So, trigger warning: I’m gonna talk about nightmares. I am a chronic nightmare sufferer and I’ve been having some doozies lately.
Last night’s nightmare, I told hubby about this morning and he was all, “You seriously need to write this stuff down. It’d make for good stories.” Uh, okay. My nightmares would make good stories. Sure.
This was one of those ones where I woke up with a start from it, drenched in sweat, gasping and panting for air… and when I started to fall back to sleep, I started to go back into the dream again.
I hate those.
So, I promptly fought off sleep, jumped up and started walking around the apartment. Sometimes I turn on all the lights I can (without risking waking hubby), but last night, I just turned on the one next to the couch (yes, I sleep on the couch because a) it is better for my joints/back and b) he snores like a freaking lumberjack — snoring + light sleeper = no sleep).
Okay. So, I guess I should talk about the dream.
You may or may not recognize the image at the top of this post. It’s from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, an animated sci-fi movie set on a post-apocalyptic earth where humans are in conflict with an alien race only known as the Phantoms. One such Phantom is pictured above. These Phantoms can pass through walls and other matter, appearing to be kind of “out of phase” with the rest of the world, but it’s deadly if a human is touched by one of them.
The reason I bring this up is that my dream had similar aspects. This movie is the closest thing I could find to explain my dream.
Here’s what I remember.
I’m standing somewhere with another person. A man, I believe. I’m in some kind of a suit. Hazmat, space suit… not sure what. It’s got some kind of breathing apparatus or gas mask built into it. The man does not have a suit on.
For some reason, we fall off the platform that we were standing on. We fall, we’re pushed, the platform gives way… I’m not sure. Next thing I know, we’re both floating, entering the space below — which is not made of air, or space or water. It’s like… fluidic space? The man is able to breathe in it. And there’s a bit of gravity, because we’re able to swim through it and propel ourselves through it without needing to push off of anything (unlike in zero gravity).
That’s when I realize we’re in trouble. I look further down and realize that these luminescent shapes are coming our way, swimming up through this fluid-space. They’re massive. The size of whales. They have large mouths. Some have eyes. Some seem not to. They all look different — kind of like the movie. Some look like big whales. Some look like dragons or sea serpents. And so on. And they’re swimming in a large formation… like a school, but very tightly pressed together… and they’re coming straight for us.
It becomes more apparent that these luminous creatures are transparent. They have no inner organs that I can see. They’re just these big, transparent, glowing shapes, and they merge and overlap and separate over and over again. It seems, like the Phantoms, that they are out of phase even with each other. So, at first, I think I’m okay.
Then, one of them opens its giant maw and swallows us like we’re tiny plankton, and we’re floating inside this creature, able to see out of it. The man begins to panic and frantically swims toward the outer edge of the creature. I pick up on his anxiety and start to follow him. Then, without warning, he begins to dissolve in front of me.
Oh gods, his screams. I can still hear them almost 24 hours later and a day of wakefulness. Eventually, there was silence and he was just…gone.
Meanwhile, the creatures are still moving and I’m stuck in some kind of flow along with them, and still very much inside this one creature. Now, remember I said I was in a suit? I believe this was the only thing protecting me from the same fate as the man. But, as I start swimming toward the outer wall of the creature’s belly, hopefully to break free and escape this toxic school of freakishly insane fish-things… I smell a burning smell.
My suit! I look down and see that some of the seals around the joints are starting to smoke. The suit! It’s dissolving! I know I only have minutes, so I begin to struggle to swim faster. Almost there… more smoke… how can there be smoke in fluidic space?? Dreams don’t make sense… wait. Shit. This is a dream. Wake up, dammit! WAKE UP!!
And boom, I woke up. But my brain wasn’t done with the storyline because as mentioned, I started to fall right back to sleep and slip back into the dream. And my still partially awake brain was like, “Not today, motherfucker!” And I woke up for real, stood up, turned on the light and walked around to shake it off.
Thirty minutes later, I curled back up and tried to fall back to sleep, but stayed awake for yet another thirty minutes plus after that. (I woke up at 3am, was still awake at 4… drifted off sometime after that.)
After that, I went right into one of my work-related stress dreams where I’m definitely at work but everything seems so different, it’s five times larger than it should be and the entire place is so full of people, it’s just chaos. Jeez, louise… what a night. According to fitbit, I got a grand total of 4 hours and 12 minutes “restful sleep” (broken up, of course), 2 times awake and 20 times restless sleep, for a grand total of 260 minutes awake/restless. I went to bed around 10:30. I apparently drifted off sometime around 11:30. I got up just a few minutes before 8am. In bed for 9.5 hours, “asleep” for 8.5 hours and I get half of that in restful sleep.
At least I come by my daily sleepiness honestly? Oi.