4. Rise Before the Fall

First Contact –

Age: 22 (Documented on 4/3/2009)

I was in a kitchen with bright, vibrant colors, facing a window with yellow printed curtains and an open door.  Through these I could see a few trees with almost neon-green leaves against the night sky, filled with stars.  The moon appeared to move closer to Earth.  The craters and different shades of grey dulled as it got nearer.  Once its space took up most of the visible sky between the trees, a spherical grid appeared on its surface.   I walked out the doorway and out to the grass where my friends and neighbors were watching.  I could see the back of one of my roommates ahead of me, entranced by the visuals.  The moon then mimicked the Earth’s surface, the grid turning to blue and green, continents and all.  The surface peeled off like a piece of paper wrapped around a ball.  It became flat and the continents started to shift and move.  Slowly they spelled out the words, “Abismus”.  The flat, banner-like, surface then turned white and said, “Go to abismus.com” then delightfully exploded with fireworks, revealing our real, smaller moon behind it.  A few people ran back to their houses.  I, being not too far from the doorway, ran inside and immediately went to a computer.  As I typed in the address, Sahar sat at my side, Anthony ran in, turned on the news and looked over my shoulder as I searched.  Behind us we could hear that extraterrestrials had just began to land in Peru.  I found the web address.  It was installed by our new friends.  Information.   I woke up.  Immediately told Sahar and Anthony.  Looked it up.  No such address.  Yet.

Spore Zombie Apocalypse –

Age: 22 (Documented on 4/18/2009)

I found myself being held captive by an older woman, perhaps in her late 40’s, in a dark residence that seemed almost church-like.  There were three smaller rooms in the back, each sectioned off with dark filigree, so the owner could see into every room.  There were three others there with me.  Whether they were also being held against their will was questionable.  One was a male ex-co-worker whom I despised.  One, a small female child, around 4, with the mental capabilities of a woman in her 30’s, (very much like Claudia in Interview with the Vampire) and the last was an awkward, frumpy boy with very cartoon-y features and he was supposedly our captor’s son.

My bed, which was actually my captor’s bed, was at the end of the main room, by an empty fireplace.  I knew that she wanted me and was entertained by watching these people mess with me.  The co-worker spent his time randomly attempting to grope me, and when I told him to stop he snickered and sat in the corner to stare at me.  My captor’s son never bothered me.  He stayed quiet and mostly in his “room”.  I felt sorry for him and wondered if he could help me.  The “little” girl was constantly trying to steal my small change, which I kept in a jar on the headboard of my bed.

“You know, it’s just really a shitty thing to do, stealing money.” I tried to explain to her in a nice calm voice like she was a child. But knowing that mentally she was not, I was able to throw in a few cuss words.  She threw a fit, arguing with an impressive vocabulary along with attempts to “tell on me”.  I got fed up.

I had 3 small bags filled with most of life’s necessities, ready to go, sitting on the end of my bed.  I also noticed that the walls had very slowly begun to turn.  Small amounts of goo were oozing out of certain areas, a plant or some organism that looked like vines and tentacles at the same time was making an appearance in the corners of the room and the whole building looked over all, a bit slimy.

I announced that I had had it and that I was leaving. My two bothersome “roommates” panicked and ran to find Her.  I noticed that the son was entangled in one of the vines and was being suspended over us.  She came out as I was attempting to leave by window. Having almost complete control in a dream like this, I forced myself to wake up as she approached me.  But only enough that I saw my sheets and the wall and fell right back in.

I was still in the building but it was much darker and no one was there.  I made my way towards the back and snuck out the window.  It was light outside but I noticed that there were a lot of things that were starting to get taken over by the vines.  I felt an overall dark presence which let me know it was not safe here and that time was a factor.  I made small flying leaps over fences and a few roofs until I got to a small abandoned shed with hay on the ground. The door was flimsy but there was a shotgun propped against the wall so I figured I would be ok.

I started to get settled when I heard moaning.  Shit.  I knew it.  Decaying hands instantly grasped at the door.  I grabbed one bag and the shotgun and let loose on the zombies.  I blasted the few that were surrounding my door, sending them flying in small bits, and then ran out to secure a path and find a better vantage point.  I was approached by more zombies except this time my rifle was gone.  I faked a shot with my hands and made a blasting sound with my mouth. The zombies stopped and stared at me.

