Down the Rabbit Hole, Straight Into Hell


I wake up on an unfamiliar scene, and the scene is terrifying.

Immediate thought:
We have to get out of here. We have to get out of here, NOW.

Nighttime. We're in a field--a town square?--I don't know. I just know I'm in this place, it's bad, we need to get out of here. Me and the other girl with me. The blonde I can't quite see. I don't know where we are, I don't know how we got here, but it's a bad, bad section of town. The kind where "rape" and "murder" are common verbs. I don't care about any of that, though. What I care about is the sense of foreboding that's growing by the second and the tiny voice in the back of my head, the small, rational voice that realizes this is only a dream saying, Get out get out get out of this dream get out get out now. If the voice that remains sane in a nightmare is terrified right along with you, it's a bad situation. A really bad situation.

We have to get out of here, have to get out of here. Something's coming for us, we have to get out of here.

Where? Look. LOOK.

I turn around and see rooftops behind me, a distant town that looks nice. A country town, maybe.

THERE. I motion to her and point. We go there.

There is total silence. Whatever communication is going on between us is going on wordlessly. There is no sound. No cars. No animals. No planes. No other people. Just us, and the dark, and silence, and the growing terror.

I point again, and we run, pounding out of the town square and running down a small alley between run-down houses. I'm not worried about getting raped or murdered anymore. What's coming after us is worse.

Get out get out get out get out get out of this dream get out get out

I dodge down another alley, the girl right behind me, and I skid to a stop in some sort of courtyard. A farm? There is a gigantic, rambling-rotting-creaking Victorian house shaped like an upside-down U immediately in front of us. We're standing in its courtyard, and everything is dead. Halls of the dead, get out get out get out GET OUT The plants are dead. The farm equipment sits in silence. But to our right is a horse. Emaciated, silent, staring at us, but alive. There is still no noise, I don't know why, but it can't be good. If there is a horse, there have to be people inside. They can help us.

I point at the house, and she nods. Whatever strange mental connection we have is still working for us. All of this happens instantaneously: Alley, courtyard, point, house,

We run straight into the house, yanking open its door. Everything is dim, dark, run-down. No noise. A television is on, but there is no noise. Everything is...muffled? Silenced?

Why is there no NOISE?

And suddenly, we know. We look at each other. There is no noise because everything is...waiting. For what, I don't know, but whatever it is, it's what the voice in my head is screaming at me to get away from, the usually calm, rational voice that's starting to escalate to pure gibbering terror.

Get out you have to get out now wake up wake up get out of this dream oh my god GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT

I can't get out of here. I can't get out, I don't even know how I got here in the first place or what's coming for us, and where all the people are, and I can't get out. We're running through silent rooms, running and running past empty chairs and beds. This place is enormous, it's a maze. Everything is dark and silent and waiting, and the only thing I hear is the panicking voice in my head and my heart beating in my throat.

We come into a kitchen
GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT and the faucet is running, but there is no sound, the water is making no sound. I race past the table, a flash of her blonde hair beside me and I note half-empty glasses of liquid next to half-eaten pieces of cake. And it's all old, and brown, and dim, like we've fallen into the epitome of every horror movie haunted house in every sepia-toned photograph ever.

Suddenly, we burst into an enclosed porch, and there is a huge black dog sitting there, tongue lolling, staring at us. Its tail is wagging, so I know it won't attack, but suddenly, it starts to cringe and whine and shy away from the corner and the frustration is growing,

And a word appears in midair, floating: COMING.

What?? What do you mean, "COMING"? What's coming?? WHAT IS COMING FOR US??





And there is a roaring in my ears, and suddenly, the words in front of us change, morph, turn into pen ink and start scrolling across the air


And suddenly, I remember the half-eaten food and drink on the table, and I don't want to see, don't want to see what's coming for us, don't want to see, beside me the girl is screaming with her hands over her ears but I can't hear her, we can't hear anything but the roaring and screaming inside our heads and our gibbering internal voices, and the dog is cowering and I know he's whining but I can't hear that either, and suddenly, I'm aware that I'm screaming, too, and I can't stop, my throat is bleeding because something is coming for us oh jesus something is coming and I don't know what it is but I have a feeling that whatever it is, I will pray for death before whatever this thing has in store for us and the words are whipping past faster and faster and the screaming in my head is getting louder and


and that's when I wake up. That's how I come to be awake at 5 a.m., clutching my pillow and whimpering in terror and afraid to go back to sleep for the first time since I was five years old.