Looking around, there wasn’t anything very unusual about the room. It was almost as if everything was back to normal and I had finally woken up. It wasn’t until I peered out the window that reality hit me. Instead of being on the second story of a building across a daycare my room was in the middle of an airplane hangar. The hangar itself looked like it had been abandoned on a small island. The sky swirled with gray as if a great storm were coming. I ran for the door hoping I could find answers outside but it would not open. Eventually it got to a point where I could not even touch the door know. Each time I reached for it I would miss or my hand would pass right through it.
Thunder kept roaring as I tried to escape my room. The clouds grew thicker and I could hear the wind rushing through the trees. The world outside was too empty. There was not a single person in sight and not a single bird in the sky. It was as if the whole world knew to take cover except for me. It gave off a slight sense of impending doom as my heart dropped into my stomach.
I turned my head away from the window and noticed something unusual. There was an old phone lying on my bed. It was one of those retro ones with a short, curling cord and a wheel to spin instead of numbers to press. Next to it was an address book that looked old and worn. Its blue cover had scratches across it as if it had seen years of use and abuse. Opening the book, I saw that there was only one number in there. Scrawled in a rushed hand it read Dream Doctor: *01.
Having little choice left, I dialed the number into that old phone. It gave off one ring before someone answered and I hear a male voice say, “It’s about time you found me.” I didn’t know what to say other than to utter the word help. There was a chuckle on the other side of the line. The dream doctor started to tell me something. He gave me advice that day and told me a secret about dreams that could alter the world. He told me a revelation about myself that I didn’t even know. More importantly, he also told me how I can wake up. He told me all this and more – and I couldn’t hear a single word of it. For some reason, I could not hear the words he spoke but it somehow made sense in that weird way dreams always seem to make sense. I may not know the doctor’s words, but that dream version of me understood it all. I just know that whatever he told me, it made my eyes grow wide and my heart skip a beat in a mixture of fear and excitement.
As the doctor finished speaking the phone line cut off and all I could hear is a loud tone. As the line cut off I heard a loud roar of wind and thunder crashing outside. The storm had hit and it was a hurricane. The planes around me were getting swept away and debris was flying everywhere and taking parts of trees and buildings with it. Hail pounded down heavily as I felt my room begin to sway under the force of the wind. Suddenly everything was getting swept away. Even more debris flew past my window as I see a plane getting blown towards my direction. The impact was frightening and immediate. It took out the whole room as everything got crushed and blown away.
Unlike the last dream, I remembered what I was supposed to be doing this time. I was supposed to find a way to save myself from those nightmares. This time I didn’t waste a single moment. I immediately set to work in search for a clue that would help me save myself. But where was I supposed to look? I scoured the ceiling but it was completely bare of anything asides from a dim light. There was nothing to be found there and everything else was several feet above me beyond my reach.
I sat there on that ceiling for a moment wondering what I can do. It was while I was sitting there that I felt a little pinch. It made me jump but I quickly ignored it. And then I felt it again, stronger than before. I stood up and looked down at the source of it. That’s when I saw the light beside me. There was an unusual current of electricity that can be seen flowing through it. It gave off a slight crackling noise that was slowly getting louder. My leg had been touching it while I was sitting and in that way it had managed to shock me. Looking at it now, I could see that it was getting stronger and more dangerous. Terrified, I backed away from the light only to feel something cold touch my feet. I looked down and saw water pooling around the corners of the room. They were slowly oozing in through the walls and slowly making their way to the center of the ceiling where the light was at.
I began to feel panicked at this moment. I can’t stay on the ceiling. My only hope was to reach the top of the room where the ground was at in hopes I could find my clue before the water gets to me. The only problem is that I am short and the beds and tables were all far above my reach. My head was spinning as I tried to figure a way out. Growing dizzy, I stumbled backwards into the wall and felt a sharp pain on the back of my head. I had stumbled into the top corner of a bookshelf proper up against the wall.
