Daily Prompt: Nightmares
I have had a recurring nightmare for as long as I can remember. As a child, I can remember it involving pirates who wanted to kidnap me. Now, they are just random people. It may change some, but the general theme is the same.
It is terrifying. Soul shaking. And sleep will elude me for hours afterwards.
I never know when it is going to hit. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern. It can happen during times of extreme stress and times of extreme contentment. I am always caught off guard.
They always happen when I am not quite asleep. More like, I am asleep – but I am still aware of my surroundings. The sound of the TV in the background. The whir of the ceiling fan. Yet, I am unable to open my eyes. My body is paralyzed. I know what is going to happen, and I am powerless to stop it. If only I could roll over! The spell would be broken. Yet, I am glued to the bed.
And so it begins.
Once in the terror, the images are fuzzy. I am in danger. As are the people I love. These days, it is my children.
We are being chased by men we cannot see. Chased by some very very bad men. Threatening men. Men who want to kill us. Starting with my loves – so I can watch.
We can’t avoid them. We beg for help from those around us, to no avail.
My semi-conscious mind knows that if only I could scream, it would all go away! It BESEECHES my dream-self to shout out! Just one good “Yelp!” But, the torture isn’t ready to be finished.
One-by-one my loved ones are killed off. To my knowledge, I don’t ever “see” it happen. I just know it has happened. And STILL I cannot call out to end it.
Then they turn to me and begin chasing me with renewed vigor. My heart is pounding. My breath coming in gasps. My mind is screaming, “WAKE UP!!!” My body is trying to open my eyes – or roll over – or scream – ANYTHING.
Just as I am about to be caught, I am able to scream.
My mind and my body finally work in tandem and I utter a scream. Out loud. Just one short burst of sound is all it takes to make the villains slink back into my subconscious, patiently awaiting the next attack.
The men have been at bay for a while now. Which makes me ever vigilant for their return. It is only a matter of time.