Estimated reading time — 12 minutes
So, I’ve been on the road a lot lately. I feel like road trips are the perfect time to wind down and release a lot of pent up stress. I myself go on road trips when my job becomes so stressful that I want to quit, when family members pass away, or to deal with the horrible images I’ve been seeing in my dreams lately. Let me take a step back first.
My name is Michael and I work in sales at a printing company. I know, “That sounds like the most utterly dull job that I can imagine!” Well I actually like my job, not always, but I still enjoy it for the most part. I get to talk to people all day, catch up with customers I haven’t heard from in a while, and I even get to work with my fiancé, Julie, who works in the HR department. I have had a relatively normal life but that’s fine with me. I’ve never really needed an extravagant life, full of stories and tales. I feel more comfortable with my well paying job and my beautiful soon-to-be wife. But all that changed when I saw them for the first time.
It was a late night, probably some short time after 12:00, when I started to doze off to the movie “Mama Mia,” which Julie made me watch on a nearly weekly schedule. As my conscience started to slip, I felt strange, like I was making a mistake by falling asleep. It felt like something wrong, like when you walk into a room and notice something is different but can’t really figure it out. It just felt concerning, but at this point I was already seeing the dream.
All I could see around me was fog. I started to see a sidewalk, then random pipes lining a building. The dream appeared to be of a large city, or at least of a downtown area, but it was completely barren. There were no cars, no people, not even a single pigeon in sight. It made me feel sick to my stomach, but I felt like If there was something there it would only be worse. I just sat there, as I was unable to move, not really knowing what to do. Nothing was happening and I felt completely paralyzed. I knew that I was lucid and could fully tell that it was a dream, but I couldn’t control my dream or even wake up.
It almost felt as if I were really in that desolate city, sitting paralyzed in this ungodly fog. All around me the shroud of fog hazed my vision, and I started to see shadows in the distance. I couldn’t even see the sky through the fog, which for some unknown reason, terrified me and shook every part of my being. Everything just felt so wrong. I felt like I was not meant to have seen this. Then I noticed something in the distance, a shadowy figure. It looked like a group of masses, moving in jerking, unsettling movements.
The thing twisted and churned, or at least the fog made it seem that way. I was in complete panic and disarray, and more than anything I just wanted to run, but my feet were fixed firmly to the cement. The buildings around me created an almost tunnel effect to the thing, making it seem as if it was drawing me in. I had a feeling of extreme dread wash over me, clouding my thoughts with nothing but panic. I tried to scream, to run, to do anything to get away from the thing but my body stayed still and my lungs wouldn’t expel any air!
There was a pit in my stomach so bad I just wanted to lie down right there and cry. I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew that there was something horrible about that dream. I would’ve cried if I could, but my eyes felt dry and I just couldn’t. Just as the figures where about to come into view, I was awoken by Julie’s laughter.
Now Julie would’ve brushed off my unease if it weren’t for the fact that I had awakened with screaming and tears. She rushed over to where I was sitting on the recliner and made sure I was alright. Usually in a situation like this Julie would rid me of my worries but something about her filled me with extreme unease. I still felt in danger. She wrapped her arms around me, which made every cell in my body scream. I gently pushed her off and told her that I was fine.
I decided to go on a small road trip to the gas station to clear my head, but deep down I just wanted to get away from her. The drive cleared my head and soon enough, my dread had disappeared. When I got to the gas station the first thing I did was fill up my tank. I went inside to see the usual clerk there, working the night shift with a less than enthusiastic attitude. I got a coffee and payed for the gas.
I drove home, all the while being slightly fearful that I would have to see Julie again. I pulled up to the driveway and walked inside with slight anxiety. Julie was coming out of the basement as I opened the front door. For some reason she looked like she was caught doing something or being somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be. I was too tired to care so I walked toward the stairs and told her that I was going to bed. She kissed me and sent me on my way.
That night, according to Julie, I tossed and turned and even spoke some horrified words. She let me sleep, as she knew that I had to be at work early that morning. I woke up feeling emotionally numb. I don’t remember what I saw that night, but it must have scarred me emotionally. I got ready and left before Julie woke up, as even the thought of being around her filled me with a deep unease. Looking at her made me feel like I was still in the dream, and that any minute, some dark shadow would come and whisk me away.
I got to work around 7:00, which is 30 minutes earlier than I’m supposed to be there. I went about my day and my worries slowly started to fade. I saw Julie at 7:45, as she works from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. She stopped by my desk to ask why I had left that morning and I just told her I had work to do that I wanted to get a head start on. She made sure I was fine and went to her part of the office. She really is a very caring person. I went to work, making all the calls I had to make and ignoring the no call list (my bosses make us call everyone, regardless of list) which made some people very angry and usually ending in angry words and violent cursing. I don’t know why but phone calls from sales brings out the worst in people.
