Fiction: It Started with a Dream

In the winner of our spooky horror fiction contest, at a family get-together, the line between Maya’s recurring nightmare and reality blurs.


Hira H. Arif


November 6, 2020


6 min

Maya was sweating in her sleep. Her recurring nightmare had gotten more vivid. She was trapped somewhere dark, crouched in a corner in the dream, breathing fast but quietly. It smelled moldy and old. She was trying to see, but it was like she was blind — her eyes searching for light in the pitch-black room.

She sat, not knowing what else to do. Should she scream? Her mouth felt dry. No matter how hard she tried, the words would not come out. No one knew she was here. No one was coming to help.

Something moved across the room. Maya held her breath, realizing she wasn't alone. Suddenly, there was a sound, soft at first but getting louder. It was growling.

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