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A Nightmare In Cravenshaw (standard:horror, 5723 words)
Author: G.H. HaddenAdded: Jan 02 2006Views/Reads: 1869/1294Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
What Craig remembers came back in the dark, and he faced it alone in his bed last night. A truth so terrible it cannot be real. It revisited him in REM sleep, when all dreams are as vivid as life—and a kid’s nightmare of death is doubly so.
 



A Nightmare In Cravenshaw 

By G.H.Hadden 

Craig lay safe on his own bed again, first time back in his own room in
over a week.  His blood boiled with the bitter words Sharon spoke, 
making him want to leap up and scream into her pretty young face, 
wanting to yank out her blonde curls and make her see that it was NOT 
Dillon's fault!  But how could he ever hope to maker her understand?  
He can hardly make sense of it himself. 

She was wearing that same pleated schoolgirl mini-skirt and mauve
sweater she had on in church this morning, the outfit he liked her in 
so much, the one that nicely accented her figure (by far the most 
advanced of any girl in the sixth grade) and often gave him a stiffy in 
class.  He used to fear the way she made him feel—-the mere sight or 
smell of her was sometimes enough to make his stomach knot and a bolt 
of static charge shoot down his spine to shock his heart alive. 

"Pheromones." Dillon used to say; that quiet and studious albino kid
with those strange pink eyes.  A natural talent with a rifle—-he once 
stunned Jimmy's dad when he drew a bead on a crow at nearly 200 meters 
and blew it clear out of the sky with almost flawless follow through.  
He probably knew too much for his own good.  And Nate: the pragmatist, 
a self confessed atheist (who was always the dread student in any 
Sunday school class) whole-heartedly agreed.  Just as he loved to argue 
with Mrs Walsh over God's creation of Earth in seven days, so too did 
he say love was nothing but a bunch of chemicals in the brain that 
turned teenagers into horny fucktards like his sister.  If Dr David 
Suzuki said it was so, well then, no use in even trying to argue the 
point.  He was the practical one all right, but how could a kid so 
interested in science possibly suck so much at math?  His grades were 
nearly as bad as Craig's before Dillon worked his magic on them all, 
turning two hopeless jocks and one would-be brain surgeon into solid C 
mathematicians. 

Back then love was something that Craig just wasn't ready for.  He tried
his best to deny it("Icky, gross girls!" he would say to Jimmy. "Hell, 
NO! I don't like Sharon!  No, I don't stare at her all through math!"); 
to ignore it—-look away—-before someone saw and the teasing would 
start... 

"First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Craig with a baby
carriage!" 

Of course, this inevitably would lead to a friendly war of
Do-too-Do-not, after which they'd both laugh about it and Craig would 
give his bestest bud Jimmy a tap on the shoulder.  This in turn led to 
some wrestling and horseplay before the end of lunch saw them all 
safely back in class for another afternoon of learning. 

But not now—not even dressed as he was in his favorite sweats and an old
T could Craig even think of getting a boner.  His mind was elsewhere 
this evening, even as her face and hair glowed in the soft lamplight 
like an innocent angel. Outside the window a gorgeous sunset unfolded 
before them, with a shroud of purple clouds foretelling of heavy spring 
rains to come. Her light scent was intoxicating as always, a fresh 
field of Easter Lilies, only now he could feel her agitation in the 
rhythm of her heartbeat. "How could he do that?" She was saying. "What 
kind of a coward kills himself in front of his friend?  You were his 
friend! How could he do that?  How could he kill his whole family like 
that and say he's sorry to YOU!" 

BUT IT'S NOT HIS FAULT!  He wanted to shake her, make her understand. 
AND HE'S NO COWARD! He's...just a boy.  A boy who acted with dignity—-a 
boy who's time on earth was enough to show Craig that indeed there must 
truly be a God in Heaven, because he had seen the hell on Earth, and to 
think that this life was to be the only chance we got was something his 
twelve-year-old mind would not allow. Not now, and not ever again. 

He saw the frustration in her face and shushed her with a finger to her
lips. He was quiet and pensive—-and, perhaps still in a state of shock. 
It's been a full ten days since that warm and sunny Thursday afternoon 
when the secret was told and consequences brought to bear.  More than 
three weeks since Jimmy's disappearance, near a month since the last 


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