Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lucid Dreaming

Right away I could tell it was a dream, one of those dreams where you know you’re dreaming. Even as I slumbered I knew I was asleep, and part of my consciousness surmised that this might even be a lucid dream– one of those dreams in which you have such a profound awareness of self and surroundings that you can control the dream.

I’d never had a lucid dream before, but I’d heard and read stories of what they’re like, and I’ve always wanted to have one. I even bought a book about learning how to become a lucid dreamer. Somehow, I had the presence of mind to do what the book said to do: look at my hands.

I looked down at my hands. I wiggled my fingers. I stamped my feet, grinned, and spun in a circle. This was a lucid dream! I had complete control of it! I could fly if I wanted to!

Once I got over the thrill that I was actually having a lucid dream, I was at a loss for what to do. Here I was, with unlimited possibilities before me, the ability and freedom to do anything, and all I could think to do was stand in place, my arms dangling by my sides, and idly look around.

My surroundings were familiar, so familiar it was boring. This was quite possibly one of the most unimaginative places my subconscious mind could have chosen to have a dream-adventure in. It was the corner of the street I grew up on, where it intersected with another subdivision road. I had moved out of the house after college, and my parents had sold the house and left the town a matter of months later. It had been years since I’d seen that corner or even the town. But in this dream, everything was as I remembered it, right down to the hopelessly neglected hydrangeas in the Wilkinsons’ front yard.

Rather abruptly I realized that I was alone on the corner. What few dreams I remember after waking usually include other people: friends, coworkers, family... But here, in this dream, on this intersection of my old hometown, I was completely and utterly alone. There wasn’t even a dog trotting through front yards or a bird singing on a limb of one of the many trees that dotted the property of my childhood neighbors. Never in my youth had I recalled ever seeing the neighborhood so void of life. I suddenly wished for my lucid dream to be over.

Only then did I realize what I could do with my dream. I could control this dream– or should be able to control it, anyway. I could make anyone, anything fill this empty canvas of my old home. If I so chose, I could make Frankie and Lucy Martin appear in their driveway, drawing dozens of chalk pictures of ponies and unicorns and butterflies; I could have the Warren twins run down in the cul-de-sac, playing freeze tag or hide-and-seek with Bobby Lobowski and Junior Craft.

I could bring Amy back, I realized.

Amy, my best friend and the crush of my early years. She’d gone missing when we were in sixth grade; one day she didn’t get on the school bus, and she became one of those tragic cases where hundreds of searchers yielded not even a single clue to her fate. Even as I got through high school and into college, I held out hope that I might see some new report, hear some rumor that she had been found, somehow safe and sound. I’m really not sure when I gave up that hope, but in thinking that I could bring her back, I realized I now fully assumed her dead.

But how was I supposed to bring someone into my lucid dream? I closed my eyes, forming the image of Amy in my mind, both as I remembered her in sixth grade and how I imagined she would look at my age now, nearly twenty years later.

When I opened my eyes, she was there. Far down the road, almost so far I couldn’t tell it was her, there she was. Finding something to do in this dream was all too easy now. I dashed toward her, my friend, gone so long.

She was somewhere between eleven and thirty, but putting an exact age to her was near impossible. Her face was more like I remembered, but her body was sized and formed more like a teen’s. A charcoal grey business suit accented her shape all too well, the knee-length skirt of it showing pale legs that were far too thin. Chocolate-brown hair tumbled down over her face, obstructing my view of my friend. But I knew it was her, even with her looking down.

She was within arm’s reach when her head came up. I practically stumbled to a halt as a half-human face looked back at me. Lizard’s eyes, bright red-orange with strangely-slitted pupils stared me down above a human nose and a mouth too wide for a human face. That mouth grinned at me, smiling wide and showing rows of razor teeth like a shark’s, taking up far too much of the cheeks and chin. It couldn’t close, that mouth. Her tongue flicked out, thick and dark red, before disappearing back in that too-large gaping hole of a mouth.

The smile grew wider as her hand shot out and grabbed me by the throat. Strength of a dozen men went into that grip, crushing my windpipe as I was lifted off the ground, those unsettling, unblinking lizard eyes following me as I was lifted up, up, up. The sounds that came out of her mouth weren’t like any speech I’ve ever heard, more like a rasping clicking hiss. I knew she was saying my name.

Dangling more than a foot off the ground, my air cut off by the human hand of this half-human monster, I stared down into Amy’s contorted face. This isn’t my Amy, I told myself over and over, willing her away. The arm bent, drawing me closer to that ever-widening shark-like mouth, ready to devour me. I clawed at the hand that held me, I kicked and struggled, I tried to scream.

This is a dream, I suddenly remembered. This is my dream, and I control it.

Amy disappeared, and I fell to the ground, gasping for air. She was gone.

I hadn’t even had time to get my bearings before she dived at me from nowhere, appearing out of thin air off to one side, open jaws aimed for my throat. Fingers grabbed at me, tugged at my clothes for purchase, for a grip. Hair brushed my shoulder as I rolled out of the way at the last second, but not quickly enough to get completely free. Sharp nails dug into my calf, followed by the sickening feeling of teeth in the muscle of my leg. My bones wanted to snap as I cried out, trying to wrench my leg from her. I begged myself to wake up as I twisted around, only to see those eyes staring at me as her teeth tore at my leg. I pounded at her head with my fists, kicked at her with my other leg until she caught it in that too-strong grip.

The feeling of a mouthful of calf muscle tearing away from the rest of my leg was like fire, unbearable and nauseating. Even in a dream, I could feel every fiber of flesh pulling taut and shredding or snapping,

Wake up! WAKE UP!

Desperately, I wanted to run away now that I was free of her grip. Half or more of my calf was now in her mouth, separated from the rest of me. The closes I could manage to running was a rather pitiful scramble on a mangled leg.

So I scrambled.

When her hand grabbed my leg, I swear she grabbed it by the exposed bone. I howled; the noise that reached my ears was one I never thought I could make and never want to make again. Freezing fire seized every last nerve in my body as I was pulled back to the monstrous distorted creature that pretended to be Amy. I gave up the struggle for escape, instead clawing at my own throat in hopes that I might kill myself rather than endure being torn apart by this... thing.

The teeth sank in again, this time into my side just above my hips, sending wave after wave of blazing agony through me. Somehow, even with a mouthful of my flesh, Amy let out that hissing language, again saying my name.

I woke up to see the sun streaming in through the window and dancing on my bed sheets. My heart pounded, I was sweating, and I didn’t want to think about whether or not I had actually wet myself. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had.

A hand came out of the blind spot beyond my peripheral vision and seized my throat. So swiftly did the contorted face of Amy appear before me that I couldn’t even manage a gasp. Those unlidded bright red-orange eyes bored into me as the too-side shark’s mouth whispered my name.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, happy for your lucid dream. Sorry it had to be a nightmare. Hopefully you can learn to control the next ones. Sounds freaky. 0_0