I continued my calls until I checked the time and realized that I was on my lunch break. I went to the break room and found Julie already sitting there with both our lunches. We always ate the lunch that Julie made together. I sat down and we ate. It was a bittersweet meal. The food was good but being around Julie made my brain scream at me to run. “So what were you dreaming about last night?” Julie asked me after she finished eating. That feeling started creeping up on me again. Something deep down inside me did not want her to know about my dream. I felt in physical danger, that at any minute she would spring at me with a knife. “I can’t remember” I lied through my teeth. “Well that’s good” she replied. In hindsight I realize that her response was unnerving. Why didn’t she want me remembering my dream? Was there something that I wasn’t supposed to know? And how did she know about it?
I finished my meal and went to finish the rest of my shift. After work I drove home by myself, as Julie didn’t get done for another 2 hours. I didn’t know what to do with my time so I decided to take a nap. I know, smart, right? Well I started having dreams again as you can imagine. It was weird because it was the same exact dream except the shadowy figures were closer. The fog seemed to get thicker with every inch closer that the shadows got. I could almost start to make them out. I could tell that they were people, but the way they moved wasn’t right. They limped, almost hobbled, toward me.
Every inch closer I felt even more dread and worry. I could feel a sense of danger from behind me, but I couldn’t turn around. It felt that at any minute I would be gutted and left to rot in a gutter. I could also hear whispers, softly just out of range. Just as soon as I started to make out the people, I was awoken by Julie.
Apparently I had been screaming my lungs out and crying. Julie demand to know what I had been dreaming so I told her the whole story. As I told her, the worry in her face seemed to grow. I asked her what was wrong but she just avoided the question. It almost seemed like she was hiding something from me. She seemed to regain her composure and we talked about work for a while. I went to grab some drinks from the gas station at Julie’s request.
The drive there was nice as it was the night before, and the drive back was just as agonizing as it was previously. I got back, and once again, Julie was coming out of the basement. I asked what she was doing in there, but she brushed it off and said that she was looking for something. When I asked what she was looking for she brushed it off and avoided the question. I wasn’t in the mood to get in an argument, so I ignored it.
We sat down and watched the news for a while and soon enough it was time for bed. I will admit that I dreaded going to bed in fear that I would see those people up close. As I walked to the stairs I got a whiff of the basement through the door on my right. It smelled like decay and bile. “What’s that smell” I asked. “What smell?” Julie replied sounding a little too innocent. “I’m gonna go check it out.” “No you haven’t been sleeping well. You go get some rest and I’ll check it out.” Once again, I was too tired to start an argument, so I just did as I was told and went to bed.
Soon after Julie came back up and claimed that she didn’t see or smell anything in the basement. I just decided to let it go and worry about it tomorrow. I fell back into the land of sleep, but this time I could remember my dream. There was more fog than there had ever been before, like it was trying to hide the crowd of people from me, but it couldn’t because they were in perfect view, standing a couple meters away from me.
I realized that there were bloody slashes all over their bodies and some contained unique injuries, such as bruising and singed marks. Their skin was a sickly grey, coated with semi-dried blood, still running down from their wounds. Their eyes looked murky, seeming almost opaque, like it would cloud all light that entered them. They had deep wounds on their throats, their stomachs, and many other vital places on their bodies. One man had darkened veins, another with signs of bruising around his neck. It was utterly horrifying and I would have fainted if I weren’t already asleep.
Everything thus far had been quiet, until they all started speaking in unison. They all spoke the same word over and over. Basement. All throughout the dream the presence over my shoulder got worse every second. Their decayed mouths made the exact same movements. It was like they were some sort of hive mind. Some of them bled out of their mouths as they talked. Suddenly, the crowd fell over, limp and lifeless.
It was like someone hit an off switch. Maggots began to crawl out of all of their orifices. I wanted to throw up. On the bright side I could finally move, but I almost didn’t want to. I felt that presence behind me creep onto me. I could feel it like licking flames. I knew I had to look. I looked behind me, and standing there about 5 meters from me was Julie, with blood all over her. She had her head in her hands. It almost looked like she was crying. Concern washed over me and I wanted to run over and make sure she would be ok, but as soon as I started to move towards her she started cackling. She took her hands away from her face, revealing a twisted grin. She looked dead into my eyes, which contained extremely dilated pupils.
