All the time, all the time this villain sought to harm me. Not every night, but maybe twice a week or more, and every other night it would leave me to worry if it was to arrive that night. It was a somewhat a faltering, harsh cycle, not as predictable as a cycle but it still was the same every time, if that makes any sense. I’d have a few nights’ peace, (anxiety was now the closest thing to peace I’d ever get), and then I would fall victim by this parasitic evil. This dream, no, not a dream, a nightmare, had haunted me to the point where I now considered it to be its own conscious being, an ethereal adversary. I, by nature, am a very guarded person, but for some unfortunate reason, the only flaw in my emotional armor was in my most vulnerable place, my sleep. It is more of a hunter than a dream, and I am its prey. This yeoman of mal-intent would chase me from dusk ‘til dawn. At night I was hunted in a more literal way, but in the daylight, where I thought I would have sanctuary, it envelopes my thoughts and daydreams, making me pensive and excitable; but most of all, it makes me apprehensive. I can feel it, nipping at my heels as I run. The chase pushes through the day and at night, when I must stop to rest my weary mind, it pounces. My predator wounds me, but then leaves me so I can be wounded tomorrow night as well. I sometimes wondered why I couldn’t just let it pass, why I had to run or fight it, but I knew in my heart, if I just merely let it win, I would be utterly destroyed. I, in a sense, would no longer exist. I’d just be a hollow shell, haunted by the ghosts of memories and fears. If only there was a way to end my suffering, if only I could end my fear forever. Once or twice I thought of the eternal sleep, but I knew if I killed myself, I would just be hunted worse, and for eternity, not just by my nightmare, but by my conscience as well. I’d create and sentence myself to my own hell. I must now, in some of my darkest days, harden my resolve. I cannot allow myself to be taken victim by an incorporeal foe. No matter how many time’s my strength has wavered, and no matter how many times I’ve become desperate, I have to live on; perhaps the hunter will finally tire out and find a new, slower, prey. In my heart I know eventually, my running will stop, but until then, I fear to shut my eyes. Well, the time has come once again. I have to get to my bed, for I can feel my eyelids falling, setting like the sun. I make this walk every night. I mosey from my parlor to my bedroom on the other side of this big, old house. I suppose I shouldn’t, the long walk seems to assist my enemy, every night, as I pass through the musty corridors, I contemplate my upcoming sleep, and it draws out more fear and anxiety. And I almost always pause before my door. I seem to be hesitant to even enter the room. This time, the door is blue, I have changed my room eight times to flee from the dream, but as a skillful predator, it was never long before my caches were discovered. I walk in, every time seeing a similar sight, a dark room, lit by a small lamp, and my rickety old bed. I slowly lie down, and I never even bother to get changed or cover myself with the blankets. I just lazily, nervously, fall, asleep…..