Category: Dream

Night Terrors

“My sleep wasn’t peaceful, though. I have the sense of emerging from a world of dark, haunted places where I traveled alone.”

― Suzanne Collins,

Night Terrors



What’s the worst nightmare you ever had? If you haven’t told anyone, please comment below and tell me yours, because I doubt I’ll ever forget mine. Even though I’ve more in depth nightmares before and my dreams are often very vivid and detailed. Some I still remember even though it’s been a decade or more since it occurred, because the terror of it had always just stuck with me.


So I doubt I’d ever truly shake the feeling my most recent nightmare had left me with.

In my dream, I had ran into this person as I was leaving the park. It was a bright and beautiful afternoon and I had almost made it back to my car when I heard someone behind me shout my name.

I turned and saw this person who I knew in the dream, but can’t remember who it was after I awoke. But I remember trying to be civil with this person, but somehow we still erupted in a heated argument.

Realizing he would never see reason, I simply threw my arms up and gave up, deciding to simply walk away and retreat to my car But as I neared the driver side door, I heard this loud pop, almost like thunder which struck me as peculiar, since it was as I said a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.

I remember trying to tilt my head back to look for any clouds on the horizon; instead I felt my body pitching forward. I tried to catch myself, but body wasn’t responding.

Then I was lying on the warm, sunbaked pavement feeling an odd pain in the back of my skull which began dissipating almost as quickly as I felt it…the pain itself didn’t really hurt, but was more of an peculiar throb. I soon found myself being unable to draw breath and I could feel a wetness running down the back of my head, and bubbling from a hole just above my left eye. Again I tried to move but found I was unable.  I couldn’t move, blink, or even shift my gaze from pavement.  All I could do was stare blankly at down at the concrete, feeling the warmth of the sun baked blacktop lulling me into darkness.

My vision then turned red as my blood ran down into my eyes. Slowly I began to realize that I had been shot and I could hear the panic in my brother’s voice as he paced somewhere behind me,

“Why did I do that?”

“Why did I shoot him?”

“I can’t believe I just did that.”

All the while, I could feel my life leaving me, rushing out of me, like water out of a balloon after it’s been punctured.

“No!” I screamed defiantly, “It can’t end like this, I have too much to do and I can’t die, not now!” But no sound escaped my lips and then I could feel myself being pulled from my body, despite how much I struggled, or strained to remain where I was, like a child slowly being lifted from the crib, there was nothing I could do, but still I raged on, I strained and struggled to live by sheer force of will alone. Thinking if I fought hard enough, I would somehow escape this fate and earn another chance at living my life. But nothing I did worked, I was being pulled effortlessly from my body as easily as one would pull a sheet from a corpse and suddenly there I was, slipping out of my body as a snake would do it’s skin.
Then I saw myself laying there on the ground with blood slowly pooling around my head, my killer was masked in shadow, but I could see him, with his hands on his head, pacing back and forth, with the gun lying on the ground by his feet as he stared at my prone, lifeless body. He was crying now, telling me he was sorry as a crowd of people I never seen before slowly gathered around, murmuring to themselves and to each other, I could hear their voices fading to a dull murmur as I drifted away, longing to live, to feel the wind against my face and to feel the comfort of a hug from a loved one.

I awoke, in cold sweat, with the feeling of death still all around me, in my room, just waiting. I still felt the pain and fear of dying, of blood running soaking the back of my head and how it ran down into my eyes.  More than anything I wanted to reach out, talk to someone, hear a friendly voice, get some confirmation that I was in fact still alive and well, I wanted someone to tell me it was all just a dream. But being single and seeing that it was only 6:37 in the morning, I knew that there wasn’t anyone I could talk to, no one who would care to hear about some crazy dream where I had died. It’s one of the many drawbacks of being single and lacking that comfort of knowing, of having someone tell you that you were alright, that it was all just a dream. I longed just to be reminded that I was still here, so I brought a hand to check by chest just to feel the rhythmic beating of my own heart. In that moment, I felt more alone than I thought possible and even though I could feel my heart beating, a part of me still didn’t believe any of it was real, that instead I was stuck in a sort of in-between.


