Eden unclasped the brooch behind her neck loosening her dress as she massaged her neck. She lifted up the newspaper on her dresser, October 29, 1886, President Cleveland Dedicates Lady Liberty to our Allegiance With France. Eden dropped the paper back onto her dresser and let her hair down. He golden locks of hair dropping to her shoulders. She picked up her white party mask and held it over her face abruptly before setting it back down. “What a boring party that was,” she mumbled to herself. Eden slipped into her nightgown and opened her bedroom door shouting down to her parents, “Mama, Papa, I’m off to bed. Goodnight.”
Eden’s mother appeared at the edge of the stairs, “Goodnight sweetheart, did you have fun at the party?”
“I certainly liked that Charles boy dear, hopefully we see a bit more of him?”
“Stop it Ma, besides he’s a bit old,” Eden huffed. “Goodnight.”
Eden’s mother smirked, “Goodnight,” she replied.
Eden shut the door and sat down on the side of her bed. Taking a breath she thought about Charles. He was way too old, she thought. Afterall, Eden was only 17 and Charles was 24. She wasn’t even done with her schooling yet, and there was her mother taking a liking to a grown man. Eden rolled her eyes and fell onto her pillow. She reminisced of the party, the new Statue of Liberty being erected off the shore of the city, and finally being in her last year of schooling. She was excited to be almost done with school, yet the thought of being done and tying herself down to a husband was horrifying and even just downright gross to her. The last thing she wanted right now was to attach herself to a man, and the thought of carrying a child was even less appealing. Eventually, Eden’s eyes began to weigh themselves down and she dozed off to sleep.
She awoke, but she was on the street, standing there in the middle of the road in New York except the streets were completely empty. It was abnormally dark, and the sky had a blood-red tinge to it. The full moon shining through the clouds hardly illuminated the streets. Eden looked around and up at the buildings, every window was pitch black. In the distance down the street ahead of her there seemed to be something moving, an animal of some sort, but Eden was unable to make out the shape of anything that she could identify. She slowly approached the figure, her heels clicking under her dress as she approached. The dark figure seemed hunched over, and much larger than any animal that would be seen in New York City.
As she came closer to the figure, she could hear the thing breathing, the low hum of its breath synchronized with the movement of the figure as its body slowly contracted with each breath that it expelled. When Eden got close to the figure she could see this was no normal animal. It was facing away from her and its skin wasn’t skin at all, it was analogous of that to an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton was glaring back at her, the moonlight reflecting off the figure. It had six limbs tucked under its body and a long tail that curled over the top of it. Eden knelt down next to the figure, this thing looked as if it would be about as tall as a large dog if it was standing up on all six of its legs. The figure reminded Eden of a very misshapen scorpion. As she peered around the figure to look at its head, the tail suddenly shot out at her. The tail gripped her wrist and wrapped up her arm to her shoulder. Eden felt as if the bones in her arm were going to shatter into pieces, her elbow contorting into directions it shouldn’t have been able to bend. Eden bit her lip to stop a scream from coming out, blood welling up in her mouth. The monster’s tail lifted her up off the road and suspended her in the air by her arm. Eden clicked her heels together violently, struggling to try and free herself from its grip. She looked down at the monster, and its head slowly turned up to look at her. Its head was in the shape of an elongated egg and nothing was on the face but four shiny black eyes resembling a spider’s. Eden finally emitted a shriek from her mouth, the empty streets echoing with the scream. The monster clenched its grip, the tail tightening around her arm. Eden could feel her elbow tightening, twisting against the joint. Her arm came to a halt as it twisted, then suddenly, it snapped.
Eden flung her head up from her pillow. She sat up in her bed, holding her elbow, her forehead coated in sweat. Her chest expanded and collapsed with each rapid breath she took. She looked down at her left arm, the light through the window shining on her revealed a long red mark that wrapped all the way up to her shoulder.
“Well to me, it looks like an allergic reaction of some sort,” the doctor said.
Eden’s father snapped up from his seat, pointing to her arm, “That! Is an allergic reaction? Are you serious? She clearly has bruises under the reaction of, whatever that is!”
“What were you doing before bed miss Eden?” the doctor asked.
“I was at a party. A formal one.”
“Ah, maybe something at the party caused this reaction. With people buzzing about, who knows what may have ended up brushing against you that your body reacted to oddly.”
Eden’s father stormed out of the building angrily with Eden right behind him. “Allergic reaction..” he grumbled. “Come on Eden, we are going to see another doctor.”
Eden chased after him, “Father! Father, wait! Maybe we should just give it some time. See if it heals on its own.” Everyone walking by on the street was staring at them. Eden pulled on her jacket to cover up the mark on her arm.
“Maybe, this could be something very serious though. I have never seen anything like this,” he responded.
“Just a few days, let’s see if it gets any better.”
After a couple of days, the coloration of the marks on her arm started to shift, and it was hurting much less. It definitely seemed to be healing and Eden, and her parents decided to let it heal on its own, but still keep a close eye on it. Eden refused to tell anyone about the dream. The dream she had would either make her seem crazy, or that she was making it up entirely for attention. There was no way anyone would believe her. The dream she had hasn’t repeated itself since, and Eden didn’t see it as a problem unless it came up again. It may have just been her brain creating an odd scenario to explain the mark on her arm, to give a reason to it. However, a similar dream did happen again, that night.
Eden’s heels echoed down the empty streets of New York City again. This time though, the monster was nowhere to be seen. Eden could hear the monster lurking in the shadows, however she was unable to locate where it was exactly. Eden was smacking her forehead with her palm, trying to get herself to wake up. She knew she was dreaming again, yet she knew something horrible was going to happen, just like last time. She could hear the monster’s breathing, his six limbs prattling about in alleys to her left, and down dark dead ends to her right. The echoes of the sounds made it impossible for her to distinguish where they were coming from. Eden didn’t even know where to run, it seems like the sounds of the monster were coming from all directions.
Eden sat down on the side of the street. She gripped her hair with her fingers and pulled. “Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up!” she screeched while yanking her hair and clenching her eyes shut. Then, she heard the sound of breathing closing in behind her. She slowly turned her head to look over her shoulder, and those four black shiny eyes were glaring into hers just inches away from her face. She got up to run, but her legs were immediately pulled out from under her. The monster’s tail was gripped around her ankle and it slithered around her leg and up her body. The monster lifted her up off the ground, suspending her in the air upside down by her ankle. The monster’s tail wrapped around her entire body, violating every inch of her and the tail then wrapped around her neck. The end of the tail stopped before her face, and it opened up like a mouth, slime clinging to each end of the tail as the mouth opened. Eden let out a scream and wriggled like a fly caught in a web. Eden’s scream was then muffled as the monster plunged it tail into her mouth. She could feel the tail lurching down her throat, and invading the inside of her body. The tail twisted around and into her belly as Eden’s eyes widened, and involuntary screams were muffled by the tail probing into her stomach. The monster’s tail then ripped out of her mouth, unwrapped from her body, and let her collapse onto the pavement. The monster then crept back into a dark alley and into the shadows. Eden’s entire body felt like it was it was dropped in a tub of acid, her entire body burned, inside and out. A wave of nausea rushed to her head and she felt vomit rushing up her throat.
Eden rolled over the side of her bed vomiting on the hardwood floor. She spit onto the floor into the puddle of refuse and crawled out of bed, stepping over the puddle to turn on the light. As she clicked the knob to turn on the light, she looked down at her body. Her belly was swollen, as if pregnant, and her skin crawled and moved as if a fetus was pressing its hands against the inside of her belly.