Excerpts taken from the diary of Angela Pleasant.

Had the dream again.

*                 *                 *

I think I’m running out of air.

My room smells funny. I asked Mom about it, thinking maybe she’d installed some new air freshener or something without my knowledge, but she insists that not only would she never (although she has before, which is why I asked), but she doesn’t know what I’m talking about. She says my room smells “fine”.

But there’s an earthy smell in here, something damp and almost… sweet? Not in a good way.

I’ve searched everything, even the closet, but there was nothing to find. I finally gave up and tried to open my window, but the wind was doing that howling thing again, and I couldn’t stand it. I had to close it again.

*                 *                 *

Still smelling it. Can’t find a source.

I’m afraid it’s in my head somewhere.

Something rotting and meaty inside of me.

I can’t get it out.

*                 *                 *

I take the pills to help me sleep.

I can’t manage without them. Sometimes, I can’t manage with them. But when they work, I burrow so deeply in the darkness that not even the nightmares (and I know they’re looking) can find me.