All Nightmare Long
You know, when you have that really awful nightmare where you’re running from someone with a knife? Then, just as you believe you’re about to escape them they close in on you and at that exact moment where they begin to pierce you with the blade; you lean up in your bed to discover it was a horrific nightmare.
That never happens to me.
No, I’m one of those fortunate few who not only have the luck of having nightmares on a constant basis, but I have the privilege of not being able to wake up all the way through my murder, and halfway into the fucking afterlife. For some horribly pointless reason, I’ve been chosen to live an anthology of atrocities night after night. Whether it’s a karma induced punishment, (yeah, yeah I know.) or repressed memories coming back to haunt me in some creative new fashion, I’m not a fan of them. I’m not talking about the standard “I dreamed I died” scenario, where you are falling and then before you hit the ground it’s over. No, if it was that I’d never have a complaint in the world. That’s simple, easy to live with and I wouldn’t mind having that compared to the lucid, tyrannical sideshow I’m locked inside now. Allow me to explain a night I had 3 months ago.
As I walked in behind a line of my friends, the room smelled of sulfur and a bitter-sweet aroma. It was foggy inside, almost like a steam room…but the walls were made of a fine-looking wood surface, such as a cabin would be. As the line marched ever further on this hardwood surface of a floor, I started to notice things around me that were disturbingly familiar. There were armed men surrounding our line, pacing back and forth. In front of us was a large door that looked like a vault, where people were marching into. As they entered into the small room the size of an elevator, the men in front turned shut the large handle on the door, sealing the room. There were no windows, and as it sealed shut the sound of terrified shrieks could be heard inside. I instantly understood my current situation. As I moved forward in the line once more, I realized the gravity of the situation that I was now in a line for the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. My heart was racing, as I tried to think of a way out. I could only visualize the cruel accuracy of Hemingway’s classic tale “For Whom The Bell Tolls” now, and the thought that I might have to come to terms with my own death, even if it be by the hands of another. The people in front of me shook violently, and with good reason. The fear that gripped at every imaginary person in my mind felt so real, and I’ve never felt more hopeless. I tried to think in my head. Would it be worth it to attempt to fight a soldier for their weapon? Is being riddled by gunfire any less painful of a death than being crowded into a room and forced to breathe noxious gasses? My mind was in a web of chaos. There was nothing I could do without potentially dying in the process, and the second I came out of my panicked daze I realized I was standing before the very door that was the lock and key to my imminent doom.
Before I could dart from the line, the group behind me gave a large shove, as if they understood my fear and yet wanted to thrust me headfirst into the mouth of the beast. I tumbled into the elevator of impending death, on edge and ready to fight for my life. As I looked around me, I was surrounded by 4 of my friends, and a couple slightly older than I was. There was also a small boy, about age 4. As we stared upwards, we realized that the vents in the room had enormous shafts built next to them to clear the room of toxins quickly. This was the execution chamber of the truly sick. There were no windows, and only one slit in the wall. As we all glanced at it, a man’s eyes appeared in the space. As soon as they did, a small wrench fell into the room with us. At first we couldn’t understand the purpose of such a random, and a deliberately placed item. The man then whispered in a cold tongue through the slit, “So the child doesn’t suffer”. The terrible realization hit me, that he wished for us to kill the child before it was our turn. My friend picked up the wrench. As he stared at it for a moment, he came to terms with his burden, and turned the child to face the opposite direction from him. As nervous anticipation froze all of us, we all jumped as the vents above our head began to squeal. Then, a sinister hiss of a cloud of potassium cyanide poured into the room. The reluctant executioner who was my friend; eyes full of tears swung the blunt mechanic’s instrument down upon the child’s head. With all the remorse that anyone could imagine from committing such a disgusting deed, my friend dropped the wrench and backed away from the child’s lifeless corpse. His death was no longer an issue; the blood of the innocent now contaminating his very existence here for the remainder of his life. As he sank to the floor, the bitter fumes begin to take hold of everyone in the room. This was the final moment, and I knew all too well what was happening. As the people around me began to scream in horrific fear, the sad grip of weakness brought me to my knees. As I felt my lungs burn, I knew this was the end. My moments of happiness pressed into my mind, as a consolation that I hoped would lessen the pain as my sensory perception began to fail. Being a strict atheist, I could not even bring myself to desperate prayer as I felt that such an exercise in futility would only make it more difficult to bear. There was no light at the end of the tunnel; no salvation to be had. All life came to a sudden and abruptly painful silence. As I felt the burn of death’s embrace, I was thrown from sleep.
As I thrashed, I hit arms and legs into my wall and headboard. I felt severe pain all around me, and my back felt as if it had touched the arctic circle. I reached back as I regained my composure to feel a cool puddle surrounding the outline of my body, and drenching my shirt. My chest was on fire. I could feel the piercing pain as my lungs felt as if they were about to explode. This pain was real, and it was carried over from my dream. There’s nothing more frightening than knowing that there’s a chance that even when you wake up, the torture might not stop. I looked at my hands and legs. I had multiple scrapes from where I hit the walls and corners of my headboard. Small bruises and blood spots had appeared all over, and I went to the bathroom for closer examination. Needless to say, no more sleep occurred that night.
That was 3 months ago, and one of my worst experiences during sleep to date. These types of dreams have been happening since 5 years ago, and haven’t stopped coming since. They happen often. Twice a week sometimes, and twice a night usually. Sleep is a difficult subject with me, and usually it’s harder to understand for people who have never been forced to endure the punishment that doesn’t even happen anymore. When you dream of the abstract, and when you fear things that are of the medieval sense; they come back to haunt you in the worst ways possible.
So remember children, it’s just a dream. Unless you’re me, and then it’s a tragedy fueled non-stop ride through hell as you try to not die or suffer at the hands of your own gruesome imagination.