Nightmare

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A visceral dream I had after missing a dose . . . It needs no interpretation. It is what it is. It speaks plainly for itself. I'm thankful for it.

Submitted: December 05, 2016

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Submitted: December 05, 2016

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I was in a large, concrete building, high up in the air.  I was on a floor that was empty.

I felt the floor beneath my feet . . . shift.

The floor shifted downwards.  It was like standing on the face of a pyramid, slanting, folding in.  The steel beams turned like hour hands.  The grit beneath my feet made a sound that ate away at my bones as if they were open and exposed and being sandblasted by the rebel particles of concrete newly freed from their uniform shape.  “There’s a way out.”  I said, as if chanting elvish words to hidden doors, “There’s a way out, there’s a way out, there’s a way out.” I kept repeating.  I trusted oxygen to be there.  I trusted it too much.  Silt rushed in, and my paper-thin lungs came to know the same pain as my bones.  The grit rattled halfway up my sternum and back down again, stunted, frustrated, making a salmon’s leap upstream to fight its way out of my airways. The sand was eroding out the borders of what used to be my voice.  I grabbed a stairway railing.  I found a way down.  The room above me collapsed.  There were screams from other people above and below me as we felt the structure lean like a toddler in free fall, floor became ceiling, head over heels, the floor and below me like two hands coming together to wring themselves in worry and dread.

“Hey.  Hey you better wake up.”

And I startled awake, face down.  It was raining outside.  It was late.

“Hey man they’re going to start the thing soon and I didn’t think you’d want to miss it.”

I rubbed my hand over my head.  11:30.  “Christ, I never sleep that late.”

“Yeah I know.  I was worried.”  Said the other person that I couldn’t quite recognize.  “You’re still going, right?”

“I don’t want to.  I really don’t want to.”  I said, looking at 11:31 as if it had just robbed me blind. 

“Oh come on.  You can give away copies of your book.”

“But that’s just it.  I don’t want to do that.”  I said, and suddenly we were in the car together.  “Feels like a lie.  Feels like . . . feels so disrespectful.”

“Umm, k.”  The other person said with a little tiff of their thinly shaven eyebrows. 

“Aww man it’s $5.  $5 a person.”  I said as we neared the cemetery, “Dude I don’t think I want to do this.  I didn’t plan to get into this today.”

“Suit yourself.”  She replied, and then it dawned on me that this person I was with was someone I knew growing up.  Someone I judged a lot for being kind of crazy.  She was a “poser” as we liked to call them back then, a wanna be, an attention whore.  She still is, in a way.

We went back to her childhood home in the same speck of a small town within a stone’s throw of the cemetery.  The grounds were bigger, more complex.  My kids appeared, and they busied themselves with a very tiny strip of the ocean—no more than 10 feet wide—that was kind of tucked away in the corner of a nearby park.  “I didn’t know the ocean touched Ohio.”  I said as I followed her inside the house.

“It does now.”  She replied.  “Don’t worry. They’ll be fine.  They’re with my kids.  I have 6 of them.”

“Yeah.  Cool.”  I said.

This girl’s father was in the house, black hair, black beard, short, bearish body, a look of evil on his face.  He was a man who wanted to be waited upon hand and foot.  One time when I went to her house, we were just sitting around bullshitting, me, her, my best friend who was her cousin, her mom, and this guy, this father . . . I said something that maybe was a little too politically liberal for his taste.  So he motioned me towards the master bedroom.  He grabbed himself by the belt buckle.  “See this?”  he said as he pulled out his dresser drawer.  Inside was a garment of green satin.  A white button with a red cross on the breast.  I had no idea what it was until he pulled out the pointed hat and face mask.  “I’m a grand wizard.”  He said, and I knew in that moment that he had everyone in that house in the grip of fear.  He had a presence that weaker people simply cannot free themselves from.  And while my kids were playing in this new Ohio ocean I was trapped in this house again with him, as an adult, watching him exert power unchallenged by those who had learned to lay back and accept it in order to survive.  His eyes were wild like Charles Manson.  He took off his belt and wagged it in their faces at random.  Now they just shook it off like this was normal, oh he does that sometimes, oh whatever dad . . . he said he was going to start spell work from The Seal of Solomon and I knew right then and there what was going to happen if he did.  I walked out of the house.  I joined the kids for a few passes of slip n slide as they all played outside at the ajoining park.  But it was just a ruse to make them think everything was ok when in fact I was intentionally trying to put distance between myself and them so that they would be protected . . . because he was successful in his spells . . . I knew, because I was something of a conjurer myself.

