Lay me down to sleep
So now, it’s five-thirty in the morning. I’m sitting at my computer and I’ve opened this word document. It’s still so easy to recall and capture everything I just witnessed of that dream. It was scary, because usually my dreams, they’d seem to fade well before I’m able to transfer it to black and white. But with this, I was having no problem with any word structure or the layout of how it all took place. It was so strange, I recall a flash memory of the woman, I’d recalled labeling her as an angel, but somehow she’d changed. And of that, I couldn’t tell if it was for the bad or good. The whole tale is swimming frantically around in my head and for these moments leading into this, I’ve got to explain the way it all felt to me, personally.
First off, it felt close to being in a separate life all together. I seemed to be playing my own self as a part, though, the body that housed me, was not mine, not at all. The trump cards came to the table when two minor things didn’t make any sense. One was the fact that somewhere I realized, that this had to be a dream. However, it was the second one stumped me. In the dream my name was Fred Walabash. I mean seriously, just who in the hell would have a name like that. This had to of been a dream... or so I thought.
Now, I’ll start with the moment of this dream that I first remembered, True, It didn't seem like white cave or a tunnel, at first... There were even figures moving around ahead of me. I was moving towards them when it got weird. The closest thing that would describe what it turned into would be a very small insect getting sucked down a glass drain with a thick fog of smoke that spun so quickly the white fog turned to pitch black, and then so I realized I was somewhere else... Was I now, dead? And then... I was living this... A 'story'... PERHAPS, i guess, maybe... you decide:
I had just woken up, recalling that as I took hold of a severe pain in the back of my head... Opening my eyes it had seemed I was lying face down on a carpeted floor. Here, blinking a few times, I was unable to draw anything into a focus, but it was dark. It was like my mind was sending millions of neuron signals, and they all got caught in a traffic jam. Finding myself trying to ignore the pain of my head and focus on my new surroundings. It seemed to help me reassure myself in finding that the mere thoughts of pain fought the reality that this was just a dream. Nearly dragging one of my arms up to my face and wiping my eyes, I slowly retrieved the other and rose to my hands and knees. Balance seemed to be a real issue here, so was my visual focus on my surroundings. Still trying to clear my vision, I realized that I was in a small room.
It appeared to be the living room of a small trailer. I was just taking a stab at a guess, as the kitchen was less than a pebbles toss away. Turning my head, in a raised effort, I looked for ‘any sign’ that I would recall this place. Nothing made an impression, except for the fact that there was a reddish tint to everything.
I turned to a self-evaluation my own condition. A headache, why would I have a headache? Touching it, it seemed very tender. Was I bleeding? I ran my hand lightly over the area, and stared at my hand finally realizing there was no blood, just that red tint that everything had. So dizzy though, must have taken a big hit, somehow. My body felt very sluggish towards movement, as if pathways had to reconnect to direct the motions I was trying to acquire.
“Oh crap. Just how the hell do you start out a dream being beat up like this?” I stated out loud, feeling like I'd just fell out of a large drier.
About two seconds later a woman came out of the back room. She seemed in a hurry as I watched her quickly land on a seat near me. Looking her over, she was pretty to look at, but I didn’t recognize her in the least. She wasn’t smiling at me, she actually looked almost nervous and as if I’d pissed her off somehow.
“You’re awake. Oh, and no, this is not a dream...” She spoke forthright.
“Okay. Alice,” I said, not liking this woman’s demeanor.
“Alice?” She rebutted.
“Alice in wonderland,” I offered.
“Well, trust me. You’re definitely not in wonderland, more like Freddy Kruger’s boiler room...” She explained.
“Freddy Kruger?” I stated, actually trying to think of who that was.
“Yes. Say, just out of curiosity, do you believe in God, angels, hell and purgatory... those kind of things?”
“They teach that there is, those kind of things.” I stated, noticing I was breathing weirdly, but couldn’t feel the movement of it in my mouth. (strange)
“Well guess what, ...in trying to save me, you’ve got yourself landed in purgatory.” She stated without an emotion about it.
“What? Are you nuts?” I stated, knowing I was alive, or we wouldn’t be talking.
“No more than you,” She didn’t even crack a smile saying it, and that was weird.
“Lady, your trying to tell me, I’m in hell?” I asked, not believing it for a second.
“Well, one floor above... Purgatory. The stop gate to hell.” She stated openly, again with ‘no emotion’ to her talk.
