Friday, October 19, 2007

of turncoats and fisticuffs

Holy crap. I can't remember ever having this happen before. I'm prone to vivid nightmares. Most of those who know me have heard me describe a few of 'em here before (and promptly asked me not to anymore). Most of them have a number of things in common:

- ghosts
- extreme violence
- being chased
- fighting for survival

Happily, though, they also tend to just be one-offs. I don't have reoccurring nightmares with the same characters, same locations, same threats, etc.

Except for last night. Last night was an 8 hour-long mind fuck. None of my nightmares were ultraviolent. None of them had the usual themes. What they did have, though, was a story that played itself out in a series of extremely vivid chapters. I must have had about 6 or 7 nightmares last night - all of which would get to a point where they'd wake me up and then, as soon as I fell back to sleep, pick up with the next chapter in the story my brain felt like tormenting me with.

The short version of it all is that I dreamt that our company president called a company meeting, first announced that he was going to be leaving the company, then announced that LucasArts was being sold to a foreign investment firm, then announced that the company's name was going to be changing to something ridiculous. It quickly became apparent that only part of the company was hearing this for the first time - the part that hadn't been ruled needless or redundant by the foreign firm. Needless to say, I was the only member of the Audio Dept. that was suddenly in a position of losing my job.

I then had dream after dream after dream about trying to fight for my job. Scheming, planning, begging, pleading, sweet-talking, fist fights ... All of it was so vivid. Writing it all down always makes a dream sound retarded, but there's a part of me still that was so effected by it all that I'm not 100% sure it wasn't just a series of dreams. I'm sitting here this morning just feeling nervous, freaked out, and like I can't trust anyone at work. It's a crappy feeling. I think I'd rather go back to my violent ghost dreams, to be honest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

of a falling out and of falling

The second dream last night was much more of a standard nightmare for me.

I was the third partner in a law firm. It became apparent very quickly that things in the firm had been going badly for some time. There were allegations of wrong-doing and we had just received word that day that we were being investigated.

The other two partners seemed to blame each other. At first, their frustrations vented as simple shouts across the hall from one office to the next. But shouting alone didn't seem to settle the matter.

It wasn't long before I found myself quite literally caught in the middle as I was attempting to pull the other two men off of each other as the first few punches flew. There were shouts about clients, about accounting discrepancies - not much of it made sense to me. What made immediate sense was the fury in each other's eyes.

As with all dreams, there are holes in my recollection. After the hole in this dream, I found that the not-guilty partner and I were located in an abandoned upper floor office in an attempt to barricade the door. Somewhere off in the distance was the guilty partner. We knew he was armed with at least a knife.

As I peaked out through a crack in the door, I discovered that I had sadly underestimated the threat he posed, as he now had a handgun and an axe. All sanity seemed to have left his eyes. There was only murder and bloodlust in them now.

Our barred door didn't hold up long and it's only moments before the axe-wielding partner entered. There was a scuffle by the window. I was apparently armed as well because I locked the knife I was holding with the axe being swung at me. My arm took a pretty deep gash, but I wasn't cleaved in two so I consider it a victory.

I could feel my knife sliding deeper and deeper into his wrist. I know that one of us is going to die but I can't figure out who it's going to be. With a kick, we broke apart from our bloody tangle. I'm not sure who kicked who.

Next thing I knew, I stumbled out in the hallway again, scrambling for the handgun he had dropped before entering the room. He turned around and began stalking me with the axe, its head already stained with my blood.

I raised the pistol, aimed directly at his heart, and told him to "stop." My hands were shaking so badly I hardly knew if I'd be able to coordinate the thoughts necessary to pull the trigger. He didn't stop and I could feel myself tumble off of a moral precipice somewhere in my head as I pulled the trigger for the first time.


The chamber was empty. He smiled and came closer.

Click. Still empty. He started to laugh. My hands were shaking horribly. I could see my own blood clotting on the axe head.


I was doing my best to stay focused and not contemplate my own death. I pulled the trigger again.

