Fading Nightmares

Her musty blonde tresses fell just beyond her waist, encasing her deep charcoal eyes from which a single blackened tear rolled across her sheer, stained skin. She was trying to tell me something. Her hair was slicked backwards, her eyes averted toward the floor.This was a work of art. Except for the distant hazy silhouette of what appeared to be an animal crouching amongst the shrubs. This was near perfection. The hysteria in her eyes made you feel the panic and the anguish which bound her mind with nightmares of terror. This was clear. You could read her like a book.She was begging us to help.

I would never forget a face like that, but I never thought I’d see it again. Not since the photos disappeared seventeen years ago. The first time I saw this girl I was being nosey, snooping through someone else’s photos. The second time was the following night, except this time I was in the picture – I was watching her, all I could see was the back of her head but I knew it was her. I don’t remember what happened, I wish I did but all I remember was that it was a nightmare – the kind that haunts you for nights to come.

Seventeen years and 5 months later the photo appeared on the front of the Daily Times. I saw her for a third time.

The headline read, ‘GIRL,17, MURDERED.’

I began to panic. I read the article. This girl was 17 years and 5 months old. This picture could not be of her. It couldn’t. I saw this picture when she was only a baby. The article says the photo was taken from a CCTV camera which went dead seconds later, but that’s impossible, I know that photo, I know that girl.

‘The body of 17 year old Poppy Kay was found mutilated and disfigured in the woods approximately 15 miles from her home in Chorley in the early hours of this morning. Her distraught family are expected to make an appeal for information to the general public this afternoon. The police have not yet ruled out a vicious animal attack as they continue to gather information both from the public and the crime-scene as the investigation is ongoing. To think that a human being could possibly be capable of such ferocious actions is sickening. I have never witnessed such a merciless act committed by either animal or human. We are advising everyone within the immediate area to not go out alone or after dark, we have officers patrolling the area to ensure everyone is kept safe, if you have any information regarding this case do not hesitate to contact us. Quoted from the police statement released this morning.’

I could feel myself shaking, this was unreal. I had to tell the police what I know. But what did I know? I know I saw that girl in that exact photo exactly 17 years and 5 months ago.But, I can’t prove it. No one else but me saw the photos, no one else but me knew about them. They were never collected, they were just left behind the counter until I came in one morning and they’d gone. I asked everyone about them, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about, they had never seen them in the first place, that’s when I began to doubt myself. Thought I’d dreamed the whole thing up, especially with the nightmare that I couldn’t remember. Until this morning that is, the photos that I saw 17 years ago were real as real as the murder of this innocent girl.

I had to tell someone about the photos, about the nightmare, even if I have no proof, even if they don’t believe me, I have to do it, for that girl, for Poppy.

I told them, I went into the local station and told them everything; I filled out a form and sat in an interview room for 45 minutes before an officer came to take my statement, he thought I was making it up, I could tell by the look in his eyes – he thought I was crazy. He asked me who brought the photos in to be developed, I described her, a completely normal looking teenager about 18 years I thought, but that was just a guess, she had thick deep brown hair with flat green eyes that looked tired, she was average build but a bit taller than your average teenager. He looked at me and shook his head and said, “You’ve just described a younger version of yourself.” I looked at him baffled – I guess I had but I’d never thought about it like that before. I just thought she was a normal woman.The officer said they’d be in touch if they needed any more information, somehow I doubt they will.


*           *           *           *           *           *


I was 35 then, it was a tragedy. The whole country mourned the death of 17 year old Poppy Kay. I’ve spent the last 49 years going over and over it again and again. I’ve read every article, I’ve seen every news report, every documentary – I just wanted to make sense of it all. Why was I involved? I never understood why I was picked, why did I deserve to suffer anymore? I just wanted to let go – to forget. But every morning the nurse wakes me up, everything is fine, until I take my medication –then I remember and I can’t forget. Even when I go to sleep I dream about her, what she would be like – she’d be 67 now. Then, when I wake up I forget everything – I never remember the dreams just like I could never remember what happened in that nightmare.

This morning was different –it was exactly 50 years ago today that Poppy Kay was murdered – her killer never found. And I remembered what happened in that nightmare 67 years ago.

My name is Jade Porter I’m 85 years old and living in a nursing home.

And I murdered Poppy Kay.

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Short Story
writing life_lies
"People talk about the ups and downs of life but never seem to mention the average days which ultimately define who we are."
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I wrote this 18 months ago as part of my English Language A level. Finally got round to posting it!
Published Date
1/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
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