The strangest thing is, I’ve never been afraid dying. I’ve struggled with depression for most of life, though nowadays, before this dream, I had viewed death as nothing more than a simple change between two states, no different from a changing of the seasons.  So I’ve always felt that when my time comes I would embrace and accept it for what it is, but now I’m not so certain.

I apologize for the length of this post, but I didn’t feel like drawing it out over the next few weeks, partly because I really want to dive back into “The Scars of who we are.” Which I’ll now be able to enhance by adding a few pictures to the tale of my upbringing.

There’s something left here for me to see,
A person I have to be,
And I’m struggling to break free,
From the bonds that tie me to who I used to be,
But I’m stuck in this dream and I can’t break free,
So wake me up from this dream that never ends,
Haunting me, haunting me to my bitter ends…

                I was dreaming, but didn’t know I was and I couldn’t wake up, trapped in a prison of my own mind, living in a world that all my senses told me were real, I was living in a prison of wills.

Opening the door of the mansion, I was assaulted by the freezing winds that whipped against me, chilling my exposed flesh and sapping what little warmth my clothes offered me. Pulling my coat tighter around me and flipping up the collar to help protect as much as my neck as it could, I started down the walkway. Leaning against the freezing and howling wind, I fought to keep moving forward and not to retreat back into the house by fiercely hugging myself in attempt to stay as warm as possible, I can’t recall a time I had ever been colder.

Stepping out onto the driveway and making my way past the numerous snow covered cars that had been a part of our convoy, I spot Nick sitting in a jeep, all the way at the end of the torturously long driveway, I can almost hear him cackling over the wind and I shake my head, muttering, “Jerk,” Under my breath. Lowering my head to keep my face out of the freezing wind, I begin trudging my way down the unnecessary long driveway, towards the jeep, thankful he at least had it running, which meant there would be heat.

With the Jeep’s taillights coming closer in view and thinking of all the lovely ways I could pay my cousin back for making me walk half a mile in this weather, when I hear him screaming.

“Behind you, behind you!”

My eyes open wide as I glance up, seeing him hanging out of the jeep and standing up, with his hands cupped over his mouth as he screams and points to something behind me. My breath catches in my throat and I turn, expecting to find myself staring down a barrel of a gun, instead I’m greeted by a large black form hurdling towards my face. I don’t act, I simply react and bring my fist up, throwing all my weight into it and slammed my fist home into the snarling beast, just missing it’s gnashing teeth as I knock it aside.

Breathing heavily, I look down what I now realize is a large black dog, which was already bearing his teeth and emitting a loud rumbling grown from his chest.

“Get back,” Nick shouts and I glance up to see him pointing a 9mm at the dog.

“Don’t,” I order, signaling for him to hold with my right arm and keeping my arm extended to block whatever shot he had as I crouched down in front of the dog, offering him my other hand. The dog backs away at first and stares warily up at me and then to my cousin.

“What are you doing?” He asks, clearly irritated and worried I’m going to get my hand bit off by this dog.

“Making a friend,” I tell him and the dog sniffs at my hand, his nose is wet and cold against my palm, which he begins to licking my hand and nuzzling my arm.

“You’re insane,” Nick mutters and I do is smile because I know what I’m about to do will drive him nuts.

Standing up I order the dog up as well, grinning as it obediently obeys, so I tell it to sit and he does. Opening the door of the jeep I motion for the dog to climb inside,

“Get in,” I order and the dog excitedly whips past me and leaps up into the jeep and climbs into the back where he settles himself down.

“What are you doing? You can’t be serious?” Nick asks and I smile, waiving his questions aside and turn to climb into the passenger seat when it hits me and the feeling hits me all at once. I suddenly remember going to bed and I can’t remember waking up, or the days that followed the night where I stayed up so late. I could feel my heart beating painfully against my ribs and my breath catch in my throat, because I could feel the blistering cold winds that assaulted me, chilling me to my core.

“Hey, are you okay? You look like you just seen a ghost.” Nick’s words echoed and I turned to see him sitting behind the wheel of the jeep; the concern was evident and plain to see on his face. I tried to work my jaw to speak, but no words came out. Instead, I climbed into the jeep pulling the passenger door shut behind me. Immediately I could feel the change in temperature, the heat blasting out of the vents bringing circulation and feeling back to my face and fingers. I was dreaming, I knew it, but all this felt so real to be and I hadn’t questioned it until now, as I ran my fingers along the rough and cracked dash, before running my hand over the vents, feeling the hot air blowing against my hands.

