[NOTE: this is the fourth chapter (click here for the first, here for the second, and here for the third) of a psychological horror story based on an audio film of the same name by my musician friend, Cat Corelli, something I wrote up an analysis for; you can learn more about that here. Before you begin reading, though, TRIGGER WARNING: as a horror story, this one has some graphic content of a violent and sexual nature; so if you’re one of my readers with C-PTSD or other forms of psychological trauma, you may want to skip this one. As for you braver souls, though, read on…]
As Alice drifted back into unconsciousness, she remembered a dream of Lily’s, when the girl was thirteen years old. She was in Danny’s car, going along the Oregon coast on a vacation. She looked out the car window and sighed with a smile as she watched the peaceful ocean waves flowing by her side. Some Sixties saxophone lounge music, like something from a noir film, was playing on the car radio.
Alice heard a voice say, “It’s all beneath your skin,” as she felt herself returning to Lily’s head in that dark, mental ocean. Coming back into Lily’s consciousness, Alice wondered, What is all beneath my skin?
Now as Lily, she sat in the passenger’s seat, trying to ignore Daddy’s Dan’s non-steering, right hand on her knee. The sentence repeated in her mind over and over again, like a mantra: It’s all beneath your skin.
Lily herself was drifting off to sleep, and and in Lily’s dream, that mantra grew into a song.
The Mystery Girl’s voice said, “.ecilA, pu ekaw ot emiT”
Lily got scared, and the wind blew heavier, howling against her slightly-opened car window. Her consciousness, merged with that of Alice, sank deeper into farther removed states of unconsciousness…beyond repressed memories, and into dreams within dreams.
It was like going into a dark basement cellar, then opening a secret door in the floor and entering a second basement cellar below, even darker than the first, then going down into a third, even darker cellar, and so on, and so on…
Finally, fully as Lily, she saw herself as a teen with Danny somewhere in the country, near the Alps. The June sun was shining in an ocean of blue skies, with only occasional white islands for clouds. Cows and sheep could be heard grazing on the grass.
Danny was wearing lederhosen, and she, sixteen, was in a dirndl. Her hair was in pigtails, each arching cutely over her ears.
He looked down at her, with lustful eyes thinly disguised as loving. She looked up at him and frowned.
“How lovely you are,” he said in a badly-mimicked German accent. He put his arm around her and tried to pull her up close to him. She resisted.
“Daddy, no,” she said in a trembling voice.
“I can’t let go of such a treasure,” he said, still in the faux German accent.
She avoided his eyes and looked at his legs. No longer in lederhosen, he now wore black pants and black leather shoes.
“Please, Daddy, let me go,” she said, struggling to pull free from his tight grip. She looked up and saw him in a uniform of the SS.
He looked down at her with cruel eyes. No longer in Danny Torrance’s body, her father now had the form of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda.
“You must obey your father, you little bitch!” He slapped her.
She drifted still further into a deeper, darker level of unconsciousness. Lily was swimming on waves of pitch black…or trying to swim, for she looked behind herself and saw only one leg! The bloody stump where the other leg should have been was dying the black water red.
She struggled to keep her head above water. She panted in desperation for air. She felt her face often sink below, the reddish-black water rising to her eyes.
Soon, she found herself swimming in nothing but red. Only the sky was black. She could hardly see anything.
She passed out, and fell into an even deeper level of unconsciousness.
Now she found herself in a brightly-lit hotel lobby. The elevators were directly in front of her, about ten metres away.
Blood started pouring through the side openings of the elevator doors. The red filled the lobby like the Great Flood.
What is this? Alice thought. The Overlook Hotel?
She felt that blood gushing out of her leg-stump like a cascade of red. Lily’s skin grew lighter and lighter. She looked like a living corpse.
It’s all beneath my skin, Lily thought, over and over again.
Then she heard the voice of a man by her left ear. He said, in a badly imitated southern accent, “Time to wake up, pretty girl.”