Dreams are open to interpretation. Do they have a meaning at all or is it just a random method of our brains firing off broken synapses as it slows down for the night?
For writers, dreams can spark an entire book series or just a simple scene.
I Don’t Think Too Much On Dreams
There are writers out there that have notebooks next to their bed so they can wake up at 2 am after a dream and write down everything they can remember. I don’t do that. I love my sleep.
When I was first starting out, trying to get stories to write and learning the whole process, I was the same way. When I had dreams, I tried hard to get every detail down so I would recall it in the morning.
As it turns out, all of those notes were shit. Not a single one of them turns out to be anything more than a mention, if that, in a story I end up writing.
I have learned that my mind (and yours, too) knows what is absolute shit and what is worth holding on to. There isn’t any reason to lose sleep to recall a moment.
If you are meant to hold on to a thought, memory or your dreams, you will. Learn to let it go. However, every once in a while dreams stick with us.
I had one last week that was just that type. It’s not a story, nor will it ever be a book. It is worth telling though.
Dreams Have Rules
Even though we know little about dreams for a fact, other than we have them, they apparently have rules that we mostly follow:
- You can use all of your senses except feeling.
- When dreams include yourself, you will watch yourself instead of being yourself.
- When you are in danger, you will wake up before the worst happens.
- Locations, people and items don’t matter (you know it’s your house, even if you’ve never seen it before).
- When you wake up for real, the dream details will begin to fade near instantly.
- Time has no relevance. At all.
Now, as we all know, rules are designed to be broken. I have had tactile involvement in dreams before. I have seen myself as an observer and as myself. One thing, however, that has never happened to me was that I actually died in the dream without waking up. Until now.
I know it has happened to others, but it has never happened to me. Fall off a cliff; I wake up before I hit the ground. Drowning; I wake up before I run out of air. Caught by a serial killer, I wake up before I am stabbed. That is no longer the case.
Not only did I dream about my own death from a 1st person POV, but I also felt it, I heard it, I smelled it. I died and I kept on dreaming. And yes, to answer your question, it is as fucking creepy as it sounds.
Here Is The Dream
As with most dreams, you pick up as the show is already in progress. I don’t think I have ever started my dreams at a decernable starting point.
So there I was. I was standing in the living room of my house. My wife and my two best friends were there.
So far we know one thing: It is a dream. I don’t have a wife, nor do I have two male best friends. I also don’t have a house.
The house was all dark wood interior. The hardwood floors were charcoal black; the furniture was all rustic, weathered wood with dark covers. The lights were amber oil lamps that flickered and it sounds like a haunted house, but it wasn’t.
It was very clean and surprisingly comfortable. It was a two-story home with wooden stairs that doubled back on themselves to get to the top floor where the bedrooms were.
Another thing that was “known” just like I “knew” these were my best friends, even though I have never seen their face, was that I was going to die. I knew it just like I knew that beautiful woman was my wife. All four of us knew my death was near, just like I knew it was my house.
There wasn’t a lot of talking and we had just finished a nice dinner. The beers and a glass of wine were still on the table. The four of us just kind of stood there, we weren’t talking we were just… waiting. I couldn’t stop looking at my wife.
It Was Time
Then I turned and started walking up the stairs. My friends walked up just a step behind me, my wife hesitated and then grabbed her glass of wine and followed us, about 8 or 9 stairs behind. I kept looking over my shoulder watching her walk behind us.
The last three stairs creaked under my feet and I entered the master bedroom at the top of the landing. The bedroom was a stark contrast to the rest of the house. It was glowing white. Opening the door was like waking up to a sunrise after being in a cave.
The carpet was plush white high pile. The four-post bed was white with white sheets and a thick white comforter. The walls were painted eggshell and there was a giant white framed mirror hanging on the far wall. The curtains were sheer white and bellowed outwards as I lifted the window pane.
The air that rushed in was cold on my face and I could feel the goosebumps rise on my flesh.
Then We Went Outside
I stood back from the window as my wife finally entered the room. She swallowed the last of her wine and placed the glass on the nightstand.
All four of us walked to the French doors and I pulled them open, stepping out to the enclosed balcony. I looked down over the front yard. It was night time, dark and cold. The wind was howling and the giant oak tree in the front yard swayed back and forth like a buoy in the ocean.
One of my friends put a hand on my shoulder and I turned around to look at his face. His eyes were sharp; his expression was somber. It was time. I climbed up on the edge of the railing and grabbed the eave of the roof. My friends helped me sturdy my footing before I pulled myself on to the roof. One by one we all ended up on the roof, except for my wife. She leaned her back against the railing and watched us scale the roof to the apex.
In the middle of the front slope of the roof was the bathroom window. It had a miniature A-frame roof over it as well and I sat in the spot where the two roofs came together. I stared at my wife’s face while my friends made their way to me.
When they got to the precipice, I stood up being careful not to fall. I laid on the slope over the bathroom window with the tip of the roof in my armpit. I placed my head on my arm as one friend climbed over holding the wrist of the arm over the rooftop, and the other friend straddled my hips and leaned on my opposite shoulder. My eyes stayed on my wife.
She was standing there, perched up on the railing, straining to see me. She never made a sound.
So There We All Were
My wife sat on the railing below the three friends. Her dress was blowing in the wind, her hair a tangled mess, her glowing blue eyes clear matching my gaze second for second. We didn’t blink.