There was an explosion. A bullet flew out of the chamber while the kickback kicked me back a few feet. I watched in horror as the bullet traveled the short distance between us and then seemed to hover just outside of his body.

At first, I though it was going to simply fall to the ground. Slowly, though, the bullet pushed its way into his skin. It looked painful - more painful than a regular gun shot - but he didn't seem to be phased by it so I fired again. Three or four more shots all left the gun. Each one slowly pushed their way into his skin.

Something was wrong with him, he was doing his best to walk forward but might have been in the midst of dying at the same time. Whatever it was that was distracting him, it was enough that I could grab his arm and toss him behind me. Without any resistance, he flew forward, smashed through a glass window, and plummeted.

I ran to the window and looked down just in time to see him fall the remaining few feet to the ground, smash through the rear window of his own limousine, and saw his body come to rest in a bloody mess of dress clothes and tinted splinters of glass.

of the long descent

I've been having more and more nightmares recently and hardly ever taking the time to write them down here. I'm certainly not sleeping well. There's something about dreaming such vivid, distressing dreams that completely wipes me out and makes me wake up feeling as though I need another eight hours of sleep.

Last night I had two nightmares. The first was rather subtle. It might not even make much sense written down. The other, though, was pretty overtly disturbing and will no doubt make sense. Let's start with the first one.

Last night, I dreamt I was running away from my family. There was no particular reason other than an intense desire to not be found by them.

And so I ran, down streets, along fields, familiar locations - snippets of locations from other dreams as though running through a movie backlot. I was fast. More impressively, I was nimble. I could jump over rocks, dash my way across treacherous paths - nothing stood in my way.

That is, until I came to the stream. As I approached the cold waters of the rushing stream, I could hear the voice of my family close by, hunting me like a pack of dogs. In trying to test the waters, one of my sandals fell off into the rushing current and was swept away. With little else in the way of options and growing more agitated with each moment, I jumped into the icy cold stream and snuck my way under a bridge to hide from my family like a troll.

When they failed to see me, they continued on their way and I on mine along through the chilly waters of the stream. Eventually, the stream gave way to a small suburban neighborhood.

I knew the layout. I knew I had been there before in other dreams. Nearby was the small, cramped passage way that led into further subterranean chambers. I found myself only two manicured lawns away from a full escape when the voices of my family returned. Cutting around off of the path I apparently usually travel in my dreams, I found that I could slip undetected into the narrow stone opening that lead to the first underground gate.

The further down I went, the more there grew in my stomach a knot of fear. Past the dirty, collapsed concrete walls of the first underground level. Past the ancient white mud-walled hole that served as the second level. Past the claustrophobic tunnel full of a hellish red light that I had to slither through on my back, for the roof was too low to even crawl. Down the long, creaking wooden stairway that led to the last of the underground levels:

The basement of my old house.

There it was, the basement of the house I lived in as a teenager. Here the sense of dread and pain and fear was like a constant weight. Cobwebs and a layer of dirt covered everything. At the far end of the basement was a massive wooden door and it was only then that I realized it was towards this door - and not from my family - that I had been running all along.

The door was huge - 8 feet tall, 4 feet wide - and cracked open a few inches. I knelt before the massive door and could see that inside was complete and total darkness. Despite its completely impenetrable nothingness, from out of that door came a voice, the voice of ADAM.

I don't know who ADAM is, but in my dream, he scared me to my very core. I knew ADAM was something primal, an ancient and buried maleficence that knew every dark thought I'd ever had and who confronted me with them in a rush of misery. It was as though I were about to die and my life was flashing before me except that ADAM was a filter that blocked everything but the bad, the painful, the dark and unwanted memories I'd buried, forgotten, or purged.

In the end, I think I fainted. I know that it all ended down in that basement, in front of the door and in front of ADAM. What any of it means, though, I haven't the faintest idea.

