The following is a real nightmare that I had three years ago. I should start by saying that I wrote this piece only a week or so after having the dream, and I've only done some light editing to it for clarity and grammar. I remember writing the details of this nightmare as vividly as I still remember the dream itself. I remember hoping that putting it on paper would get it out of my head. I am normally a vivid dreamer, but this was something different entirely. Details of the dream haunted me for months after having it. I could be minding my own business and have a flashback to the dream and subsequent panic attack upon my waking. Since it's spooky season, I thought I'd share my one experience with true horror.
Three girls lie soaked and mud-covered on wet ground. The rain falls in heavy waves, lightning flashes, thunder rolls deep and resonant. They lie with their faces upturned, their tears mixing with the rain and muck coating their faces. They've dug three graves with their bare hands. Three graves for three boys. Boys who should not have died. One girl is blonde, though I can’t see it through the grime; only dream knowledge tells me this is so. I am drawn to her, and I know that soon I’ll be seeing through her eyes.
The blonde is dressed in robes of grey, her head covered by a hood. She stands in her castle, in front of the great windows looking out to the mountains and trees. I can see them clearly, see the leaves move in the mountain breeze. I realize that I'm looking through her eyes and feeling her sadness. She and her friends discuss preparing the bodies for their funeral, but one of the boys troubles her. Jace. The people of her village believed him to be a demon, though she knew him well. They do not wish for him to be buried with these other boys. His name, I later find, means “healing” or “the Lord is my salvation.” How could he have been what they said he was? She pulls away from her friends, glances forlornly at the two young men lying on the stonework of her massive foyer. Dark-haired and handsome both, their sightless eyes staring into the rafters.
Jace is being kept in a separate part of the castle, but she needs to retrieve his body for the funeral. She travels down a side hall, through previously opened wooden doors to the stone bench where he lies. An attendant stands in front of the bench in a gray cassock. A wooden cross lays against his breast. He bows his balding head and steps to the side. She sees Jace then, covered in brownish-grey robes, bound by thin ropes. The cloth over his face has been pushed onto his forehead. His disheveled, cropped blonde hair is dirty. His face is swollen, bloated from death. His lips are sewn together with thick grey thread, but not well, his lips are slightly parted. The Xs of the thread are dark against the soft pink of his tongue. His eyes stare blankly back at her; the irises marbled crimson. A wave of grief washes over us.
I know before she moves that the girl has power. Telekinesis, the ability to move objects and people with her mind. Using her hands for direction, she waves Jace’s eyes closed and the cloth covers his face once more. I have dreamt of this power before, but when I have this ability the movements are stiff, unnatural. Things move because I want them to, but my mind has trouble conjuring the idea. Here, though, when the girl raises her hands and Jace lifts from the stone, everything feels right. I know, as she turns his body so that the top of his head is now facing her, that this is no ordinary dream.
With Jace in front of her, she begins to back down the hall she came through. She only makes it a few steps, though, before Jace’s head falls backwards and the cloth drops from his face. His eyes open. She pauses and looks in them. Seeing only emptiness, she waves his eyes closed and the puts cloth over him once more. She shuffles backwards again, his body hovering still. A few more steps and his head falls backwards again, the cloth falls and as she looks into his eyes again, she sees there is something living within him. From somewhere, either deep within our shared mind or in the halls, streams chanting. A chorus of deep voices rumbling words I cannot understand. It seems to fill the hall. Tumbles off so much stone.
I am ejected from her mind.
I see my spirit, my being, flying backwards; smoke tendrils trailing my sides as I fly down the hall.
I am in the foyer, hugging a far wall.
Dread fills me in hot, sticky waves.
I know as I watch the empty space that something very bad is about to happen. Before my eyes, Jace floats into the room. He’s stretched out now, no longer bloated, and his head hangs. His chin nearly touches his chest, and he hovers several feet above the floor. He’s facing forward, so I am granted a side view as he comes to a stop in the middle of the room.
I suck in a ragged breath. I'm desperate for the thing to not see me because if it does...
He turns slowly, so that he’s facing me. He looks directly into my eyes, and cocks his head to the side. The demon occupying the boy’s body knows that I’m there, that I don’t belong to this world I’m in.
It’s coming for me.
And gasp awake.