In Your Dreams

They're coming for me. I can hear the voices echoing through the dark woods … closer. I can see the faint orange glow of the torches when I glance behind me. My heart feels like it will explode from my chest and my throat is raw from gulping in the harsh winter air. Snow crunches under my feet and it's the loudest sound in the world. I want to stop, try to reason with them, but I know it's futile. The madness they all suffer from isn't born of reason. Innuendo and superstition are the parents of the mania that consumes them. They will not stop. They will not reason. They will kill me.

This is the dream I’ve been having, night after night, for over two months now. As I lay in bed I try to reel my self back toward shore from an ethereal river of insanity. I grasp at the everyday items in my room like life preservers—tv remote, alarm clock, iphone on the dresser.

My heart beat is starting to return to some rate approaching normal. I get out of bed and feel my way across the dark room. Reaching around the frame of the door I slap blindly at the cool tiles (they feel mercifully solid and real) until my flattened hand trips the bathroom light switch. Fumbling toward the sink I slap the faucet on and splash cool water on my face … then fill a glass for myself and take a few swallows. I place the glass down on the counter, reach up and run my hands through my hair. Something falls into the sink … pine needles. What the fuck? Am I still dreaming?

I trace my steps back through the day, trying to figure out if there is any logical explanation for this … nothing comes to mind. “You are seriously losing your shit,” I say out loud. The dull echo of the bathroom walls offer confirmation. But am I? I mean, I’m staring at actual physical evidence that, apparently, just came from a dream. I shut off the bathroom light and head back to bed. The clock on the dresser reads 3:13 a.m. Wonderful … I can look forward to moving through another day like some fucking zombie.

I run the dream back through my mind, trying to make some sense out of the fading images that consciousness is claiming back. I can see myself in an old-fashioned white nightie and weatherbeaten leather boots. I'm falling in the snow and a pile of branches breaks my fall. I try to pull my exhausted body up and it’s useless. I look down at my feet. My ankle is twisted at an ungodly angle. The mob in the distance is closing fast. Hopelessness and resignation are all I can feel as the dream fades. The last thing I remember is being covered in branches, snow and pine needles. And then … nothing.