Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
Dreams are supposed to be a magical place, a place where we can escape from our everyday lives, where our imagination can run free.
I have often heard my friends complain that they don’t dream enough, or that their dreams are too dull, but not me. Ever since I was young I have had dreams very frequently, and I used to enjoy them.
However, nowadays my dreams are a bit different.
I’ll start at the beginning, because where else would I start? I have always had quite a mundane life, living in a small town with next to nothing to do.
Friends weren’t exactly my strong suit growing up, so I relied on my imagination for my own entertainment. Although I think this is quite a common thing for most kids to do anyway.
As I said, I would dream very frequently, almost every night if not every other night. Nothing ever stood out from these dreams though, in fact most would be forgotten by the time I crawled my way to breakfast.
Unfortunately, these forgettable dreams couldn’t last forever.
I am currently 22 years old, and the “new dreams” began around two years ago.
It was a night like any other, nothing abnormal happened during the day, I was simply ready to go to sleep, and so I did.
Once I did I found myself in a world of grey, it wasn’t necessarily dark, just bland. There were grey houses, grey streets, grey grass, essentially an atypical neighborhood, but everything was a shade of grey.
Looking around I saw almost nothing of note, until I spotted a woman sitting on a bench, a woman I did not recognize.
From what I’ve read, the brain does not simply invent faces, we can only dream of what we’ve seen.
So, perhaps this woman was someone I had walked by in a crowd once, or seen in the background of a TV show, someone I had seen just long enough to conjure their face in my dream.
The woman looked to be in her mid 30’s with long grey hair, small grey eyes, grey lips, and her clothes were well you guessed it grey, she had typical soccer mom look, that is if soccer moms had no color to them.
She stood there completely still, like she was simply a prop to this world. Then, after a long stare down, she began to raise her right arm. She began to point at something, the direction she was pointing was close to me, but not directly at me.
As I began to turn to look at what she was pointing at I… I was ripped from my dream, I found myself lying in my bed on my side, my heart was beating incredibly fast, yet I had no clue why.
Thoughts were racing through my mind, who was that woman? What was she pointing at?
My mind was moving so fast it took me a few moments to realize I couldn’t move, I was completely frozen laying on my side, with my head facing my wall.
That’s when I heard my bedroom door open, my eyes were wide open, but I was not in a position that I could see who was at my door.
My mind began to rationalize the situation, it must have been my younger sister, perhaps she had a nightmare and she had come to my room for comfort.
I began to hear footsteps approaching my bed, the closer they got, the more I thought how heavy these footsteps were for a small child to have, but despite my suspicions I could not move, the only thing I could do was wait as my eyes were glued to the wall, just out of sight of my intruder.
Eventually, the footsteps stopped at the foot of my bed.
The next sound would be the creaking of the springs in my mattress as someone began to slowly crawl on to my bed, I could feel the mattress begin to sink where my feet lay.
In my position, this person was still completely unseen by me, and they continue to climb until they were directly behind me.
I began to feel light breaths down my neck, yet I still could not move, this went on for what seemed like hours.
Then the breathing stopped, as I felt a cold hand go across the mid-section of my back.
This was finally enough, I regained control of my body, as I flipped over and let out a monstrous scream.
Yet, there was no one there. Nor was there any sign anyone had ever been there, no impressions had been left in my bed, and my door was still shut like it always was when I went to sleep, there was nothing.
Most people probably have probably already decided that what I experienced was sleep paralysis, and I agree. I have done extensive research on sleep paralysis since that day, and it matches up almost perfectly to what I experienced.
However, there is one problem.
The spot on my back where the cold hand touched me now holds a scar. It’s a small line that stretches horizontally across the mid of my back. Before that night I had no wound there, nor any previous scarring on my back. As much as I wished it was just a terrible case of sleep paralysis, even then I knew it had to be something more.
Life returned to normal for a short while after this, I no longer dreamed at all, which did not bother me.
I did begin to sleep with my bathroom light on for extra light, as I could no longer stand to be in a room that was too dark to see.
I also began sleeping on my back, so even if I was experiencing sleep paralysis I would have a clear view of my whole room.
After about a month I had almost convinced myself that I was delusional, I even chalked up the scarring to something that I must have missed at some point, perhaps it had always been there.
