Author's note: Hi everyone! Now, if you've been following me on here, you may have seen that I'd started another Being Human fanfic with the same title. This is the new, updated version of that. I've been sitting on this story for over a year now, and I've even written future chapters of it that I'm quite proud of that, currently, are hidden away in my notebook. I plan to share them one day. However, I didn't like the direction the story was going in initally, so I've decided to start again. Whether I keep the original version, I'm not sure, but this will be the one that I continue on with. I hope you enjoy.
A sea of nothingness engulfed Erin and strangled her like one giant python, curling itself around her fragile neck until she was, gasping, fighting for breath. As all the weight shifted to that area, she felt the rest of her body fall limp. She felt as though she was being lifted into the air by the forceful grip around her. It pulled her up, higher, and higher, and higher...
And then smashed into the ground as though she was worthless.
Her face came into contact with a rough, rocky surface; pieces of stones and dust imprinting into her cheeks. She quickly tried to dust herself off. As the grip around her throat loosened, she breathed quickly, heavily, trying to snatch back all the oxygen she had been starved of. Her body was so weak that she can barely stand.
"NO! No, please!"
It was in that moment that Erin stopped focussing on her own wellbeing. That voice was not hers.
The dark, blank atmosphere was beginning to fade. Gradually, she could see that she wasn't in the middle of nowhere. As she became accustomed to her surroundings, she could see trees, grass; a forest clearing was not far away.
"PLEASE-" That was the last word she heard before a blood-curdling scream echoed around her.
Erin began to recognise the voice.
"GEORGE?!" She shrieked, trying to get closer to the clearing; her legs stumbling from the weakness.
All she had to do was follow his cries of pain. The louder he was, the more it killed her on the inside.
She reached the clearing, and laying on the muddy path below her were two men. One of whom was clearly dead; his corpse was a pale green and covered in blood...fresh blood. His eyes laid partially open and he was motionless. The sight twisted Erin's stomach as she watched him in horror.
The man laying next to him was still alive, but only just. He has a gash on the left side of his chest which he was desperately trying to cover up with the palm of his right hand, as pools of scarlet seeped through his fingers. His body quivered helplessly as he was rapidly losing blood, and consciousness.
Erin also knew him all to well.
His name was George Sands, and he was her brother.
"GEORGE!" She screamed again, crying uncontrollably. She rushed to his side, unsure of what to do. She rested one of her arms under his head and used her hand on the other arm to place over his, in order to stop the blood. It was a useless attempt.
"CAN ANYONE HELP ME?!" Erin called out urgently into the open air.
George coughed weakly and looked up at his sister. "...Erin..."
"It'll be okay, George." She told him, her voice shaky. "We'll get you to a hospital and you're gonna be fine, alright? Just tell me what I need to do."
He was struggling to keep his eyes open. "...You need to...run..."
She looked down at him, shocked. "What?! George, I'm not leaving you here!"
"I mean it, Erin..."
"No! I'm not gonna lose you again!"
"Erin, he's right. You gotta get out of here," a new voice spoke. The new voice had an American accent, and it was one that she did not recognise.
Instantly, she flinched and turned around.
A man was stood above them...the same man whose body laid next to George. The American was stood over it, and he was identical to the body; same hair, eyes, clothes...everything except for the sallowness of skin and blood.
Erin screamed. She couldn't stop glancing between him and the corpse that resembled him. This could not be possible.
"But you...you're him...you're-"
"Dead, yeah I know." He shrugged. "And you will be too, if you don't leave right this minute."
"Look, your brother's gonna be fine," he told her. "If he were gonna die, it would've happened by now. He's a survivor."
"...I don't understand..." she whispered.
"I wish I could explain it to you, but there's really no time. All you need to know is that George isn't gonna die, but you might if you decide to stick around and help him. He's not your brother anymore, kid."
None of what he was saying made any sense to her. And how dare he say that he isn't her brother anymore? What could he possibly mean by that?
But all of the troubling thoughts she was having were immediately hushed and something unexplainable happened. A white, wooden door emerged in front of one of the trees. Erin's jaw dropped to the ground.
"Well, this is me." The dead man said casually, leaning back against this mysterious door. "Again, I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful, but you'll figure this all out in no time. See you on the other side."
The man opened the door and a beacon of sky blue light shone straight out of it, making Erin squint. He walked through the strange door like it was nothing, as though it was as mundane as walking through the front door to your own home.
