Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I just had one of the worst nightmares I’ve ever had. Perhaps it’s because my parents and I just moved into a new, unfamiliar town and are staying in a hotel room while we wait for our home to be finished, but I can’t get it out of my mind.
I was walking down one of the streets in the town, but there was something off about it. There was no moon and no stars, and all of the streetlights seemed to be emitting a false light from outside the glass rather than from a bulb inside the glass. The light from the streetlights never reached the ground…you only knew there was any light at all if you looked directly at the tip of the streetlights.
The asphalt on the street seemed to be made up of some sort of liquid rather than its usual solid form, and it looked to be flowing, like a black river. I knew I couldn’t allow myself to touch the asphalt, but I wasn’t sure why.
All the buildings were strange colors. They were normal greens and blues and reds, but they seemed…off. It was as though they weren’t real colors at all, but a trick of the shadows that caused your eyes to see colors that weren’t really there. Sections of the buildings were completely engulfed by shadows, so thick they appeared to be made up of ink. I couldn’t shake the feeling that if I touched these shadows, part of them would come off on my hand.
I continued my walk down the street, making sure to stay in the middle of the sidewalk. Seeing as the night was pitch black, I should say I fumbled down the sidewalk rather than walked. I happened upon an inhabitant. Just like the rest of the street, something was off about this person.
For one, you couldn’t see her eyes. You could tell they were there, that they weren’t empty sockets, but you could only see that same inky shadow that covered sections of the buildings. Her skin was completely pale, and seemed to emit a soft light, but, just as the light from the streetlights did, the light never illuminated anything around it. I couldn’t see the sidewalk or surrounding area any better around her than I could in a section of complete blackness.
I asked her where I was, and she didn’t speak, but smiled. Even her teeth were off, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was about her teeth that caused me unease. Upon closer inspection, I found that her incisors were a bit too long to be normal. This seemed like a normal defect, but it threw me nonetheless.
Needless to say, I continued on my way.
I eventually reached a large building, a building that blocked the entire street and sidewalk. There was no way around it, it seemed to go on forever. This building was completely engulfed in the inky shadows, but, unlike the other buildings, these shadows moved. They dripped down the building and pooled on the ground, and the ink still on the walls writhed and slithered.
I felt my way inside, and saw that what must have been the entire population of the town was inside. They weren’t awake, but hung from the ceiling in cocoons made of blankets and shadow. Ink dripped from their eyes and dropped onto the floor. Frightened, trying not to awaken the supposed people, I snuck back outside. On my way out, I tripped over a lone ‘person’ sleeping on the floor, who cried out in surprise. The people in the cocoons awoke.
That’s when I woke up.
I called for my parents in the darkness of our hotel room, terrified. They rushed to my side, obviously worried. I told them about the nightmare I had. They looked at each other, silent for a few moments. I couldn’t really remember the specifics of the nightmare anymore, but I still felt uneasy. My mother looked at me and smiled, and I noticed that something, though I couldn’t say exactly what, about her teeth was slightly off.
Credit To: Kaylin Rutter