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Nightmares

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“You killed them all.” Abby backed away in disbelief. Henry was standing over Trish's broken body. Blood dripped slowly from the knife he'd used to stab her.

“They wouldn't understand, they would have stopped us from being together.” Henry stepped towards her, desperate to make Abby understand. “Don't you see? I did it all for us.”

Trish's body flopped forward as Henry moved closer to Abby. “Jesus, Henry, she was going to be your wife!” Trish had died in her wedding dress, the fabric now stained red with blood.

“It was the only way I could get you back to the Island. So that we could be together.”

“What would make you think that I'd have any part of this? You murdered my father!”

“No - Wakefield killed your father. And I killed him for you.” Henry's calm explanation of his actions was almost more terrifying than the murders themselves. “I love you, Abby.” He reached for her but Abby backed out of his grip.

“I don't love you,” she spat. Henry's gaze darkened and his grip tightened on the knife. Abby turned and fled.

Henry yelled out her name as he laid chase and Abby pushed harder. Her heart pounded in her ears as she ran towards the dock. She made it free of the woodland area and could see the dock up ahead. Abby could make out a motorboat tied to the pier – her one chance of getting to safety.

Abby couldn’t hear Henry behind but she didn’t let up. As she reached the pier and felt the wooden panels beneath her feet, Abby had a brief moment where she believed she could escape.

She was only a few steps from the boat when something hit her and the force threw Abby forward to the ground. Abby tried to push herself up and keep going but her back suddenly erupted in agony and she collapsed. Abby lay helplessly on the pier as Henry pulled the knife from her back.

Abby knew that she should try and fight but the darkness was calling her and it was getting harder to cling to consciousness. Henry forced the knife in again and the last thing Abby heard before she slipped away was him hissing in her ear. “We could have been so happy, this is all your fault.”

She bolted awake with a scream caught in her throat. It had been months since they’d escaped from the Island but Abby wasn’t sure she’d ever escape the memories. Every night she dreamed of them, saw their cold, dead eyes and heard Henry’s twisted confession.

For her. He’d done all of it for her. That was what haunted Abby more than anything. She had begun to mentally re-examine their friendship in an effort to find something that she could have done to stop Henry from becoming a monster. It had become an obsession but she couldn’t stop, Abby had to know if it was her fault. So many people were dead.

She started to shake and next to her, Jimmy stirred. He opened his eyes and his brow furrowed as he looked up at her. “Hey. Abby, it’s all right.”

Jimmy sat up and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Abby crumbled at the contact and clung to Jimmy as the remnants of the dream still haunted her. “If I’d stayed away, they’d all still be alive.”

“Wakefield was a psychopath, he was there to finish what he started in ’01 and you being there didn’t change anything.”

“But he said…” Abby didn’t have to say who she was talking about, Jimmy already guessed.

“Henry murdered those people, not you.” He pulled her in close. “He fixated on you but it could have been anyone.”

“I killed him.” The faces of her friends and family haunted Abby’s dream but they faded in comparison to the feeling of Henry dying at her hands. She would never forget the look in his eyes as he died.

“He would have killed us if you didn’t.” Jimmy’s quiet words helped to chase away the doubt seeded by the dream. Curled up in his arms Abby could think more clearly and remember that she had done nothing wrong. She was nothing like them, she hadn’t wanted to kill Henry, but she couldn’t let him kill Jimmy.

Eventually the shaking subsided but Abby made no attempt to move. She sat and listened to Jimmy calmly explain again how none of this was her fault. It wasn’t the first night they’d spent like this and it wouldn’t be the last. They may have escaped the Island but it would be a long time before the scars began to fade. Abby had gone back to Harper’s Island for the wedding to finally put her demons to rest but instead they had lost almost everything.

Once the police had swept the area and given the all clear, some residents had started to move back to Harper’s Island. Jimmy had gone back to collect some of his things, Jimmy had never left the Island and his whole life had been there.

Abby had gone with him to the boat but refused to go any farther. She’d watched as the boat set off and looked over the water to the Island in the distance. She knew then that she’d never step foot on the Island again – there was nothing left for her there anymore.

Now that the terror induced by the nightmare had subsided Jimmy coaxed Abby to lie back down. She slid down next to Jimmy and settled against his side. After they’d escaped the Island and been picked up by the coastguard both of them had been sent to see a counsellor to talk about their experiences but it hadn’t helped. No-one else understood what it had been like on the Island and Abby couldn’t stand looking the pity in people’s eyes when they found out. The only place she felt safe now was with Jimmy, he was the only one who could chase away the nightmares and bring her down again.

Jimmy was already drifting off again next to her. After the nightmare Abby knew she wouldn’t get anymore sleep tonight so instead she passed the time by watching Jimmy sleep. At rest, Jimmy looked peaceful, like he had before Wakefield, without all the cares that he carried when he was awake. Abby leaned over and gently kissed his forehead as the worry lines smoothed out.

As she waited for dawn, Abby took comfort in the safety of Jimmy’s arms. They’d both lost so much but at least they still had each other. Together they’d escaped and together they would make it through the aftermath.