“The stop gate, Excuse me. I just went to sleep! What? Did I die in my sleep?” I said, looking around.
“No. You got a hole in your head.” She stated almost quietly.
So, your saying I’m, we’re in purgatory... One ‘hell’ of a dream I’m having here.” I stated, realizing I’ve never been so... self aware in a dream state.
“Well, you are. So, get your head on straight and do it quickly, we need to leave this place, if I’m to save you..” She stated almost bored with the conversation.
“Save me? Okay. So who in the hell are you supposed to be? My fairy godmother?” I asked, still on my knees. I felt no power, no muscle to rise to my feet.
“I.. I’d like to welcome you to Purgatory. Yeah, the real place.” She again spoke point blank, “So listen... when I say that we need to get moving as soon as possible, just take my for my word.” She said without an ounce of care.
“Lady, I know I don’t know you. So why should I be listening to you?” I stated, still dealing with my bodies apparent rebellion.
“Oh. I almost forgot... A quick introduction is required here... Well, I’m Samantha, Sam for short. You’re dead and in Hell’s playground, purgatory. There are demons after the both of us, and the kicker is, I’m supposed to try and lead you to your salvation.” She told me. And again, her face held no emotions in the slew of information.
“Really, you don’t say... So, what? Did I die in my sleep? You somehow my guardian?” I moaned.
“No. You died, trying to save me in that bar. By the way, I’m your guardian.” She said as if not to care weather I believed her or not.
“Great! I go to sleep, somehow die, and NOW I got an angel, sorry, ‘guardian’ with me... and I’m in hell!” I tried to shake my head at this.
“Purgatory... and you went to sleep alright. An instant ‘dirt nap’ with a cap in the noggin.” Sam looked at me as if I was being stupid.
“So... I’m dead... AND I’m in hell...” I stated quietly.
“Again, this is purgatory, not hell… But for now it’s what you need to know. Most importantly, is that you really do need get to your feet as soon as possible,” Sam said trying to extend a hand to help me to do so. I began to refused her help at first, but had no strength to do so.
“I just want to know what’s happening to me?” I asked, finally accepting her hand in trying to stand up.
“Well, that’s a bit long. I’ll be glad to tell you what I know. But right now, honestly, we don’t have the time for me to explain ‘all of it’ to you.” Sam said.
“I was going to tell you my name, But I’ll be damned if I can recall it... I must be because I’m dreaming this... I think it was... I can’t seem to recall my name?” I said, drawing a complete blank.
“Check your wallet. Maybe that will tell you.” She advised, as the thought had never occurred to me. Surprised, feeling the pants pockets... I had a wallet on me.
“Uh, yeah, this is weird,” I said as I pulled out a wallet. Looking at the wallet itself, I didn’t recognize it. Looking at my hand and arm, they didn’t look right either. Pulling out the ID, the letters seemed to fade in and out as I tried to read the small lettering, but then, a strong remembrance struck me... You can’t read words in a dream. So, in this realization that I was actually in control of this situation! There had to be a 'real here' other than this..
In a flash of movement she by pasted me. Heading into the kitchen, at first I thought it was to fetch a drink for me, but instead, she seemed to be checking something outside the small window.
"That's weird, I can't read it..." I pointed out, trying to see the letters. She came back to me,
"what do you mean? Probably something to do with the bullet that hit you... let me see... Okay, it says here that your… Fred Walabash?"
"What the hell? What is this crap? That can’t my name? How can I be this 'Fred' person?” I almost stuttered, looking at the picture then back at her. “Wait a second, I KNOW FOR A FACT this isn’t what I look like!!!”
“Keep it down.” She spoke in a low tone, placing her hand over my mouth. I grabbed her arm and realized a heart tattoo on my arm.
I 'didn't have' any tattoo's! I knew that! I began checking my features with my hands. Nothing seemed right. Whose body was this? Sure wasn’t mine! I'm clean shaven? I don’t think I’ve ever shaved. Wait... where's my hair, I don't have hair. I KNOW I had much more hair than this!
"Uh, lady... This isn't me... This isn't my body..." I spoke quietly to her, scared beyond belief.
“Excuse me? If you don’t know your own name, what makes you think this is not you?” Sam stated, giving me a strange look.
