sobbing Sabrina to the officer. Details so gruesome even the officer closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
Officer: "I'm sorry son, but all of the details are necessary to try to make sense of what happened here tonight. You've been through a hell of a thing. But your information definitely helps."
At that moment, two men come out the front door and the other officers begin to move everyone away. The body is brought out in a black bag and loaded into a van. Kevin slowly and lifelessly walks out the door a few minutes later in a police jacket to keep warm. Blake, Crystal, Mike, and Jarhet all run up to Kevin to check on him.
Crystal: "I'm so sorry Kevin."
Another police officer walks outside.
Officer 2: "We're trying to reach his parents, are you his friends?"
Officer 2: "This is a crime scene now and protocol is to take him to the station until his parents arrive. We've known you kids for a while, is there any place he can go for the night?"
Crystal: "Yeah. My mom won't mind. I live a block away." Or more her mom is passed out on meds.
AT CRYSTAL'S PLACE
Crystal and Mike walk back into her bedroom with two cups of tea. Blake and Kevin are sitting on the foot of Crystal's bed. Jarhet is sitting on the floor half watching the television. Tears are still streaming down Kevin's face as he rest his head on Blake's shoulder.
Crystal: "Here drink this; it will help you two relax a bit, if that's even possible."
Mike: "Yeah, it's well past 3a.m., we all could probably use some sleep."
The word sleep strikes Crystal like a bolt of lightning, remembering the horrid dream from earlier tonight.
Crystal: "Um, I'm not really tired right now. Not after all of this."
Jarhet: "Yeah, I can understand that after what happened earlier."
Crystal: "That silly little dream doesn't compare."
Blake and Kevin both look up at Crystal. Blake doesn't know why, but something is bothering him.
Blake: "What are you talking about? What dream? When? Tonight?"
Crystal looks shaken; she knows the details of her last nightmare are completely inappropriate at this time, especially the part with Sabrina.
Crystal: "Yeah, tonight why? Let's not talk about this right now."
Kevin looks at Crystal sadly, then over to Blake.
Kevin: "You know…Sabrina was having nightmares too. Last night was her worse yet. She was completely shaken up, I slept next to her last night. She was too scared to go to sleep."
Tears begin falling down Kevin's face again; however, Crystal and Blake are both completely drained of color. Blake suddenly jumps up and walks to the door.
Blake: "I need to take a shower."
Crystal: "Alright, you know where everything is."
Blake opens the bedroom door and Crystal's mom, Ms. Meyers is standing groggily at the door. She is dressed in an old red robe with wild bed hair.
Ms. Meyers: Crystal, what's going on here? What's everybody doing here this time of night; you should be in bed, asleep!"
Crystal jumps up as her mom takes in the blood on Blake's and Kevin's clothes. Crystal quickly ushers her mom out of the room and explains the events of the night. Ms. Meyers takes this information with shock and sadness almost regret. Ms. Meyers walks back into the room and walks over to Kevin and hugs him tightly.
Ms. Meyers: "I'm so sorry honey; this was a terrible tragedy for you. Of course you can stay here until your parents return. Come on, let's get you cleaned up."
Ms. Meyers takes Kevin and leads him to the bathroom in her room. She looks back at Crystal.
Ms. Meyers: "Crystal, get Blake some towels and your father's spare robe for him. Blake sweetie, use the shower down the hall. I'll make some sandwiches for you guys, then try and get some rest."
DOWNSTAIRS IN THE KITCHEN
Ms. Meyers and Crystal are in the kitchen making sandwiches for the overnight guest.
Crystal: "Thanks mom."
Ms Meyers: "Hush, you're a good person and a good friend. It's the least I can do. Who would do that to that poor girl like that?"
Crystal just shakes her head in dismay.
Crystal: "We don't know anything yet, Kevin's a mess. Blake is trying to put of a brave face, but he is really shaken as well."
Ms. Meyers: "Well after you guys eat, try and get some sleep. Mike and Jarhet should still head to school tomorrow. You, Blake, and especially Kevin should stay home. I'm going back to bed, I have to be up early in the morning, and I'll leave some breakfast for you guys."
Crystal kisses her mom goodnight and takes the food up to her room. Both Blake and Kevin have finished their showers and are sitting on the floor with Mike and Jarhet. Crystal hands out the food and they all sit quietly on the floor. Kevin breaks the silence after half an hour.
Kevin: "Tell me about this dream you had."
Crystal: "Kevin, please. Try and get some sleep."
Kevin: "Sabrina was dreaming that someone was trying to kill her the past two nights. Last night, the dreams got violent."
Crystal is visibly disturbed.
Crystal: "Let's talk about it tomorrow, my mom told me, you, and Blake to stay home from school tomorrow. Mike and Jarhet, you two go to school and let us know what's going on there and how bad the situation is."