“Are you okay? I mean are we ready to go?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “It’s just…for a second there; I thought all this was a dream.”

“This is no dream,” He retorts with a laugh and shifting the jeep into drive.  The drive becomes increasingly difficult the further we travel, It seemed the roads were littered with even more wrecked and abandoned cars and despite my insistence we keep to the roads, Nick eventually talks me into letting him take the jeep off road, a decision I would soon come to regret.

Braved the forest, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I’m helpless by the river

                It didn’t take us long to get completely turned around and lost by taking the jeep off road and seeing my unease, Nick offers me a present that he had stashed behind my seat. Skeptical, I slowly reach behind the seat, feeling the dog’s cold and wet nose nudge my hand, before I find it and pull it up and onto my lap. The rifle was a Sig 552. (I only know because after I woke up I spent an hour online looking for a gun that matched the one I dreamt about.)

“Where’d you get this?” I laugh, examining the rifle in my lap and running my hand along the cool, polymer frame.

“Oh, let’s just say I found it,” he says cryptically, grinning as he watches me handle the weapon, checking the magazine.

“Oh, it’s loaded.” He informs me.

“Do you really think we’ll need something like this?” I ask, testing the reassuring weight of the small assault rifle in my hands. The weight of the weapon did help alleviate some of my unease.

“Who knows, you said it yourself, people are scared and when they’re scared they become stupid.”

I laugh shaking my head, unable to figure out how he possibly managed to his hands on something like this and floored by the fact he actually gave it to me instead of keeping a weapon like this for himself.

Angel, angel what have I done
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?

                 It takes us roughly an hour to find some old dirt roads, which we follow, Nick loves it and is having the time of his life by seeing what our jeep can do, while the dog whines behind me and I can’t stop feeling this odd sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong. It isn’t long until I heard gunshots and began noticing people with shallow and harden faces looking out from the tree line at us.

“Stop the jeep,” I bark feeling the dog’s cold nose nudging the back of my neck, before it turned to bark at Nick as if to reinforce my order.

“Stay down boy,” I whisper and the dog immediately obeys and lays down in the backseat, growling.

“Why? We’re fine.” Nick says confidently and trying to reassure me.

“I heard gunshots and I don’t if you notice, but there’s been people watching us from the woods.”

“And do what? Try the main roads again? You remember how bad they were right, besides we’re almost there anyway,” He retorts, and attempts to tell me that he knows what he’s doing and that I should trust him…But I don’t.

“I don’t care; I think we really need to turn around.” I snap back.

Nick disagrees and I reach over to take control of the wheel, when he suddenly breaks and I’m thrown forward into the dash.

Pay no mind to the battles you’ve won

It’ll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river

                “What-”I begin, trailing off as I see movement in front of the jeep, there’s roughly a hundred or more people coming out of the woods and in front of our path, behind them I see torches and the outlines of what I can only guess was a large encampment that they had formed to resemble something like that of a fort.

Before Nick can throw the jeep in reverse we’re surrounded on all sides and we notice that several of them are armed. Among them is a young man, with light blue eyes, and long straight blond hair. He looks like he could be movie star with his perfectly sculpted features. He reminds me though of a politician with how he moves towards us through the crowd.

He approaches my door and motions me to roll down the window and after some hesitation, I sigh weighing our options before I reluctantly oblige

“Hello,” he says, his voice sweet like poison and smiling with venomously with his perfectly white teeth.

“We’re just passing through if you don’t mind, or if it’s all the same, we can turn around head back the way we came.” I tell him, keeping my voice level, despite feeling all my senses screaming at me to get as far as I could from this man.

“Oh please by all means you should stay with us,” He offers and I adamantly shake my head in return.

“No dice, we’re in a hurry.”

“But aren’t you tired?” He asks, glancing past me at Nick, who looks to me and shrugs,

“You know, we have been driving for a while and I could use a little break.”

“No, I’m sorry, but we can’t,” I say as much to Nick as the blond haired man.

