Nightmares, they can haunt you for days after the fact. This can be the same for waking nightmares. They will haunt you and chase you. Exhausting and terrifying. Some will burrow their way inside you like a sickness.
I sit in my lounge, drinking ice tea reading over local events. Like a swift current, a man appears in front of me, accompanied by another man. From thin air, they appear the first wields a pistol the second man a laugh. He fires and it rips through the arm chair I am sitting on. As I blindly go for my device and flick it. I am shuttled to the 19th century. I land in a pile of dust and dreams, nowhere, nothing and somewhere. Shit, I pick myself up like a drunken horse. I take everything in while the family that owns barn rushes to the racket. Before they can see me I hit my device, I arrive seconds later from when my arm chair is ruined. I tackle the masked man, his pistol flies, finding its way to the corner of the room; we’ll come to that later. He hits the ground with such force that I could feel the air leave his body. He screams to the second man “Bill!” He catches me on the collar and pulls me off. I gasp and reach forward. I catch the balaclava that was disguising the man on the ground. I pull it off like a new sock to reveal a man with my features. I would say me, but his eyes, they only had nightmares in them. I am thrown to the side and hit my head against the wall. An imprint is made in the drywall. The Bill character pulls him up. A swift movement and they’re gone.
I pick the feathers off my chair, trying to recall every action. The air moves again like a freight train, I’m hit. “Shit.” I think. I reach my pocket and find my device, no sooner does a stray fist connects. My jaw moves and takes. I spin and fall, forgetting everything. The air spirals and I am somewhere green.
I have been in shitty situations before; countless so, but this was new. I pick myself up again. The grass stains my shirt and palms. I dust them off to find the Nightmare and Bill standing feet away from me. There has always been a coward in me, but today his screams were muffled by rage. I grab a large stick from the ground and run towards them. Undaunted by my charge they just stand and stare. I jump and swing; I hit the warm air where they stood. Vanished, I spin on my heels as my Nightmare kicks at me, no sooner I find Bill on the other side. I drop the stick when my torso wanes from the blow. I tumble once more on the ground; my device finds its way out of my pocket. It lies between them and me. A mad dash is made by both parties. I grab the warm steal and flick the device. I land in my attic. I lie still as they appear in my home and wreck it. I watch them through the tiny cracks in the attic floor. Back and forth they search my home, destroying whatever got in their way. They vanish once more. I make my way out of the attic and return to my lounge. I find the pistol they left on the floor and drink the rest of my tea in a gulp. As I set the glass down the air slightly changes, I turn a Bill charges me. I squeeze the trigger and the gun yelps, the lead connects with Bill’s leg. He slows then stops; I walk forward and put the gun to his head. “I want some fucking answers!” I yell as the gun shakes in my hand. The Nightmare stares at me for a second then smiles. He vanishes leaving just Bill and me in the room.
He lies in the middle of my floor laughing at me, making comments about how many people he has killed. His banter gets to me; I crack, just like his jaw as I hit him across it with the pistol. I sit on my chair and try to figure out what has happened. My mind races of M-theory, time dilation, the relativity of simultaneity and anything else I could grasp. I was in such a mind spin that I didn’t notice Bill had awoken and used his device to vanish. Leaving a red silhouette where he once was.
I leave my house, drive for awhile, and rent a small cabin in the woods. It’s not the kind of place I would ever really go. So it seemed perfect for hiding from this nightmare. I set my device and gun on the night stand try to get some rest.
The floor creaks; I slam my left hand on the pistol. I raise it and fire blindly, they return fire, and the room is bright for a few seconds as the guns cough sparks. I feel the burn as a bullet grazes my torso. My nightmare wasn’t as lucky. I heard a thud and crash as he hits the floor. I flick the lamp as Bill vanishes. My nightmare lies on the ground coughing blood as he continues to point his pistol at me. Click, click, click, it goes over and over again as I make my way to him. I ask him where he’s from as he stares at me with his cold eyes. He shuts them for a few seconds and when they open he replies “fuck you…” He shakes from the pain and closes his eyes tight, covering the darkness once more. I try to cover the seeping hole with whatever I could, the blood kept pouring out. Bill returns, kicks me in the skull. I fall to the ground. For someone in my field, it seems I suffer far too many head injuries.
I come too, surprisingly still in the cabin, alone. I clean up the cabin and myself. The sky is bright above the tree tops, the world just glowing on my drive home. I guess this is how best to describe the feeling when a nightmare is gone. The little wound on my side burns as I turn the car into my driveway. My home is in ruins with papers, furniture, and pictures thrown about. I walk through the mess. I find a bottle of scotch, knocked over but the contents still cased in the glistening glass. Sometimes I think that I have a drinking problem, but now this was a drinking solution. I kill the bottle, wipe my mouth and toss it on the floor to join the pile.