the hidden lands

By , cedarburg, WI
Here I am.
Just another day, right?
Absolutely not.

I know it’s a cliché where something weird happens to someone when they least expect it. More importantly, I never, EVER, expected it to happen to me. At all. Ever. I mean this day was EXACTLY like every other day of the week. I thought it was still Monday. Like normal, I woke up, looked at my clock: 6:25, I was late, get ready frantically, I run out the door and just barely catch the bus. The rest of the day I just barely stay awake, but I make it. I take the bus home and sleep all the way home. When I get back I do my mile high heap of homework and go to sleep.

That’s about when things got pretty… strange.

It all started with this weird dream where I was in a long corridor where all that existed, was pitch black. I saw a strange looking shadowy demon. It was a large figure with spiked metal wristbands that shone the color of gold, which was pretty weird since as far as I could see, there was no light whatsoever, almost like walking in the sky on a starless night. It just stood there, looking around as if searching for some unseen predator. It stood there for a few minutes until it suddenly began slowly moving away from me. I was curious about this weird thing, so I followed it, slowly though, along the corridor.

While I was walking I didn’t see anything else but the pitch-black emptiness of the passageway. At one point, the shadowy figure disappeared. I stopped, looking around to see if I could find out where it went, but finding only the darkness of the corridor. I took a step, and immediately found out where it went. I tumbled down, what seemed to be, an invisible staircase and crashed into what seemed to be a wall. The figure was far ahead now. Apparently, it had no trouble with the staircase. I caught up with it, but, suddenly, it stopped. It turned to face me when, suddenly, it disappeared in a puff of smoke.

When the smoke resided I looked and saw what I least expected to be standing in its place.

It was the refrigerator.

Great, I was sleepwalking again.

I sighed, then I yawned, then I slapped myself for being so stupid, and then I went up to bed.

I got about halfway up the stairs to my room when I felt a strange burning in my neck.

Then I blacked out

I awoke when something cold slithered across my face, at which point I shot to my feet. When I stood up the snake darted away. When I looked up, it wasn’t on the ground, but it shot into the air. Flying. That was pretty creepy. But then again, so was that shadow-refrigerator encounter, so maybe this was just a dream too. I looked around. At least I could see here. I was surrounded by tall, brown grass. I looked up and saw broken chunks of earth levitating in the air. Some of the snakes were lying on the rocks, either resting, or sunbathing.
Although many of the snakes were just flying around, they all seemed to be going the same basic direction. This is just like in the dream, I thought, I bet I’m supposed to follow them.
So I did.
The swarms of snakes never seemed to end. Every time I looked up, I saw at least 3 snakes flying by. This helped me find my way. I just followed the snakes and I believed I would get where I needed to go.
At one point, strangely, the terrain shifted, going from bright grassland to dark green forest. In the darkness though, there was a glow among the trees. They seemed to sparkle. The tops also seemed to be broken into shards that glistened in the light. And among those, I lost track of the snakes. Even if I could see them through the shards, the light was too blindingly bright from the shards.
At the bottom of a tree I found a small, imp-like creature. The creature looked at me and hissed, and, being the person I am, I hissed back. The thing screamed and played dead. Wimp.
I had a feeling these things wouldn’t crawl across my face in the middle of a rest, so I decided this would a great time to hit the sack. I leaned up against the base of a tree, which was surprisingly soft, and fell asleep.

When I woke up I found out I was wrong about those imp-like things. One had thought my stomach was a perfect pillow. I looked at it for a while. I didn’t want to wake it up, just in case, so I lightly picked it up and set it aside. It didn’t wake up, so I left before it could. At one point, the trees cleared and I saw the snakes again. There were fewer now, but still enough to guide me.
The terrain changed again, this time changing into a dry, rocky, red, canyon. Without any shelter, the sun was scorching. It felt like my body was melting from the inside. It wasn’t until then that I noticed I didn’t have any water or food. Thinking of my absence of nourishments, I got hungry, I got thirsty, and I just wanted to get out of here. This wasn’t a dream. If I fall asleep in a dream, I wake up. I wouldn’t stay asleep. I kept following the snakes; maybe they were going to water. Looking closer, the snakes seemed to be slowly flying lower. A moment later we came to a clearing with a cluster of huts in the middle. That’s where the snakes went, into the large building in the middle. I ran hopefully, maybe there was some food or water in the hut. But I cut myself short. How many snakes could fit in that hut? Now the urge to go was unbearable. I had to see what was there in that village, even if the snakes attack me for invading their habitat.
I got into the village, the straw roofs looked like they were about to burst into flames in the heat. I looked into the hut and, before I could even process what I was seeing, was sucked into a vortex.
I fell through darkness that reminded me of the corridor that I saw the shadow in. I started to feel like this would go on forever, until I saw my house quickly coming out of the shadows. I couldn’t move. I slammed into my roof.
I sat up quickly in my bed, breathing heavily, and wondering if what I just went through was real. I told myself that it was just a dream but my body doubted it.
I don’t really enjoy the “just a dream” ending either but this wasn’t just a dream. It wasn’t a dream at all. Soon enough I would wind up back there again when I least expect it.
But that’s a story for another time.





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