I’ve been having these nightmares for some time now.

They’re always the same – I’d dream I was in a small, grey, stone cell. I’d be lying down, and I’d feel groggy as if I had just woken up. Looking around, I’d see that I was shackled to the wall by my left arm.

Looking out of the cell though the barred door to see a hallway lit with black light, creating a purple hue on the white hospital gown I was wearing. These would all be constant in my dreams. Except for my captor. My captor would never remain constant. My captor didn’t want to remain constant.


I can’t quite say who my captor is or what he looks like, but I can see a big, hulking shadow with sanguine eyes staring at me unblinkingly in my compromised state.

The way he was looking at me always changed dream from dream; some days he would be looking at me hungrily, angrily, or sadistically joyful, to name a few.

These feelings would change regardless of how my day went or how I was feeling as I fell asleep; they would just be there. One thing didn’t change though: every night, I would give my captor a look of fear, and it would be oddly saddened by this. It would close its eyes and walk down the hallway, away from my cell.

The only way I could comfort myself was by waking up. But my life began changing – at first, small objects like toothbrushes and car keys would be in totally illogical spots (once, I had found my wallet jammed inside an old VCR player I had.) Then changes became larger.

My street address, the style of my house – even my own name was changed. Yet these changes weren’t shocking as much as realizations: a sense of “I should have known” would hit me as I realized these changes. As if I should have always known.

These changes occurred as I woke up. The feeling of stupidity I felt after I realized their existence would turn into anger – I knew these dreams were fucking with me. I didn’t know what to do.

Today, however, nothing ostensibly changed, but I did have a new realization – confront my captor. He is the one who is ruining my life. I went through my day (which, for the first time I could remember, was similar to the day before) with a sense of stupidity. When night came, I felt anger. Of course I would. Today, my life was actually a constant.

I went to sleep, with one determined thought going through my angered mind – I will confront the captor – my captor – and fight for my freedom. Be it verbally or physically, I will win. Once I go to sleep.

So why is sleep not coming? Why am I still wide awake though I feel so groggy? Why is everything so dark? Wait… my eyes are closed.

I opened my eyes, which I had not even realized were even closed. I found myself in that cell, with the thing looking at me. The eyes, occasionally blood-red and hungry, were now faded and dulled. Could it finally be expressing sadness?

“Why are you doing this to me? Why are you haunting my dreams like this?” I asked it.

The creature continued to look at me with those sad eyes. Why isn’t it responding?

“Leave me alone!” I tried to send myself flying at it, but I forgot about the chain binding my arm to the wall. I fell awkwardly on the floor when pain flooded over me – I had dislocated my shoulder.

My eyes watered and my vision grew red. I clutched my shoulder and screamed. The creature closed its red eyes and shook its head.

It spoke in a language that clearly wasn’t English, but I could still understand it anyways. It spoke in a voice that seemed to echo from a thousand locations, yet came from one source. Yet its tone was similar to my own thoughts when I had a “realization” after I woke up.

“Why do you feel pain?”

The pain insisted, but my mind stopped. Pain isn’t felt in dreams, right…?

The pain insisted, but it was now an afterthought. “No…”

“It’s good to see you awake,” my captor said. It turned around and walked slowly down the purple-tinged hallway.