“Oh, it’s quite alright,” the man says pleasantly enough, “We won’t keep you if you’re in a hurry, but we’re all about to have dinner and we have plenty, why don’t you join us before you head back out on your journey?”

I take one look at the people surrounding us and something about them seems so lost to me and I look back over at the driver seat at Nick, who smiles back at me, giving me a small shrug of his shoulders.

“Hey, I could eat. I am pretty hungry.” He says.

“No!’ I snap, panic rising in my chest and I turn back to the man, whose words I can feel worming around inside my brain, searching for some way into my thoughts, making me feel violated in every sense of the word.

“I’m sorry, we can’t.” I say defiantly, fingering the cross I wore around my neck and silently prayed for my cousin’s and my protection.

“Oh? Are you going to let him make all your decisions for you Nicholas?” He asks, and my heart leaps painfully against my ribs as I turn to my cousin, feeling all the color drain from my face, as I see he’s pulled his gun on me.

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
Open your heart and hands my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

                “Nick,” I plead, looking him in the eye, I can see he’s struggling with whatever war that was raging on inside of him, his hands were shaking and despite the chill in the air, he was sweating uncontrollably.

“You always win, you always do. You always been better, better looking, thinner, with better friends, I’m sick of you always having to be this Saint all the time, like you don’t know you’re better than me.”

“Nick…” Is all I can bring myself to say to him, because in truth I’ve always thought the opposite and I know he’s always struggled with his weight and seemed almost envious of me because I never had that struggle, even though he’s always had better luck than I ever did whenever it came to girls and with jobs.

“I’m sorry, but I love you. You’ve been like a brother to me and if you have to shoot me, then shoot me.”

“Go ahead,” the man says, “Do what he says, shoot him all he’s doing is holding you back, that’s all he’s ever done isn’t it? Remember that girl and how she liked him so much more than you and how hard you tried making her look at you the same way?” He asks Nick.

“Do it if you must, I’m not afraid,” I tell Nick, and bring the Sig up and turn to the man pointing the barrel of the rifle at his chest, “If he doesn’t shoot me, I’ll kill you if you don’t let us pass.

(Nature, nurture, heaven and home)
It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
(Sum of all and by them driven)
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(To conquer every mountain shown)
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

                The man looks agitated now, at me and at Nick who’s shaking and hesitating to pull the trigger and shoot me.

“Come now, listen to me and hear my words-“

“No,” I shout, cutting off as I pull the trigger on the Sig, feeling the rifle jump in my hands as it fired and I kept the muzzle aimed at the man’s chest. Though I may as well have been shooting him with Nerf bullets for all the effect the rounds had on him. He simply smiled, and his hand snaked forward lightening quick and snatched the weapon out of my hand as if I was no more than a child with a lollypop.

“See!” The man shouts raising his arms out to this sides and turning to address the crowd who was already marveling at how he survived several point blank rounds to the chest, “As I said, I am your true Lord and savior!”

“False prophet,” I growl over the roar of the crowd, but he hears me and turns on me, smiling vindictively as he shouts,

“Take them!”

(Braved the forest, braved the stone)
It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
(Braved the icy winds and fire)
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(Braved and beat them on my own)
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

Before I knew it we were being swarmed and rough hands were dragging me and Nick out of the jeep, the more we struggled the more roughed up we would get, I eventually accepted the inevitable, while I could still hear Nick struggling and fighting them until they eventually beat whatever fight he still had out of him. We’re then dragged and thrown into a small cell, where we’re left to watch the blond haired man move through the crowd and I watch as a young couple offers him their newborn child.
I watch, unable to move as the man carries the child over to a alter, where picks up a bowl and I hear the child’s cries ripping through the night; involuntarily I test the bars of our cell. Our cell door and the bars don’t give and I watch helplessly as the blond haired man pours blood from the bowl onto the child’s head.

“We need to get of here,” Nick whispers behind me.
“I know,” I whisper.

“Hey, about earlier, I…I don’t know what came over me, I don’t think I would have shot you, but-“

“It’s okay,” I assure him; already knowing it wasn’t his fault.

“ It’s just, when he spoke; it was like his voice got inside my head and-“

“It’s okay, I understand.” I interrupt, turning around too look at him and seeing him scared and unsure of himself, a side of him and I don’t think I ever saw in him before.

