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Fever Dream

By ReggieSomething
Created: 17th January 2022 09:51:36 AM
4th October 2022 10:10:35 PM

  1. A literal fever dream I had a few nights ago while sick as hell, written in greentext to the best of my recollection for your amusement.
  2.  
  3. >It hovers over you.
  4. >The presence, too large to ignore. Invisible, yet insulting.
  5. >You do what you can to ignore it. To pretend you can't feel its slow, raspy breaths tickle the nape of your neck.
  6. >That nobody else appears to react to its subtle cues for a response is the only thing that preserves your sanity.
  7. >Potential company is abundant here, but in all reality, they might as well be in another dimension; collective consciousness projected elsewhere.
  8. >Among the drones that wander about, you spy a wisp of blue; a brilliant, star-studded cloud.
  9. >Quick as it appears, it vanishes.
  10. >Hoofsteps reach your ears. An idle tune whistled by phantom lips joins the din.
  11. >The ethereal breathing intensifies, now a breeze that blows trash down the street.
  12. >"You must make a choice," she says to you.
  13. >You don't see her, but you could've sworn that she sat beside you as she said it.
  14. >Inside. You must get inside.
  15. >There are stairs in the lobby. They're cut into the black-and-white checkerboard floor, making for quite the depth-perception nightmare as you scurry down, hopefully out of sight.
  16. >Before you is a narrow hall. Dull, bluish-grey paint adorns the top half of the otherwise-plain concrete walls.
  17. >Quite the aesthetic for a prison, but there are no bars here. Not that you'd need them- the vibes are well-established. There's actually nothing here, save a small door at the end of the hall; right side.
  18. >For some reason, it takes a while to walk the distance of the hall. During the walk, your mind is alight with questions.
  19. >What is it?
  20. >What does it want?
  21. >Why can you feel it watch you?
  22. >And who is she?
  23. >The door reaches up to your thigh. It's rectangular, wider than it is tall, held in place against the door frame by hook fashioned from a bent nail.
  24. >You don't want to go in there.
  25. >The hoofsteps return, as does her voice.
  26. >"You must go." she says, no emotion detectable in her voice, as if reading tomorrow's forecast, or stating some other mundane, trivial piece of information.
  27. >Rising hairs on your arms support her claim. Faint breathing is now audible throughout the hall.
  28. >It's getting louder, more raspy; excited.
  29. >The hook pivots without resistance. You crouch into a deep squat and pull the door open. It swings with a rust-pained squeak to reveal a dark opening.
  30. >Cool, damp air rushes forth from the portal. It's not that cold, per se, but something about the humidity, it cuts through cloth and flesh-and-blood alike to bite your bones.
  31. >Dangling just inside the door frame is a thin white pull cord, just barely visible in the inky murkiness that seems to spill out beyond the borders of the door frame; black tendrils reaching out in your mind's eye.
  32. >You pull the cord. There's a metallic click accompanied by flickering light.
  33. >Normally, light in the dark is comforting.
  34. >Normally.
  35. >Something about this light, it's too yellow, too... sickly. It makes the dirt floor you're about to crawl on seem that much more bothersome.
  36. >The floor inside the entrance is roughly two feet below where you now crouch. You don't want to go in there- it houses something unsettling... you can feel it. However, fear of the presence above is a powerful motivator.
  37. >Your feet have barely touched the floor when the door slams shut behind you. Her voice rings in your mind, telling you not to fear, that she'll meet you further down. It's not very reassuring, as much as you want to believe her.
  38. >The floor is chocolate-brown hard-packed dirt. Uneven, but never rocky. The ceiling is low, too low, so you're unable to stand upright.
  39. >Like the floor, the walls are dirt- barely wider than your shoulders in some stretches of your path. In other areas, the tunnel fans out into a chamber of sorts, but they're invariably filled with large dirt mounts so tall you have to crawl on your belly to navigate them, your back scraping the ceiling at times.
