Another 500-word submission for our creative writing group. This time, it’s a scary story theme, in honour of Halloween next week! FYI: The hypnopompic state is the part of the sleep/wake cycle when you begin to wake from your dream.
Black places, people only half there, faintly-coloured outlines of themselves. No definite place, but a familiarity to the scenery, viewed immediately and from far away, all at once.
A dense forest of winding roads that spin and span across a valley, a row of houses with no doors, a straight trail to nowhere. I am driving, I drive, I sit in the passenger seat. You, my colleague, my neighbour, me, my lover, a face; you talk with me. You drive. You talk to me. I understand. A suggestion.
We must progress, move forward. The dirt tracks and exotic brush, we are in a buggy, we hurtle. The valley is kept together by the taught belt of wood and rope; we speed along it.
Below us, chasm, green, forever. A fall so far that clouds pass below us, obscuring the ground, the trees, the village, the river. Forward, imperative, go. Journey. On, to adventure.
I look at you from every angle.
Wide-eyed and screaming.
The belt above me, the car above me, you above me, me below. I fall from the edge. I tried forever to grab for the side, I did not understand why I could not hold it, but I accepted. I fall.
I move so fast that the air does not enter my mouth. I was just holding your hand.
I fall, I spread and twist. Falling is silent. Falling forever. There is no rapid-rise within me, no change in balance, shift in gravity. I fall without sensation. The air still does not enter my mouth.
The ground below me is approaching. Perhaps if I cling to the side, I can save myself. I try forever to grab for the side, my arms are tired, I do not understand why I cannot hold it, my strength has left me, I accept. No saving, no side. I fall.
No rush of wind, no air. I fall in a vacuum. Now I feel my chest. Not a sudden leap, but an ache. The ground is approaching. Shouldn’t I wake up now?
Pain. A throbbing, dense pain, threatening to burst out of my face. The air will not enter my mouth. No, it’s not that. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.
Open eyes. Black place. No, my room. Dead night, dead pitch black. I cannot breathe. I kick, I struggle. I throw my hands to my neck, to the pain. Something there, thick, hard, strong.
My face will burst, my chest will collapse, the pain, the pain. I look down. You are above me. Your hands are on my neck. Your strength, your anger, you crush my throat, your weight defeats me.
My body dances in furious spams, my arms fail me. I feel capillaries burst in my face as I lose sight of you, as I lose sight of everything. The intense heat of my struggle is suddenly, forcefully, replaced by a nothing-chill.
I cannot feel your powerful grip on my neck. I cannot feel the clamp-weight of you on my body. I cannot feel my sheets, my bed, my pillow. I think of the buggy, sitting with you in the passenger seat, the dirt tracks and exotic brush. On, to adventure.