This was a dream I had not too long ago. When I woke up I decided to write it down and this is what came of it.

I dreamt of the puppets last night. They were pinned on the walls of my room.  Little wooden toys, filled with the souls of the undying, cursed to live 1,000 sunrises without ever again knowing the sun. I could feel their eyes looking at me urging me to wake up, to bring them down, and make them dance.

I dreamt of a song sung in dramatic King Diamond annunciation. I dreamt of touching their skin as I softly hummed it, taking in their loss and desperation, the beauty of all their anguish.

I went outside and the setting was changed. “The cave” was where we were. I was no longer alone but, part of a circle passing around a folded dollar bill and hiding from the cold.

My guy was talking. The topic was something familiar and amusing. Wearing a grey hoodie, smoking a cigarette in long drags, and drinking piss from a bottle baptized with a snake’s name.

Suddenly, everything went black. I could feel my heart pumping. I was running and I was being chased. I could not see my assailant but, I could hear his footsteps behind me.

I could hear his breath and how he controlled it. Better yet, he timed it, every two steps, in and out. He was catching up easily; I wondered what I would do when he caught up.

I was cold and scared, trying to hide in the shadow of an alley way. That’s when I saw her, my random apparition, the burnt woman. She held a small box between her hands. She being a gray figure in my colored world was clearly out of place. I knew then with unimaginable joy, "I’m dreaming!" I cannot explain my happiness at that moment.

This burnt creature had followed me throughout my life; a common spectator of my worst nightmares. One thing was for sure, you cannot die in your dreams, and you cannot be hurt in your dreams. She will never touch you; she will never even get close. She just watches and waits. For what, I have no clue.

At that exact moment she was gone from my sight. Just as instantly I felt thin burned arms embrace me. Scabby small fingers attempt to cover my eyes and mouth. The reek of burned flesh overpowered me.

All I could taste was her peeling skin. Her nails dug into my flesh, red pain flashed in my eyes. In a sudden spurt of adrenaline I broke off her hold and ran, ran faster than I have ever run before. Reality itself was crumbling; I could not understand how…why she had decided after so many years. 

I hid behind a car, and proceeded to bang my head against it. “Wake yourself up! Wake up! Stupid bitch, wake up!”

Between gasps, I forced myself to wake up. I was on my bed in my room, her burnt scent was all around me. For a minute I imagined her, blackened skin and all and a wave of shivers ran through my spine. Soon enough I remembered the minor incident earlier in the kitchen with the food and the burnt aroma was automatically explainable. I needed to tell someone my dream before I forgot it.

The calm was short lived, for it took only an instant for me to realize that something was horribly off. There was someone next to my bed sitting on the floor covered by whatever part of my blanket hung off the bed. I did not know what to do or how to react as it just sat there without moment or word. I asked it to leave, but it remained.

My windows were open and I could see to the outside and she was there. Looking upward into the sky, hands raised she spun. Her tattered dress fluttered in the wind; the patches of hair still attached to her head seemed to dance with her. She seemed happy and I unfortunately was still dreaming!

"She wants you to look at her, she needs it." I heard the intruder under my cover whisper, "You will need to make a decision, you know about what you want. Everyone is watching."

"Who is everyone?" I asked him. "What do you want?"

"She wants you to look at her, she needs it. You will need to make a decision, you know? It's about what you want. Everyone is waiting."

I was so confused. Forgetting my fears, I glanced at the window and she was looking right at me, still as a statue, no longer dancing like a nymph in the forest. She was staring at me and seemed to get closer every second. She could have jumped into the room if she would have wanted to, but she was as afraid of the covered being as I was I could tell. She began to whisper. Never before had she tried to speak.

I tried to listen, tried to read her burnt lips and make up the words. The intruder began to tug at my cover. Realizing I was mostly naked and there was truly nothing separating me from her and him but that simple blanket. I began to pull at it back, this was just too ridiculous!

"Let go of it! Stop it you fucking interloper! Who the hell are you anyway?"

I glanced up and the burnt woman was gone, but I was still in a full fleshed combat over a stinking blanket with this thing mocking me under it.

Ignoring my nakedness and rising fears I climbed down into what seemed a tunnel made out of Egyptian cotton and there he was. My interloper was my best friend J! He sat there still tugging at the cover with both hands. Under his left arm was a bottle. I could not see the brand, but I knew it was whiskey. I could smell it on his breath.

"J, what are you doing? You’re drunk, go home!" In typical JJ fashion he responded in short French phrases that meant nothing to me. He then quickly turned away from me clearly avoiding my eyes.

"J, seriously go home! I need to go back to sleep. I need to go find her and finally end this. I need to finish the song. They can’t sleep without the song, J! It’s late and I’m cold!" He ignored me. I pleaded and demanded, tried to speak to him calmly, he had but deaf ears.

Suddenly, the most randomly unimaginable thing happened. Mufasa surfaced from deep in my stomach and out of my mouth in a load and angry roar. 

The sound continued in angered passion until J dissolved into nothing, taking his bottle with him. I woke up, almost falling off the bed in the process.

I remembered his stunned face, I remembered her happy burnt lips, and I remembered their eyes and their sadness. Poor little lost beings. For a minute the entire sequence of events made sense in my head, but it soon left me.