“It’s just not! I've never shaved in ten years... I have hair... long hippy hair... and I don't have a Tattoo!" I pointed to my arm, "I’d know... None of ‘all this’ is me!” I stated, pointing out the body I seemed to be wrapped within. I was truly scared, and she seemed to recognize it in me.
“Keep it down. Whether or not you’re Mr. Walabash, it’s going to be a real short meeting if we stay here much longer... So, as soon as you’re ready, we really need to leave here. That is, unless you ‘do’ want to go to hell.” Sam said, cutting to the chase.
She was looking through the drawn blinds, trying to make sure of some type of movement outside of this trailer. I came up behind her, peeking out the curtained window myself. I now spoke to her in a whisper,
“That’s the third time you’ve used the term ‘Hell’.” I stated, just starting to steady myself on my two feet.
“Good, you can count. And though you not there yet, we are in Purgatory... And this too, is a real place.” she quietly seethed.
“Miss, your getting really scary with all this demon talk..” I said trying to pinch myself awake. She watched me squeezing the shit out of myself.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to wake up.." I said, trying to feel the pain enough to awaken myself.
“Look, we are both marked for death. You do know what ’marked’ means, right? As in, ’out to terminate’ !” She stared at me with a blank space.
"But I don't belong here... seriously!" I yelped.
“Shut up! she quieted me again "...as we speak, ‘hell hounds’ are trying to sniff us out. Now, you can either die here trying to convince them they’ve made some sort of a mistake, or follow me to a much better and safer place.” Sam said her hand ready to grab the door handle.
“Hell hound’s, what in the? Wait a second...” I asked, totally confused.
“Yes... They are demons all about us. Have you heard of Hell hounds?” Sam asked, wondering if I held that type of knowledge.
“Hell hounds? Wait, I just laid down and went to sleep... And now I’m in... ‘Purgatory’? What, I’m here cause I didn’t get married or something?” I stated to her, needing some type of an answer for all this.
“You don’t remember playing pool in a bar and then getting into a stick fight with a man and his gun?” She queried me.
“No... First off, I don’t play pool. Much less drink alcohol. And I haven’t been to a bar in years.” I freely admitted, as this woman seem to zip up to me and began closely staring deeply into my eyes.
“You got to be pulling my leg here, really?” Sam said out loud, after looking away from my eyes.
“This some kind of weird dream! Lady, let me guess, you’re crazy and I’m stuck in it, right? I want to wake up now.” I said as she backed away, as if to re-think things.
“This is great... just great.” She covered her eyes, in apparent distress.
“This is a dream, right?” I almost bereaved loudly.
“I told you to tone it down, or we’re dead. Those hell hounds, they hone in on sounds...” She spat, trying to get me to lower my voice.
“What.. honing in?” I asked thinking this lady was totally nuts or, I was being 'way' to loud... Hell hounds...
“Okay, try a different tactic here, Think...” Sam stated to herself, now understanding that this soul had no clue about dying. "Think hard... Is there ANY memory you can recall of your life?"
It was but a brief flash, almost like a still picture,but it didn't make any sense...
"I recall sitting in front of a typewriter, my typewriter... I was looking at a page with words... No, I was typing!.. yes." I stated, feeling a sense of relief that it gave me a validation.
"Your a writer?" She seemed to ponder.
′Wasn’t this the soul she was supposed to try and save? The physical form matched up perfectly?′ She herself was confused. ′What could cause a mix up like this? What was going on? One of the two fighting this war, god or the devil, had to have done this. But which of them?′ Now, she had to just keep calm, till the plan had revealed the culprit.
"I think so... yes?" I stated, not wanting to lose this memory.
“If that's so... Okay, I’ll try and explain all this as soon as I can. But however you ended up here. This place, it’s not a game or a dream. Your in the 'real' purgatory.” She stated as a fact.
“I’m in hell?” I asked, starting to fear all this.
“No, Hell... it’s not this place. And oh... by the way, I am here, fighting to save this guy's soul... the body you seem to possess. Now, I don't mean to alarm you, but, we've got to get out of this trailer fast!” She said in a low tone being straight forward.
“You realize... nothing of what you just said could be true, right? This is a dream... Just a weird dream,” I told her.
“Oh, okay. Sure. You want to see if it’s a dream. Easy enough... Try slapping yourself awake, like that pinching yourself worked... Go on, test the theory...” Sam offered. Looking out another blind covered window... What in god's name was happening here!