Monday, October 31, 2005

of melted enemies and the chase

There are only half remembered fragments of how the dream began: insomnia leads to a midnight bike ride through the Paris streets, I get lost and find myself face to face with a two story brick fountain, then searching for my way home on the unknown streets amidst an unfamiliar tangle of brass sculpture and towering bank buildings.

Somewhere along the way, night turns to day, I lose the bike, and find myself wandering aimlessly on foot through the crowded streets of a city that resembles San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf more than it does Paris, France.

It's while walking that I first feel the uncomfortable prickle of someone invading my personal space bubble. I don't know why I know, but I know that there is someone following immediately behind me. When I pause on the sidewalk, this unknown man who must have been about 12 feet tall bends down and eats the baseball cap from off of my head.

As odd as it may be, a giant eating my hat freaks me out pretty completely and I tear off on foot in an attempt to avoid him. This is where the chase begins.

A large part of the rest of my dream goes as follows: I run, he catches up to me, tackles me, and starts to punch the crap out of me. Wash, rinse, repeat. Over and over again, I escape him only to be caught and beaten again with different scenery in the background.

Occasionally, I attempt to punch back and actually injure my attacker. Problem is, he doesn't seem to be made of solid human being. Instead, he has the consistency of something more akin to Silly Putty or Stretch Armstrong. Needless to say, all of my counterpunches are absorbed into the semi-solid mess of a blob that he is. Meanwhile, his fists fall on me like normal flesh and bone (emphasis on the bone).

There's no escaping him; and yet, somehow I end up at my family's house. I'm frantic. I'm pacing. I know I'm being hunted. I ache from being beaten and from the stitch in my side I acquired from running for my life. While a steady stream of inane conversation wafts around me, I keep checking the windows, the locks on the doors, etc.

Not that it helps, though. At one point, in walks The Stranger. Something in me snaps and I fly off the handle into survivalist mode. I tackle my would-be-attacker, drive him to the ground, and begin to pummel him amidst a string of half-coherent obscenities. Working up to a violent crescendo, I eventually just reach around his neck and twist with all of my might.

There's a cracking sound and my family looks on in horror as I shatter his spinal column. Then nothing. No one in the room moves for a moment or two. There's no more movement from The Stranger. Eventually, the shock wears off and I'm berated with a flurry of murder accusations. I try to plead my case. I try to explain about how he wasn't human, how he'd been beating me senseless earlier. No one believes me; they only believe what they saw and heard.

It's only before the dream dissolves into a mess of disjointed images again that I notice The Stranger's body has started to smile and laugh.

Friday, October 14, 2005

of death and the return from beyond

Last night, I died. I died and went straight to hell. No where to be seen were the typical red rocks and flames. Instead, I found myself in some kind of creepy industrial complex. Set at regular intervals in the floor were large vats of a bubbling yellow liquid. Everything else was steel.

I wasn't the only new arrival. There were dozens of people, all milling about aimlessly. All of us were confused as to where we were or what was going on. At each of the bubbling pools, well-dressed men in shirts and ties were smiling joyless smiles at us. There was something malevolent about them, an aura of dread. They motioned for people to come closer and we did, having no other option but to comply.

As we lined up at the vats, the well-dressed men began to coax people to step into the vats. There was no panic or fear in the air. Quite to the contrary, everyone seemed genuinely excited about what might happen. For some reason, no one could resist the gentle urging of these men. One by one, I watched people step into the yellow bubbling broth and instantly begin to scream and dissolve. As if eaten away by acid, soul after soul was slowly destroyed amidst a chorus of tortured cries. There was no fighting. There was no thrashing or splashing. Just compliance and a horrible second death. Even amongst the crowds, there was no fear. As though I alone could hear the screams of the dissolving, everyone else chatted easily amongst each other - blissfully oblivious to the horrors in front of them.

Somehow I remained outside the well-dressed demons' sphere of influence, and managed to hide behind a large stack of steel pipes that lay beneath a tarp. My back pressed against one of the vats, I made eye contact with one of the other souls waiting in line. He smiled at me awkwardly as if to say "Why are you hiding down there?" Seconds later he was screaming in pain as his ethereal skin sizzled off of his ethereal body in the yellow vat.

