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Creative Writing, Dream Logs

Dream: Night of 6/20-6/21

I usually am not much of a dream-rememberer. I awake with fleeting images of what took place in my subconscious, and by the time I enter the shower five minutes later, those images are gone completely.

Last night, however, I had a terrifying nightmare that I remember frame-by-frame. I have transcribed it into story form, taking care not to embellish wherever possible. I wish I could say I was making this up, but I certainly did not. This isn’t exactly an award-winning piece of storytelling, as the melodrama is nigh-suffocating, but it’s what my crazy-ass subconscious managed to come up with. Without further ado…

DREAM: Night of 6/20-6/21

It all starts with my parents and I driving in their car down a highway. We are heading towards an ominously large and dark storm cloud, but no one is really paying much attention to it. Suddenly, the cloud begins to twist and shake. Eventually, a face (similar to Hugh Crain’s face in The Haunting, that awful remake with Lili Taylor and Liam Neeson) bursts forth from the cloud and begins speaking with a voice like peals of thunder. Every feature of its thin and pointed mug is extremely well-defined, and it must be the size of the entire county. It is all the eye can see. I can’t remember what it was saying, but I remember being terrified. Something about the end of the world being nigh. As a final act of terror, it began to spew fire from its ugly, green-grey mug and gather the other clouds together into one super-being. The colors of the world deepened to an ugly grey amidst shrieks and roars. The scariest thing of all had to be the creature’s eyes. They glow an otherworldly deep purple.

Suddenly, I find myself at work at the Nunn Center, my place of employment, however, none of the rooms resemble it at all. Yet, in that irrefutable dream logic, I know my location. I also know that my parents are safe, and that it is inexplicably the next day. I also am aware that the appearance of the cloud-face has shaken society to its very core. It’s all everyone can talk about. I walk into the main “Nunn Center” office, and my boss stops me. This woman looks nothing like either of my actual bosses, but again, I know she’s my boss without a doubt. She gives me a strange look and asks if she can speak to me in private. “Of course,” I respond. She pulls me into her office, and asks me if I was planning on showering anytime in the near future. I take note of myself. I am filthy. Dirt streaks my forearms and my legs (I am wearing a ratty T-shirt and stained khaki shorts), and after raising one hand to feel my hair, I discover it is matted and greasy. The woman says that I am disturbing the work environment with my filth, and she hands me shower supplies and asks me to go clean myself up.

I manage only to mutter some random syllables before she corrals me in the direction of a door I’ve never seen before. To get there, though, I have to pass through a meeting. It seems to be a highly personal and tense one, as I see two people crying and one man, red-faced, screaming. He looks disturbingly like the cloud-face. I half-expect him to look at me and breathe fire, roasting me in an instant. I stop in my tracks, only to be shoved hard into the room by my “boss.”

The entire meeting stops and stares at me as I walk toward the “bathroom” door. Every eye burns into my flesh. Finally, after a seeming eternity, I make it to the door, but something’s wrong. I know that I am not meant to go through this door. Behind the door lies something bad, something closely tied to the cloud-face that hangs over everyone like a pallor. I turn around and do my best to fight the crowd that has manifested around me. But with one final pull from the red-faced, puffing man, the door swings open with a room-silencing creak. Now I know: the afterlife. The door opens to the afterlife, a la Being Human. But it is not meant for me. It is meant for the red-faced man. He is the one behind the cloud-face, and if left unchecked, he will bring about the world’s destruction. Unfortunately, I am far too late in my discovery to do anything, as I am shoved over the door’s threshold, into the blackness beyond.

Inside, everything is white. I find myself in, well, a bathroom. Was I wrong? Did I imagine the whole thing? No. I couldn’t have. Left with nothing else to do, I shower. The water is the perfect temperature, and the shower is extremely pleasant. But after rinsing the soap off my body, I begin to notice something disconcerting. The pigment is washing out of my skin. I’m turning white. Not pale flesh tones. White. I jump out of the shower, but the damage is done. I am completely and utterly white, like snow, yet you can still see the features of my face and body. I am shaded white.

I hear a cackle. The red-faced man. I can see him through the door I came through. The door has become entirely transparent. I step closer. The meeting is apparently over, as he is alone in the room. He meets my gaze, and a chill runs up my spine. I knew, without a doubt, that he was the cause of the awful cloud-face. I turn to go to the other side of the white bathroom, but it’s gone. I’m back in the meeting room proper. The red-faced man scoops me under one arm and flies into the sky. (The roof just vanishes, natch.) Terror doesn’t really begin to describe it.

As we fly, he whispers awful things into my ear. Things about my true, new nature. My ghostly nature. No one else can see me. I am alone, save him. His hot breath burns my ear, and simply being in his presence makes me feel unclean. He comes to a halt, thousands of feet above Lexington, where he begins to smite the innocent. He simply raises his hand, and they spontaneously combust. He starts to laugh again, and the laugh is distilled evil. I thrash in resistance, trying to escape his grasp. He makes me watch them die, and when I close my eyes in protest, he magics away my eyelids.

“Why me?” I scream raggedly in the dream, and with that, startle myself awake, in a cold sweat and panting.

About Cory Hershberger

Neurotic/eclectic critic obsessed with pop culture who enjoys good food, good company, and, most of all, good books.


5 thoughts on “Dream: Night of 6/20-6/21

  1. ………………
    Oh. My. Goodness. I wish you could see my “shock” face right now. This is terrible!! What did you read/watch/eat before you went to bed?! WOW. I have never had a nightmare so detailed and terrible. WOW.

    Posted by Kelcie | June 21, 2011, 1:20 pm
    • The detail level may in fact have been the scariest part.

      That, or watching people blow up and having a dude laugh in your ear about it as you hover thousands of feet above the ground. One or the other.

      Posted by Cory Hersh | June 21, 2011, 11:11 pm
  2. That is absolutely terrifying. At first, Cloud-Face kept making me think of Kirby’s Dream Land, but by the end, I was definitely frightened into a slumping pile in my office chair.

    Posted by Tyler | June 21, 2011, 2:20 pm
  3. The creepiness of the the pigment-less skin and the vanishing eyelids is heightened by having just watched part of “Rabbits.” I only hope this nightmare is not some portent of an unimaginable and sickening future.

    Posted by Duster | June 21, 2011, 11:55 pm


  1. Pingback: An Imagination Exercise | A Multitude of Drops - August 15, 2015

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"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"




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