Being the nearest thing to me, I held on to it and tried to prop myself up. Its smooth finish made it difficult to hold on to and I fell back into the water. I was really running out of time now. I could hear the light crackling even louder than it had before and the water was pooling around the room inching towards it. I tried to pull myself up again. This time I dug my nails deep into the wood and clawed my way up. I could feel my nails slowly ripping out of their nail beds. I could see blood pooling around my fingers as a I tried to drag myself up. Bleeding and in pain I managed to get onto the shelf without slipping on my own blood. I stood trapped on that bookshelf, unable to go back down and unknowing what to do next. I was ready to give up.
Propping my head up against the side of the shelf I contemplated letting go and allowing the water and electricity to take me away. It was in this way that I opened my eyes and saw something scratched into the wall at the back of the bookshelf. They were instructions – the clue I had been searching for. It was as if my eyes could not focus on the words. As I tried to look at them they would blur off in that incomprehensible way dreams seem to do. Despite this, I somehow understood what I needed to do. I needed to get back to my bed. It was above from where I stood on that shelf, but still far away that I would have to jump to it.
At this point the water had already reached the light and was flooding up the room, getting closer and closer to me. I began climbing then. I climbed up those shelves until all I had above me was my desk. Having nowhere else to go I made a jump for my bed without really believing I could make it. I leapt into the air and fell towards the water. As I fell my hand quickly brushed the side of my bed, but for some reason this was all it took. One touch and out of nowhere I was lying on my bed again. This time gravity did not pull me down into water pooling below me.
Trapped in a flooding room and too terrified to move there wasn’t much I could do but one. I could go back to sleep like the other dream before me.
Confused and frightened I turned away from the window. As I turn my eyes landed on a corner in the room. Wasn’t there something there before? And that’s when it hit me. I remembered the nightmares and I remembered the creature that loomed in the corner staring at me. I realized that I was a dream and the real me is still stuck in bed trapped by a nightmare. At that moment, I only knew one thing and it was that I had to find a way to save the real me. Clueless as to where to start, I decided to start searching my room for any clues that might help me escape. I began searching in that dreaded corner where the shadow creature stood in hope that there would be something there to find.
I searched in every drawer, under every bed, and between every crack of that room but there was nothing to be found. In short, my room was exactly as it should be. It was extremely ordinary. The only thing about it that was out of the ordinary was the door. It was locked. I was locked in my room searching for clues that didn’t exist. At this point, this dream version of me did the only thing it could do. She – I – lay down on the bed and went to sleep.
The afternoon was burning down as I lay in my dorm room waking from a nap. I was still in that in between stage, not quite sleeping but not entirely awake. My eyes would flutter open heavily before sleep would pull them closed again. It was a cycle that repeated itself for several minutes – flutter, close, flutter, close – until I managed to keep them slightly open as two small slits. Lying there half-awake I could see my phone light up beside me. It was 2:30. Still in between consciousness and sleep I noticed that I was half dreaming, and my dreams are slowly bleeding into my waking world.
With my eyes half opened I could see them sweeping in and out of my vision and hovering around my room. The dreams were harmless at first. They were little wisps of things that I would forget as soon as I dreamt them. Soon, however, they grew darker and no longer tiptoed the border between my realities. Instead they remained in my waking world, stalking the spaces just beyond my vision. Unseen but felt, they left a bitter sensation upon me. I tried to squirm and wake myself but my body would not move. Paralyzed I lay there terrified of what I cannot escape. These little nightmares danced around me as my room burned up in a hellish frenzy. They held no form that I could comprehend but they filled my room, my vision, and my mind. Try as I might they would not leave me and I would not move.
And then they were gone.
All of them gone. At least they were until I noticed they were slowly pooling up in one corner of my room. As they came together what once were formless creatures began to take a shape all too wicked for me to bare. A creature rose in front of me composed of shadows and demonic in appearance. Its horns curled outwards before fading off into more darkness – and not a single part of me could move. It was soon that I learned that reminding myself that this is just a dream can make matters a lot worse. It did not make me feel any better, rather I felt even more hopeless that I could not control even my own dreams. As if in response to this the creature seemed to grow even darker and more threatening. I tried to run but all I had become was a stone. I tried to scream but all my voice could do is get stuck in my throat. I could not move and I could not wake. It was at this point that I did all I could do. I lay there and tried to sleep. If I could not wake this monster away, I would dream it away.