The Waking Dead

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Meet the demon in my room.

Submitted: June 26, 2018

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Submitted: June 26, 2018



A year ago, as I was slowly waking up from my slumber, I opened my eyes to find myself completely unable to move. It felt like my whole body was being held down by an unseen force. I then heard the sound of something similar to a wind chime; like crystals clinking to my left. “What a pleasant sound!” I thought to myself as I was always fascinated by all things pertinent to fairy tales and fantasy worlds. However, as I turned my head with great difficulty to the source of the sound (as, mind you, I was completely paralyzed and wasn’t able to move a muscle, but I managed somehow to slightly move my eyes and my head), I saw something which was utterly irrelevant to that lovely sound of crystals. I laid my eyes on a medium-sized brown creature with a menacing smile hunched over my back! To be honest, I don’t recall how I felt at that moment which lasted for a few seconds before the ominous being disappeared into thin air and I was able to move again. I didn’t know that that was the beginning of a series of similar incidents as a waking dead.

A few days have passed before another otherworldly monster, or maybe it’s the same one, who knows?, would strike again to attack the naive me as I was sleeping peacefully one night. Once again, I woke up to find myself paralyzed from head to toe. But this time, I was unknowingly sleeping with the enemy! I was laying on my right side when I sensed someone, or something, sit on the bed right behind me. It then, with a demonic voice, whispered an unintelligible word in my ear. Then all of a sudden, I was engulfed in his/its tight embrace and sensed what felt like a ball of thorns touching my back as he/it was holding me. A wave of dread took over my helpless, inanimate body. It’s funny how time stretches when we are afraid, but in actuality it was only a matter of seconds before the alarm clock on my phone went off waking me up playing I Want it That Way by my favorite boy band of all time The Backstreet Boys. Whew! Thank you boys for being my knights in shining armor and saving me from the monster in my bedroom!

I guess that demon didn’t like to have it The Backstreet Boys’ way so he never came back. However, being sleep paralyzed continued to happen to me albeit the absence of the monster. For two days in a row and at 3 o’clock in the morning, I would have sleep paralysis accompanied by auditory hypnagogic hallucinations (I heard the clear sound of a drop of water splashing as I was drifting to sleep) at one point. I didn’t go to sleep at 3 a.m. the next day just to avoid having sleep paralysis and it worked. At that point, I decided that enough is enough and I had to take some action regarding my sleep paralysis. I made an appointment with a sleep disorders doctor in my city: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. There were only two sleep disorders doctors in my city and a total of three in the whole country. I went to the appointment and the doctor decided that he needs to conduct a sleep study as he was suspecting that I might be suffering from narcolepsy which could be causing my sleep paralysis. I went to my sleep study appointment and stayed in the hospital for the night where I was hooked up to sleep monitors and asked to sleep on intervals. All the while, a nurse was monitoring me from another room. Luckily, I didn’t have sleep paralysis that night. Actually, I was scared of having one on that particular night since I was a little apprehensive due to the fact that that specific sleep clinic in which my sleep study was conducted was on the last floor in the hospital building. The floor was empty and void of people with deserted rooms that seemed to be under construction along with abandoned gurneys. It conjured up scenes from the popular video game: Silent Hill to my mind. Anyway, I came back to the hospital a few days later to see what my sleep study results were. The doctor gladly told me that I don’t suffer from narcolepsy and that he doesn’t know what the cause to my sleep paralysis is. The doctor’s statement made me experience mixed feelings. I was relieved to know that I didn’t have narcolepsy, but I was disappointed in the fact that the reason behind me having sleep paralysis was still a mystery.

Me being a waking dead every few nights was becoming the norm to me. My mind would wake up, but my body would be still sleeping. To tell the truth, the state of being paralyzed upon waking up, despite how uncomfortable it is, was not bothering me that much as I was getting accustomed to it. It is the hallucinations that would accompany it that planted seeds of fear in my heart every time it happened. You never know what you might see, hear and/or feel every single time it happens. Some people see demons or shadowy figures staring right at them, while others witness a scary old hag trying to choke them. The unexpectedness of it is what makes it frightening. Maybe if it was the same demon that would visit me every time I have sleep paralysis I wouldn’t be so alarmed. I would probably be thrilled to welcome that old acquaintance from another realm every time he decides to make a quick nightly visit to our physical plane to meet me!

It wasn’t until one night as I woke up sleep paralyzed, it instinctively occurred to me to vigorously try to move my body to free myself from sleep paralysis. I also read once somewhere online that wiggling your toe accelerates the process of breaking free from a sleep paralysis episode. So, I started out by closing my eyes in order not to hallucinate visually. Then with all the strength I could muster at that moment, I began shaking my body and moving my limbs and toes frantically while my heart was beating fast. I was attempting to wake myself up as quickly as possible before I started hallucinating. Keep in my that this is a very hard task to do since the body would be literally paralyzed and it feels like you’re being pinned down by two strong, giant, evil hands to the bed as I did actually experience during a sleep paralysis episode once. Three to five seconds later, I was freed from the grips of the damned sleep paralysis! I was happy beyond words and my poor ego believed that I conquered sleep paralysis forever, but I was wrong.

Just this afternoon, I was sleeping when I woke up feeling sleep paralysis creeping in on me. The first thought that occurred to my mind was to try the same successful technique I tried last time to break free from sleep paralysis. But this time when I tried to close my eyes they wouldn’t close! I tried hard to close them over and over again, but what was happening was that my physical eyes would close but my mind’s eye won’t. I started lucid dreaming when in my mind’s eye I saw the same bedroom I was sleeping in in reality but it was painted in blue. The room has a bed and a couch and I was sleeping on the latter. Then on the bed, I saw a harmless duck! Yes, a duck which then turned into the skeleton of a duck. I was trying to move my body while dreaming about this duck in my room in order to wake up and I eventually did. The one thing that I’m thankful for when it comes to this sleep paralysis episode is that I saw this lovely bird instead of seeing a ghost or a demon.

Now, I really don’t know how this tug of war between me and my rival, sleep paralysis, had started or how it will end, what kind of a malevolent presence will haunt me when my next sleep paralysis episode happens and will this nightmarish sleep phenomenon that I was plagued with ever end?

Razan Badawi

June 8, 2018


© Copyright 2018 Razan Badawi. All rights reserved.

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