365 Writing · Stories

Dreamlands (part 3)

August 25

Last night I had the strangest dream in my life. I’m writing this as fast as I can to prevent it from fading though it also, strangely enough, doesn’t seem to be.

It started almost as soon as I closed my eyes. It, was almost as if I woke again but in a shattered and twisted version of the city. The buildings were merged together to form a giant maze-like structure, and I stood outside the city looking into Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.  Every detail I remember vividly as if I was living it again. Down to the small twinge of my spine as I looked out into the twisted city before me. There was no one nearby at first, but slowly other forms of people began to take shape around me. Many who I didn’t recognize and seemed as unaware of the strangeness around them as if walking through across the bridge to a warped city was all in a day’s work.

Unsure of what to do with myself I began to walk across the bridge, I realized that this was occurring after I had gone to sleep, so hoping like an dream you realized you were in I tried to fly or change the location, or something, but instead it was as if it were all real. Unsettled by this I continued along the bridge, which twisted back and forth like no real bridge rightly should. I couldn’t quite tell, but it almost seemed that there were faces carved into the bridge itself, screaming faces. Maybe this was just my imagination but it was all the more unsettling to think about, and I tried to not look that closely as I continued across the bridge.

Reaching the other side I found Manhattan starting at me like the entrance to a cave or a labyrinth, bizarrely twisted and contorted the buildings seemed to merge together father into the city like one great building that blotted out the sky up to a massive cresset moon. Most of the figures of people I could see were continuing to walk into the maw of this structure. My feeling of unease rose as I saw them walk inside, I didn’t know why but it was almost like watching sheep walk into a slaughterhouse, and some primal part of my brain wanted me to turn the other way, while the rest of me could only watch.

Suddenly I recognized the two students from Dr. Kent’s office. While their names had stood out to me only hours ago when I wrote in this journal, at that time, I couldn’t recall them for the life of me. I tried to wave at them, and signal but they seemed not to notice me as they walked inside the city.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” I quoted Star Wars out loud though more like in a whisper. It was still good to hear the sound of my own voice as I realized the very air around seemed to be dampening noise. They were too far ahead of me at this point, and I lost sight of them as they rounded a bend.

Rushing to keep up I found myself looking up at a building, which resembled that of NBC or some other broadcasting center. Its name was obscured like I couldn’t look at it other than through the corner of my eye, but a billboard advertising a game show appeared bright and clear.

Wheel of Fortune meets Jeopardy, meets 20 questions, meets… It read as it kept listing a hodgepodge of game shows leading into a chaotic mess of names. Some of the people from before I could see walking inside and I hesitantly followed. Shortly upon stepping into the entryway the building opened up into a vast amphitheater. It was almost what I had always imagined the Coliseum looked like back in the days of the Romans, only this was modern and inside a vast building. Looking around I could see the place was packed to the brim, with the crowd going wild as to what was happening below in the stadium.

I moved to the edge of the stadium railing, trying to push past the screaming crowd below. I don’t think I thought of this at the time, but most of their faces are coming back to my memory as strangely distorted, like a Picasso painting, at the time it didn’t bother me… maybe it’s my memory of event’s, but this dream felt just as real as waking. Anyways, I found my way to the edge of the crowd below. The stage or arena or what have you was set like a giant game show. A giant wheel of fortunate was established, and a shadow of a man was standing there spinning it. The strangest thing that, and still does send shivers down my spine was both of the guys from the office on a large table. Their bodies were being chopped and then sewn onto each other. Neither of them seemed in pain or even phased at this. As I continued to watch they were both answering questions as the wheel spun they began sawing more parts. I couldn’t tell rightly if they were doing this as a reward or punishment. Either way, the crowd grew steadily more excited.

For some reason, the sound of the questions and what was being said below was inaudible to my ears, and I guess mine alone as the crowd roared and roared again as half of one’s hands was swapped. With a curiosity that strikes me as odd, I began looking for a route down to the floor, thinking that I could hear better from a closer perspective. The masses of strangers made this problematic however to navigate, and soon I was lost in the throng trying to force my way to a better angle.

All of a sudden, however, I found myself thrust face to face with Kelly. She seemed troubled and confused in the mass of people, or at least as much as I imagined I looked like.

“What are you doing here? Kelly?” I asked knowing it was a stupid question. This was my dream after all.

“I don’t know. I just followed the crowd, and suddenly I found this, this thing…. What’s happening?” She answered while looking around warily at the strange looking people around us.

“I can’t tell you. I don’t know myself either.” I replied looking or a way out of the throng. “Here, come with me.” I grabbed her hand and began to force our way out through the throng again until we came to an outlook and staircase down to the ground floor. It was blocked by a shadowy figure, and by that I mean all I could remember of him was a shadow of a figure blocking the path down.

“Do you have a pass? He, or maybe it asked, as we pressed walked up to it.

“Not particularly” I responded quietly, with nothing else coming to my mind.

“Then you can’t cross. Below is for contestants only. And it’s not your turn.”

“My turn?” I was able to ask more, but suddenly a massive roar from the crowd distracted me, and I turned my attention back to the performance. The shadowy figure on the stage signaled with a flourish, and I could see the words Final Round! Appear on monitors around the arena.

“What is this?” Kelly whispered to me as we both stood in rapt attention, noticing the sudden hush of the onlookers. Finally, the sound from below came through to my ears crisp and clear.

“I ask you now.” Said the Host at the wheel. “For the grand total, the winning number! The end and the beginning! What… is… your… purpose?!”

Silence fell like a physical layer in the air for a moment. And all I could think of what was this question supposed to mean? What even where they assumed to be winning or losing for that matter.

“Hell if I know.” Both heads said in unison together.

“Exactly!” The Host said waving his arms in the air to the sudden roar of applause.

Pain like knife wounds began to shoot through my head as the crowd clapped and I could see cracks starting to form in the building and on people’s faces all around. Seeing Kelly it looked like she was in as much pain as mine and I reached out for her, but suddenly the floor beneath us fell and split propelling us all into a void-free fall which finally jarred me into wakefulness.

Upon waking I found myself drenched in sweat, this was new for me. It was like I had jumped in the pool and then into bed. I lay there for a moment realizing I was breathing heavily and took some time to stare at the ceiling, more mulling over the dream I just had than looking at it. After a moment I realized I heard labored breathing coming from the other bed as well and gathered the strength to look and see Jim sitting straight upright on his bed with a look of horror on his face. After a moment he returned my gaze, and a shiver ran down my spine.

“Was it a dream?” I asked quietly, barely able to hear my own voice. The lights of the city and the moon were the only illuminations available to me as I watched him and swallow slowly.

“I saw you in it.” He said carefully. “You and Kelly. There were all these people, and they were watching this… show… it…” His voice trailed off, as he couldn’t make himself continue to talk about it and just stared for a long moment.

“I didn’t see you, but… I had the same dream.”

To this, his eyes instantly darted up to my own, as if he was relieved and yet knew I was going to say this.

“What was it all about? He asked, “What does this mean? You’re the Psych major right?”

“Don’t ask me… I don’t have a clue for something like this, I don’t know who would… and besides, I’m just a freshman, same as you.”

He nodded at this and then began to stare into space again.

“I don’t think I’m going to be sleeping tonight.” He said quietly as he continued to stare at the adjoining wall.

“I doubt I will either,” I replied and picked up a pen and this notebook turning my desk lamp on… I have no idea what’s going on with this, I have no idea what this means, but I do know I want to find out.

[I might come back to this story later. I want to start another couple series next]