“I shot you guys… You’re dead,” I told them, like a little kid playing cops and robbers.  One of them said “Oh!” and realized I must have shot him so he complied, jumped in the air and combusted as if he had really been shot.   I did this to a couple more.  Then four more zombies came dancing up and I proceeded to fake shoot all of them like some kind of arcade game and reminded them after, “Ok I shot you, you, you and you, so blow up.”  It was all very comical, until they started to wise up to me.

My invisible gun was no longer working.  At this point I felt the presence of my comrade.  I saw some people in the distance who seemed to have a safe hold on top of an old yellow-brick building.  The zombies were increasing.  I dodged a few and ran to the people.  I ran up to one of the walls where I saw a woman running by. She was dressed old peasant style, apron, bonnet and all.  I called to her for help.  She looked down hesitantly and finally said “Ok, come up then.”

“What the fuck?!” I yelled, “Drop something down here so I can climb up! They’re coming right now!”  She looked around.

“I don’t have anything” she told me.  I didn’t believe her, but there was no time to argue and if she was that cautious it must have been a pretty safe hideout.  I quickly clung to the walls with my hands and feet and started to spider-climb up.  My skill at this was still clumsy because I had only done it a handful of times.

Once I got to the top she helped to pull me up just in time. (My comrade had branched off) It was a balcony with a thick, solid stone fence and a significant amount of space open towards the floor.  It was the first problem I saw in the fortress and it needed to be fixed.  I stood up to see the rest of the group.  It was a good amount of people, about 8 to 10, and amongst the crowd was my oldest sister, Hanna.  Thank god!  She looked at me and suddenly I realized that my clothes were covered in the slime that was coming out of the walls.

“Ok, we need to get supplies right now.” I told everyone, “I need better, more durable clothes with pockets and we need to find a way to barricade the bottom of that entrance because we probably only have a few hours before they figure out how to climb up.” They agreed and we started to move out as a group.  We crossed a small suspended rope bridge one by one to get to other rooftops.  From this vantage point, Hanna and I could see a super mart so we branched off from the rest.

We jumped down to the parking lot and noticed that there was not a zombie in site, or any type of panic at all for that matter.  We snuck around the side only to see everyone with their carts, shopping as normal.  They obviously had no idea what was going on yet.  I told Hanna to not tell anyone yet until we got what we needed, so as not to start a riot.   She wanted to get food right away.

“Fine,” I told her, “but I need to get supplies and components and most of all weapons.  We can FIND food.”  We got a cart so as not to invoke suspicion and I quickly threw what I needed in.  I grabbed some durable and easy to move in clothes but what grabbed my attention was a propane tank.  I told Hanna about my idea, a motion-censored flame-thrower to position at the entrance of our hide-out.  She liked the idea and commended me.  I ran to the home-security section, the electronics and then the auto section.  I had it all in the cart but just as we were about to leave, I saw my captor.

She was dressed casually but kept that same old fashioned hairstyle with pearl earrings and everything.  Her face was calm but she was clearly looking for me.  I told Hanna to take the components and make her way back NOW.  I dodged behind an aisle but she moved faster and like every other time I’m caught in a store I was eventually cornered behind a single display rack with nowhere to run.  She peeked behind and saw me.

“There you are,” she said with a nice smile but I saw something malicious behind it.  I also saw a jealous longing.  I leaned in to kiss her, it must have been what she wanted, but I hesitated at the sight of her wrinkled lips.  She gave a look of pleasant surprise and asked what I was about to do.  I closed my eyes and planted another quick one on her.  Feeling gross and mean, I smiled again at her and quickly made my escape while she was in a moment of unsuspected bliss.

I dodged out the front door, hoping Hanna made it back safely and the rest of our group were able to construct my security invention.  I also felt a little guilty for not warning everyone in the store as I ditched, but I kept in mind that Hanna might not be done yet and I trusted her to know the right thing.   I jumped a few rooftops again, not really paying attention to where I was going, just moving fast, and trying to avoid any areas with a moaning.  I hopped a fence and looked at the building.

