The Online Newspaper of Lakewood High School

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

“Up All Night” by Ethnee McKissick


I look at my window waiting for the rain to stop not wanting it to be too cold when I leave. I’ve been scrolling through tik tok, reading books, and watching movies after school all day. After I did my homework, I didn’t know what to do! I didn’t have any chores and I don’t have a job. I haven’t been able to sleep and honestly I don’t know if I want to at this point. I haven’t been able to sleep since I was a kid. I thought it was normal but when I asked my friends..well, old friends, about it they said it was weird and started laughing at me. Yes, it’s exhausting but is there a point to it anymore? My mom says I have insomnia but I think there is something wrong with me. 

I have made use of my sleepless nights. I get more homework done so I’m never behind in any of my classes. I can also think things through better. I’ve actually been up for about 3 hours since my bedtime started. I look at the clock and realize that since it’s so early in the morning everyone is finally asleep and I can leave. 

I slowly get out of bed and start walking downstairs. No one is around me and even if they were, would they notice me? Usually I think people are staring at me all the time but, with my family no one looks at me, no one pays attention, no one acts until something big happens. When it does, they do what they think is best for me, not what I know would be best for me. They don’t ask me. I try to push those thoughts to the back of my mind and get back to what I’m doing. I look up the stairs and once I see no one is behind me, I leave the house. It’s not raining anymore but it’s still a little chilly. I’m glad that I have a sweater though.

I don’t know where I’m going at this point. I think I’ll just wander around the town and look at the sites. There’s this little place near my house where the ownersused fairy lights and candles to decorate it. It’s this little gazebo and people always have picnics there and dates and just hang out. I haven’t been there in a while. It’s my first time leaving the house at night in about a month or two. I sleep when I can and leave when I can’t sleep, which is almost all of the time. I take melatonin but sometimes it doesn’t work. 

On my walk I started to think of the nightmares I’ve had throughout my life. Usually it’s the same one, over and over and over again. I can’t ever seem to get it out of my head. I’m always wandering away from school in this one, no one looking at me, no one asking questions, no making me feel insecure about everything which is rare when people don’t stare. It’s like a cut in a movie when I find myself at some rocks in a pattern of a stingray at the bottom of the shore line, the one of Huntington beach. I just sit there and look at the water.

I don’t always know why I’m there. Sometimes it’s for peace, other times it’s because I just want to be there other than that though, I never know. It’s kind of a habit you could say, that I go there. I was actually thinking of going there tonight while there is no one there but considering how my dream ends, i’d rather not. As soon as I start to leave the beach some creature comes out of the water and I’m frozen in fear. It reaches for me and I feel like I can’t do anything about it. I’m limp as it drags me into the water. I’m at the bottom of the lake when it let’s go and I try to swim back up to the surface.  I hold my breath for as long as I can but I can never hold it long enough to get any air. I end up drowning and I can somehow see myself on the bottom of the lake. 

What should I do? Do I just continue looking at my lifeless looking body at the bottom of a lake? I can’t seem to move so I try looking around. There are more. More people my age. Everyone has someone by them, just staring at them. It doesn’t look like the same person though. They look deformed. As soon as I finish that thought, someone comes up to my body. It’s the same person who took me down here. Every time I have this dream he gets more and more deformed. He does the same thing as he does when I see him. He swoops me up and carries me to a different part of the lake. He just stares at me. The man backs away and rummages through a duffle bag.

He’s pulled out a knife, like the ones they use in butcher shops. He comes up to my face and makes teeny tiny little cuts, they look like gills. Then he makes more on my neck and on my torso. I thought I was dead, I can..feel the cuts he’s making. I try screaming in agony but I can’t seem to get any noise out. The deformed man then starts going for my eyes. I can feel a stinging sensation. I can see red growing around my body. It hurts so much!

“AHHHHHHHH!” I let out a blood curdling scream when I can finally move and somehow be heard by this man. He looks up and points to something behind me. I turn around and see everyone who was also at the bottom of the lake, they are all behind me with the same cuts as the man was making on me. Their eyes were gone; replaced with what looks like fish eyes. Were these crazy people trying to make up fish? What about my family?

I knocked myself out of my day dream when I hit a pole. It was one of the poles on the gazebo. I didn’t realize how much I was into the dream. I sit down at the gazebo and start going on my phone. I guess I didn’t realize that my brother was texting me asking where I was. I texted him back saying I was at my usual spot. My older brother knows about my insomnia and knows I leave the house. I try to not think about my nightmare any more and think about how my brother has always been there for me. He’s put a tracker on my lanyard, I wear it everytime I leave because it has my house keys on it and just to make sure if I ever get lost he’ll know where to find me. 

I look over and see a similar looking person to me walking on the shoreline. She looks deformed like how I am in my dreams. I push the thought in the back of my head and remember that my brother is on his way. He always tries to keep an eye on me every time I leave, he’s worried my dream might come true. How would my dream come true? It’s not like we live in some kind of fairy tale world where every time you wish in a shooting start your wish comes true. The world is not a fairy tale. I adjust myself in the gazebo and hear a grunt that wasn’t from me. I see a familiar looking dude walking on the path. I notice what he looks like. The world is not a fairy tale. I repeat this over and over again as the man from my nightmares walks up to me. The world is not a fairy tale. It can’t be! Right?

Artist name= Rose Lipka
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ethnee McKissick, Student Reporter
Class of 2023!

Comments (0)

All Lakewood Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *