I am at a party apparently, judging by the little cheeses and the colorful dresses. I distinctly notice a radio crackling – for a precise few seconds - and quickly fading, drowned. Perhaps the mood for music has changed. I walk through the house, which is somewhat oddly lit with both white bulbs and the morning sunlight through open windows. The greenery in the yard is strikingly vivid. These people at the party have familiar yet indistinguishable faces – almost blurry. Conversations float unintelligibly here and there, and the feeling I have is reminiscent of a Rockwell painting – warm, inviting, and yet a bit too surreal for comfort.

I swim through this environment, and in my ears the radio crackles and fades again. Noticeably, things begin to grow colder, both in feel and appearance. The cheerful colors have now faded to shades of steel gray, with shadows of blackness lurking in the corners. Unsure as to what is going on, I begin to search for a light switch. Out a window at the periphery, round metal and concentrated, purposeful fire float to rest on the now dead brown grass. As yet, no alarm bells have sounded in my head. Desiring the colors to return, a light switch is the solution to the vacuum. In my quest to return this house to its welcoming state with electricity, I pass the blurry party-goers in commotion. They now mill about in a confused fashion. Farm animals disrupted from their trough.

At this point, a fuzzy notion that something has changed has finally formulated in my mind. Vaguely, my desire for light becomes my need for escape, but like the reed on the bench grinder it will not sharpen. There - the front door seems the proper exit, yet to no avail – this knob must be a Rubik’s. A right turn through the hall, toward the garage. Along the way, discarded shoes on the hallway sills demand my attention, yet I press on. Panic now begins to sharpen, but another crackle and fade of the radio urges my mind back toward unwanted serenity. Through a cracked doorway, a sliver of grey flesh is slightly visible. My eyes narrow. I smash into the garage, find a bicycle there and through the open door, a haven. Go. Now.

I pedal intensely along the dirt path to the barn, yet my breath never increases. In fact, I don’t believe I am breathing at all. Entering the barn, I turn – and witness. Partially obscured by the barn’s silo, the large metal disc remains perched in the yard. A line of party-goers marched silently into the open mouth of the disc. Grey men with black eyes herded them. Black eyes of evil intent.

I must be dreaming. Such a view is only contained within the fantastical and unbridled imagination of the sleeping. A grey man’s black eyes spot me, and it begins making its way slowly to the barn, in spite of its legs remaining perfectly rigid, and its mockery of Newtonian laws is ominous. Again I am gripped by the strange, calming fuzz, and again I battle back with gritted teeth. In a drawer, a revolver is located. Rounds are scattered on the workbench. The radio crackles and fades, precise. I load a round. Look up. The grey man is much closer. I look down to find a candle in the chamber. Another round is loaded, and again another candle is ready to fire. I frantically load and remove candle after round. Round into candle. Load the gun. Load the gun. Suddenly, we are eyes to eyes. Black eyes of evil intent.

I open my eyes suddenly. I am in my girlfriend’s bed, and she has gone to work. A clock is visible in the corner of my eye – late morning. The sunlight looks more natural now. Despite the real world assuring me that I have banished my dream, I realize quickly that all is not well. I cannot move, or sense any part of my body. A dead leg, it must be. I can conquer this. I concentrate.

Move your arm… nothing happens. I begin to have the same feeling from the dream – a sedated sense of alarm, like an unwilling patient in a medical procedure. Moving becomes more paramount. Move a finger? No response. I look at the clock, and a full seven minutes have passed. I have been unable to move a single muscle. Certainly this was still a dream, I think.

Suddenly, in the silence, a radio crackles… and fades… and I am released from my paralysis. I look at the clock – thirty eight minutes of paralysis. A real, natural, razor-sharp sense of panic engulfs me. What the hell just happened? One second of that question was too much. I grab my keys to go and out the window, in the periphery, see a tiny metallic flash in the distant sky at once fire, and black.