The Real Dream World
By David K Scholes
The T Rex kept coming. I couldn’t get away from it. No matter how good a hiding spot I used it would always find me out. Just like an old childhood dream. Except this T Rex was genetically engineered. Bigger, faster, and most unnervingly much more intelligent.
I was sleeping with my late model dream controller on and should have been able to take control of the dream. Especially when I approached wakefulness or a lighter moment in my sleep cycle. It was then that I would wreak vengeance on my dream tormentors. Whomever or whatever they might be. It always felt good. Yet now I couldn’t do that.
For a moment it seemed as though I was awake. In the familiar surroundings of my study but then I was yanked back into the dream. Had I only dreamed that I had woken up, I wondered.
The dream changed and I found myself in darkness in the confined crawling space of a narrow seemingly endless tunnel. There was not even a hint of light coming from either end of it. There was a foul smelling thick fluid in the tunnel and creatures slithering and sliding all over me. They felt vaguely reptilo-insectoid with hints of something else I couldn’t even imagine. In the dream I was starting to have some trouble breathing.
The next dream rescued me, albeit temporarily.
I found myself inside an Earth made Patton mark 9 battle droid on a bleak windswept unquestionably alien landscape. In battle with an overwhelming force of superior Vlorg integrated battle droids. My droid was already badly damaged and the Vlorg were getting ready to prise me out of my droid. Back in my days as a star trooper I’d heard stories of what the Vlorg did to the unfortunate occupants of vanquished enemy battle droids. I hoped for the start of a new dream.
The dreams went on endlessly. Though the terror level varied the general trend was definitely upwards. I wondered about my physical body. As to whether it could withstand the strain. As to whether I might suffer a heart attack.
Why couldn’t I just wake up? Or just take control of the dreams?
It began to seem like all eternity since the dreams had started. Since I had last been awake. I began to wonder if I actually would ever wake up again. If this was the way it was going to be from here on. An eternal succession of dreams.
Some part of me sensed that couldn’t be. I couldn’t see how either my physical body or my mind could continue to withstand the escalating fear.
If I died then the dreams would stop wouldn’t they? And grant me oblivion.
The last time that I had very briefly “dreamt” that I was awake my body had been sitting very still, very immobile, in my study. Presumably asleep. .
How much time had elapsed since I started the dreaming? I wondered indeed, did time mean anything at all now.
Somewhere, somewhen in the dream cycle I knew with certainty there would be no waking up. At least not to the world I had known. I just knew that was gone now. The short dreams where I thought I had briefly woken up had long since ceased.
As the dreams became ever more bizarre and ever more distorted there was nothing left in them to remind me of home. In the end nothing even vaguely Earthly about them.
For a time I recognised in distorted form things I had encountered as a star trooper and later when I was an alien hunter. Yet eventually the bizarreness of my dreams went far beyond these experiences. Where had all these bizarrely cruel dreams come from? Not my mind surely? Something had to be feeding me new material. I was not capable of dreaming such things.
Yet just when I thought I couldn’t possibly withstand another dream escalation some force deep within me kept me going. As if my mind, my very soul, was hardening to the escalations.
Eventually, thankfully, the dreams reached a plateau of terror. Then after that they became more solid. I became more solid. Then they no longer varied. I continued to be in the same dream indefinitely.
An environment so utterly alien that it would once have simply and instantly crushed my mind. Those I now fought for and alongside were beyond humanity's worst nightmares. Yet for all of their alienness I sensed a goodness in them. That what I was now doing was right and just. Concepts that still applied. Even here.
Eventually I realised that this indefinite dream was no longer a dream. What was happening to me now was very real indeed.
Somehow the succession of bizarre escalating dreams had represented a transitioning for me, moulding my mind, hardening it for the otherwise inconceivably terrible and brutal existence that lay ahead.
This new plane of existence was now my world.
My new life after my death.
- - -
The author has written over 150 speculative fiction short stories many of which appear in his seven published collections of short stories. He has also published two science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). He has been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF and Beam Me Up Pod cast sci-fi sites. He has also been published on Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently working on a new collection of science fiction short stories.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
The Real Dream World
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