A Heart's Shadow


Image source: Pixabay


In a dimly lit room, a man named Greg suddenly woke up screaming. He just had a nightmare.

“It’s the same dream again…” Greg murmured to himself, terrified. “Why do I keep dreaming the same dream every single day?”

In his dream, a shadowy figure was reaching out to him while he was in his bed, sleeping. The strangest thing about the whole thing though was the fact that he was having the same nightmare for more than a year now.

“Ever since mother died more than a year ago, I started having the same dream.”

Greg felt like he was about to go insane. He believed that any person plagued by such a nightmare nightly would feel the same.

“That shadowy figure couldn’t be mother, right? No, that’s impossible.” Greg shook his head, dispelling the idea that his own mother was haunting him through his dream.

“I did everything that mother told me. Never once did I go against her will so there’s no way that she would haunt my dreams.”

Greg had always been an obedient son. Never questioning or going against his mother. After his father died of unknown causes, Greg and his mother only had each other.

“I should go see Mr. Albert first thing in the morning.”

Luke Albert was the name of the psychiatrist that was counseling Greg for almost a year now. When Greg first experienced the strange dream, he had chosen to ignore it. After all it’s not uncommon for people to have nightmares once in a while.

Even after two months of experiencing the strange recurring nightmare, Greg still chooses to ignore it. It was only after his coworkers noticed the dark circles in his eyes, and his pale and sickly complexion did Greg decided to see a professional.

Sighing to himself, Greg gets out of bed and went to bathroom. Only after splashing some water on his face and changing his sweat-soaked pajama did Greg felt a little better.

Greg went back to his bed but simply lied there and didn’t dare to sleep again. He was afraid that he would have nightmare once he fell asleep. So despite being bored, Greg waited patiently until morning.

At the hospital.

“I see…It’s that strange dream again.”

Dr. Luke Albert or just Mr. Albert to Greg was a middle-aged man with a balding head and an amiable smile. He liked to use thick glasses because he has very poor eyesight but at the same time, it also gave him an scholarly air.

Greg had known Dr. Albert for many years now because his mother would often consult with him. He didn’t know nor question why his mother would consult with a psychiatrist but the consultation did allow Greg to know and interact with the doctor.

“Mr. Albert, can you do something about my nightmare? I feel like that I would go insane if things continue as they are.” Greg begged.

The doctor gave Greg a reassuring smile, “I’ll do what I can but I can’t make promises. The make-up of the brain is very complicated and what we currently know about dreams and nightmares are limited.” He explained.

“That said most expert believed that dreams are just emotions, memories, and information that was absorbed when we are awake during the day. So it’s possible that your nightmare was just a memory or trauma that your brain purposely had repressed.” He then asked, “Can you really not recall if something horrible had happened to you in the past?”

Greg frowns and thought really hard after hearing the doctor’s question. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t think of anything.
“I’m sorry. I can’t really think of anything.”

“I see. I know of a method that might help you recall any repress memory that you might have.” Dr. Albert then asked, “Do you wish to give it a try?”

“A method that could unearth repressed memories? Is it dangerous?” Greg asked feeling somewhat apprehensive.

Dr. Albert shook his head. “It shouldn’t be dangerous. I’ll just use hypnotism on you to dig the memories out hiding in your sub consciousness,” he explained.

Greg thought for a while before looking back at the doctor. “Alright… I’ll give it a try.”

After getting Greg’s permission, the doctor started his hypnotism. Using words and images, he gave Greg some suggestions to ease up the restriction on his mind.

At first nothing seemed to happen but after trying several times, the doctor noticed some changes in Greg’s eyes. It was only after making sure that Greg was truly hypnotized did he start asking questions.

“Have you recalled anything bad that had happened to you in the past?” The doctor started.

“…Yes.” Greg answered without emotion.

“What was it?”

“…I saw father beating mother.”

Dr. Albert was startled after hearing Greg’s words. For years he had counseled Greg’s mother but never once did she told him that her husband was abusive.

“What else do you recall?” He questioned with a furrowed brows.

“Mother was crying… pleading my father to stop. But father seemed not to hear mother’s pleas. He just keeps on beating her.”

Greg seemed to be struggling but as if a damn had burst, he just couldn’t stop talking. “I… I… feel sorry for mother so… so I ran to the kitchen and… and… aaahhhhhhh!!!!!”

“Greg, Greg, wake up!” Seeing his patient struggling, Dr. Albert quickly stopped the session and wake Greg up.

After much effort, Greg finally snapped out of his hypnotism. Despite this though, Greg’s expression was that of horror… and guilt.

“What happened? What did you remembered?” The doctor asked with a worried expression. Although Dr. Albert already had inkling to what had happened to Greg in the past, he still want to hear the entirety from the man’s own mouth.


Greg didn’t answer the doctor’s question and stayed silent as if he had become mute. But after half an hour of silence, he finally spoke.

“Please call the police.”

The shadow in his heart has finally been revealed.




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