  40. >That yellow light you switched on when you first entered... that was like, a hundred meters back, but everywhere you go is lit in its sickly glow as if right behind you.
  41. >Try not to think about it.
  42. >Did she tell you that, just now?
  43. >If you focus hard enough, you can barely see the glow of her teal eyes, or the spiral groove of her horn.
  44. >Not her corporeal form, but her spirit, manifest in your mind. Nearly tangible until you realize it's all in your head a millisecond later.
  45. >Sometimes a rush of air will move through the crawl space/tunnel complex you navigate. It's unlike the ambient air; warm but unpleasant, and unusually dry.
  46. >You freeze every time the air moves through like that. In those moments, you can also feel *it* outside, its heavy gaze scouring the streets for you.
  47. >There's a distant noise in the tunnel, back the way you came.
  48. >It must be a ways back, but not too far back, considering how much the dirt muffles the sound. Light, fast, and undoubtedly frantic, a scurrying noise grows in intensity.
  49. >The chamber you're in is littered with more dirt piles, the majority concentrated where you need to- the only way out: forward.
  50. >Grunts and wheezing gasps now accompany the scratching that signals the approach of your unknown horror.
  51. >Leaping belly-first onto the nearest pile wasn't exactly graceful, nor efficient, but you're scrambling up it's crumbling slopes all the same. Your hands claw at the earth, grasping for purchase whilst your legs kick and flail to propel you uphill, away from the approaching entity.
  52. >It enters the chamber seconds after you roll over the earthen ridgeline that segregated the room you fled from the tunnel. Not daring to breathe, you hold your hand over your mouth and pinch your nostrils shut as you tiptoe away from the curious scratching that escapes the room to the rear.
  53. >"That's enough for now," she says as the tunnel grows white.
  54. >You stand on a platform; an old-school elevator of sorts.
  55. >An electric motor- one you swear you've seen in a picture with Nikola Tesla- is connected to an elaborate pulley and gearing system that drives the lift.
  56. >The pulley drive belts are leather, the gears, bronze. They seem a bit too thick, too... cartoonish to be taken seriously. Yet there they turn, meshing with their equally-uncanny counterparts, transferring torque through subsequent overdrive stages, themselves thought given form by some anonymous engineer.
  57. >Besides the exposed mechanism is a lever protruding from the diamondplate floor. She stands beside it, her back to you.
  58. >Following her gaze, you see through the window that seems to stretch from the foundation to the heavens. The hum of the motor and clicking of gears reassures you.
  59. >She doesn't speak, only looks through the window. So that's what you do too.
  60. >Buildings shrink as you continue to ascend.
  61. "How far are we going?" you ask her after passing the last skyscraper a minute ago.
  62. >"As far as we need to," she replies. "As deep as necessary. To the darkest places if we must."
  63. "But we're going up."
  64. >Her eyes are squinted. You're not sure what to make of her smirk.
  65. >"Are we?"
  66. ..
  67. >You'd always hated coming here.
  68. >The beach house.
  69. >Dad said the house was his grandfather's, modeled just like his parents' in the old country.
  70. >Wind blows hard enough to push you off-balance for a heartbeat. The salt on the air is strong enough to taste as it overwhelms your nostrils.
  71. >You don't remember the house being built on the edge of a cliff.
  72. >But here it stands, on the side of some treacherous mountain highway, overlooking a rocky shore some hundred meters below.
  73. >Melancholy. The air is thick with it, along with deja vu.
  74. "Why are we here?" you ask her, though she's nowhere to be found.
  75. >The wind blows harder. It carries no voices.
  76. >You blink, and you're standing before the front door, arm outstretched.
  77. >Fingers grasp the weathered brass knob.
  78. >Wait a minute.
  79. >Dad never owned a beach house.
  80. ..
  81. >Red lights dot the tunnel ceiling every ten meters or so, the only source of illumination in the brick tunnel.