’He didn’t seem to be the guy she’d remembered in that bar. He looked the same, but, something was wrong. She would have to begin to watch his actions and understand his words to figure this out.
In a sudden raise of my own hand, I slapped myself so hard it should have woken me up. Instantly I thought of the sudden contact, and realizing slowly that the feelings of pain I should have felt with that slap weren’t there. I expected pain. Nothing seemed to have happened, I almost wondered if I had actually slapped myself. I stood stunned truly pondering why I hadn’t just woken up. Worst yet, I didn’t even feel the stinging sensation the slap should have left behind. Holy shit...
“and...” She looked over from across the small room.
“Okay?” I stated. “What just happened? I know this has got to be a dream...” I stated, actually biting myself now, not feeling the pain of that either.
“You say you fell asleep?” She asked, wondering if she had the time to figure this all out. Then and there she knew who’d changed up the game. She looked up to the ceiling, totally freaked out and exclaimed,
“You've changed this up! Why, oh lord? Why?” She raised her arms open palmed towards the ceiling. “what did I do wrong?”
“Damn, okay, maybe you’re nuts .” I offered a reason for her words.
“If you’re not my mark, then what happened?” Sam asked me confused. “Fred… how did you get here? I mean, exactly, how did you get here?” Sam seemed a need to understand what had happened.
“Just went to sleep, I told you... I wasn’t lying?” I said, not understanding what she wanted from me.
“Oh man, this is so not fair. He doesn’t even know does he?” She once again spoke at the ceiling. She looked at me weirdly, and then quickly went to checking the small windows on either side of the small room, peaking behind the curtains. More nervous than anything.
“Lady, just tell me what’s going on here?” I asked watching her scramble from window to window.
“Okay, if this is a dream to you. Can you recall what you did in real life?” Sam paused to ask.
“ told you I write... Ha, funny how I can recall that clearly now.” I stated, realizing I did have another life before here.
She went to look out another window, viewing everything outside. She was obsessed over the outside.
“A writer. That’s not much to go on…
"I think I wrote books..." I stated.
Wait, what kind of books, think.. can you recall?” Sam asked, passing from one side of the trailer to the other, slowly looking out the dark curtains. From window to window in a square she seemed to travel.
“Excuse me?” I questioned, watching her prance from one window to the next. I was getting dizzy just watching her. I tried to recall the typewriter as a flash of a stack of books detailed it for me...
“What kind of books? Romance, Western’s, Science Fiction...” Sam asked, still on the move.
“Yeah. That one, Science fiction, um, could you stop zipping around, you’re making me really nervous.” I said as she eyed me.
“You should be..." She said, then seeming to quietly speak to someone not in the room with us.. "You sent a writer... into purgatory, no wonder why he’s nervous... Oh, you’re just too funny...” Sam said calling up to the ceiling again.
“I don’t get you. Are you talking to someone?” I asked, praying this lady wasn’t certifiable.
"Yeah, don't think that's my name..." I said.
"Whatever... Can you recall how you got into this... dream?” She suddenly inquired.
“Not a clue. Like I said, I went to sleep. And I don’t want to freak you out, anymore than you already appear to be, but, I'm pretty sure that’s not my name...” I said to her, realizing maybe all this wasn’t part of some dream.
"No tunnel, bright light..."
"Ah does that matter? A spinning tunnel so I closed my eyes and woke up on the floor as if beaten to a bloody pulp..."
“God, you’re sense of humor really eludes me... He's a science-fiction writer... REALLY?” Sam said, again looking at the ceiling when she spoke.
“And again, she's talking to the ceiling...” I stated, adding “Miss, why are you doing that? You off your med’s?”
“...If we don’t get out of here, neither of us will live long enough to take any...” Sam concluded, realizing nothing she said would appear to fit a pattern with him.
“Okay, for now... I’m taking you word that this is not a dream.” I stated.
"It's not..." she stated. I realizing this woman was truly scared of whatever was outside of this small trailer, and whatever it was... to her, was very, very deadly.
“I’ve... you say I’m dead?” I asked.
“No, you’re not, maybe I was wrong. But actually... you might be. See, 'someone' had to actually 'die' in order for you to be here,” She honestly stated to me. She seemed serious.
“Die? So then, I am or am not dead?” I asked.
“I don’t know...” She stated.
“and this place is...?” I asked.
“I told you. Welcome to the devil’s personal playground, the upper crust of Hell.” Sam quietly spoke it.