“Goddamn it!” I was back at her residence.  But it wasn’t a total bad move because it seemed that my friend, Jesse had accidentally stumbled into this bad-voodoo house and looked very confused.  I told him we were going to get to a safe place.  Zombies began to crowd around the fence surrounding the house.  A few started to break in.  I had to get us out of here but I only knew one way.  I looked to Jesse, “Ok, we’re going to have to fly out of here.  I’m going to grab your arm and when I jump off move your arm to pump the air.  Kinda like a bird but you have to bend your arm.  And if you lose elevation find a wall or something to kick off.” He said alright.  I told him this with a sound of complete confidence but inside I was pretty doubtful that we could pull this off.  I had only carried someone once before and that was Anthony.  He was a pretty boney boy and even with him I could feel his weight and we had just barely escaped and gotten to a low rooftop.  But either way it was the only way we were going to get out of here.

I grabbed his forearm, started to run and jumped up.  He followed instructions exactly and we took off with ease.  He was surprisingly lighter than my previous experience and we quickly made it out of the decaying residence.  I first went to the hideout, only to find that it had been over-run and abandoned.  The bridge had been broken which could lead to multiple scenarios.  In any case, it was pointless to stay here, seeing as how none of my supplies were to be seen.  We kept flight and gained more elevation with more instructed pumps of the arm and found a familiar large shopping center and gathering area.  I had visited this location many times in dreams before and once again there was absolutely no sign of panic or zombie awareness.

“I have to go to the bathroom” Jessie told me.  Quite an inappropriate time I thought, but whatever.  Time was too valuable to argue.  I dropped him off on the bottom floor and told him not to go too far, even though I knew I wouldn’t be seeing him again.

This mall contained many, many floors, all open to the ones below so from the top you could see everything and still be hidden.  I always liked to be at the highest location (like a cat) but in this particular situation, I had a reason to.  I shot up to the very top level and the first thing I saw was a moderately attractive girl with a tight, short dress on.  I needed a break and maybe a little fun, I thought.  I approached, began to touch and kiss her and she pushed me away with a look of disgust.  The mediocre ones are never down, I thought.  I laughed, thought about trying with the girl next to her, then remembered that I probably shouldn’t do much more screwing around seeing as how the zombie apocalypse was happening.

I walked towards a long, low to the ground table filled with alternative looking youths, discussing video games from the sound of it.  I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last time and leave without at least warning a few.  Also it appeared that my crew was non-existent so if I was to gain more of a team, now was the time.

I whispered to a few boys, “Look, don’t be alarmed, and I don’t know how else to tell you this but pretty soon this place is going to be flooded with zombies.”  They barely looked at me and continued with their conversation.  Alright, next people.  I approached some girls on the end who seemed to not be involved with the topic of discussion.  I started the same way but was quickly cut off by the prettier one.

“Listen, you can’t just come up to us and think you can get us.  We are NOT like that.”  I assumed they must have seen me attempt to make out with the other girl, but either way, I was not hitting on them in the slightest. I was quite insulted and would have loved to put them in their place but again, no time.  As I thought, fuck these chicks, and got up to walk away, I noticed another friend of mine sitting close by and had heard me.  She leaned over to the girls and said, “You see, the problem with you pretty girls is that you assume that everyone wants you and is hitting on you, when actually, (my name) was trying to save you, but you-“  I left at this point, seeing that she had my back but at the same time realizing that she did not want to join me.

I looked over the edge just in time to hear screams.  The zombies were spilling in and it was getting dark out.  I jumped off the ledge and did my usual dive and flew out the front entrance, right over the undead.  It was completely night by this time and I knew I would have very little luck gaining a crew or getting much more supplies.  Almost everything was overrun.  I had few options left.  It was only me.

I flew until I saw some low, orange lights.  This building had steam pipes all around and had almost a bayou feel to it.  I positioned myself outside of a high up, dirty window.  Inside were more steam pipes and other industrial looking equipment.  I saw an 1800’s looking maid walking down the hall with some tea on a tray.  Something felt wrong in this atmosphere, evil almost.  The maid looked my way and said something to another person who I could not see.  She had heard something and had sent someone out to investigate.  I flew to another area and clung to the pipes coming from the ceiling.

