Peer Review by Aarushikrishnan (United States)

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By: Johanna


Nightmares plague her dreams.

She keeps her curtains open, but the windows stay closed. The lights stay on, and the blankets pile upon her bed, so she won't feel the tingles on her skin when fear eats her up and her heart pounds.

She calls herself insomniac, but she's just scared to sleep. Scared to wake up gasping with no one to comfort her. Scared to wake up sweating, tangled in her blankets- yet too scared to let the non-existent spiders crawl on her bare skin. No, the blankets cannot go. She is a mere child wanting comfort and peace.

Some nights, she sit up on her bed and slip out of reality- not by sleeping, but by reading. Some nights, she just simply watches the stars, and wish that she can be up there. Some nights, she holds a cup of hot chocolate, sipping the hot liquid even if it burns her throat and tongue. Some nights, she can't resist her drooping eyelids and fall asleep. 

And the nightmares attack.

They show her the death of her most loved people, they show her those who are already gone. They pull the strings of her memories and morph them into even more horrible things. She fears.

She fears the dark, she fears the shadow. She fears the moment her heart starts pounding and her lungs refuse to work with her. Oh, how she wishes she can escape- she dreams about a place with no shadows and no sleep, where no nightmares can haunt her.

And, when the first ray of sunlight peaks from behind the horizon, relief floods through her. No more nightmares. Warmth slowly seeps back into her, even if she's already soaked, head to toe in sweat. The light will shine into her room, and the trepidation of night will be delayed again.

Yet, it'll only be twelve hours, before horror settles down and lashes out at her again.

Message to Readers

You like?

Peer Review

I really liked how you didn't represent 'first rays' as the start of something good that can never worsen, your unique take on the idea was fresh and interesting to read!

I would like a deeper insight into the 'nightmares and shadows'. Perhaps you could align them with some sort of metaphor to really make your writing shine. Your choice, though, of course!

Reviewer Comments

Thank you so much for participating in my contest, this piece was a pleasure to read! I'll be looking forward to more from you!