September 12, 2018
Lucid dreaming. It’s something always been something I’ve been able to do, the ability to be in a dream and realize that I’m dreaming. Some lucid dreamers say they have the ability to manipulate their dreams, but I can never do that. Before I can even get a word out in my dream, I find myself awake in my bed. Most of the time, at least. I’ve only ever been able to have full control over my dream once.
And I’ll never do it again.
It started like many of my dreams do, with me surrounded by friends in school. We were having one of our normal, dumb conversations walking past the school’s cafeteria, when it hit me that nobody was acting right. This always tends to be the first sign. Everyone that talks to me is, in the simplest sense, a flat version of themselves, only having a few stand-out traits my subconscious identifies with that person.
In this particular dream, conversation was very dry. No emphasis on words, no laughter, no jokes, just odd small talk. Plus, we had also been walking past the cafeteria for an unusual amount of time considering my pace.
And then it hit me. This is a dream, I realized.
I knew what was coming. I’d wake up any second in my bed and completely forget any of the dream later when I was eating breakfast.
But this time, I didn’t wake up. Something was letting me stay.
This should’ve been a sign to me that something was wrong. Sure, I’d heard good stories about lucid dreaming where the dreamer got to be with someone they haven’t seen in a while, or asked out their crush or whatever, but I’d heard plenty of terrifying ones as well.
Back in the dream, I looked over to my friends, who were still walking blankly past the cafeteria, and spoke for the first time aloud.
“Guys, you know we’re in a dream, right?” I said. They barely even spared me a glance before continuing to stroll along. I stopped and stared at their backs as they kept walking down the seemingly endless hallway. I started to turn around, inspecting the area and revealing that I was alone, which was extremely unusual considering we were in what should be a very busy school.
Suddenly, I felt a burst of fear rise within me for no reason, or so I thought, until I recognized the burning feeling of eyes staring me in the back of the head. My uneasiness didn’t let up as I looked around trying to find the source of my discomfort which I felt remaining behind me as I slowly pivoted in place. My school, a place that generally evoked a feeling of boredom and disappointment, had become my worst nightmare.
I turned and began to speed walk towards the back exit of the cafeteria. The endlessness of the trek seemed to not affect me now that I had distanced myself from my friends, who had all but disappeared. I pushed through the first set of back doors, looking at the familiar sight of the school’s parking lot and breathed a sigh of relief. I pushed through the second set of doors and was instantly met with the pungent scent of pine.
I found myself standing in the middle of a dirt-covered rocky path that separated two large sides of a pine forest. It was still bright outside, but the shade that covered the ground made a natural form of darkness that muted the sun. I looked around, searching for the school, people I knew, or any sign of civilization. There was nothing but me and the trees.
And whatever was still watching me.
I picked a direction down the road, away from the watching feeling and began to run. The feeling never lessened; the further I got, nothing changed. It felt like I had been running for hours, when I abruptly stopped, leaving myself vulnerable.
Why did I have to try and break my dream? Was this a punishment from my mind to keep me from doing it again? This thought was cut short by the first noise I had heard since last hearing my friends’ voices back in the school.
As I turned to see what the noise was, I suddenly woke up. I was in my bed, late at night. My room was dark, and I didn’t hear a sound in the house. Weird, I thought. In the past, my lucid dreaming had always taken place in the morning, right before I normally woke up. Yet again, this time was different.
I rolled over on my back and looked at the ceiling realizing that it was over and I could finally relax. But something was off. For one thing, I could see completely normally, an impossible feat since I wear bottle-thick glasses and there was no way that I went to bed with my glasses on. I sat up in my bed to stare at the clock on my wall. Sure enough, I could read the time clear as day: 3:33 am.
As if this weren’t terrifying enough, I began to see movement in the corner of my room on the ground next to my window. I glanced over to see something sitting on the ground moving erratically. It had a pale white head with scraggly, shoulder-length brown hair, portions of which had been visibly torn out.
I tried to call out for help, but couldn’t get sound past my frozen vocal cords. The thing’s head began to twist to look at me, cracking and making the noise of thousands of bones breaking as the pale white head glanced in my direction. Six dark, sunken eyes lined the side of the creature’s face. A crooked, impossibly long smile spread from ear to ear revealing a set of sharp fangs that separated the top two pair of eyes, putting the last pair on the lower creature’s lower cheeks.
I tried to move, to get away and run. But I couldn’t. Its eyes bored into my mind, sending flashing visions of death, monsters, the unknown, and loss. I tried to look away. But I couldn’t.
The creature began to creep towards me. Its jagged, bony legs took step after creeping step, its maw gaping open and drooling a black liquid.
It reached out its spindly arm, extending one knife-like finger towards my right temple. It pierced right through my head and a burning pain filled my mind only to be replaced with something else: memories. But they weren’t my own– they were the dreams of thousands of these demonic creatures, wandering dream after dream, looking for helpless souls like myself who dared to enter their territory. My vision pulled back, bringing me face to face with the creature once again. It shot a gleeful grimace at me with its sinister, fanged maw.
Finally, the creature drew back, fading into the darkness of my room as my eyes fluttered shut and I fell backwards in my bed.
I woke up the next morning at my normal time in a cold sweat and reached up to my forehead to feel a deep cut in the right side of my temple. I was lucky: I had been given just a warning.
And I’ll never do it again.