“I see we have a BUG out tonight,” she said. She walked over to a lever and pulled it. This powered green lights which were on the tips of the many tentacle vines that were previously almost invisible.  One was right next to me.  I repositioned my hands and feet to get a better grasp but she heard  me and looked my way.  She mentioned something about the traps but I was too busy focusing on not losing my grasp.  I tried to hook my foot under one of the pipes but slipped and fell into one of the eerie green lit vines.  I felt a shock throughout my entire body and slowly floated downwards.  “That’s it…” the woman said as she took my limp body in her arms.  I had been caught, but not defeated.

I used to give up at times like this but I’ve learned to work around situations and have gained more skill in escaping.  BUT, I had already “woken up” twice (don’t remember the other time) and I knew it was time to get up.  I forced myself to wake up, checked the clock and sadly settled for that ending of that adventure.

I was never sure if my original captor was the one who unleashed the darkness upon the world, but that seems likely.  I also never found out what happened to my original team that included my sister or if they successfully made my clever contraption.  But, what I gained was:  I can now carry anyone with ease during flight, I assume as long as they properly follow my instruction.  I increased my skill at forced waking and returning to the exact or almost the exact position I was in.   More comical control, I was able to convince zombies I was shooting them by merely having the confidence that I was actually doing it.  And my favorite, constructing realistic tools or mechanisms.

Ragdoll Physics –

Age: 22

I held the hands of my oldest sister and my brother as I shot through the sky and through the borders of our atmosphere.  I halted to find that I somehow did not make it to the crisp, clear vastness of space in my previous dream as I had intended, but instead a constantly moving, almost digital space.  The environment seemed like maybe the background of an old space shooter game, only with an extra slow frame read. It had that crackling, static feel when an electronic unit it failing to receive waves.

When I shot up with my siblings I had meant to show them how I could travel to space but seeing as how my subconscious was not going to allow this I decided I would show some of my other flying skills.

They were both hovering side by side, wading as if they were in water to stay afloat.  I called over for them to look at me.  I wanted to do something new.  I shot myself laterally to the left.  I hadn’t yet tried my jettison skill once already in the air.  Normally, it was only used for take-off.  I shot myself again to the right, only this time I was vertically a little off.

Giggles came from just above me.  I shot myself upward and asked them what was so funny.  They were laughing now, hard and holding their sides to contain it.  I couldn’t keep the cracks of my mouth from turning up but I was a little irritated.  I had brought them up to space and was trying to show them my new trick.  My sister tried to speak but couldn’t.  My brother spoke first.

“You look so funny doing that,” Between laughs. “Your arms and legs go completely limp like this-” He put both arms and legs out to one side and made a hilariously blank face with wide eyes. “And you look like a ragdoll.”

I smiled and laughed.  Ok.  That would be pretty funny to see, I thought.  To further their entertainment and to further practice I continued to shoot myself into different directions as they laughed and rolled over, almost crying.  And I woke up.

For The Greater Good?

Age: 22

I rode shotgun in an eggshell colored van, not exactly sure as to who was driving.  I was too distracted by my mission.  I was not me, more I was seeing, feeling and thinking through someone else. It was in the midday in what seemed to be a town in the Middle East.  Staring straight ahead at the road, I caressed the cold metal of my handgun and watched the oblivious citizens go about their day.  We slowly rolled up to a stop light.

“Now,” said the voice next to me.  I looked over to see a Muslim woman traditionally dressed going about her errands. I caught her gaze but I didn’t mean or want to. Her eyes were dark and beautiful.  My eyes darted back to the road.  I knew I only had seconds.  My heart raced and my palms began to sweat.  I swallowed, lifted my hand to place the barrel of my gun on the windows edge, made one more quick glance over to the woman, aimed, turned forward and blindly grasped the trigger.

Screams quickly followed the sound of the shot.  A group of people ran to the woman’s fallen body. Others ran in terror. My heart sank, my skin felt heavy and my eyes watered.  I had to do it.  I lifted my gun and fired off a few more rounds into the crowd.  We sped off and I leaned back and tried to block the looping image of the woman’s eyes and the sound of the shot.  I didn’t feel right, but I felt there was no other choice.  This would make a difference.  It already had.  Then I woke up.

