Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|I awoke again. Eyes searched the darkness. “Same nightmare.”
Sleep fled. “When will it end?” I heard myself say.
It didn’t sound like me. The words came out beyond tired. My jaws cracked in a skull splitting yawn. “Same as every night before.”
I felt so intimately bound to the dream, I carried vestiges of it with me as I arose, donned my robe and made my way to my bedroom window. The illusion of reality held captive by the scene lay in stark contrast to that within my mind. “Nothing out there.”
Pills? Nothing helped. The worst drought prescribed sent me sleepwalking to the nextdoor neighbors at midnight. Unnerved, the police were called. I woke under 24 hour observation in a psychiatric ward. The bill alone should have been enough of a nightmare to replace mine.
It wasn’t. A change of physician to psychiatrist and I gave ascent in desperation to electric shock. “Lost much of my memory and my mind but not my nightmare. “Same time. Same station. No commercial interruptions.”
Outside, a flicker of movement. Any change was good. My eyes stung from lack of sleep. I was getting just enough before the main attraction to ward off complete exhaustion.
I willed the movement front and center out of my peripheral vision. The latter is much more useful in the darkness filled with black and white rods instead of the color of day used by cones. “Am I seeing things?”
I’d read up on sleep disturbance, knew about the ghostly appearance of delusions. Outside my window moved my nightmare. I felt my teeth clench, my hair rippled, standing on end. Chilled nerves brutalized my body from one end to the other. “Come on then,” I urged in a long drawn out groan.
Real or not, it felt all the same to me. I caught my breath so long I felt faint, forced myself to intake air, filling my internal billows, preparing to scream. What faced me on the other side of my window drew close to the pane. It wavered a moment against my reflection, licked at it with a long purple wet worm like tongue.
Slobber bubbled against the glass surface, beaded, became dibbling tears. The nightmare face hovered an instant away, bodiless. It was a changeling, warped features mocking my own. Gleaming swollen red veined eyes peered and blinked at me from the dark craters where they lay.
I watched my hand crawl up the glass, an effigy reflection mirrored my own. “I am my own nightmare,” I croaked.
I knew how to make a sudden end of it. Suicide wasn't the answer calling out to me. I had to turn myself into someone else’s living nightmare. So, I did.
“Hello, neighbor. Did I wake you? I know just how you feel. No. Not sleep walking. Sudden endings have become my thing.”