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Backbones

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Author's note: Here is my first pasta. It is an OC, and all criticism and improvements are welcome. Hope you like it.

Sleep.

We all sleep.

And dream. We all dream.

If we think we don't (even on certain nights), we are mistaken. Every human dreams. Each person enters the REM state almost five to six times during a night. Rapid Eye Movement. Our eyes start moving rapidly back and forth during these stages. Aptly named, isn't it? These rapid movements are the movements of our eyes in our dreams. In whichever direction we look in the dreams, our eyeballs rotate to that direction beneath the eyelids.

Now, let us talk about dreams for a while. Not stupid rotating eyeballs, but the real stuff. People say our brain indexes our daily memories during dreams. Our daily memories are re-arranged and stuffed in for later use. But what exactly are dreams? We spend our days waking. We all learn during our waking lives. We memorize new facts, new talents, new changes, all while awake. So why do we need to go all unconscious to "actually" learn or memorize these? We have already done it while waking. Sleeping is something we have all done since we were barely a week old, not questioning why it happens to us, simply accepting it as a daily activity. And we grow older, and it grows more firmly into us that sleep is ordinary, nothing whatsoever strange. But I'll tell you one thing: it is downright creepy; dreams, even more so.

Why do we sleep at night, when all is dark and silent? When nights are associated with demons, ghosts, spirits and all that stuff? There is a simple reason for this primitive, ancient belief: it is true. Evil captures the Earth each night, or at least that's what our ancestors believed. We don't want to see that evil. It scares every being. All life abhors dying, which the Devil brings. So, for a simple brain, it stops seeing.

Seeing is believing. When it doesn't see, it won't believe. It won't believe, and is hence "safe" from evil. And hence, as time further progressed, their eyes remained shut throughout the night. A process which is a layman's definition of sleep. A single-celled life-form doesn't sleep. Nor do many other multi-cellular beings. Then why do all organisms with a backbone sleep? Why are they terrified of the night and shut it out by closing their eyes for hours?

Why do these creatures have a backbone by the way? Support? No, not at all. Our brain controls our body and all its actions. Except one kind. Reflex actions. The backbone is responsible for this. Why do we need a backbone when our brain is capable enough and would have evolved in a few thousand years to manage reflex actions as well? As a matter of fact, we don't need a backbone. The backbone needs us. You see, it is a parasitic creature passed on from one generation to the next in all chordates. This parasite, this evil creature is responsible for our sleep. Responsible for making us unconscious when we close our eyes for long.

This makes us more vulnerable to the Devil. Sleep paralysis. We are unable to move in our sleep. A lucid dreamer, who has learned to override certain lock-downs of the brain, often experiences these while waking up. The backbone provides a support, as well as a place for nerves to go to the brain. So basically whatever out brain tells the limbs to do, is indirectly controlled by the backbone. The backbone causes sleep paralysis. It locks down our limbs, hence leaving us vulnerable to the Devil. But there's REM. Our eyes move, as I discussed earlier. Our eyes stay conscious because they are directly connected to the brain. No backbone there to override control to it.

The backbone, however makes the brain "unconscious," and goes over the memories of our day. To know if in any way its existence is under threat, often killing its host when it is. And whenever we have nightmares, they are mere reminders for us, but a nagging glitch in the working of the backbones. Simply a reminder of what is waiting for us. But the backbones prevent us from looking into the infrared spectrum. Our eyes are very well capable of this feat, my experiments have seen to that. But the backbones override this capability.

They don't want us to remember what our eons old ancestors tried to dismiss from their minds. The Devil is visible in infrared. True infrared, not the conversion of infrared into the visible spectrum often used by us humans. All this work by the backbone to weaken our mental power, the power our minds hold over our bodies. Even now, we have certain powers over our bodies (as demonstrated by the Placebo experiments), but not as much as before. Notable exceptions are people with ESP powers, those with a malfunctioning backbone.

I don't want to bore you, and hence here is my final paragraph.

People often die in their sleep. Either because the backbone's "mission" was revealed to the host, or because the Devil was there. It was there to take the poor soul, a mere being without defense, courtesy of the backbone. The remaining people wait unknowingly for the oblivion. Which soon comes, either in our dreams, or when the Devil checks its appointments (there is a long waiting list, hence the people die at an old age). Occasionally the Devil possesses souls in their sleep. Some late night fun, for the Devil, it is. Frightening others and assessing them, trying to know if they are worthy of an upper spot on its appointment list, through puppeteering a mere body. But remember, the Devil always sees everyone on its appointment list. 

This too much for you to take? Obviously. The backbone has some special controls over your brain. Over your mind, over what you believe to be true and what you don't.

Oh, and are you wondering how I know all this? Sorry for referring myself as your kind, because I am not. I am no human. I am not a vertebral creature from Earth. Is this too much to take in?

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