The Calm Nightmare

I have awoken from this dream, this nightmare and decided to write this down, for this is a dream I have not had before. This was my Calm Nightmare. However, there was a part before it, and it gave me great joy and sadness.

I’m at my parents house. There are people here, I can hear them. I know my mother is one of them; she is right in front of me, talking on the phone or speaking to another. I’m not quite sure at this point. I walk out of the kitchen into the entryway of the house, past the black piano walking down the steps toward the back yard. I veer left and enter my parents bedroom, going into their bathroom and eventually ending up in their walk in closet. On the left there is a pile of clothes on the floor, which is odd because my mother is strict with her tidiness. I get down on my belly before the pile of cloths and inspect it. Protruding out from the pile is a tiny, smashed snout with closed bulgy eyes. It’s Iris, my Boston Bull Terrier. I don’t disturb her sleep, but she feels my presence and wakes up. She is a loving dog and is quite excited to see me, as I am to see her. She unearths herself from the pile of cloths she burrowed under and…

I’m in the kitchen again. For some strange reason there is snow on the floor, nearest the window and the desk in a rectangular shape, almost as if there was a hole in the roof where there was none. Others are here, but I only know that my mother is here for certain. The others are just voices in the distance, in other places in this house. She is on the phone, not quite yelling, but definitely in a tense tone and excited volume. Something is wrong.

It’s Iris. She has some terminal disease, and she will die soon. 

And she did. However, she died 8 years ago, shortly after Christmas. I was in college at the time, away from home. My parents came up for Christmas, and I got to see her again. I got to play with her and hold her and share my bed with her. I got to hear her high pitched bark. I got to see her one last time before she had her seizure and died at home with my parents.

This wasn’t the Calm Nightmare. It wasn’t a nightmare at all. I was happy to see her alive again, even if in a dream. The only nightmare I face is the one I’m in right now, having to recant this dream, or should I say, this part of the dream, wiping the tears from my eyes as I type this because I miss my dog so very much. I miss my little Iris.

I’m in a hospital now. It is busy, full of voices and perceived life, however I’m segregated in a room by myself. There is a computer in the room with mIRC open. Messages are sent to me, spam, and I ignore them. I reassure myself that my settings are set to not to automatically receive anything they send and wot not. The voices continue, pitches raised, speaking of a bridge and events that had happened around it. I can’t quite make it out exact details, but the general impression was not good. Then it happened…

Silence. Dead silence. I opened the door to my room and saw that the place was deserted. There were no voices. There was no one around anymore. I knew what this was. This has happened before. Whenever there was activity followed by nothingness, it meant the worst. It meant that something was coming, or perhaps just waiting. I grabbed the side of the door and contemplated smashing my head against it; to drive myself from this nightmare and into reality, where I would be safe. In hindsight, I found it odd how I wanted to escape by causing myself bodily harm. After all, I haven’t used that technique in quite some time. I decide against it, even though all the signs were there. 

I was alone. At least, I was the only person here. The hospital didn’t look like a hospital, judging from what I could see now. To the left and right of my room were two short corridors that seemingly led to nowhere. Just dead ends without doors, or at least ones I could perceive. In front of me were two sliding glass doors leading outside, the bright white light shining inside. I stepped outside into the light.

Everything was covered in white. The best way to picture it would be that it snowed, however my feet left no prints, and there wasn’t that distinct sound of crushing snow as I moved slowly forward. I have a few choices; to my left there appears to be a frozen lake which went on toward the horizon line. In front of me was a wide path that slimmed a bit as you went further down, as small earth walls slowly formed upward as you went, blocking the way to the lake. I proceed forward slowly, but turn around and look to see if there was anything of interest behind me toward the left, now my right, of the hospital. In the distance I can see a lumbering being, slowly moving around. It reminded me of a flesh-less Terminator, however this being was not synthetic. It does not know I am here, and I am relieved. 

Having to either go back and perhaps being spotted by the creature, or traversing the steep walls which barred my way to the Lake, I decide to keep going forward. As I walk, I turn and look around to my right, now walking backwards and keeping my gaze to the left. There I see a spider-like creature, nearly three feet wide and a few feet tall, however it is very un-spider-like, with a large hard shell hump over part of its body. It slowly turns, and I know it knows I am here. The spider starts to scuttle toward me at a good pace. It’s eight pointed legs leaving no marks in the snow under it. I look behind me, and there is a rock laying in the snow a few feet away. I quickly bend over and pick it up with one hand and I feel its great weight. I was surprised, almost shocked at how heavy it was. This wasn’t normal. Things didn’t have weight in my dreams. Perhaps they did, and the times where a weight would be perceived was ignored because there was no tension in the moment. There was now. As I turned toward the spider-like creature scuttling toward me, a worry came over my mind. “What if I miss ?” I said to myself. If I did, this wasn’t going to end well. Pain is very common here, in my mind, and I knew this…thing…wasn’t going to be gentle. It wanted me to die.

It was just a few feet from me, certainly almost close enough to leap at me. I threw the stone, almost underhanded, and it came down on top of the creature with a satisfying thud. The spider-like creature would move no more. I turned around and continued on my way. On my right, which I could see before my encounter with the spider-like creature, was a giant felled tree, hollowed out with a three foot entrance. I peered inside, daring not to go in, looking around the inside of this tree, checking for any more spider-like creatures hanging on the ceiling or hugging the walls. There were none. Inside the tree there was a small well inside, with two vines hanging from the top of the tree going inside and down the well. I could climb down and go inside, but knowing that this is indeed a Nightmare, and not wanting to go down into a deep, dark, dank place, where there would certainly be more of those spider-like creatures or other horrors that I might not be able to kill, I turn from the entrance of the tree and keep going the way I was. I eventually get to a fork in the road with a path going left and a path going right. I check the path to my right and see another spider-like creature, its back turned toward me. It doesn’t know I am here. I am relieved once again and take the left path.

