Bed draft 2
Of course, as we all know, nightmares are a disconcerting part of every childhood.
But something about them I came to find strangely comforting in the later years of my life.
There was a comforting familiarity in the darkness that accompanied me into my adulthood, the one consistent thing in my world after the voices and screaming began.
I had been hospitalized and institutionalized before, but this time was different.
They came to me asking me to fill out a form, mostly questions about my artistic abilities.
“We’ve read some of your stuff,” the man in the suit who’d introduced himself as ‘Dr. M,’ explained.
“You seem to have experience with astral projection,” he said. “We’re doing a survey of one-thousand men and one-thousand women around the United States and Canada to gauge the prevalence of psychic abilities among lucid dreamers, and the potential connection between the two.”
I’d detailed some recurring nightmares I’d had, regarding a tree that came to life during a storm and ate my mom over and over again. I’d explained some of the experiences with my mom’s various failed and abusive relationships, and one that culminated in him calling the cops on her… and me walking out of my house that morning just in time to witness her being tazed and screaming in agony.
If that experience had happened a few years earlier, or even one or two, I would’ve lost all touch with reality.
Who knows what I would’ve seen… but it wouldn’t have been a cop.
I almost grabbed the gun I knew was hidden behind the shower and…
What came next, I didn’t even want to think about.
Yet, here I was…
I’d awakened in an exact replica of the apartment I lived in during the late 1990’s. I couldn’t have told them about this, there was no way I appeared on the questionnaire.
On the coffee table situated in front of the TV set was a note.
It read, and I quote:
“Here you stand, with your mind. All of your thoughts and fears have been documented and your actions in response to such will be recorded. It is through these tests we will find the origin of all evil, or – at least – what human civilization has come to understand as such.”
It was signed,
I made my way down the hallway. Unlike the usual wallpaper and interior design, there were yellow and black lines and alloy was what it was constructed from, as if it were part of some research facility.
But, I wasn’t even awake!
This couldn’t be possible… but before I could complete my thoughts, I noticed a flashing light at the end of the corridor.
It was coming from my old bedroom.
None of this was possible.
It couldn’t be.
“Your memories are implanted,” the disembodied voice of Dr. M. explained.
“Everything about your previous life is an archived pre-destination, upon which you will arrive at.”
None of this was real? Then what was real?
As if he’d read my mind, Dr. M. replied, “look inside and find out.”
I did as he requested.
Following the flashing light, I entered the bedroom.
Inside was a light emanating from the crib I’d once called home.
I poked my head into the crib, and felt my consciousness immediately sucked into a miniature replica of the apartment complexes. I was smaller, and in the body I inhabited prior to adulthood.
Physically, I was closer to four or five, yet retained my adulthood consciousness.
“We have unlocked the technological ability to replicate childhood memories onto adult experiences via dreams,” Dr. M. stated.
I wasn’t sure up from down, it seemed like the dreamworld ignored the laws of physics.
I shrank the building I was inside of with a grappling hook I’d found beneath my crib, down small enough to crawl onto the roof to get to the attic which had been sealed off since childhood.
Inside I discovered a journal belonging to my father, which inside read,”
“My name is Mason, and you – my son – will have become involved in my experiments if you are reading this. The Shadow Government has already informed the governments of the world – and this information will become available to the public on July 2nd, 2021. Scientists collaborating with the pentagon have located the analogue to the ‘god particle,’ also known as ‘Higgs-boson’. This ‘Higgs-negatron’ was believed to be the elementary constituent particle comprising the causality system responsible for the ‘Higgs field collapse,’ which manifested in neuroscience and mental health as ‘psychokinesis’.”
I knew, after all of my research – after an entire two years working at ‘Peninsula,’ mental health services working with neurodivergent individuals… my work, my independence… would come to fruition.
Making my way down a hallway, my heart clawed its way into my esophagus as a large dark form darted across the T-intersection, impossibly fast. I no longer recognized the building I was in as the apartments, it more represented a school or laboratory of sorts.
There was no sign of the spectre as I made my way down the seemingly-endless hallways of my old school. I recognized the layout, and knew instantly I was heading in the direction of the playground. The bullies reigned supreme in this place.
Was this destined to be an even worse experience?
I remembered Trevor slamming his lunch tray down on the tabletop and standing.
“Move,” he screamed.
I looked up at him with dreary eyes.
“No,” I reiterated, even more firmly.
What I’d give to trade the enemies I had now with the enemies I had then.
As I progressed deeper into the facility, the simple overturned vending machines and askew doors hanging from their hinges were replaced with streaks of dried blood and gore.
“He’s here,” said a voice in my head.
“Who,” I screamed in reply.
“You know who.”
It wasn’t my father, like I’d anticipated. “This is your test.”
No, this form was tall and thin.
I remembered my stuttering.
My dissatisfaction with my physical build.
Being taller than average had always unnerved me.
And I’d always felt I was too thin for my height.
The creature twitched as I edged toward the exit to the large room.
I froze, my eyes darting for anything in the room or hallway I could use as a weapon.
“We’ve tried sedating him into a comatose state,” said Dr. S, entering the laboratory. “We’ve tried restraining him, tried sensory-deprivation therapy… nothing seems to work.”
Dr. M, nodding to himself, turned back to the one-way mirror.
“It seems as though he is beyond our help,” the doctor added.
The laser projected into his head, which itself was fastened to the table with an improvised “skull-harness”. The laser was a projection of information into his subconscious attempting to separate his identity from his suicidal tendencies.
“It would appear as though our endeavor to isolate the suicide-inducing childhood memories are a failure. Patient attempts to continue self-destruction even in response to seeing harmful tendencies as an external stimuli. We will henceforth cease any and all rehabilitation attempts, and patient will be entered into the archives as a failure,” Dr. M. spoke into the recorder.
“This will be my final log as a scientist. Patient continues suicide attempts. All further rehabilitation is deemed a failure. Dr. M, signing off.”
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