Switching Bodies –

Age: 23

I was in, yet another random hotel and once again, I had to pee.  The hotel was open and bright and apparently busy. I went down various hallways, looking for an unoccupied room to use the bathroom and made my way to what seemed like the least populated area of the hotel.  An outside walkway led to an open room.  I rushed inside and sat immediately on the toilet.  Right as I was about to be relieved, a group of three burst in the front door.  I had not closed the bathroom door and yelled out, “Hey I’m in here!”  It was two females, kind of chubby, and one male.

“This is our room,” one of them told me.  I was sure that this was true, but I was not about to let them know I broke in just to piss.  So I decided to stay firm with what I said, in hopes that they would doubt themselves.  I got up and walked over to them.

“No, I just rented this room, and you just broke in” I told them angrily.  Their faces changed and they looked at each other for confirmation.  I decided I would use this state of confusion to distract them for my escape.  They seemed stupid and malleable enough.  I went to one of the girls, the cuter of the two, and cupped the back of her head with my hand.  Before she could ask what was going on, I grabbed the other girl’s head and forced the two sets of lips to meet.  They resisted for only a moment and then fell into kissing. I pushed the man towards the girls.  I didn’t laugh, to keep the moment pure, but I thought the whole sight was extremely funny to see.  I pushed their heads down, forcing them to their knees and pressed their faces into the crotch of his pants as they caressed his sides.  I knew I had to finalize this process in order to properly escape so I too walked over to the kneeling, kissing girls.  I brought their hands to the zipper of my pants and their eyes widened as they felt the bulge that was rising.  My gaze zoomed out to reveal my own male body.  I wasn’t sure if I had been male the whole time, but either way, I was one now.  I was a typical skinny, white boy and to my dissatisfaction, had dirty blonde hair.  I had no real expression of enjoyment on my face, but more of a look of bafflement.  I silently floated towards the door leaving my poor, old, male self at the mercy of some dime-a-dozen girls.  I left as they started to pull down my pants.  And I woke up.

Dream Share

Age: 24

The lines leading up to the front desk were so packed that the two long strands of people flooded outside the lobby room, out the double doors and into the ever recognizable main room in the hotel with it’s towering walls.  I was anxious but I wasn’t exactly sure why.  I assumed at first it was my usual social anxiety but soon realized that I was somehow stoned, and very much so.  I moved, tiny step by tiny step with the crowd, droned, like a zombie.  We moved slowly as a vertical mass.  The whole time I watched, separate from the rest, floating and listening to the constant conversations, attached and disconnected from the human race at the same time.

I found myself suddenly at the front of the line, facing the large c-shaped desk with its round corners and smooth finish.  A woman in a flight attendant outfit glanced at me only slightly before jutting her eyes down to her computer.  I automatically mimicked her and looked to the side.  Luckily, someone next to me, apparently someone in my party, began to speak and give the necessary information to the woman so that we could receive the keys to our room and be on our way.

The building seemed like the typical hotel that I had frequented many times in my past adventures, only it seemed abnormally busy.  Was I in Vegas? I thought.  Sighting the field of slot machines in the next room gave me confirmation.   I walked with my friends, who were passive enough to be insignificant, through the room, making our way to the elevators.

On our way, I noticed in another line to my left, a tall, skinny man with a large cowboy hat on.  My heart stopped.  The last person I ever want to see, the person I subconsciously always fear I will run into, was standing there with his usual tight punk clothes on, only this time, toting that ridiculous hat.  I assumed he fancied himself “part of the scene” with it.  The sight of his face made me sick, with his wrinkled skin all weathered from drug use. It wasn’t his skin that made me sick.  It was his face, his eyes, those horrible blue eyes.

My mind raced with options on what to do, but he took the initiative, to my surprise.  He extended his boney, intrusive finger right at me and began to yell about something in the past, with my sister and their daughter, something about how it was ME that ruined everything for HIM.  Completely thrown off and embarrassingly frightened by his unpredictable actions, I quickly got to his side and asked in a low voice if we could talk about this somewhere else.  He had the look of pure insanity, which was about his average face.  His eyes were wide and filled with rage.  He truly did he scare me.