When it closed behind him, both the man and the door disappeared without a trace.
As Erin looked at the tree, extremely bewildered, she turned back to her brother.
George's eyes darkened.
She froze in terror as the single syllable in the word 'go' had been dramatically elongated, ending the word in a growl. George was now shaking uncontrollably in her arms, almost as if he was trying to break free, accompanied with more strangled growls and hisses.
Maybe the dead guy was right...maybe this wasn't her brother anymore.
As she looked into his bloodshot eyes, she saw a flicker of something strange. Something that sent a chill through her body.
It was as though her brother was possessed. He didn't seem human.
Reluctantly, she removed her arm from underneath his head and stood up, legs trembling in fear. She didn't want to leave him, but it looked as though it was too late to help him.
Instantly, George stood up, as though the fatal injury had melted away somehow.
He rushed straight towards his sister, and tackled her to the ground.
George tried to kill her.
Erin awoke in a cold sweat, breathing heavily, her hands clutching her duvet for dear life in order to try to keep them still. She began to cry; whether it was tears of sadness or relief that it was nothing more than a bad dream, she didn't know.
That was the seventh nightmare about her brother that she'd had in that month alone, growing ever so frequently as the second anniversary of his death was quickly approaching.
Two years prior, her elder brother George Sands - whom she was very close with - died mysteriously on a mini break in Scotland with his fiance. Erin remembered hearing about the story on the local news and radio, but there was very little to report. No one knew exactly how he died. She had done well to convince herself that it wasn't true; that he was still alive and it was just yet another reporter getting it wrong.
However, when a funeral service was held for him a week later, and his fiance was sat with them in the front row, sobbing uncontrollably, Erin knew she had to accept the harsh truth.
Their parents were still broken, of course. But, as the classic saying goes; time heals all wounds. They learned how to cope with the loss, as did his fiance; she eventually married someone else and started a family. Everyone learned how to move on.
Everyone except for Erin.
A whole catalogue of George-related nightmares were filed deep away in her brain, many of which were theories of how he could have passed away. Sometimes she'd dream that he had fallen down a flight of stairs, or drowned in a lake, or that he had died in a fire.
This was the first time that she had dreamt he had become a...something that she could not describe. And of all the nightmares that she had, this was by far the worst. To see her brother's eyes and personality distort into something that could not be further outside of reality was beyond disturbing.
In every dream, there was always an ounce of hope that it was real and she was reunited with George at last...and then her subconscious would create endless new ways for him to die and she would have to watch. It was torture, and it seemed that there was no way to escape it.
Although close with her mum and dad, she would hardly speak to them, at least not as much as she used to. She'd come home from work crying her eyes out, locking herself away and only leaving her bedroom to eat her dinner.
They found those moments particularly difficult; their daughter would sit there, quietly eating, not looking at them or saying a word. They'd try and lighten the mood, talk about weekend plans, holidays, something funny they watched on TV, but barely anything would elicit a response.
And, if it did, the conversation would normally take a dark turn...
"I think we should have a weekend away," her mum would say, happily. "We've all been working hard and I think it's about time we reward ourselves."
"Good idea, love." Her dad would smile. "Erin, what do you think?"
"Okay." She would say gloomily, before looking down at the table. "How about Scotland?"
"What? You asked, and that's my answer. I want to go to Scotland."
Her mum would put an arm around her and give her a kiss on her forehead. Erin would pretend as though she wasn't there.
"You need a break, darling..." she would tell her gently. "But, right now at least, Scotland isn't the best place..."
"That's right," her dad would agree, sitting beside her. "How about somewhere nice and sunny? We could go to the beach! Would you like that?"
Her mum would eye her dad, silently telling him that it wasn't the right time to sound too lively and upbeat.
"We just think..." she would say to her daughter cautiously "...that going to the place...where we...lost...your brother...it might not give you the closure that you need...necessarily..."
Erin would stand up abruptly.
"Who said I was looking for closure?!" She would snap. "He's dead, I get it! Could you both just leave me alone?!"
And off she would go, storming up to her bedroom and slamming the door. Erin would not talk to her parents again until the next morning, when she would apologise sheepishly for her behaviour and pretend the conversation never happened.
Not only did they want their son back, but they wanted their daughter back, too.
I promise the next chapter will be a lot better! This is more of an introduction.. :)