  82. >She walks beside you, the four-meter diameter of this passage allows you this comfort.
  83. >Her slippered hooves step in and out of your peripheral vision. For whatever reason, if you turn to look directly at her, she vanishes. So you must be content to listen to her hoofsteps and see the blur of blue to your right.
  84. >The tunnel floor becomes uneven. Soon you're walking on dirt again.
  85. >Together, you approach the last red light.
  86. >Despite it's high position, this bulb illuminates less than its mates.
  87. "What happened to the lights?"
  88. >It's still. Too still.
  89. >There's nothing in your periphery.
  90. >Glancing to your right yields a distinct lack of pony.
  91. >The lights from where you came flicker, and one by one, fade to naught.
  92. >Only the light you stand under works now.
  93. >A new light flickers in the distance, again, the way you came.
  94. >Like the bulbs on the ceiling, this light source is red, but smaller, more focused.
  95. >It's moving.
  96. >And it's getting bigger.
  97. >RUN.
  98. >So you do; into the darkness.
  99. >The thought won't occur to you until much later, how you don't fall, nor brush against the tunnel walls whilst sprinting in total darkness.
  100. >Your lungs burn with every labored inhalation.
  101. >You hazard a glance aft, and regret it.
  102. >The red light bobs up and down in your wake, some seventy meters behind now.
  103. >You can feel its intent, its intensity, as it bears down on you.
  104. >This isn't the first time, no.
  105. >Last time, you were up in the mountains, camping on the property owned by the parents of friends from school. Night fell, and you fled from it, that damned, all-seeing red eye, dodging lodgepoles, boulders, and brush as you screamed for somebody to help.
  106. >You always had nightmares whenever-
  107. >Nightmares!
  108. "I'm dreaming."
  109. >"Yes," she whispers back.
  110. >You're standing on the antique lift again. This time a wrought-iron fence surrounds the perimeter, complete with one of those cool accordion gate things.
  111. >Once again, she's at the controls.
  112. >Where'd she get that train conductor's cap?
  113. >This time, you don't look out the window.
  114. >You study her, this strange, talking pony that visits you.
  115. >She extends her wings forward, spreading her primaries for a casual inspection.
  116. >The electric motor whines as it drives you to whatever destination she has in mind.
  117. "Where are we going?"
  118. >"Back."
  119. ..
  120. >Your platoon is dressed for Antarctica.
  121. >Shin-high snow impedes your progress, but you are relentless.
  122. >Strange, you don't feel the cold.
  123. >They follow you in single file down the stairs, one mitten sliding down the polished handrail, the other clutching their weapons; blacker than the night overhead.
  124. >Snow is all but a distant memory some twenty meters from the last step; frozen ground morphing into familiar blue-grey concrete.
  125. >The crawl space door is taller this time.
  126. >Deja vu crawls up your spine. Again.
  127. >The hallways are much wider now. So wide that the lighting overhead can't reach the widest spots.
  128. >Pipes protrude from the floor, ceiling and walls at irregular intervals, beads of moisture glisten at bolted flanges.
  129. >Steam hisses behind you, always behind you.
  130. >You're not afraid. Your friends are with you.
  131. >Somehow, your numbers have dwindled from thirty to five in the time you've been walking the tunnel.
  132. >No matter, at least you're not alone.
  133. >The tunnel gives way to a vast chamber, some forty meters long by thirty meters wide.
  134. >Reinforced concrete screams "Soviet bloc" in a way that only brutalist architecture can.
  135. >Below your elevated vantage point, four canals run the length of the chamber.
  136. >The three to the left are full with swift-running water.
  137. >To the far right, the fourth is empty, save for a brownish sludge that's settled in the semicircular cross-section of the canal. It's at the end of this canal that she waits for you- at the mouth of another tunnel.
  138. >She beckons for you to follow with a wave, then plods inside the dark portal.
  139. >Of course you're entering another tunnel. And of course, it's more of those god-damned red bulbs lighting your path.
