My Last Dream

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I always remember cartoons of monsters being slain by sketched out heroes. Demons and dragons and villains giving up on their lost plans and schemes. But what happens when the monsters are in your head?
Creak. Creak. “This mattress is too damn squeaky. Next week when mom visits, I’ll have to tell her about this.” I grumbled aloud. Only two weeks had passed, but I just felt worse. Therapy and drugs made me weak and hopeless. Not even sleep could serve as a refuge. In fact, it was just the opposite. A correlation of my biggest fears sucked me inside of my head, and I struggle to escape each morning. Days were bad, but nights were even worse.
My dingy room was even more depressed looking than I was. Four concrete walls enclosed me in a barely livable enclosure, like a zoo animal. A second hand bed held the flimsy, worn out mattress composed more so of springs than padding. A nightstand with chipping paint held a dingy lamp and an alarm clock. Across, a sad looking pile of cotton clothes lie in a pile in the corner. A few books were limp by the side of my bed. No sharp objects were allowed. No color was in sight. No reminder of the friends that I haven’t visited.
Tired and upset about the day, I finally lay down on my sad attempt at a mattress. I’m scared and alone, but I know I need sleep. Deliberately, my eyelids lower until the white washed concrete walls are gone, and all I see is black.
Five men approach me. Silhouettes that I can’t describe or recognize come closer, closer until I’m scared to breathe. The first reaches out a pale, bony hand from the coverage of his dark clothing. The white shadowy flesh blends with the cement walls of my room. A wave of fear washes over me; goose bumps flash over my exposed skin and I turn cold. My mind awake but my body is limp. I can’t run, I can’t hide, I can’t scream for help. The men surround my bed, one after another finding their place around the old mattress. They lean steadily forward, forward towards me ever so carefully. Then, blackness. Cold, damp black encompasses my vision.
“I found her like this about an hour ago,” whispered Janice, “All the psyche patients are up for breakfast by 8. Nina was never late.” The ward director stood wearily next to three police, crouched over my lifeless, still body. “Ma’am, I know it’s hard for you, but we’re going to do everything we possibly can to figure out exactly why she died.”
If only they knew what really happened.





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