Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
You stumble out of your nightmare. Your leg cramps. Your room is dark and void of any light, except the soft red glow of your clock. 3:30 in the morning. Thought you were going to get a good night’s sleep? Not now, you have to get ready for work at 6. Perfect. What’s to blame for your nightmare this time, though? Might it be staying up into the wee hours of the morning yesterday trying to woo ‘her’ over Facebook? Yeah, that’s it. Your own mind is simply releasing your anger and confusion in your dreams. Or maybe it’s just staying up until midnight watching Adult Swim. You only got around 6 hours of sleep the night before, it could just be your sleep deprived brain not knowing what the hell is going on. Eh, fuck it, it’s a nightmare, why are you trying to find reason in it? You’re just going to try and salvage the little time you have to sleep. Though, as you close your eyes, you’re not thinking about how you’re going to try to sway her next time, or the excuse you’re going to give your boss. You’re only thinking about the nightmare.
A long, dark alley. Your watch isn’t on you, but you guess it’s midnight. It’s not entirely obvious where you are, but you know it’s not anywhere near your house. As you’re looking around to get your surroundings, you see a figure at the end of this alley, what looks like a woman. An elegant woman in a red cocktail dress, with long blonde hair. You can barely see her face. Wait, is that- hell! It is! It’s her! You try calling out to her.
But she doesn’t seem to hear. She starts to walk away, and you start to run. You keep yelling.
But it soon becomes apparent that no noise is escaping your mouth. At this point, you realize you never noticed any noise since the dream started. Anything you yelled was just a thought. You reach the end of the alley, but she’s already gone. You look around the corners, but you can’t find any trace of her. Maybe you should just go back.
As you turn, you see her at the other end. You can’t see her face at all now, and her dress seems darker. This time, you book it. You get about halfway down when you notice the alley is longer than you remember it being. Not only that, but with each step, it seems to get longer. Everything is stretching with it. Any doors or trashcans in the alley expand, and even you seem to. You try to take longer strides, but your muscles tense up, making it even harder to run. All this time, she’s not moving. Your muscles finally stop moving at all, and you fall down. That’s when you hear it. This roar. Not a “simple” roar, either. Fifteen different animals are all growling, roaring, some even screaming in pain. It’s loud, too. You have to get up, fast. Your muscles are weak, but slowly you get the strength back to rise. You look around, but can’t find anything.
“What the fuck was that?”
It gets louder and louder. You keep looking around, but nothing’s there. It grows closer. Fuck it, it doesn’t matter that you can’t see it. You run. Sprint. Your muscles ache, but you need to get out of there. It doesn’t seem like a dream anymore. Even if it is, you’re not ready to die in a dream, in a fucking back alley. Your legs give out from under you, but you get up and keep sprinting. As fast as you go, the exit doesn’t seem any closer, and the growl just gets closer.
And then, it stops. Abrupt. Your legs quiver, and you give in, collapsing on the floor. Whatever was after you is gone. As you try to figure out what to do now, you hear a series of clicks behind you. Click-click-click-click. Click-click-click-click.
Great, the growl’s gone, but that goddamn metronome replaced it. You turn around to find out what’s causing it, only to find it staring into your face. A smooth, gray face. It’s… eyes? No, those aren’t eyes. They’re red voids. You try to find yourself in them, but there’s no reflection. Just red swirls, with even darker red tornados. There’s more to it’s eyes, though. Faces. Twisted, demonic, full of terror and dread. Their contortions don’t even seem humanly possible. You start to crawl backwards, and you get a fuller glimpse of this monster. It’s about the size of a Jeep, with claws the size of Jeep tires. It’s neck is long, twisting every which way, reaching the point where you once were. You keep crawling, trying to find some sort of sense in this creature, but you find nothing familiar in it. Its voids suddenly widen, and it reveals a mouth, a gaping black expanse, with multiple layers of sharp, grimy teeth, stained with blood. You’re going to be the next to join those faces. You’re not ready. You get up, trying to run, but it gets your left leg. A long, deep cut. That’s when you woke up.
“Well, I guess I’m going to bed at 10 now…” you think.
You start to pull the covers up, but you feel something. It’s wet and cold, down near your legs. Did you piss yourself out of fear? You pull the covers back, and realize it’s not piss. Piss doesn’t smell like this. It’s hard to figure out in this darkness. As you swing yourself out of bed, your leg sears in pain. Is that left over from the cramp? Dreams can do that, integrate parts of reality into a dream. You hobble over to the lamp to turn it on. A bright light floods the room, as your eyes adjust, you see the cut. It’s long and deep. And fresh.