Once the playground was out of sight I ran to the nearest hospital.  A hospital should be safe.  A hospital should be protected.  The hospital was white and full of light with a set of glass and wood stairs that were very aesthetically pleasing leading up to the 2nd floor, and as I came up to the landing, I saw the killer that had been summoned to eradicate me.  In blind fury and fear I turned and ran and this killer, this masked, familiar, black-rotting, killer, swung his axe and all the people in his path met their deaths with a sharp, metallic wedge through the chest or neck or head or stomach.  I made a mistake.  He grabbed me by the neck.  There was an end to his axe that was curved like a canine tooth and he took a swing and hit me right where the softspot would be on an infant.  I felt the split in my brain.  I felt some part of consciousness leave me.  But the part of my consciousness that stayed was the same part that said over and over again, “There is a way out.  There is a way out.  There is a way out.” And I thought about how I didn’t want to go to the cemetery and how I didn’t want people to read what I’d written, and it just seemed to kick me in the medulla, like now I don’t have to be so fussy about words and speech, now I can just pull this axe out of my head and hit him with it.  And I did.  And it seemed so hopeless at first, so pointless.  I took the curved, canine end of the axe and hit him in the neck over and over and over again.  I knew there was no point.  There was no way out from this.  I had a hole in my head.  But I kept swinging this thing and picking apart this one tiny hole in his neck until it was open and ragged.  His head bobbed to one side, then it fell off.  I dropped the axe.  I stumbled out of the hospital.  I had a wound open clear to my brain on the top of my head and I was limping away from the hospital, trying to get away.  There was a car coming towards me that was a light tan in color.  A Fiat, new style, very prim, very proper.  Inside was a man who looked like a goat, a Baphomet, actually, except he was tan in color too, and so was his very fine suit.  I understood him to be a doctor.  “Oh dear.” He said as his velvety hoof-hands made contact with my bloodless, cold skin.  “Get inside. I can fix you up.” 

I sat inside the car.  His backseat was an apacathary.  My lungs were starting to rattle.

He sat down in the driver’s seat.  He started the car.  The smell of my blood began to leech into the air within the small cabin space of the vehicle.  “there’s really no point  . . . in trying to eradicate Evil, you know.”  He said, smoking something, examining me from the same great wooden table that Frankenstein had used to bring the monster to life.

I grunted.  I moaned.  I felt very useless in not being able to answer.

“Huh.  Well words aren’t everything you know.  You simply won’t have the keys to that door anymore.”  He said, his human-goat eyes twinkling, and I swear somehow inside, I saw the same thing, the same spark, the same fire, as I’d felt in swinging that axe and hitting the killer in the neck, “You see, people are not unlike books.  Sometimes they present a page, but then they’re also another page, another subject, another few paragraphs deeper into the subject, maybe, sometimes a different subject altogether BUT . . . in your case . . . ah yes, unfortunately, the spine of your book . . . has become separated from the pages, and you won’t so cohesively present yourself as unified, because your pages are all jumbled up, your pages are all out of order, out of context, out of any sense of being linear.  But you’re alive, that’s the good news, right?”

I woke up to the sound of someone scraping ice off the pavement.  Felt like the last day of my life.

And I was furious.


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