Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Escape

“I couldn’t awake from the nightmare that sucked me in and pulled me under, pulled me under. Oh that was so real.” – Jeff Buckley

Shirley went to bed expecting nothing special. Life brought with it the usual problems. She was raising two kids by herself since her husband walked out on them. She could handle it. She told herself she didn’t need a man. At least her bills were paid and she provided for her children. Life could’ve been worse and she knew it. Nevertheless, she slept without expectations, without thinking about herself.

The dream began innocent enough. She explored an immense garden. Vibrant yellows and whites lay near purple and reds. Birds chirped. The sun shined but didn’t burn. Her escape from reality pleased her. Then without warning, the sun disappeared behind menacing clouds. Lightning flashed across the sky as thunder pounded within inches of her body. Shirley jumped. She thought a bomb had exploded near her feet. Her heart raced so she did what most people do, she tried to calm herself. “This is my dream. I’m in control.” She looked up at the sky and ordered the sun to return.

Another clap of thunder roared in defiance. She covered her ears. The auditory distraction rocked her equilibrium. No, she didn’t lose her footing because of the noise. The ground cracked underneath her feet. A gaping hole came to life. A vacuum of hot air wrapped around her ankles, pulling the terrified dreamer. Her thin fingers slipped along wet soil. She screamed, “No!”

At first the free-fall terrorized her psyche. However, as decline into oblivion continued, she figured sleep would end just before impact. Shirley tried to convince herself, the nightmare would soon be over. She landed in a pool of water. Breathing became difficult. She sealed her mouth and did her best not to inhale from her nose. She desperately swam toward the surface. A spec of orange light served as a beacon to freedom. She hoped.

As her hands cut through the surface, her lungs burned. A desperate gasp for air hindered her ability to maintain afloat. She flailed her arms, trying not to go under again. When at last she maintained her balance, the glimmer of light appeared as if miles away. “When will this nightmare end?”

Her words echoed throughout the black void. A cold silence added to the misery of being trapped in the dream. Control. Shirley needed to control the outcome more than ever. She tired of feeling helpless. She begged for mercy.

As she waited for a solution to arise, a pair of powerful hands dragged her under. She kicked and flailed, helpless to escape. Her body was dragged deep into the liquid coffin, choking any semblance of hope. Shirley prayed, but it seemed her words fell on death ears. Her life force began seeping away. Her final thoughts brought forth images of her loving children. Death was moments away.

Shirley gasped. She sat upright in the bed, her eyes stung with the orange glow of the rising sun. When at last she gathered her breath she whispered, “Oh that was so real.”

She went to the children’s room and saw her little angels sleeping. Deciding to make coffee, she ventured into the kitchen. A nervous energy pulsated throughout her body. When she finally calmed down, the house shook. The floor opened, and a pair of grimy hands pulled her inside her never ending nightmare.


There are some dreams that feel real to us. There are also dreams which shatter the fabric of time, entrapping us in a world of insanity, locked within our own subconscious. My favorite dreams are the dream within the dream. I hope Shirley will awaken from her nightmare and discover a wonderful revelation. I hope we all can learn something about ourselves from her experience.

Sweet dreams my friends and I’ll see you on the dark side.

Nomar Knight

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