Nightmare Narrative

Prompt Day #60: Describe your most recent nightmare. After writing for about five minutes add a weapon to the mix that emerges suddenly from the setting you’ve already detailed.

I have nightmares, but I rarely remember them or truly, they involve my children and I just cannot go there with my writing. This one was even tough and trust me, I mellowed it down significantly. I can’t even write about my kids being hurt or worse. Sorry. So this one is more narrative and not much action. I don’t like it, you probably won’t either but hey, 365 days of writing, there are bound to be a few duds.

Nightmare Narrative

It is dusk, there is fog setting in and I am in a labyrinth. The walls are high and smooth; they look like thick sheets of white plastic. The walls of the maze glow opaque as if there is light on the other side of the wall shining through just enough to make the wall visible in the dark. There are two people after me, one male and one female. But they are faceless as most others in my dreams often are. They want to hurt me and my family and I have to get away from them and get to my family before they do.

I try to fun but the air is thick here in the labyrinth. It’s like trying to run underwater. I come to a phone. It’s a payphone on the wall of the maze, I try to call my kids, warn them but my fingers are too big and clumsy and I keep hitting two or three buttons at a time, I’m running out of time and I can’t get to them. I turn the corner and find a set of stairs. I am so clumsy in this syrupy air that I keep tripping and falling. I know I need to get to the top of the stairs but I don’t know how.

There on the wall at the base of the stairs is a glass case, the kind that says “In case of Emergency, Break Glass” there is a metal mallet hanging on a string. I grab it and smash the glass. Inside I find a crossbow. I’ve never used one before but somehow I know it well. I grab the string and tie it to the end of the arrow and shoot it to the top of the stairs. Now, I can climb using the string to steady myself. When I get to the top, I replace the arrow into the crossbow and survey this upper level of the maze.

A tunnel lies ahead of me, it is dark, the walls here are thicker. Just enough light gets through to see that it is a narrow tunnel. The light brightens again on the other side. My family is there, I see them and I begin to run as fast as I can—which isn’t fast at all—I’m so out of breath. Behind my son there are two faceless evil-doers. I have to shoot, but I cannot miss. The way physics works in my nightmare though, I am afraid. I yell out to them but my voice echoes and bounces off the walls of the tunnel; it never makes it to them. They grab my son, he is struggling. I have no choice, I have to fire. The crossbow is heavy but I get it up and sight it. I send my son a silent message telepathically: please don’t move.

I lay my finger on the trigger, my heart is pounding, sweat drips down my forehead and into one eye. I close it. My son is screaming for help. I fire the arrow. And then, I wake up.

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