I’d just escaped a nightmare that now I couldn’t recall, just an overwhelming sense of dread. I should have been relived to be back in the safety of my bed, surrounded by familiar things, but the fear was still there. Whatever it was that haunted me in my sleep was still with me. In my room. I could feel it in my bones. Under the bed, in the closet, behind the door… as long as I stayed absolutely still, it might think I was asleep. Slowly, I opened my eyes—just a peek—scanning the darkness. I started to think my mind was playing tricks on me, that I was overreacting, when something moved in the shadows! I covered the distance from bed to hall in two leaps. Now it knew I was awake—and that I knew it was there. I raced down the hall. Shadow figure behind me. I made it to the living room, out the front door, slamming it shut behind me—and looked around, stunned, back in the hall again, right outside my bedroom.
Was this a dream-within-a-dream? Or, was I being haunted in real-life? How do you explain the nonsensical loop of being unable to escape my own house?
What was most unsettling to me was that I couldn’t see what was chasing me. I knew it was there. It was definitely there! And if I didn’t keep moving, I was doomed. So again, I raced down the hall—because where else could I go—and into the living room. Maybe it hadn’t happened before. Maybe I was just anticipating where I was headed, having been there hundreds of time before. Deja vu?
From the living room to the front door and outside—slamming the door behind me!
And right back into the hallway outside my bedroom again.
This had to be a nightmare, but one I could not wake myself out of. If you died or were killed in a nightmare, you died in real life, too, right? I heard that somewhere. Was it true? I didn’t want to have to find out.
As I stood there, about to flee again, someone else raced by me—it was me. Future Me? Past Me? No time to figure it out as he blew by, headed for the living room, undoubtedly. Good luck to him/me.
And then another person emerged from the bedroom, also looking troubled, trying to escape the ominous shadow that seemed to be everywhere, and yet nowhere. She had red hair, wore a crucifix necklace, and had a look of deep concern. She seemed very familiar though. She didn’t see me, and moved quickly to get away, to the living room.
I followed her, drawn to her. “Who are you?” I asked.
She paused and turned as if she heard me. But she didn’t see me, even though she was looking right at me—or, right through me. Still concerned and confused, she continued toward the living room, and I tailed, a few feet behind.
“What are we running from, do you know?”
She paused briefly at the door, hand on the job, and looked back again—clearly not seeing me, even though I was right beside her. She turned back to the door and exited through it. I followed.
But once outside, she was gone. Vanished completely. And I was alone. I moved away from the house, hoping to find a sign of her, and instantly found myself back inside the hallway, outside of my bedroom.
And I realized I was trapped, doomed to repeat this bewildering cycle until… when?