“Do…do you think the others will come for us?” He asks, looking up at me and I fear the hopefulness in his tone and I know he’s scared.

“Would you want them to if they could?” I ask, gesturing to the blond-haired man as he begins addressing the crowd. I can’t make out his words and I’m surprisingly thankful for that small grace.

“Besides, they could have vanished by now like the others; we could be all that remains of our little group.” I tell him.

“Do you think…do you think that maybe we’ll get poofed out too?” (Poof being Nicks coined term whenever referring to the rapture.)

“I don’t know…” I tell him,

“But why wouldn’t we? I mean we’re good,” he says sounding as though he was trying to convince himself more than me.

“Probably the same reason why some of us vanished and the rest of us were raptured at different times. I think for many of us, we’re either being tested or we have yet to fulfill our purpose.” I explain.

“Well what’s ours? Is it to die here at the hands of these maniacs?”

“I don’t think so,” I tell him, “I think we may be here to give those who haven’t fully bought into this a choice, to show them there’s another way, a better way. So no matter what happens and what they say, refuse them and anything they may offer you.”

“Well, what should we do?” He asks, slumping against the opposite of the wall, defeated.

“Pray,” I tell him.

“Pray?” Nick echoes, “Why pray?”

“Why not?” I ask, feeling a smile tugging at the corners of my lips at the notion of us praying in this cell of ours.

“But what’s prayer going to do?” ” He asks.

“What won’t it do?” I ask him in return.

Shaking his head he stifles a laugh and asks what I’m going to do, so I tell him, I’m going to pray with him. So I get down on my knees in the middle of the cell and I begin praying. Then I hear a sob escape Nick’s throat and I feel his arms wrapping around me as he begins telling me how sorry he is for pulling his gun on me and for bringing us here. I pause in my prayer long enough to console him and tell  him that everything’s okay and I forgive him, then we bow our heads together and we both begin to pray.

Nature, nurture heaven and home
Sum of all, and by them, driven
To conquer every mountain shown
But I’ve never crossed the river
Braved the forests, braved the stone
Braved the icy winds and fire
Braved and beat them on my own
Yet I’m helpless by the river

Angel, angel, what have I done?
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?
Angel, angel, what have I done?
I’ve faced the quakes, the wind, the fire
I’ve conquered country, crown, and throne
Why can’t I cross this river?

Pay no mind to the battles you’ve won
It’ll take a lot more than rage and muscle
Open your heart and hands, my son
Or you’ll never make it over the river

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

(Nature, nurture heaven and home)
It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
(Sum of all, and by them, driven)
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(To conquer every mountain shown)
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

(Braved the forests, braved the stone)
It’ll take a lot more than words and guns
(Braved the icy winds and fire)
A whole lot more than riches and muscle
(Braved and beat them on my own)
The hands of the many must join as one
And together we’ll cross the river

And together we’ll cross the river
And together we’ll cross the river

Nature, nurture heaven and home
And together we’ll cross the river
And together we’ll cross the river

Nature, nurture heaven and home
And together we’ll cross the river
And together we’ll cross the river
~Pucifer -Humbling River.

I listened to this song as I was working on rewriting what I first written down the morning after I woke up from this dream. Which because of my sleep addled mind needed a lot of work and still does. But if you’re still with me, I would like to discuss this song very briefly. To me, the first four lines are from someone who is looking toward heaven and proclaiming all their might and accomplishments and asking why they cannot enter, and what have they done to not be able to cross the river. The river is a reference to Christ and none may enter heaven except through him. As the person in the first four lines is speaking in past tense they are talking about their life.

Then the angel responds to them in the rest of the song (aside from the chorus in which both are speaking.) The angel explains that one does not cross the river by action alone, which is also based in the bible. Then the angel states that the hands of the many must join as one to cross the river, which is saying that only those united in Christ may cross the river, as anyone who joins in the body of Christ is united as one.

While I know most will likely disagree because this interpretation is of a Christian nature, just remember, I am not forcing you to believe in him, nor does he. He only extended his hand out and asked, “Will you believe and follow me?” No one who tries to judge your fallacies without looking at their own is a true Christ following Christian. Be you an atheist, or whatever. I welcome all, as Christ would have me do, your shortcomings are between you and him, not me; it’s just not my place to say or do anything about it.