After his death, there was a call from the well-dressed demons to stop, having apparently reached their quota. Again, the uncertainty of what was next filled me with a panicked fear. Instantly, the vats were gone - either that or all of us had been immediately transported to a new location that looked like the floor display for a clothing store. More demons entered, this time dressed as young, hip socialites. Each of them was leading a soul on a leash.

The few of us who remained were then informed that we had one option: we picked out an outfit and became slaves or we would be destroyed. What followed was an oddly ominous series of makeovers. Once ready, we were all funneled into a glass elevator and returned to the surface of the Earth where we were instructed to return to our families and wait for further instructions, an order that made me dreadfully nervous.

We were going to be used as weapons to kill people. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. We were enslaved, already dead, and the perfect tools for assassination. Everything was off - my family was concerned about where I'd been and why I looked so different. Meanwhile, I seemed to only be able to pay attention to the other waiting assassins.

We all kept a close eye on each other. One of us stepped out of line with a hint of rebellion. An hour later, the police were carrying what remained of his disfigured body out of his apartment on a stretcher. I remember seeing the white sheet slip from his head as they carried him past me on the street. Though still well-dressed, his white shirt was soaked with blood. Where his head had once been was now the exploded head of a horse. The message was clear: we were powerless to resist.

When I finally awoke, we were grimly marching our way past a dance club full of people, none of whom suspected that they would all be dead soon. There were four of us, and we were on a mission of mass extinction. We were the four horsemen and we'd come for Mankind.

Monday, August 08, 2005

of bears and caterpillars

Last night I dreamt that I was lost in the wide grasslands of some unknown terrain. I was trying to help some woman I didn't know escape from something; the details are fuzzy. All that I can remember about her is her hand, as that's what I was holding onto and pulling through the thigh-high grass.

A long chain link fence poked its way out of the grass. The unknown woman and I ran along its edge. The thinking was that we had finally found the outer edge of the compound we were trapped in. We ran along its length. I was exhausted and filthy. Grain and weeds stuck to my sweaty skin. Burs poked my legs through my socks. But I kept running.

Finally, we reached a corner of the fence. Much to our surprise, however, we realized that we were already on the outside of the fence. At the corner, the fence turned away from us and we found ourselves staring at a wide expanse of grasslands and low hills.

We paused to catch our breath. While trying to get our bearings, I noticed movement down the fence line from us. Something in the grass was moving very quickly towards us. It didn't take long before I recognized the movement as belonging to a pack of extremely pissed-off bears.

Teeth bared, growling, the bears were running full speed directly towards us. Again, I grabbed the woman's hand and looked around frantically for somewhere to run to.

I knew we didn't have long. The bears were much faster than us, much stronger than us, and already moving our way. I was terrified. The only thing I could think of was to try and make it over a nearby hillside and hope that we could lose them.

We had to act fast; the vicious bears were closing the gap between us quickly. The woman and I tore off through the tall grass. It was difficult to run - the grass clutched at our ankles as if trying to tie us into place.

With an extreme amount of effort, we managed to clear the nearest hillside. Much to my surprise we crested the hill directly into what looked like a construction site. For once, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. If we could just make it to the nearest piece of heavy equipment, we could hide inside.

Unfortunately, the bears were must faster than me. As they made it over the top of the hill, everyone in the area panicked. Construction workers started screaming and running. In the chaos of it all, I lost my grip on the hand of the woman I was trying to save. When I turned around to try and find her, I was tackled by a bear.

I could smell the dank musky smell of its breath on me. My hands disappeared into its shaggy mass of fur. Somehow between my legs and my arms, I managed to hold it at bay enough to not have my face bitten off. Somewhere behind me I remember a steamroller crushing a bear to pulp as I struggled under the intense weight of the animal that pinned me to the ground.

The last thing I remember is trying to choke an angry bear to death. I don't think I succeeded.