THE NEXT MORNING
Crystal and Blake are sitting in the kitchen eating some leftover toast as Kevin is still resting upstairs. It's around 10a.m. and they are watching the news at the coverage of the events of the night before.
Crystal: "The police have no suspects or leads. Kevin's phone has been receiving text as early as 8:30 this morning."
Kevin finally managed to fall into an uneasy sleep after a couple of hours last night, follow soon by Blake. However, every time Crystal almost managed to doze off, something instantly woke her. The first time it felt like someone was watching her, the second time Crystal could have swore someone was walking into her room. Each time Crystal awoke with a start, she would just lie there for at least an hour. She was extremely relieved when the sun began to rise. Mike and Jarhet left for school and promised to call when they got home.
Blake: "Has his parents called?"
Crystal: "Not yet…Jesus, how do you deal with getting a phone call like that."
Crystal rubs her temple and takes a long gulp of coffee. Blake watches her intensely.
Blake: "You look exhausted. Did you get any sleep?"
Crystal smiles sadly and shakes her head. She doesn't understand why, but every instinct tells her to finally speak her mind.
Crystal: "I had a nightmare the past two nights, not regular nightmare you have once and a while, but something else. These are really real; sometimes I don't even realize that I am dreaming until I see him. The same man in the striped sweater and hat and razor fingers. He appears and chases me around, trying to kill me each time. I don't understand why, but something is wrong about him."
Crystal shakes her head and looks towards her bedroom.
Crystal: "Last night, I dreamed I saw Sabrina's body. All cut up and bloody…dead. He came out and said he did it. I ran, he chased me, and then you called and told me what happened…."
Crystal laughs out loud to herself.
Crystal: "I must be going insane…"
Blake looks at her and sees how serious her face is.
Blake: "Last night something weird happened…I was sleeping and I heard footsteps in the hallway right outside the door, I got up and checked it out and when I did….."
Blake looks down and smiles and shakes his head.
Blake: "Someone was in Sabrina's room, I couldn't see because it was dark, but he was looking right at me and laughed and closed the door….I woke up after that. But it felt weird…you know? That's when I went outside for a cigarette, I felt strange the entire time, like I wanted to go upstairs and just open the door and check on her, but if I did that…then that would have been like…giving in to something…I don't know…."
Kevin walks into the kitchen.
Kevin: "Finish…give into what? What could you have given into, besides a smoke, rather than checking on my sister? Who was in the room with her? Why didn't you wake me up?"
Blake and Crystal both jump up startled.
Blake: "I said it was just a dream!"
Kevin, getting angrier by the second: "Obviously you weren't dreaming, were you?"
Crystal: "Hey! We're all on edge, here. Kevin I know you're upset, but what happened isn't Blake's fault."
Kevin: "Right, it was the strange hat and claw man!"
Blake: "Kevin, you said Sabrina described that same man to you. It has to be someone she's seen before."
Kevin's heard enough, he quickly snatches his phone off of the kitchen counter and walks towards the door.
Crystal runs after him
Crystal: "Kevin, wait."
Kevin turns around and holds up his hands.
Kevin: "Look Crystal, I know you mean well, but I need some space and some air. I'm…just gonna run home and grab a change of clothes and get my car. My parents are gonna call soon, I need to be alone when I speak to them…I'll come back later."
Every fiber of Crystal wants to plead for him to stay, but she lets him go.
Crystal: "You call me."
Kevin nods and walks out the door, but not before cutting Blake a cold look. Crystal closes the door behind him and walks over and joins Blake as he walks into the living room.
Blake: "He's pissed at me, now."
Crystal: "He's just upset, he'll calm down. He's going through a lot right now. We all are."
Crystal and Blake both flop down on the comfortable couch in front of the television. Crystal is deep in thought; Blake is still in shock from the night before. They sit in silence for over twenty minutes.
Blake: "No one was in the room with her, you know. Not when I went downstairs, the doors were locked for the night. No windows were open, how did someone get in there with her, without any of us hearing."
Crystal looks up and glares at Blake intensely.
Crystal: "I may be crazy, but I have to know something."
Blake looks up and is instantly concerned with the look on Crystal's face. Crystal takes a deep breath and continues.
Crystal: "I'm gonna take a nap for about10 minutes, if it looks as though I'm having a bad dream, wake me up immediately. Don't hesitate, even if you have to slap me, do what you have to do."
Blake rolls his eyes and stands up.
Blake: "Crystal, this is crazy! Will you listen to yourself? Why, what are you looking to find?"
Crystal: "I don't know yet, but I have to do this. I can't do this alone."
Blake looks his friend over carefully and then sits down in resignation.