I led him with haste out of the populated room and through a back door to the outside.  There were still people around and my deep fear of his volatile nature led me to a car where we could talk.  Whatever it was he had to let out, regardless of its audacity, seemed necessary.  I wanted to get this over with and never see his face again.

Once in the car he started that dreadful rambling. I didn’t listen.  I felt myself reverting back to the time when he had almost full manipulation over my weak, developing teenage mind. I felt my own convictions and strength slip away as he spoke without breaking.  He felt so right and justified with every word.  And as each one passed, I lost a little more of my sanity.  My mind drifted to a place where I bottled up the worst of my experiences and pretended that that was just life.  Finally, one sentence broke through to my consciousness.

“You liked it,” he said.  I turned to him with eyes wide and filled with suppressed rage.  “You know you did,” he said again, this time with that sick perverted smile.  He reached towards me and I locked up. My body stiffened but that didn’t stop his advance.  He pushed himself towards me and I began to kick but he caught my ankles as he laughed and pinned me on the seat.  No, this isn’t happening, I thought, this can’t be happening.  I couldn’t let it happen.  I tore out of my degenerative mind state and thrashed about with full strength.  By miracle it seemed, I escaped his grasp, scrambled to open the car door and stumbled out onto the concrete.  I could still hear him laughing at me as I ran.

My heart was still beating out of my chest as I retreated inside the hotel.  I looked down to see my hands shaking uncontrollably and tried to sooth myself by holding and rubbing the backs of my arms.  I did not feel safe.  I needed to find real sanctuary. Someone I trusted and felt safe with.  I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes as I ran through the crowd in a desperate search of security.

Suddenly I saw a sight of true relief.  There stood Jane (girlfriend at the time), bright and pure, blonde hair flowing just a little as she stood by a wide open door.  I hurried to her side and immediately felt safe, even though she was oblivious as to what had just happened.

“Are you ok?” she asked with a comforting hand on my arm where I had been rubbing.  I told her yes, but I wanted to get out of here.  She responded quickly and without question.  She understood even without knowing, and led me out the door to an open field beneath a clear blue sky.

Right as we stepped out of the building, everything immediately became extremely lucid.  Every sense was as crystal clear as it is in my waking state.  In fact, even more so.  I was as aware as I am in my most enlightened, surreal waking state.  It was almost too much to bear.

As we walked out Jane’s hand was clutching that of a little girl about the age of 10, blonde like her. The girl was much too old to be her daughter but we both knew that it was for some reason.

“Who is this?” I asked and laughed.

“I don’t know!” she laughed back, “My daughter, I guess.” Jane seemed just as lucid as me.  This was no representation of her that my mind conjured up.  This was actually Jane.  We walked a little further, each step my surroundings becoming clearer. I turned to her with excitement.

“Are you having this dream too?” I asked her. Her eyes lit up.

“I think so!” she wouldn’t say for sure, because she didn’t actually know, which is completely in her character. “I don’t know if I would remember it like you do.”

“You are!” I was ecstatic, “I think we are sharing this dream. Oh my god! Do you realize this?! Do you feel this?”

“I do!” She smiled her open mouth smile.

“What should we do? We should fly!”  I told her.  She laughed and looked around as if accepting the full reality of my words and what we were accomplishing. We reached a large tree and retreated to its shade.  There I kicked off the grass and flew just a few feet above them.

“Come on!” I beckoned, “I know you fly too, let’s fly!”  She smiled and waved her hand.

“No, it’s ok, I’ll just watch.” I knew she thought she might embarrass herself but perhaps might be using the girl as an excuse to not participate.  But I could also see her assessing every detail just as I was and the whole thing was quite overwhelming.  I didn’t persist or lay on any guilt.  I was far too excited with this pure ecstasy that I felt. My heart wanted to burst.

I flew gracefully back in forth in front of them, going high, dipping down and shooting back up.  Jane watched with wide eyes and a permanent smile plastered on her face.  This was beautiful.  And this was real.  I knew that I would wake soon.  So I soaked up every second of this wonderful subconscious reality.

I woke and immediately asked Jane what she had dreamt.  She said she couldn’t remember, which she never did.  I asked if I was in it.  And she said with the same voice, “I think so!”

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