“Sleep, my daughter. Don’t be afraid. I will remain by your bedside and nothing will dare to cause you harm.”
“But… Daddy…” Elizabeth’s voice came in a strained whisper as she desperately fought the waves of slumber, pulling her deeper with each unrelenting ebb no matter how fiercely she resisted.
“Yes, my dear Elizabeth?”
“You can’t stop her. Nobody can…stop…” Her father’s voice was the last thing Elizabeth Leary heard as she slipped from the waking world into her all too familiar place of terror.
“Shhhh. Sleep now.”
Philip stayed by Elizabeth’s side, just as he had promised her. This was the third time that night she had awoken, screaming. It was also the third night that week – and it was only Wednesday. The first night it had all begun, Elizabeth had run screaming into her parents’ room. Startled out of their sleep, both Philip and Margaret leapt out of bed and ran to console their hysterical child. Elizabeth was still trapped within the walls of sleep; her eyes staring blindly through her parents into the space beyond, she kept screaming a word - a name? Namia… What did that mean? Upon realising their child wasn’t actually awake, Margaret had gently turned her around and led her back to her room, while Philip sat down on the end of the bed; the strange word Namia troubling his thoughts.
Now, as he sat by Elizabeth’s bed and watched his daughter resume sleep, her final waking words answered his question from that first night’s episode, yet posed another. Namia was a person-a woman, but who? Elizabeth had said that nobody could stop her, not even him. This began to give Philip chills. His body gave an involuntary shudder and Elizabeth’s eyes twitched uncontrollably for several seconds before opening half way and turning to look directly at him. His child was still asleep, but someone else was watching him through her eyes. Philip jumped to his feet with a start and backed away a few paces. He hesitated as those eyes continued to stare coldly. He wanted to run from the room, but at the same time, he was loath to leave his little girl alone with whoever, or more to the point, whatever seemed to have a hold on her.
To read more, be sure to check out Nocturnal Nightmares (Amazon link below) to see what other nightmare horrors my fellow writing reprobates have for you ;)