That was until the second dream came.
Once again I found myself in the grey world. It was much the same as last time, this time an almost empty street and of course with no color.
Only now it was not a woman that stood in front of me, instead it was a man. The man was older, probably in his 70’s if not older, but once again it was a face I could not recognize. The previous woman had had no expression, in fact the only part of her that even moved was her arm when she began to point.
This man however was wearing a smirk, as if he knew something that I did not, but other than this he too was completely motionless. I guessed what would happen next, and sure enough the man began to raise his arm.
Only he did not begin to point anywhere in my direction, instead he extended his arm all the way to his shoulder and extended his thumb as if to say “behind me.”
Despite what happened last time, I was too curious to not attempt to see what he was pointing at. I began moving towards the man, I placed my right hand on the man to push him aside, and as I did…
I once again found myself in my bed, this time I realized instantly that I could not move.
My eyes darted towards my door, anticipating another visit like last time. Only it did not come.
Instead I noticed a shadow on the edge of my bathroom wall, reflecting off the light that I had left on. The shadow seemed to have been waiting for me to notice it, because once I did, it began to raise a hand and held it there, almost as if it was giving a still wave.
After a few seconds it put down its hand, and it slowly began to inch its way across the wall, stretching in to my room.
I wanted to run, scream, or do anything to get away from this shadow, but I couldn’t, my body refused to move as this shadow slowly crept along the wall towards me.
After a few agonizing moments, the shadow finally reached the wall next to me, and it paused, as if to study me. Then after a few seconds it overtook me.
The moment it happened I once again regained control of my body, and once again I let out a scream that could terrify anyone.
My whole body felt like it was on fire, it was a much more intense sensation than the cold touch I had felt last time. It only lasted a few seconds however, and as I looked down at myself I noticed I was fine, covered in sweat, and possibly some other bodily fluids, but otherwise fine.
That is except for the new scar that adorned my right hand, the same hand that I had touched the old man with.
At this point I was more confused than ever. The dreams had come from nowhere, along with the living nightmares. The grey world obviously had to have some connection to what was happening to me, each dream the figure had pointed somewhere, and each time I attempted to look I was brought back to reality, or at least I think it was reality.
I want to believe it is just a combination of odd dreams and sleep paralysis, but the scars staring back at me make me question everything.
It took almost an entire year for the next dream to come, and in between I had had no other dreams.
Of course when it came where else would I be but the grey world. This time I was inside a house, and empty and colorless house.
I began to move from room to room, until I spotted it, a child sitting on the floor. I say “it” because this child was essentially androgynous; I could not tell whether it was a boy or a girl.
They were around eight years old, I’d say, with mid-length grey hair, and no facial characteristics that would imply a gender.
The child was sat upon the floor coloring, well if you would consider a grey crayon drawing on a grey piece of paper coloring that is.
Without even looking up the child began to raise its arm that didn’t have the crayon and began to point to the side.
“I won’t look,” I said.
This caused the child to stop drawing and look up at me “But you have to look,” it said.
“Why? Every time I do I wake up to something terrible,” I responded.
“If you don’t look, he’ll get angry,” the child said, ignoring my question.
“Who is he?” I beckoned.
The child let out a sigh before saying, “Just hurry and look, you’re running out of time.”
After everything I had experienced I had no reason to trust what the child was saying. So, instead of looking I Instead closed my eyes, and I began trying to will myself back to reality, and after a few seconds, it worked.
I found myself back in my bed, and this time I was fully capable of moving. Nothing came for me that night, no mysterious figure climbing in to my bed, and no shadows approaching me. Had I beaten the grey world? Was it just that simple as to not trust the people there?
That brings it back to current day.
Over a year later I’d like to think that it is all over, that I will never have to see the grey world again, but my normal dreams have not returned. In fact, I haven’t dreamt a single time since my last night in the grey world.
I still have so many questions.
Who were those people?
What were they pointing at that they wanted me to look so bad?
But most importantly, who was the child referring to? Could this possibly be the person, or entity, that is responsible for what has been happening to me?
I’m not sure. If I never dream again I would be satisfied, but I fear that won’t be the case.
I’m terrified that one day the grey world will return, but I’m even more terrified of what I’ll find when I wake up.
Will “he” be waiting for me?