The following is a fairly short fantasy-based story I recently wrote about nightmares and living and how everything mixes together. The true plot is yours to understand as you see it. In my stories, I like to leave all the doors open...
I HAD BEEN EXPERIENCING insomnia for some time now. I don’t know what started it, perhaps stress. Nothing had drastically changed. I took to having a couple shots of scotch before bed, under the impression that it would help me. It made for a good drink, and it relaxed me, but that was all. I opened a window to cool my room down, let the night’s chill circle around my room, hoping perhaps it would help. It didn’t. I still lay awake in the dark room, staring at the ceiling and wondering why the hell I was the way I was.
As I stared into the darkness it seemed as though it was consuming me. Taking over my body, feeding on it, on my fear, and this made me even more awake. I played a song back in my head, to take my mind off it. Forcing the thoughts out of my head, forcing my mind to shut in on itself, I turned to my side and lay, head on my pillow, and pressed my eyelids shut. I took a deep breath and stretched. Nothing happened. A few minutes later my eyes opened again and I stared at the vast dark space around me.
I pressed my eyelids shut once more, squeezing them together, and thought of pleasant things. Songbirds on a summer afternoon calling down to me from the trees, dancing about and whispering sweet nothings to the clouds; the scent of fresh lavender, or of clean laundry coming in off the line; or my child, wherever she may be, smiling and playing and enjoying life and innocence.
When I opened my eyes again the darkness was gone, replaced with a fine white mist swirling about me, making loops about my bed and wafting up towards the ceiling. It came over me, like a blanket that I could not touch, keeping me in my bed. I did not know if there was still a floor, so I did not attempt to stand. My ceiling was gone, too. I was not even sure if I was still in my bedroom.
There was a giggle, a child’s. It echoed in the far distance. I could not place the direction. My sense of balance way, way off as the mist swirled and tricked my brain.
I looked around me. There was nothing but this mist covering a far expanse. For a while I wondered if I had died. If this was purgatory. And then something spoke, low and soft in the mist, it going through my ears and dropping words in my mind that may not have even been uttered.
Are you comfortable?
I don’t know what it was that asked me this. But I did not really trust it. And so I said nothing, and just waited. To my left the mist swirled into a ball and dropped, then climbed as a tall straight line before forming into a dark, hazy black figure which did not look like anything. It stood, and I could tell it was looking directly at me, as if into my soul, tearing me apart and reassembling my thoughts.
You should sleep. You must close your eyes and sleep.
Finally I spoke. “I won’t.”
You will. You will sleep here, now, in the mist. And let it consume you. And you will become a new person. You will sleep forever and find peace in a new world. In a new life.
“Am I dead?”
No, not dead. In fact, you are very much alive. But you must sleep. Now. Sleep.
I wanted to understand and I simply couldn’t. But I closed my eyes anyway. There wasn’t much else I could do; I couldn’t move, or even think. So I closed my eyes and sank, perhaps into the mist, and sleep came over me. A strong, deep slumber. I think I snored as I drifted, and swayed, and it was almost as if I was in a cradle. I was warm, I was content. And the voice in the mist went through my mind once more.
You are new. You are free. Insomnia is not your burden to bear.
“Are you kind? Or evil?” I asked.
I am what you think of me to be.
From this point I could tell the figure and the voice had gone. Then I lost my thoughts. I lost my memories, my ideas, my desires, everything. My mind was blank except for a consciousness of where I was. And I continued to sleep, deep and relaxed. And I could tell I was still very much alive.
My name is Tanner F. Riche. I am a published journalist and author, via numerous newspapers, Amazon, Kobo, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, and other sources. Please join me on my journey as a writer. I post occasionally.