So I had a real winner of a dream last night/this morning.
I'm small, very small- no older than five, probably closer to three. I'm at my uncle's place in upstate New York, in the woods, and it's burning down. It didn't ACTUALLY burn down until I was about fourteen, but what the hell, it's a dream.
The firelight is casting these impossible shadows, thick and black, and even though they're coming from me, they move and writhe and snake out toward me. Eyes open up in the darkness of the shadows, and mouths. Not in any kind of normal places... you know, if mouths and eyes have 'normal places' to appear in animate shadows... but all over. Sometimes they close, and different ones open up somewhere else.
I'm coughing and coughing, I guess from smoke but I don't remember smelling any or really even seeing it. These shadow shapes are stretching and reaching out for me, and the fire is burning closer and closer, and I can't even move. I'm just stuck there, terrified.
Then I open my eyes and it's the sleep paralysis thing again. AGAIN. I'm stuck in my bed, facing away from my window on my side, eyes open but completely unable to move. The usual dread starts to come over me- perfectly normal for the condition, Dr. S. tells me -and then I see this shadow on my wall, like some person is standing at my window and just staring in at me. I even see the head start to tilt, like a dog's will when it's curious or confused. I know there's something wrong about the shadow, some level of my brain knows this is just sleep paralysis hallucinations and its not really there, but at the time it doesn't feel wrong as in not-there, it feels WRONG as in unnatural. And the usual dread becomes something I don't even know how to describe. I know it was just by stupid fucked up brain but its hours later and I haven't stopped shaking, jumping at every shadow.
After a second it fades, my brain maybe starting to wake up, but then comes the really fun part. Looking into the darkest shadows in the corners of my room, I get this optical distortion I sometimes used to get as a kid, staring into the deep blue of the sky straight above. It's almost like this constantly collapsing vortex of shapes, if I'd stare really intently at any one point I'd see it, at least if it wasn't a "busy" background. Dark blue skies with no clouds were basically perfect. Part of me, the part that almost went physics instead of American Lit/Fine Arts major, even really admires the glimpsed complexity of the thing, this constantly collapsing mass of triangular/hexagonal shapes.
Anyhow, I haven't really seen it in years, maybe it was some weird thing my retinas were doing as I grew and they don't work that way anymore, at least not when I'm really conscious. Because what I saw tonight wasn't beautifully complex, or admirable in any way. Almost the instant I finally stopped seeing the looming shadow on the wall, the deeper shadows in the corners start up with the constantly-collapsing vortex thing. Only its not made up of the usual shapes, no hexagons at all. Just sharply acute triangles, with lots of empty space between them, clattering together as they collapse in on the event horizon at the center.
Teeth. The vortexes (vortices?) were these infinite, infinitely ravenous maws of pure consumption.
If I hadn't still been paralyzed, I probably would've screamed.
Listening to: "Orion," Metallica
Reading: "Drood," Dan Simmons