My name is Harley, and I’ve been with my boyfriend Dan for five years, lived with him for three. I love Dan more than anything in this world. He’s my best friend, my partner in crime, my biggest pest, and my number one supporter. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without him anymore. We both work in the foodservice industry. He’s a chef, and I’m a server. Food is his biggest passion and while being a line cook doesn’t pay much it’s worth it to see him do something he loves.
Working in food service means we work some pretty weird hours. It’s not uncommon for us to get off of work after midnight, come home, quickly scarf down our dinner, then head up to bed and sleep until around 11 am or 12 pm. Dan has a much easier time falling asleep than I do. Most nights as soon as his head touches the pillow he’s out like a light. I, on the other hand, struggle a bit more to settle my mind and get comfortable. This usually leads to me plugging in my headphones to watch YouTube or scroll through Reddit until I fall asleep while trying not to move or make too much noise that would wake him up, though he’s a pretty heavy sleeper so I never have to worry about it much.
Dan has always been a very….animated dreamer. He talks in his sleep every single night. Some times he even sings or raps! When we first started sleeping together he would speak so clearly I honestly thought he was still awake. Sometimes I like to talk to him while he’s asleep and tell him about the little nocturnal conversations in the morning. He also has a tendency to sleepwalk on occasion which can be a bit worrisome. Dan sleeps naked and I can’t very well just let him walk out of our apartment in his birthday suit in the middle of the night! Recently though his dreams have been getting kind of odd. And when I say recently I mean within the past year.
It started with what seemed to be a few bad dreams. I always keep one earphone out just in case he says something funny or if he gets out of bed and I need to hear. One night Dan began tossing and turning and whimpering. Literally whimpering like a scared puppy. Suddenly he rolled over to me, his eyes open wide, his expression was terrified and frantic.
“Harley?!” he called out with a trembling voice. The fact that he didn’t see me even though his eyes were open was enough for me to realize he was still asleep.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay,” I cooed quietly and gently cupped his face in my hands. “I’m right here. Everything’s alright.”
Dan let out a relieved sigh before snuggling against me and pulling my body tight against his. For the rest of the night, any time I moved his eyes would shoot open again with the same frantic expression and I would have to calm him down and let him know I wasn’t going anywhere. I asked him about it the next morning and he said he didn’t remember a thing. Though he said he had a really weird dream, but he couldn’t remember what about.
This went on for about three days. The next two nights after that were calm and I figured he’d just had a few bad dreams due to some stress from work. About a week after that, give or take a few days, something even weirder happened. We were laying in bed like normal when suddenly Dan just got up and walked over to our bedroom window. I pulled my earphone out and called to him. “Dan? What are you doing, baby?” At first, he didn’t answer, so I called to him again. He then placed his finger on the glass as if he was pointing to something outside.
“They’re coming,” he muttered.
“Who’s coming?” I was starting to get a bit worried so I made my way over to the window to see what he was talking about. We live in a second story studio apartment on the side of a fairly busy road. It’s not uncommon to see people walking or driving by even late at night. But that wouldn’t explain what he was talking about.
“They want inside.” Dan suddenly wrapped his arms around my waist in an almost possessive or protective manner. “We can’t let them in. I won’t let them in. I won’t let them hurt you.”
Though I was a little freaked out I simply smiled and led Dan back to bed.
Every night for a month after that Dan would get out of bed and either walk to stand in front of our door or in front of our window. He would mutter something about not letting them in or them getting closer before I would pull him back to bed. Every morning I would ask him about it and he’d tell me he had no clue what I was talking about. Nothing else seemed strange about him though. During the day he wasn’t anymore fatigued than usual, he didn’t seem paranoid or scared, everything was fine until he’d go to bed.
One night he jolted out of bed suddenly and ran for the door. I was worried he might run out so I jumped out of bed to stop him. “They’re here!” he yelled in a panic.
Before I could even ask Dan what was going on he went on the defense. He started screaming at the door telling “them” to leave. They weren’t allowed to come to him, they weren’t welcome. With every passing minute, he seemed to become more and more agitated. “You can’t have him!” he yelled before punching a hole into the wall next to the door.
Screaming his name like that seemed to startle him awake enough.
“Huh? What?” He looked around confused and then whined about his hand hurting. I led him to the bathroom, patched up he little gash across his knuckle, then led him back to bed. He was out like a light again as soon as his knees touched the bed. While he didn’t talk the rest of the night he still tossed and turned quite a bit.
I was becoming steadily more concerned as this didn’t just seem to be a reoccurring nightmare. Whatever was happening was very real, to him at least. I tried asking him to see a doctor or therapist but he said there was no purpose in wasting the money when he felt fine. I thought maybe I was just jumping to conclusions. Maybe I was just being paranoid. Until a few nights ago when Dan suddenly sat up in bed. I was prepared to bring him back to bed from the door but he didn’t get out. He just stared into the darkest corner of our room which is next to our dresser.
“They’re here,” he whispered, without moving. “They got in.”
His eyes were wide open and focused in on that one corner.
“Dan, you’re freaking me out.” Suddenly that attention was turned to me.
“They aren’t of this world, but they’re trapped. They’re angry. They feast in the dark but want to devour your light. Don’t let them take your light, Harley. Don’t let them. I won’t let them hurt you.”
I could feel my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. His voice was so serious and his eyes bore into mine. He pulled me close to him and pressed my head against his chest. I could hear his heart beating under my ear and tried to use that to forget about what he’d just said. Lately, though, I’ve been becoming more fearful. I’ve started seeing shadows move in the dark parts of our apartment. Our electric bill has shot through the roof from me trying to keep the lights on at all times. I haven’t been able to sleep right because I keep having these nightmares that make me wake up screaming in a cold sweat but I can never remember what they’re about.
I don’t know what’s happening, but my boyfriend’s dreams are starting to scare me.
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