Blake: "Alright, but lets say what this is about. You're thinking that maybe…Maybe…Sabrina was killed by some guy in her dreams? Is that what this is?"
Crystal feels absolutely ridiculous hearing the words out loud. However, she nods her head.
Crystal: "Yeah, that's exactly what this is about. Its CRAZY I know, but I have to see for myself."
Blake smiles and shakes his head.
Blake: "Alrighty then. We'll test your theory."
Crystal smiles and lays back onto the couch, she feels silly, but she is terrified. She forces herself to close her eyes and begins a breath deeply.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER
Crystal is awakened by her mother opening the front door. She is arriving home from work. Crystal sits up and notices that she's been asleep all day and it is now 8pm. She's been asleep for 6 hours. Ms. Meyers hurriedly sits down her purse and walks over and gives Crystal a quick kiss on the cheek.
Ms. Meyers: "Hey sweetie, have you been resting all day? Did you friends make it home alright?"
Crystal still kind of surprised looks around and realizes Blake has ditched her and instantly becomes angry.
Crystal: "Uhh, yeah. I guess so."
Crystal is livid, she trusted Blake to watch over her. But she realizes she can't get mad at him for not watching her sleep for 6 hours, especially when nothing happened. She is relieved that her hunch proved to be wrong. She instantly feels dumb and kisses her mother on the cheek.
Ms. Meyers: "I stopped by subway and picked up a 12 inch, do you want half?"
Ms. Meyers starts walking into the kitchen and turns on the light and sits the sandwich on the kitchen counter. Crystal realizes how hungry she is and smiles.
Crystal: "Sure, I haven't eaten all day since breakfa…"
Before Crystal can finish her statement, Ms. Meyers slams her right hand down extremely hard over the sandwich, slicing it into fourths with a razor gloved hand. The impact was so hard the claw has cut through the marble counter-top. Her mother's kind smile is now replaced with a menacing grimace, her teeth now raggedy and black. Crystal shrieks in shock and slowly begins to back away. She notices blood spreading on the counter from the bleeding sandwich.
Ms. Meyers raises the gloved hand waving the long finger blades back and forth. She starts walking towards her slowly, still with the same grimace on her face, her teeth gnashing together so hard pieces of chipped tooth are falling out her mouth. She opens her mouth to speak and her voice is shrill and obscene.
Ms Meyers: "DON'T YOU WANT SOME SAMMICH CRYSTAL?"
Ms. Meyers instantly charges towards the already running and screaming Crystal. Crystal runs into her living room and down the hall. Ms. Meyers running quickly behind her screaming;
Ms. Meyers: "CRYSTAAAAAAL!"
Crystal runs up the stairs and into her room slamming the door behind her and locking it. She no longer hears her mother on the other side of the door. Crystal turns on her lamp and barricades her bedroom door with her dresser. She frantically looks around her room for something to defend herself with. Its then that she remembers;
Crystal: "Blake! Blake if you're there, wake me up!"
Crystal holds her breath and listens. She realizes that she must be asleep, if that's true Blake should be close by to wake her up. She just hopes that by calling out to him in her dream, she'll call his name while she sleeps. If not….
Crystal: "Blake! Please! Wake me up!"
Crystal quickly turns around as her television turns on by itself. Crystal walks up and looks at the screen in horror. It's Crystal, asleep in her living room on the couch calling Blake's name. Blake is nowhere to be found in the living room. She's alone. The scene switches quickly to the bathroom where Blake is busy taking a leak. Crystal is instantly interrupted by the horridly burned man with the fedora and claw crashing out from behind the television out of a space that is way too small for him to have fit into in the first place, knocking it to the floor and tackling Crystal to the ground with a loud yell. Crystal screams as the pair fall to the ground and Crystal instantly grabs the man's wrist to keep his blades away from her body. The man is strong and foul, laughing with sinister glee as he tries to dig his blades into Crystal. Crystal realizes although she is dreaming, if she dies here, it's over. She knows this is what happened to Sabrina. Using all of will and might, she rolls to man over and she jumps up.
The man jumps up and Crystal leaps across her bed and lifts up the mattress as a barrier from the man, who runs and tears into the mattress with his claws and begins ripping upwards causing the stuffing to fall out. The man rips through the rest of the mattress and Crystal turns and tries to run to her bedroom door and is instantly grabbed and dragged back by her hair.
The man has Crystal by a handful of her long hair and pulls her back to him.
Man: "I got you."
Crystal screams and tries to break away, it's no use. She can't get away. Desperately Crystal whips around to face the man, crying and terrified. They are face to face. He sneers at her and brings his mouth to her and licks her face with his warm and slimy tongue. Crystal screams.
Man: "Say hello to Sabrina."