  140. >You walk for hundreds of meters. Kilometers, perhaps.
  141. >An eternity has passed before you realize you're alone again.
  142. >All lights, save for the one directly overhead, blink out of existence at this revelation.
  143. "Not again," you say, crouching down against the cold bricks to your left.
  144. >Nothing approaches. It's just stillness.
  145. >A hatch materializes from somewhere. It opens, and you get a glimpse of starry blue hair.
  146. "Hey, wait up!" you call as you hoist yourself up to the opening.
  147. >She's led you into some sort of service conduit.
  148. >Once again, she's gone, but at least this place is well-lit.
  149. >You step and climb over pipes, following yellow arrows taped to the floor. It's uncertain, when you started climbing several flights of stairs... best not to think about it.
  150. >These stairwells are odd- they intersect others at strange places, making for junctions that are counter intuitive at their best; completely inaccessible in places at their worst.
  151. >There are others in the stairwell maze with you. They all wear the same clothes- black slacks and a plain white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. You never see any of their faces head-on, but you could swear they all had soulless mannequin heads atop their hunched shoulders.
  152. >"Focus on what you need to do," her voice floats through the scene.
  153. >Just like that, you're on the elevator again, only it's not *her* elevator. You ride in a gold-and-alabaster lift with a large window running down the center. It is through this transparent panel that you see your penthouse drawing near.
  154. >When did you buy a penthouse?
  155. >Best not to think about it.
  156. >The lift opens, splitting the window down the middle. You exit to find your penthouse buzzing with activity. Members of the staff are busy setting Hors d'oeuvre on silver trays. In the center of the floor is the bar, behind which she stands, drying a beer mug with a white rag in her blue aura.
  157. >For once, there isn't a sense of urgency in the air, so you can afford to stroll towards her at a leisurely pace. She watches you approach, a closed-mouth grin barely visible on her muzzle.
  158. "Ready for tonight?" you ask, looking at the white nameplate pinned to red vest she wears.
  159. >LUNA
  160. >"Are you?"
  161. >The lights dim, music begins blasting through the house sound system, and soon, you're weaving through dozens of people you've never seen in your life.
  162. >Strangers congratulate you, others thank you for inviting them.
  163. >You smile, nod, grab drinks off of trays and generally try to keep your shit together while trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
  164. >The house band begins to play. Lights on the stage opposite the bar flash in time with the beat.
  165. >Somebody takes the stage, microphone in hand. He's not supposed to be up there, you surmise. Still, you allow it.
  166. >For now.
  167. >"By the Moon," you hear Luna say, somewhere, "he cannot sing to save his life."
  168. >You couldn't agree more.
  169. >Your guests have lost their patience with him. They look to you, as does Luna, like ancient Romans waiting for Caesar to decide the fate of a gladiator.
  170. "Get off the stage, ya bum!"
  171. >Everyone cheers, though Luna has disappeared, as she is wont to do.
  172. >As much as you want to deny it, you're irked, and it's bringing down the mood of the party.
  173. >Perhaps a quick trip outside to the fresh air of the penthouse roof will clear your mind.
  174. >There's nobody up here, yet, you feel a presence; vaguely familiar.
  175. >Something stirs from deep within your psyche. This isn't right.
  176. >Movement to your eleven o'clock, ten meters out.
  177. "HEY!" you shout before giving chase.
  178. >You regret shouting, for it's only now you remember- this is the first time you've been outside since you first hid in the tunnels.
  179. >And now it has found you.
  180. >Your blood runs cold as you stop in your tracks.
  181. >The pressure of its gaze seems to weigh you down, and for a moment, your knees threaten to buckle.
  182. >Ahead, something silver coalesces from the aether.
  183. >It's a flying saucer.
  184. >No, really.
  185. >You'd always been terrified of them; aliens too.
  186. >Was this really the thing that had been pursuing you? Here to finish you off at last?"
