The Taylight Zone - Anthology Eight

18 - With You in Your Dreams - Andrea

Hotaru fell to the ground. Brushing the dirt off her clothes, she yelled "YOU'RE GONNA PAY FOR THIS ZACHARY HANSON! AND NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP YOU THIS TIME!" She threw a few rocks at him but missed.

Zac rolled his eyes. "Yeah right. What are you gonna do?"

"I plan on getting you where no one can help you."

"And where would that be?" Zac smirked.

Hotaru smiled sweetly. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret!"

Zac walked away. "Yeah right, you can't do anything to me, freak!"

Hotaru stood up and brushed herself off. Her boots were scuffed, her black skirt dusted with traces of dirt, and the blue flame shirt covered with a huge grass stain. After re-adjusting her sunglasses, she walked home.

How did this start anyway?

All she did that day was sit down on a bench, which Zac just happened to be sitting on. Then it turned into ruin-Hotaru's-life day. What had she done to him?

Oh well, too late for that now. Zac should never have started it. .....Now what am I going to do to him?

*****Later That Night*****

Hotaru dialed Zac's number.

Tay picked up. "Hello?"

"Uh... is Zac there?"

"Yeah, hang on. Who is this?"

Hotaru hesitated. "...Hotaru."

"Okay, hang on." Tay handed the phone to Zac.

"Who is it?"

"Some person named Hotaru."

"Tell that freak she can kiss my ass."

Tay held the phone back up to his ear. "Sorry, he's not exactly able to come to the phone right now."

"I heard what he said. You don't have to lie to me."

"What does he have against you?"

"I don't know."

"Oh. Well, can I take a message."

"No, just hold out the phone so he can hear me."

Tay was confused. He did it anyway.

Hotaru yelled something that sounded like it was in another language. Zac did hear it, perfectly, and it scared him. There was something in her tone. Suddenly he remembered what she had said. YOU'RE GONNA PAY FOR THIS ZACHARY HANSON! AND NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP YOU THIS TIME! He shook it off. She was just trying to scare him.

Hotaru hung up and closed her book. That night she went to sleep very happy.

*****Next Day*****

It was already noon, and Zac wasn't up yet.

Diana turned Tay. "What time did he go to sleep?"

"Same time as me, about 11:00."

"He must be sick..." Diana was worried. Zac was usually up at the crack of dawn, bouncing off the walls.

She into their room. "Zac?"

He didn't respond. "Zac?"

He still didn't respond.

Diana placed her hand on Zac's forehead. "Oh my God! Tay, get me the thermometer!"

After a few minutes, she took the thermometer out of his mouth. Diana tried to wake Zac again, but he wouldn't. "Tay, call a doctor."

Zac was aware that his mother was there. He tried to wake up, but he couldn't. Instead, he was surrounded by darkness. "What the hell is going on? What did I do to deserve this?"

From what he could see in the darkness, there was movement. "H-hello?"

Laughter. "I told you I could get you where no one would be able to help you. No one can get to you in dreams."


Hotaru stopped laughing. "I want you to to pay and suffer."

"What did I do to deserve this?"

"Oh, you know... you just made my life a living hell yesterday... FOR NO REASON."

"You know I didn't mean it!"

"If I knew you didn't mean it, I wouldn't be doing this to you, would I?"

Zac stood there, speechless. He had no reason for doing any of those things. "You're right, I'm sorry. Now can I just get outta here?"

Hotaru walked over so she was nose to nose with Zac. "You know, I thought you were supposed to be so polite and stuff like that to your fans. Well, I guess not." She grinned and kissed Zac on the cheek. "Sweet dreams Zachary."

Before Zac could do anything else, Hotaru was gone.

Zac didn't know how long he had been there in the dark. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain across his chest. Zac reached up, and pulled his hand away, wet.

He was no longer in the dark. He was stranded in the middle of nowhere, bleeding from his chest.

"Hotaru, I'm sorry! I really am!" Zac kicked at a rock. "Can I go now? I really mean it, I'm sorry."


"Well, maybe I can find a doctor in this dream." He started to walk down the road, bleeding, with buzzards circling above him.

Diana came back up to check on Zac. She could hear him squirming and kicking. "Zac? Are you awake?"

She saw him holding his chest and doing something like walking. "Zac? Zac, are you okay?"


Diana sat down in the room and watched him. "Zac, where are you?"

"Mom! I'm right here! Mom! Get Hotaru to get me outta here! Please? I'm really bored..."

Of course she didn't hear him.

Zac sat down on a rock. "I'M SO BORED!"

Hotaru appeared again. "You're bored?"

"Eh? Yeah... I mean it, I'm sorry." Zac looked back in the direction he had come from. "I've had a lot of time to think about this, as you can plainly see. I don't know why I did it. I wasn't in a good mood and you were the first person around. I do that a lot."

Hotaru rolled her eyes. "Yeah, you only say that so you can get out of here. After that you'll just do it again."

Zac looked at her. "How do you know?"

"I just do. Now leave me alone."

"You're the one coming and going."

"You really want to get out of here?"

Zac's hopes were up. "Yes!"

"Well everyone's aware of what you're doing."


Hotaru walked off.

Zac thought about it. He saw a stick. Since there was nothing else to do, he might as well try to get an SOS. "Get Hotaru to get me outta here."



Zac knew what Hotaru meant now. "Hit redial on our phone," he wrote into the dirt.

Zac waited. "Hotaru?"




"Great, I'm stuck here." He looked down at his chest. It was forming a nice scar when everything went back to dark.

"Ahhh!!!" More pain, more bleeding. There were now more cuts.



"Dammit you bitch! Let me outta here! I didn't mean it! Just end it okay? JUST END IT!"

Another sharp pain.

"Ahh! Quit it! I asked you to let me out, not kill me!"

"I am letting you out."

"By killing me? Yeah, thanks!"

More pain. Zac was dying. "Help, please..." Zac rolled over.



Zac opened his eyes. "Tay?"

Tay sat down in front of Zac. "Who's Hotaru? You kept saying something in your sleep about..."

Zac shot up. "She let me out! By dying, she let me out!"


"You know that girl who called last night?"

"Zac, nobody called last night."

"Yes they did!"

"Get some fresh air you freak..."

Zac looked in the mirror. "Was I just dreaming?" He lifted his shirt. There were the scars.

He looked at himself in horror. He ran outside. "Hotaru? Hey, where are you? You think I'm gonna let you off that easy?"

Zac sat down on the bench. Someone sat down on the bench beside him.

"Hi Zac."

Zac looked over. "What do you want? You think you can just kill me?"

She looked confused. "What?"


Zac didn't walk off this time. That's how this started... "I'm sorry for being an ass hole."

Hotaru stood up. "Huh?"

"I'm not gonna treat you like crap. I didn't mean it. Something really weird happened last night, and I wasn't in a good mood."

Hotaru stood there. "You should've said that yesterday and the day before that."