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Nightmare

May 11, 2009

I have always had very vivid dreams that encompass all the senses. Usually in first person, my dreams include not only the visual but the way other senses – textures, temperature changes, and other similar sensory changes (pain or pleasure, for one). I remember a lot of my dreams – I won’t say all, because I suppose that I would not know if I remembered all of them, would I?

To put my definition of “nightmare” into perspective – I have had hellish dreams involving being chased, being attacked, ghosts, and the like. And I did not consider those nightmares, merely dreams. I’ve probably had two dreams that I’d consider nightmares in my entire life – one, when I was four years old and I dreamed that robotic t-rexs were coming to take away my Mommy (the fact that I still remember that, years later, tells you how scary it was). The other was Sunday morning.

We were in a massive brick building. I say we – strangers, friends, people from my past, hundreds of people all in a brick building with a big brick gate surrounding the building. When I say friends – I mean, I could list off the people whose faces were in this dream, but I won’t because what follows is too disturbing.
I knew that something was coming, that we were in danger. I also knew how to protect every one – all of the doors and windows needed to be locked and sealed. Snakes, for whatever reason, were also a danger. We managed to get all of them out of the building, and one scene sticks out in my mind where a baby cobra was found in the courtyard. I tried to get it out, but it wouldn’t leave, and bit my hand as it tried to stay. I remember being vaguely surprised that it wasn’t poisonous before I started to beat at it with an unknown round object. It took awhile to die, and it twisted and moved as I squished it with this heavy object.
It took a very long time to convince people that we were in trouble and that the windows and doors needed to stay locked. As I am trying to orchestrate this sealing of all the doors, I send out some friends to get supplies and help…
Only, while they are out the Unknown Danger comes and surrounds our gates. I stood on the other side of the locked door and told the friends that I had sent out for supplies that I could not let them in, because if I did the entire building would fall and all the people in it would die. I stood there and explained this to them, and then I listened to their screams and cries through the gate as the Unknown Danger killed them.
Despite my efforts to keep the entire encampment safe, someone let them in through a window. I retreated into the upper stories with a small group of people that I frantically managed to get behind locked doors. I watched from the windows over the courtyard as the Unknown Danger killed person after person, their blood coloring the snow. All of them were cut at the neck, some entirely decapitated, their familiar faces, eyes open, complete separated from their bodies. But then it got worse.
The Unknown Danger took the bodies, the ones that weren’t completely decapitated, and re-animated them. The bodies were able to open the locked doors, and I hid with the people I had managed to keep safe, but it was useless. I watched from my hiding space as the lock slowly undid itself to reveal line after line of wide-eyed blank stared, bloody corpses. The bodies, with their familiar faces, spoke in the voice of Unknown Danger.
There would be no more locked doors. If we continued to lock the doors against them, the corpses would never stop. Our only protection against the Unknown Danger was gone, for there was nowhere to go, nowhere else to hide, and I had failed to keep everyone, friends and stranger alike, safe.

It was at this point where something clicked in my brain, where it was almost like my brain recognized that I could not handle any more and it told me to Wake Up. I woke up (at 6:18am) and started to cry. Crying, I was thinking, would help it go away, I would cry and it would be over and I could go back to sleep.
It was when I went downstairs to get some water and found myself staring at the locked backdoor, afraid of the lock, of the door, half expecting the lock to unturn itself as it had when the corpses opened the lock… that I started to wonder if it wasn’t one of the false awakenings. If I was really out of my dream. What if I was still dreaming, how could I tell? At a state of near-panic attack at barely 6:30 in the morning, I actually woke C up and crawled into bed with her so I could calm down and know that it was actually a dream.
Even when I had bad dreams as a child I never crawled into bed with my parents, I never needed to know that it was just a dream because I always knew, intuitively, that it was, often even as the dream was happening.

I am impressed at my subconscious’s ability to know what I couldn’t handle, to wake me up when it got too much. I’m impressed that none of the animated corpses were people in my close circle of friends, like that was another limit that it recognized. On the other hand – How the hell does it come up with this fucked up shit? More importantly, why?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2009 1:46 pm

    I think we hit these types of horrific scenes when our life feels out-of-control – either it’s changing faster than we can process or behaving in ways that don’t suit us and our not-conscious parts are screaming that they are freaked the hell out and WHY WON’T THIS TRAIN SLOW DOWN AND GO THE RIGHT WAY?

    …but that’s just my take on it. Unlike you, I manage to have that kind of dream on a fairly routine basis, but the worst come when I feel totally out of control (and yes, sometimes even in an ostensibly good way). Sorry to hear it was awful, but glad C was there for you.

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  1. Nightmare, II « aelphaba

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