The part of the hands of the many must join as one as well. Think about it, we have to look past each other’s shortcomings and join together in his body to cross the river. If you don’t share my opinion, fair enough, this is only what the song says to me, that the river is a reference for Christ, remember he was baptized in a river, and the bible says that blood and water flowed from him, it also calls him the fountain of life, and refers to his blood as the cleansing river, or flood. Which is where I got the River-Christ interpretation..

“And on the first page of our story, our future seemed so bright, but people are capable of such evil, even our politicians have their wicked schemes and the devil takes that to new extremes and I don’t know why I’m still alive, through all these battles and all the times I’ve lost my way, I’ve always found you there, in the grey, saving more than my life, rescuing me from so much pain and strife, even though you already died for me and set me free from the pain in my past, but you’ll always be my hero, even though sometimes it feels like I’ve lost my mind.”

I stayed up late the day before the world ended and the fear within me just would not abate, for the longer I dreamed the more deeply rooted I became, until it all felt so vividly real, I couldn’t help but believe it to be true, I was self-aware, I could think clearly and make my own choices. I wasn’t a slave to my dream, I was really me and I was leading a convoy through the desolate highways and bi-ways, leading with what I can only assume was by instinct, or maybe something more. Because I knew exactly where to go, I can’t explain how, or why, I just knew, without ever really knowing what we’d fine, but I knew we were heading in the right direction. But I was new to this whole leadership role I found myself in and I had doubts like anyone would, wondering if I was leading my friends and these people to their own deaths or not. I kept going everything that could go wrong, knowing it’ll all be on me and my head. If I got any of these people hurt or worse it would be my fault.

I was beginning to question the driving force that told me which direction to go and it was then one particular member of my group, who had always been a long time and very trusted friend found me after we had stopped to rest and push a few cars to the side of the road, with several others searching the various abandoned vehicles for supplies and whatever clues they could find to explain what was happening and why. So I was surprised when Becka found me amidst the hustle & bustle of our group moving about. She knew something was troubling me without me having to say a word and I’m usually so good at hiding my emotions, well except from maybe her.

“Everything alright” she asks and I pause in the middle of pushing a car off to the shoulder.

“No,” I confess, I could never lie to her and the truth would always come rushing out of my mouth before I even realized I was speaking. Seeing me this way and with my back to her, she rest a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“It’s okay,” she tells me, “We trust you.”

I laugh, shaking my head, telling her I don’t really even trust myself and she responds by pushing her way in front of me and forcing me look her in the eye, as she says,

“You should believe in yourself and trust yourself in this, you need to accept the role that God entrusted you with, no matter how scary or hard it gets otherwise everything will just fall apart and you may as well walk back the way we came.”

Her words hit me in such a way I’m rendered speechless and before I can respond, she turns and marches back to her vehicle leaving me shivering there in the cold. Sighing and considering her words I find she’s right and redouble my efforts to help move cars off the road. I never been much of a leader and less of inclined take compliments. It was my older brother who always told me that I was too modest for my own good and now memories of him and my family had filled my thoughts, even the ones I haven’t spoken to in years and I couldn’t help but wonder how they were handling all this, or if they even made it all.

After what felt like an hour, we managed to get back under way, and twenty or thirty minutes later I ended up I ended pulling into a very long driveway of a large mansion, recently abandoned by the previous owners. We didn’t know if it had been by choice or not, for upon our arrival we discovered that the previous occupants seemed to have simply up and vanished. Their home was left open for us to claim as our own, as they had left all of their belongings behind. Their loss proved to be our gain as we searched the mansion, finding some food, several clothes and to our surprise weapons. Our only clue to the identities of the previous occupants were that they had obviously been gun nuts, or doomsday preparers for all the good it had done them, for they were now nowhere in sight.

Taking a shotgun from the gun rack I found that I immediately knew everything about it, it was a Benelli M4 Super 90 shotgun, with a collapsible stock and a fourteen inch barrel.  Which I handed off to Becka and proceeded to give her an impromptu lesson in handling the shotgun and as I started to give her a brief lesson, one of the members of my church offers to take some people out and scout around the area. I agree and turn my attention back to Becka, teaching her how to hold it and warning her about the kick, explaining that she’d have to lean into it when she fires and because of the spread she’ll want to aim at the chest, because it’ll be her best target. She smiles at my instructions, looking up at me as if I was being paranoid and over protective.