Crystal looks to her bookcase and eyes a huge pair of scissors. Desperately, Crystal grabs the scissors, opens them, and slices through her hair freeing herself, but also causing her to stumble back and fall to the floor. She eyes her bedroom door and see that she has barricaded it with her dresser, there is no way for her to move it and run out the door in time. She looks back to her tormentor who is still standing over her holding her hair. He sneers down at her with a shark like grin.
Man: "I love what you've done to your hair."
Crystal suddenly recoils as though she has been struck hair across her face. The hot stinging sensation is enough to cause Crystal to snap awake. Covered in sweat, panting in panic, Crystal sits up safe on her living room sofa. It's still the middle of the day she looks at the clock and 15 minutes have passed. Blake is standing over her looking down at her with concern. Crystal realizes she is safe and sighs with relief.
Crystal: "Jesus Blake. You couldn't have taken a piss at any other time?"
Blake looks down at her puzzle and shocked.
Blake: "What the hell happened to your hair?"
Crystal reaches up to her hair and pulls a handful of hair out of her hair. She looks down and sees her hair lying on the couch pillow. Crystal jumps up with startling realization.
Crystal: "He killed Sabrina! The guy we've been dreaming about killed her!"
Blake: "What? That's crazy Crystal. Some dream guy?"
Crystal: "He's not a dream, he's real! He killed her in her dream."
Blake: "How do you know that? Huh?"
Crystal: "Because he just came after me! He tried to kill me! JUST NOW!"
Blake: "Crystal honey…"
Blake gently places his hands on his wild eyed frantic friend's shoulders
Blake: "You've been lying here the whole time; no one was in here with you."
Crystal reaches down to the couch and grabs a huge handful of her cut hair.
Crystal: "No one was in the room with Sabrina either!"
Blake: "Well, who is he?"
Crystal: "I don't know who he is, but he's burned and melted all over, he wears a red and green sweater, and some weird hat, and he has thing glove thing with knives on each finger."
Crystal holds up her right hand and extends her four fingers, similar to her dream stalker. Blake freezes in thought as he thinks back to Sabrina's dead body; while he and Kevin were waiting for the police and ambulance he placed a blanket over Sabrina and saw the deep cuts all over her body. At the time he thought she was just cut several times over and over, however, after Crystal's description of the weapon he knows Crystal isn't making this up.
LATER THAT DAY AT THE SPRINGWOOD HIGH LIBRARY
Crystal, Jarhet, Mike, and Blake are all sitting at a table next to the checkout counter talking quietly. Crystal and Blake have filled everyone in on their conclusion. Crystal's hair is short and angular, barely coming down past her ears instead of down her back as it normally does.
Mike: "How is this possible? I mean it's crazy."
Crystal: "I know how it sounds, but it's true."
Jarhet: "I believe you, I've know you long enough to know that you're not crazy. Has anyone told Kevin?"
Blake: "Not yet, it'll be too much for him to deal with right now."
Mike: "So who is this guy, and why is he after you?"
Crystal: "I don't know. All I know is every time I fall asleep; he appears and tries to kill me. Whatever happens while you're dreaming really happens. I barely got away last time; I had to hack off my hair to get away."
Jarhet stands up.
Jarhet: "Well we need to find out more before something else happens."
Blake looks up sleepily at Jarhet
Blake: "Where are you going?"
Jarhet: "Books on dreams, nightmares, anything that can explain what's going on."
Everyone realizes that this is their only option at this point in time and begins to gather books; the small group of friends continues their research for over an hour when Blake sleepily stands up and stretches.
Blake: "I can't do this anymore right now."
Crystal: "Where are you going?"
Blake: "I am exhausted; I haven't been home in over a day. My mom is going to kill me."
Crystal stands up in protest.
Crystal: "Blake, please. There is too much going on right now. We need to stick together."
Blake: "Crystal, this is crazy. I need to at least check in with my mom. I'll call you tonight; I promise we'll get through this."
Blake quickly kisses Crystal on the cheek and leaves the library. Mike and Jarhet continue reading as Blake leaves. Mike looks up from the book that he is reading with concern. He motions for Crystal and Jarhet to read the medical book he is reading.
Mike: "Hey, look at this! After several days an insomniac will being to manifest physical symptoms; sickness, dizziness, nausea, among other things the insomniac's brain will begin to shut down momentarily and involuntarily in an attempt to recharge itself. During this period the victim will begin to experience hallucinations called micronaps; where the person is dreaming while they are awake. Clinically they are asleep, even if they are alert and walking around. After this time, the victim will fall into a coma from sleep deprivation."
Mike and Jarhet both look to Crystal, who is horrified by this revelation. Crystal realizes that she is now on a time limit to save her friends and herself.