I had awakened in a panic, wrestling with the knotted sheets that bound me. A dream. Yes, a dream in which I had caught it at last. Yet, I could scarcely force myself not to fling my hand open wide to release it and relieve myself of the terrible pain of biting and clawing at my palm. When I finally, shakily drew my clenched fist near my sleep clogged eyes to see and forced myself to open first one finger, then another, I found within - nothing - nothing more that the damp chill of fear. Once more, that fear that had already caused my bed sheets to feel damp and clammy, like a clinging, live thing.
One look at my clock and my suspicions were confirmed; still the middle of another endless night. Tossing aside the offending sheets, I flipped the roomsí lamps on to full brightness. Dispelling the brooding darkness at the corners of the room did nothing to ease my mind. Whether it had been another dream or somehow real, the sight was seared into my mindsí eye. Small, with short, stubby wings, a wide, grinning mouth that I sensed was filled with razor sharp, gnashing teeth, short, chicken-like legs ending with claws capable of disemboweling an ox.
Say what you will, feel certain Iím losing my mind, wonder at what drugs I have ingested. But, having had this identical experience night after frightening night ending with me awakening after having captured the beastly thing within my bare, closed fist, I know. Yes, beyond doubt, though knowing not how it could be, I know this is real. Even if my clammy, clenched fist is found to be empty night after night, I know that one time I will bring it close, slowly open my fist amid heart-stopping fright and it will be there. It will force my clenched fingers apart. It will rip and tear with those talons. It will thrust itself onto my exposed cheek and begin ripping huge segments of my sweat soaked face off with those teeth. Blood will spurt across the walls and bedding and, with all too few terrible bites, my entire head will have been stripped of flesh and I will flop to the floor, clutching at open space helplessly until I am, at last, gruesomely and fully dead. Then, when I can dream no more, once my corpse had ceased to offer resistance, it will flap those stubby, ugly wings, draw in those fearsome talons and fly through the walls and away into the night.
Then, when the next person suffers that dream I have dreamed for so long, it will be there. Nothing can hold it. Nothing can stop it. Until it is found within another clasping fist, it will reside within the frightened mind. Waiting for the moment when the dream becomes too real to be denied. Waiting, with the knowledge it will soon feast again. Waiting for as long as it takes for another mind to make it real once more. Then, and only then, can it become as real as the dream. Only then can it take form and reside, whole and waiting within the fist of the frightened, tortured soul of one who suffers such dreams.
Good night. Sleep tight.
Have pleasant dreams tonight.
(Never fear. This is nothing more than assembled words. Nothing real about it.)
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