“Do you really think all this is necessary?” She asks. I want to reassure her, tell her no and this was all just a precaution, but I don’t. Instead the truth begins flowing out of my mouth before I can even think of a suitable lie. I tell her that people are scared, afraid and that many will find themselves doing things they wouldn’t do otherwise. I tell her we’ll rescue those we can and protect ourselves against those we can not, then I steer the conversation back to her gun, explaining that this model holds five shots plus the one in the chamber, so she’ll have to be conservative with her shots and to remember to reload. She smiles and shakes her head at my instructions, but she humors me anyway.

I then take some time to teach her and a few others a few self-defense moves, just in case things get bad and I discover I rather enjoy teaching and conversing with my would be students. An hour or maybe more passes, when David returns with his group and I can tell by the look of him he has bad news. He tells us things are getting bad all over and that the temperature is dropping and with it the good will of those who had remained outside. Rioting had broken out and homes were being ransacked, families murdered or worse. Yet for some reason everyone seemed to skip what was to be our new home.“But we still need supplies if we’re to make it through the winter,” I tell him and he shakes his head sorrowfully and tells me it’s too dangerous for another group to go out so soon. Typically, I would agree and would stand down. I never really liked confrontations anyway, but I couldn’t let it go, I knew a group the size of ours wouldn’t last long off what little food we could salvage in the mansion and with no power, most of the food would spoil before long. David disagrees insisting I wait, but I know waiting is not an option, I know my house is stocked with canned foods, plant seeds and survival gear I had been obsessively collecting for the past several months, and it was as if I somehow knew this would happen without really knowing that the how, why or even the when. It was only a matter of time before someone; anyone would break into and raid my home.

I open my mouth to volunteer to go out alone, but it’s my Cousin Nick’s voice that cuts in.

“David, he’s right if we don’t do something now while we still can everything we’ve done would have been for nothing and if we don’t freeze to death, we will die of hunger.”

I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to be in my corner, because Nick is a talker, gifted with a silver tongue and the gift of gab. There’s a reason he works in sales and I’ve always believed he could sell ice to an Eskimo. It’s just who he is, he’s a talker and when he talks generally people listen. It takes Nick all of two minutes to convince David we should go out and I’m caught off guard to hear Nick actually volunteering to come with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cousin like a brother, however he has a habit of being both lazy and selfish and it’s then that David decides to let him and me to go, but we’re to do so alone. But I feel like bringing Nick with me is a mistake, but I bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut, since he stepped up for me, I couldn’t bring myself to offend him, nor did I want to waste more time by arguing with him. I just pray I’m being overly cautious and I wouldn’t come to regret my decision of letting him accompanying me.

It doesn’t take us long to gather enough supplies for the road and I go to say Goodbye to David and wish him luck, when he hugs me and tells me to be careful. Then I hear I step to the door when Becka touches my shoulder and I turn to her and she looks so very, very sad.

“You okay?” I ask,

“Yes,” She answers forcing a small smile, “Ever since all this started, you’ve changed…it’s been good to see you like this and how much you’ve been stepping up.”

“Thanks,” I say awkwardly, I never been good at accepting complements.

She turns and glances towards the door and I half expect she wants to ask me to stay, instead she says,

“It’s really bad there isn’t it?”

“Yeah…but it’s going to be okay, we’re going to be okay” I tell her, “People are just scared is all and soon they’ll either wake up or decide to come to together as a community and for the good of all of us, or…they won’t…”

Becka smiles thinly, throwing her arms around me and I tense from the unexpected hug, reluctantly hugging her back, we had been friends for a very long time and sometimes I think she’s the only one who knows me better anyone else.

“No matter what happens out there,” She whispers in my ear, never lose faith and promise me, promise me, you’ll return safe and sound, I can’t lose any more friends.”

“I promise,” I whisper back, feeling like I was making a promise I couldn’t keep.

End of part 2.

Next: the Conclusion, what do you do, when you come face to face with evil?

I had some serious doubts about posting this, but…anyway here it goes.

