I used to sleepwalk as a child, as did my sister in our formative years. Following a terrible fall, despite my father’s heroic actions, she fractured her skull. Our psychic link was severed, our shared dreams came to an abrupt stop, as did our nightly strolls around the house in the early hours.
As far as I am aware, I’ve slept lying down ever since, or at least until last night. Perhaps, over time, I’ve developed more self control, or just as likely become too lazy to bother. But last night something bizarre happened, I sat up in my sleep and immediately knew where I was. Still dreaming, yet, back here in this body, in my bedroom, on Earth.
I can precisely recollect the sensation of breaking free, like coming up for air in deep water. I remember my surprise at how much light there was in the room, with swirling colours blooming in the gloomy haze. My brain was flooded with natural opiates, awash with DMT, manifesting as a spontaneous psychedelia. But more than that, I could make out several figures, beings so strange their presence has left a deep impression.
The first was a living shadow, I have witnessed many of them before, some of which hang around far too long for comfort. I see shadows most nights, and even in the days. Most are generally of human proportions, asides an overgrown cat that seems to follow me everywhere. This was what I’d assumed had leapt to the foot of the bed, something I’ve grown accustomed to over the years. At times I believed it to be the spirit of one of several pets, those who’ve served their time as faithful companions in life, and presumably in death. Now I’m not so sure.
The creature could not hold its form, and soon floundered in abstraction, firing off a series of explosions of black ink that splattered everywhere. Before long it appeared to calm down, almost as if to reassess its strategy. It quickly retreated into a more defensive position, contracting into a tight ball which randomly jut forth long and flimsy spikes. At that moment I came to the conclusion I was witnessing my own fears come to life, an amorphous mass of terror faced with its own reflection.
Gradually the dawning realisation coloured my surroundings, and ever so slowly, the air around me glowed with a shaft of soft cobalt light, imperceptibly casting strange patterns upon the bedspread. I looked up to witness what appeared to be liquid sprites, each chasing the other in a circular swimming motion. They seemed huge and disproportionate, a pair of mutant electroluminescent organisms crowned with phosphorescent halos, twisted and deformed by the ripples of a hidden tide.
Then it struck me, there was somebody else in the room, a giant with shoulders broader than the door frame. Their arms folded and head bowed, almost like a genie. I fought the urge to collapse back into my body, and dream a dreamless sleep. The endorphins fast overpowering my mental fortitude, I took one last look at the figure by the door. Their face seemed familiar, although in the dark it was almost impossible to see it clearly.
I’d lost consciousness, I had fallen back to sleep, and now I found myself standing over a body lying in the bed. I was watching myself, eyes closed, breathing deeply in the dark. I stepped outside and closed the door, and returned to the place that each and everyone of us knows, but cannot speak of in the light of day.