  187. >"Face your fears!" Luna's voice urges you.
  188. >You know what? Fuck this thing.
  189. >The saucer is only two meters in diameter. It hovers some five meters away.
  190. >You are unshaken.
  191. >Summoning the legendary courage of a Texan water filter salesman hopped up on libido enhancers, you make your stand.
  192. "Seventeen seventy-six will commence again, coward!" you shout, then lunge at the craft.
  193. >It tries to take off, but you're too swift.
  194. >Having jumped atop the craft, you rain heavy hammer-fisted blows atop the ship's center dome.
  195. >The craft's metallic skin is surprisingly malleable, yielding to your furious hits before falling apart altogether.
  196. >You fall with the saucer, but are quick to rise from the wreckage. A being rises with you.
  197. >It's tall, well over two meters, bulbous, soulless black eyes eyeing you with silent contempt.
  198. >Grey skin is stretched taught over its spindly frame.
  199. >Your heart beats in your throat as you feel your fear threaten to overtake you.
  200. >It takes a step towards you, menacing and deliberate.
  201. >You look in its eyes. In your mind you see the "lake house" you almost entered several lifetimes ago.
  202. >"FACE. YOUR. FEARS!" Luna commands you.
  203. >The alien leans closer to you. There's a buzzing in your head that drowns out Luna's frantic calls.
  204. >You can feel control of your body being wrested away the longer you look into its eyes.
  205. >"It only has the power you give it!" Luna manages to whisper in your ear.
  206. >That's enough to break the grey's hold on you.
  207. >You bring your hand to your mouth, kiss the backs of your fingers, then pivot with the ferocity of a discus thrower.
  208. >Your backhand sends the alien stumbling backwards.
  209. "What's good, nigga!?" you shout at it.
  210. >The alien, still reeling from your blow, tries to turn and run. It's too lanky to possess the coordination needed to execute the maneuver, and subsequently falls to the ground.
  211. >You're there a second later, now driving knuckles into it's emotionless face.
  212. "WHAT'S GOOD, NIGGA!" you scream as you drive your fists into its head. Its frail skull crunches with every hit you land. "WHAT'S. GOOD. NIGGA!?"
  213. >Your cultural appropriation makes the catharsis of the moment sweeter. Malt liquor and cannabis may be in your immediate future at this rate.
  214. >At some point, the alien stopped twitching. Then you were swinging at nothing.
  215. >Weird. That was too easy- it couldn't have been what was terrifying you in the beginning.
  216. >Also, you're no longer outdoors.
  217. >Luna stands an arm's length away, foreleg resting on the control lever of her antique elevator once again. She regards you with a bemused expression.
  218. >"That was... rather spirited."
  219. "Bitches get blacklisted."
  220. >"What does that even mean?"
  221. "I dunno. Just felt like the right thing to say."
  222. >Luna shrugs. The mood shifts.
  223. >The scent of sea salt greets you once again, as does the overwhelming blanket of melancholy that shrouds this place.
  224. >Luna's elevator comes to a stop. The silhouette of the beach house looms ahead.
  225. >You look to her. She doesn't disappear, thankfully.
  226. >Her now-bare hoof points to the house.
  227. >You look to the house, then back to her. She nods.
  228. >A sense of foreboding grows in your stomach, weighing it down with every step you take towards the structure.
  229. >You reach for the knob.
  230. >The house begins to groan, then crumbles to dust.
  231. >You're left holding a doorknob as the ashy remnants are blown away.
  232. >"This isn't over," you hear Luna state that as a matter-of-fact.
  233. >Then you wake up.
  234. >You stumble to the bathroom and piss for what feels like an hour.
  235. >The bed is welcoming.
  236. >Well, it was welcoming.
  237. >The rectangular crawl space door is all that remains now.
  238. >You can't shake the feeling of deja vu as you undo the flimsy latch that holds it in place.
  239. >Best not to think about it.
  240.  
  241. END

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