Friday, July 22, 2005

of walls and the stuff inbetween

[This one is old, probably about 10 years old, but it's always stuck with me.]

I'm alone in a room. It's small. There's only enough room for one piece of furniture: a rusty old cot with a mildewed mattress on top of it. The floor, the ceiling, the walls, everything in this room is made of three inch wide wooden planks. Hanging from the center of the ceiling is a long cord which ends in a single, bare bulb. The light is on. There's no switch. The room is full of light.

I stand petrified at the center of the room. There's a door that's locked. I don't have to try it; I just know it's locked. In fact, I really don't feel like touching anything in this room.

Somehow, just like I know the door is locked, I know that the walls are full of corpses. Stuffed between the studs in the walls, stuffed under the floor boards, even hiding under the rusty cot ... I know there are gray-faced decaying corpses packed like sardines into this stifling little room.

I can't leave. I can't sit down. I can't turn off the light. I can't touch anything. I can only stand there, terrified, while I'm watched by the corpses in the walls.

I can't take it any more and I start screaming. Instantly, the corpses start screaming as well. It's the most horrific wailing sound I've ever heard. When they begin screaming, everything shatters. The walls, the ceiling, the floor, the doors -- everything explodes into a spray of splinters and large shards of wood.

That's when the bodies begin tumbling to the ground. Amidst a rain of wood and screaming corpses, I finally can escape out the door.

That's when I woke up.

of bees and beakers

Last night I found myself trapped in a series of abandoned underground laboratories. Someone was chasing me and trying to kill me. I found my way to the extreme edge of the laboratory complex where it met up with a disused subway station. All of the doors were locked and gated. I could see small wisps of sunlight streaming down from high above.

As I did my best to stay quiet and hide, I heard a noise. At first, it was just a faint rumble. Then it became a very pronounced buzzing sound. Turns out that whomever was chasing me knew exactly where I was and had sent a swarm of killer bees through the ventilation system. I was attacked by a cloud of angry stingers. My pathetic attempts to swat them away only managed to make them angrier. Without much in the way of protection, I was stung all over my arms and my face.

Fear took over at that point and I ran back through the only unlocked door, the one leading back into the complex. Down hallways, through empty and abandoned laboratories, past creepy equipment and the green shards of broken beakers - all the while trying desperately to stop the bees from stinging me.

I managed to lose them eventually, but got completely lost myself in the process. Without any idea of where I was, I decided to simply sit down in a corner and hide. I picked the wrong corner.

As I sat down, my foot kicked a nearby door. Within seconds, the door opened. There was the man who had been chasing me. He wore a white lab coat, rubber gloves, and had blood stains (some old, some fresh) all over him. Within the room were bizarre skinless animals and humans hung from hooks so as to look like creepy mobiles. Their muscles were all visible and had been splayed out in what looked like an attempt to study them academically. They filled the room - on the operating table, hung from the ceiling, hung from the walls - and in the middle of it all, was the scientist and the two huge knives he held in his gloved hands.

He lunged at me, smiling all the while, as he tried to kill me or skin me or both. After evading him for a while, I soon found myself trapped in the corner of his creepatorium. The details are fuzzy, but I believe I threw something onto his face, a chemical from a nearby beaker. Instantly, his face caught on fire. As he stood there writhing in pain, his face melting, I reached across and flicked on the switch to a huge industrial fan that was right next to me (go figure). Distracted by his flaming face as he was, he didn't know to get out of the way of the fan. I braced myself; he didn't. And so in seconds, after the fan spun up to full speed, the flaming freak was sucked into the fan where he quickly became little more than a spray of blood and chunks of freak meat.

The end.

My nightmare gallery

So, at Amanda's suggestion, I'm creating a second blog here that's a dream journal of sorts. This way I can keep track of all the freaky, nasty things I think up while I'm asleep.

Maybe someday someone will be able to help me to not have them anymore. Who knows.

'Til then, I'll just jot them down here. I figured I'd make this thing look like the reverse of my other blog. Dunno why.