          “Have you ever had a dream, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” – 1999s “The Matrix”

              For the longest time I had thought this was simply an interesting quote, written by a pair of very talented writers. Even though for as long as I can remember I’ve always dreamt in color and my dreams, have always been incredibly vivid and surreal. I have to admit usually when I dream; I very rarely ever dream that I’m myself. Instead I usually dream of stories, where I find myself in the shoes of the very characters I create. So for the longest time, it has been my dreams that have been my inspiration and is why I now keep a dream journal, jotting down whatever dream I have at the very moment I awake. Later I often go back and reference the page or pages that I had written and discover a story worth writing within the context of whatever it was I dreamt.

Without a doubt,

 I need your help,

 because I can’t figure this out,

And there’s so many things I want to say,

But there’s too many things still in the way.

And I’m just now beginning to see what it was all about.

Last night however was different. First being that as a sufferer of insomnia, I tend to be a night owl, who stays up late pecking away on my computer keys, sometimes I’m working on writing new pages for my story, or going back and editing the chapters I’ve already written, sometimes adding to, or taking out whatever didn’t fit, or properly work.

                 But last night as I sat down at my computer, ready and energized to get to work, I had that moment of absolute clarity we writers tend to get, when everything seems clear and you’re completely focused on your writing. In times like these, your fingers can barely keep up with your thoughts. Unfortunately for me, this is also when my eyelids felt incredibly heavy and after taking a moment to stare despairingly at the clock and seeing it flash 9:30 pm. I couldn’t believe it, because I usually have to force myself to fall asleep, which usually isn’t till 2, or 3:00 am. Then the more I tried to fight sleep, the more tired I felt, until I couldn’t shake it anymore and I ended up climbing into bed by ten.

                I didn’t think a bed could ever feel so comfortable, a pillow so soft and cool and as I closed my eyes I out like a light. The dream I had still haunts me even now, giving me goose bumps whenever I think, or talk about it. It was so real to me; even in my dream I began to believe it was real and I was me. I was outside and it was snowing, I could feel the freezing winds whipping against my clothes, cutting right through me, chilling me to my very core. I could even feel the snow falling and melting against my face and it was in this moment that I became self-aware in my dream and began questioning my own sanity. I had climbed into the passenger seat of a jeep that my cousin was driving. Immediately I could feel the shift in temperature, it was warm inside the cabin and after closing the door I could feel the warmth thawing my still freezing face. Rubbing my hands together to get feeling back into them, I bring my hands to my cheeks, feeling the warmth of my hands against my face. I vaguely remember going to bed and waking up with my throat feeling parched and getting a glass of water. But as I looked around the interior of the jeep and ran my hand along the rough and cracked dash I realized I wasn’t dreaming, ( Even though I was) and that I had stayed up late the night before the world ended. It had only been half a day since the end began and we had already left another human being to die and I could feel my conscious was eating away at my soul

It started out simple enough; I was out with some friends many were from the new church I started attending when something happened, a pulse of sorts managed to knock out every electrical device and as near as any of us could tell it happened all over the world and all at once. Nothing worked, watches died, cellphones became paperweights and most cars simply became lawn ordainments. No one really knew how or why this happened all we knew was that it happened and it happened in the middle of winter, making survival that much more of a struggle. At first however most people came together during this time, believing whatever happened was temporary at most; many believing it were a solar flare, or some other accident, with many believing it to be a simple blackout. Then people began disappearing, several from my group vanished without a trace and seemingly into thin air.

 It was during this that a realization hit me, that the tide of men would change and fear would win out to reason and the goodwill people were at first sharing with one another. Now I never was much of a public speaker and less of a leader. At most I would say I’m more of a loner, but I somehow found the tongue to stand up and speak up. To my surprise when I spoke, people listened (granted most were my friends and members of my church, but still) and I managed to pull everyone together. Working together we managed to find a few vehicles that could still start and we formed a convoy and began heading out of town, in search for a less populated place. It wasn’t long however until we discovered that people all over had been disappearing and the vanishings never happened all at once, which bred only more fear amongst us that remained because we never knew who would be next, or really even why. But I found myself driven to find a place for my group to bed down and to try and survive whatever it was that awaited us.

End of Part 1.