I was instantly brought to the basement in my dream. The weird part was that I could smell that dank smell. It was pitch black but I could her soft sobbing. I tried to call out but no sound escaped my lips. Suddenly the lights came to life and illuminated the terrifying scene. There was a woman strapped to a chair, crying through her muzzle. She looked like she had been through the flames of hell. She had slashes all over her and her eyes looked around crazily. I realized that she was one of the people in the crowd that I saw.
Suddenly the voices returned, uttering the phrase, “Look what she did to us!” I could hear someone coming down the stairs. When Julie reached the bottom of the stairs she stood there with a sly smile. She was carrying a small syringe full of black liquid. The lady in the chair just sat with terrified eyes. Julie walked over to her. She started whispering but I couldn’t hear her. I wanted to scream, to do anything to get Julie to stop but deep down I knew it was a dream and I was powerless. Julie brandished the needle firmly, gripping as if she would plunge it into the lady’s skin any minute. I tried to move one last time before just giving up. I could only stand there and watch the carnage occur.
She brought the syringe up to the victims arm, and pushed with all of her might. The muffled screams were but a tiny squeak when compared the the howling laughter erupting from Julie. Julie slowly released the contents of the needle into her victim’s arm. As the black liquid began coursing through her veins, the lady began to seize up.
Her eyes were squeezed tight, trying to endure the pain, but soon after they simply rolled back into her skull. Foam began drooling out through the gag around her mouth. Her skin began to grow a sickly grey as blood seeped from her mouth, eyes, and nose. Soon enough the lady went limp as Julie cackled and gasped for air. She looked as if she had just been on the best roller coaster of her life, a grin stretching across her face. I felt sick but more than that I felt hopeless. I just wanted to lay down and cry, but I couldn’t move. It all felt so real, as If I could taste the blood and smell the rancid decay of multiple corpses.
All at once, I could see fog covering up my vision as the voices chanted into my head. They screamed the word “basement” over and over into my ears, pounding it into my head. It was an endless cacophony of noise and fog. I woke up, feeling sick knowing Julie was in the same bed as me, but she was gone. I scanned the room and she was nowhere in sight. Suddenly she came through the door. “Where were you?” I asked. “Using the bathroom, why?” “No reason.” I checked the clock and saw that it was 1:00 AM. The feeling of having Julie in the same bed as me made me scream on the inside.
I decided to go on another road trip. I wanted to stay as far away as possible from Julie. I went down to the river that was about a 10 minute drive from our house and sat there until 3:00 AM trying to convince myself that it was nothing but a bad dream. I got back to the house and Julie was already in bed, fast asleep. I felt sure that Julie was extremely confused about why I left. I decided to watch a movie and fall asleep on the couch. Right before I fell asleep, I had the idea to check the basement, but I was too tired so I told myself I would do it tomorrow. It was my day off, after all. And Julie wouldn’t be at the house, as she had to go to her business trip in the morning. Every six months, Julie headed up to her conference out of town. I had never been to this conference, but thinking about it now makes me feel very sick and dizzy.
I woke up around 7:00 AM and Julie was already gone. After I got ready I decided to look in the basement, just to make sure my dreams were just dreams and nothing more. Julie was already gone, so I felt safe in the house at least. When I got to the basement door, it smelled rancid and rotten, just like in my dream. I felt completely anxious, like if I kept that door closed then every bad thing could just go away. Julie would be back in my life, I could just keep going to my boring job, and I wouldn’t need to call the police. I reached for the knob, jiggled it, and realized that it was locked.
I felt relief flood over me until my brain came to realization that I had to keep trying. I looked around the house for the key to the basement, but it wasn’t anywhere that Julie and I usually kept it. This made me think it was either really lost, or that Julie had taken it with her. Plan B, I found a crowbar in the garage and used it to pry open the door. It caused some damage that I would need to replace before Julie got home, mainly just the broken lock, but now I had the door open and the smell was tremendous.
I walked down the stairs slowly while they creaked underneath my feet. I walked into the cement basement, which now contained stains all over it. They were a reddish brown, and obviously this made me think that it was some bodily fluid such as blood. I scanned the room of anything incriminating, but everything was barren, it was just a cement room. I walked up the stairs, feeling an extreme unease at what I was starting think. I knew what I had to do next.
I write this now, before I get in my car. I don’t know when I may be back, but I’m going on another road trip. I’m going to go to where Julie is. I have access to her phone, and a while back I secretly installed a tracking app just in case she ever got lost or something happened to her. I turned on my phone and opened up the app. I won’t tell you where we live or where she went, but It was far away from where the conference was supposed to be held. I am going to where she is, and I want this as a note to my family and friends, and really anyone who reads this. If I don’t post anything further then you know what happened. I just have to see for myself.
CREDIT : Dylan M Skime
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