I was laying on my side, one arm over my head with the tip of the rooftop jammed up into my armpit. I let the arm fall to the other side as my friend kneeled on the other side of the roof, gripping my wrist and holding my arm firm.
My other friend took the CPR pose over me, straddling my hips and pressing down on my shoulder. I could feel my heart struggling to beat hard enough to keep the blood flowing. The pressure on the brachial artery being cut off by the roof tip in my armpit.
I began to feel flushed; I could feel my body temperature rise. Lifting my head, removing my gaze from my wife for the first time, I nodded at the friend sitting on my hips.
I laid my head against the shingles and found the ocean-blue eyes of my wife once again. I smiled at her. She began to cry. She didn’t sob, tears escaped her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. My wife never bothered to wipe the tears away.
Then… I died.
My friends shook hands and then held me down tight. The one on my hips reached down and pressed a thumb and a finger on my carotid arteries. He whispered in my ear: “I am sorry, my friend, we knew this would happen.”
I just smiled. I never let my eyes leave my gorgeous wife. As he pressed and squeezed, my heart began to race. The man holding my arm spoke for the first time. “He will start to kick, hold tight.”
My eyes grew dark. It was like the very end of those old Looney Toons cartoons where the fade to black comes from the edges and ends in a circle in the middle. This was happening to my vision. Except at the end there wasn’t a Porky Pig popping out to say “T-t-t-t-hat’s All, Folks!”
The last thing I saw was my wife blowing a kiss to me. I felt my face smile and then everything went dark.
The friend holding my arm said “You have to keep going, he will pass out before he dies.” My body started to fight. I was convulsing; I couldn’t breathe. The pressure of my buddy sitting on me had pressed all of the air out of my lungs and the little that came in was too cold and choked me. I gagged and gurgled. I tried to kick my feet and move my head. It was useless.
“Goodbye, my friend.” was all I heard. And then the whole of everything was black. No sights, no sounds, no odors or cold winds. No pressure on my body; there was no body.
Everything was still, dark and silent. I was dead.
I Should Have Woken Up
At this point, I will say that I have never, ever in my entire life, died in a dream. I have come close many times and I always wake up before I am actually dead. Not this time.
I also know that while you are in a dream there is no concept of actual time. But I kept dreaming without waking up, in pitch black, for at least five minutes. It could have been years in dreamland, but in real life it felt like five minutes.
Suddenly I started to feel the warmth. I was shivering cold, colder than I have ever been in my life. The warmth came from the outside in as if I was in front of a heater. More time passed and I could smell tea. Slowly, the awareness of my body began to come back. Everything was frozen cold, but I was warming up. The warmth was coming from my stomach.
I started to blink my eyes. It burned. Every time they opened it was like being stabbed in the forehead. The pain was almost unbearable. My eyes could see, but only shapes.
I knew I was in my living room and laying on my side on a large black leather couch. I couldn’t see the details of her face, but sitting there pressed into the fold of my hips and up against my stomach was my wife.
She Was My Warmth
She smiled, which I more heard than saw, and stood up quickly. My eyes still hurt when they were opened and seemed to have been coated in oil and gauze. She grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet. It was too fast. I stood, but I wobbled and swayed.
She didn’t let go of my wrist. I was being pulled through the house back to the dining room, through the small hallway that connected the dining room and the kitchen. My eyes were starting to be able to pick up details. I ran my sight down my arm and up my wife’s arm to her face. Just as I focused on her eyes, she turned her head away from me.
She was still beautiful. Older, her hair had streaks of grey, her skin was still soft but also aged and loose.
Suddenly I felt something in my throat. I yanked my hand from her grasp and stopped in the middle of the short hallway at the broom closet sink. My wife kept going, excited to tell whoever was waiting in the dining room that I was coming. I finally heard her voice.
She turned her head as I bent over the sink and said over her shoulder as she kept walking away, “Hurry up, you’re already late.” Her accent struck me. It wasn’t British. It wasn’t Australian. The accent was more like someone with a Spanish accent trying to use a British accent. It was as beautiful as she was, though, no matter where it was from.
I held up a hand and a single finger to signal to her “one minute.”
Now It Get’s A Little Gross
My choking continued and I gagged. As I leaned over the sink, I threw up. My eyes watered, my nose burned and I threw up a second time without the ability to breathe in between.
As I stood there, hunched over this metal sink, I realized I wasn’t breathing at all. I hadn’t the entire time. My lungs didn’t burn, but my eyes did. As I focused on the bottom of the sink, I saw what I had thrown up. It was what appeared to be old, stale raisins and some type of nut shell, pistachios most likely.
I started gagging again and coughed. Continuing to cough and could feel my throat filling up. I stuck my fingers in my throat and could feel something soft and squishy, grabbed hold of it and pulled. It started to dislodge as I pulled and coughed.
Eventually, I pulled out a long, clotted ball of hair. As the last of it left my mouth, I took a long deep breath. The air was cold, like swallowing ice. I coughed again. More of the clogging hair was making its way up my throat.
I reached in and pulled again, and as my mouth filled up with the mound of hair, I gagged one last time and then bolted up, awake in my bed.
The Dreams Are Finally Over
I sat in the dark of my room, breathing normally, heart rate fine, I wasn’t sweating. I stood up and made my way to the kitchen, got some water and went back to bed. It was only 4 am.; I wasn’t ready to be awake for the day.
I couldn’t shake the fact that I died in my dream. Most likely, I never will. It was an odd experience for sure.
Do you have a dream (or dreams) you can’t shake? Share yours in the comments below.