The Dream-Mural

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

A street artists paints an image from his dreams, opening a portal for a being outside human understanding.

Submitted: August 18, 2018

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Submitted: August 18, 2018



It was a dark and foggy November night when Nicolas Aeres was arrested for vandalism for the fifth time. Thanks to the many devoted fans of his marvelous artwork, he got out of jail with no charges against him every time, it was rare for the city of New York to spawn such a talented, yet meek and unknown artist. His street-art and wall murals took the breath away from any new yorker who passed them on their daily commute and these rarely seen gems of the back alleys of the urban jungle came to be well-known attractions for those most adventurous of tourists who dare venture out of their preset tour of the city to explore those great hidden works, which might challenge the likes of Picasso himself. At the time of his most recent arrest by the police, Nicolas was working on a large mural on the wall of a newly built gym, in the outskirts of the city, where the urban environment meets the green marsh. The mural was a striking image of a figure that appeared to young Nicolas in his dreams, a man in a black trench coat reaching down to his ankles, a hooded figure whose face and torso remain hidden under a veil of black smoke. The image was half finished when some of the local residents informed the police. Nicolas spent three days in jail until one of his fans pulled some connections and got him out. Although he was warned that the next time he got caught there will be legal consequences, he paid little attention to the warning, his soul burning with the artistic flame of undying creativity which bottled up in him ready to explode in a frenzy of creative work, he was dying to complete his dream-mural.

Only a day after his release from jail, Nicolas gathered his equipment and returned to the scene of the crime, finding the mural intact, and working on it the entire day and long after the night fell. The flame of artistic desire burned in him so brightly that not even the most extreme exhaustion could prevent him from releasing his creation out of his mind and onto the blank wall, it was only after his sight grew so foggy that he could no longer paint proficiently, that he stopped and came back home to get some sleep, just as the dim light of dawn broke over the horizon.

As soon as he fell onto his bed, the tiered artist drifted off into the dream-realm. That night, as the paralysis of sleep overtook him, the smoke-covered man returned to his dreams. This time Nicolas was standing in a long dark alley, between two blocks of tall buildings. Behind him was a large wall, with his half completed mural, and in front of him the alley stretched as far as he could see, in the distance it was hidden by the thick darkness. It was from this distant darkness that the grayish, smoke covered silhouette emerged, same as in the mural behind the artist’s back, he approached slowly, going ever faster the closer he came. As he approached, Nicolas could see the black coat, and the hood covering the face, and the mystic smoke of unknown origin enveloping his body, as the man ran towards him those last few meters, an unnatural dread overcame Nicolas, and he froze in place like a hunted animal about to be killed. Just as the man came close to him, just as his face became clearer under the hood, Nicolas snapped out of his dreams, jumping from his bed covered in cold sweat.

That day Nicolas returned to his work, but this time it was different. The image painted on the wall seemed more ominous than the days prior. It came to possess some preternatural quality which Nicolas hasn’t noticed before, some dark mystery to it. Although stricken with unexplainable fear, the young artist was even more intrigued and inspired than before, and quickly he continued his work of his mural, making it even more detailed and perfect than before. Again Nicolas worked until exaction shut his eyes against his will, at which point he again packed up and returned home to sleep.

Again, it was easy for the overworked man to reach the realm of dreams. And again, he found himself in that same alley where the smoke-man hunted him last night. This time the area was even dimmer than last night, his mural stood again behind him, this time more detailed and complete. In front of him the night-colored alley extended into what seemed like eternity, ending in darkness. This time Nicolas waited, excited to see more details of the smoke-man, but nothing came. After a few minutes the artist grew frustrated, he began to walk up to the edge of the darkness, where the dream alley ends. As he came closer he noticed how the alley itself changed. The gray walls which seemed like building before now looked like some form of unearthly geometry, some abstract art sculpted in ways which our human mathematics could not allow it to be. As he came closer to the darkness, he saw that the alley was completely dark and that his mind only hallucinated any structure to the darkness and any form in it. Slowly Nicolas approached the end of the alley, he took one step into the thick darkness and immediately started to fall down into some nameless void. After minutes of falling he realized, he wasn’t falling at all, but that he merely existed there, suspended in space-time, he could hear some distant beating of maddening drums. Each second the beat got louder, the mad drumming got more erratic, the monotonous drumming grew ever closer to him. And when the drumming became so loud that his own thoughts lost all substance due to the mesmerizing beat, somewhere far in front of him, in that nameless void of dreams, he saw a smoky figure approaching. This time it was not a human silhouette, but a figure of gray smoke that slowly evaporated as it drew closer to Nicolas. As the smoke evaporated, he could see what was under it. Slowly, a massive limp of formless red flesh emerged from the smoke, grotesque flesh-like substance pulsated like human lungs, with green, octopus-like testicle protruding from the massive lump and gray-yellow growth resembling reptilian eyes emerged from the fleshy body and sunk back into it with the beating of the drums. When Nicolas saw this abomination coming closer to him, he screamed in pure terror. In the next moment, he was back in his room, on his bed, covered in cold sweat, again.

The following day Nicolas did not go back to his mural. Thought of last night’s dream followed him, pecking at the back of his mind, as if the image from his dream reminded him of some long-lost and forbidden secret hidden in human collective unconscious. However, the hunger for creative release that ate at his souls could not be satisfied with any other art, but the strange dream-mural on that wall. That night, bothered both by his own demon-muses of art and the strange, eldritch thing from his dream, Nicolas made his way to the mural, hoping to complete it and be done with this strange occurrence.

Once there, Nicolas again notice a new characteristic to the mural, this time the black part of the face hidden under the shadow of the hood seemed to resemble some sort of reptile-like face, with different kind of tentacles barely visible under the coat, something Nicolas was certain he did not paint. Despite this he continued his work on the mural, making it even more nightmare inducing and terrifying to stumble upon in the dark alley of New York. This time the artist finished his work before he grew tiered, seeing how the mural was so perfect in its strangeness that no amount of extra work could better it. As he packed his equipment and turned around to go back home. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped, as he found himself in that same alley which was the subject of his recent dreams, with the perfectly coveted mural right behind him, and an endless void of darkness in front. In those few moments his mind went blank in an attempt to cope with such a maddening preposition. In those few moments, as his mind went wild with theories and then quite with madness, he heard some sort of shifting and cracking behind him, it was the smoke-covered creature, spawned from the mural behind the artists, it grabbed Nicolas with its grotesque tentacles and dragged him into the dark abyss.

That day was the last time anyone saw the lost street artist, and his final mural was soon painted over with white paint, mercifully shilling humanity from the madness that lies under the false normality of nature.

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