The bridge is easily seen, it was not far from the fork in the road. This must have been the one the people in the hospital were going on about. It was a bridge in the most base sense of one; it indeed allowed you to traverse the water below it, even if it was only a foot above the waterline, which wasn’t frozen. It was constructed entirely out of planks of wood and wasn’t close to being finished. The middle of the bridge was missing, with planks running just on the sides, to be used to cross. I start on the right hand side, and slowly start crossing the bridge.

To say that I was calm through this ordeal would be a slight understatement. This nightmare seemed to follow rules; things can die, objects are how they are in reality, at least the stone and the bridge are, and possibly deep down I knew that this was a nightmare. I would be certain of that, if it hadn’t been for the beginning. The moment when I knew it was a nightmare, and wondered if I should get out of it now or go exploring. However, I don’t need to cause myself bodily harm to awaken from nightmares anymore. I can just open my eyes and be done with it. I can be in my bed staring up at the ceiling fan, RIGHT NOW, if I so wished it. Then why did I chose a method of return that was obsolete ? A way to escape quickly if under pressure, sure, but there wasn’t any pressure to warrant it. It’s as if the nightmare wanted me to think I had control when I had none to begin with. I will never know, because I chose not to try to get myself out. If I had slammed my head against the door, and nothing had happened, that could have triggered the “real” nightmare, and I would have been in real terror. It might have been trying to trick me. 

I did not, and now I was crossing a shoddy bridge over murky water in what appeared to be some sort of swamp. The trees around me had foliage that hung low, almost touching the water beneath them. 

Then I heard it.

It was a girl, or a woman, I couldn’t tell for sure. Ascertaining her age was not really a priority. There was a dominating feature that put any kind of analysis aside; her lack of legs. She was behind me, traversing the same bridge as I was, coming toward me, and she had no legs. I mean that in the most purest sense; she didn’t have stubs in place of where her legs had been, it was as if her body was cut in half, just above the pelvis, and she was angry, slowly coming toward me. The only place I could go was forward, and I did keep going forward, but there was no tension or worry in the situation. I was calm. I knew she didn’t want anything that would be described as being a positive for me, she most likely wanted me to die, and that certainly was the case. 

The bridge design was that of a suspension bridge. In set intervals, there would be a wooden structure that would raise up and connect with the other side of the bridge. There were boards that led up toward the top of these but would stop halfway down, almost like scaffolding to work on the top of these structures. These structures were not high at all, only six feet high, give or take a few feet. The base planks would run right into the sides of them. To progress, you had to hold onto the vertical beam and swing your leg around said beam and place the foot on the subsequent base board, then swing the other across while holding on. 

The girl was still behind me, and I knew she couldn’t go further; she had no legs to do the maneuver I did to keep going. She had gotten herself up on the middle boards, climbing the slight incline toward the middle of the crossing structures, but she had nowhere else to go. She couldn’t follow. I gave her a smug smile, raised my hand and waved to her in a mocking “BYE BYE” motion. She was furious. I then raised my foot and brought it crashing down on one of the base boards running the length of the bridge, either breaking it completely or jostling it out of place. The board which the girl was on moved from under her, and the legless girl crashed down into the water, where I assumed she would drown and find her final resting place. I turned and slowly continued down the bridge, but it had appeared to just end and go down into the water, not leading to dry land. I stopped and considered what to do, when I heard the water below me, and an angry voice coming from it. I wish I remember what was said, but it was her, the legless girl from before, and she wanted me dead. She leaped out of the water toward me with a shoe like object in her right hand. I would have called it a stiletto shoe, however instead of one long sharp heel, it had two on both sides, both fitted with long nail like blades on the ends, with two others on the front, however these were broken off. She swung the object, filled with rage and hate, towards me, to cut me, but I calmly grabbed the base of it, stopping its advance and halting the sharp blades a foot away from my chest. I flipped it over to my right hand and raked the blades horizontally across her chest, leaving two deep parallel cuts running the width of her body. There was no blood. She did not scream. Her face was staring into mine, frozen in shock as she grabbed her chest with her hands. I knew she wasn’t going to come back from that. I knew from the look on her face that this was the end. I raised my hand again, this time with no smile, no smugness, waving goodbye for the last time, as if saying “I’m so sorry, but, you made me do this.” She fell back down into the water, into her final resting place. I slowly turned to continue down the bridge, but I awoke without provocation, waking in my bed, staring up at the ceiling fan, ending my Calm Nightmare.

`The One Who Writes


~ by bhvalence on December 30, 2011.

4 Responses to “The Calm Nightmare”

  1. Holy shit this was so good, Nick. The part with the legless woman gave me chills. Aaaah inspiring.

  2. I love how descriptive you are about the dreams. Its crazy how you are able to stay asleep when you become completely aware of your dreams. Are you always aware from the start, or somewhere in the middle?

    • It depends. For this particular dream, I didn’t know I was in one until it was dead silent in the hospital. Sometimes it’s right from the get go, but other times I don’t know at all. It varies. I’ve been hanging around being conscious of myself and able to make my own decisions while being unaware of it actually being a dream for a while now. Although it’s much easier for me to become aware of the dream if it is a nightmare, just because they have certain triggers and patterns that are easier to detect.

  3. I enjoy, cause I found just what I used to be having a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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