My name is Liam and It's been four months since I last dreamed.
A lot of people set their alarms to wake up throughout the night, sleeping in half hour bursts, other people sleep in shifts, watching each other. I take Myclocin. Dreamless sleep. I have a good job and make good money so I get the pills. Others, aren't so lucky.
Last year some Chinese company invented a machine that lets you remember dreams with total clarity. I mean down to the details man. No ambiguity, crystal clear memories of amazing landscapes and experiences.
It became THE Christmas gift. Then you could record your dreams and upload them to youtube. And that's when things started to fall apart, that's when we started to notice them.
We'd never noticed them before. I think it's because in your dreams you're always focused on the doing. Taking that exam, driving that car, fucking that girl. We've never really paused and looked around the same way you might do on a Sunday morning walk. But they were there, they'd always been there, standing in the background, silently watching us. Holes instead of eyes, long fingers, teeth...fuck, so many teeth.
Maybe we did notice them thousands of years ago, way back when we were still lived in caves, maybe that's where our Gods and monsters came from. Maybe we evolved to forget them, muddled dreams gave them a camouflage to hide behind. But not any more. We saw them standing in the background and edges in our dreams and everyone else's. I thought it was one of those internet memes at first, like slenderman or something. People with too much time on their hands photoshopping their dreams for cheap likes and shares.
But they were real, and when we finally noticed them they started to notice us. They stepped out of the peripheral, reached out with those long, grey, cold fingers and....took people.
I know we won't last, we can't fight them, turning off the machines did nothing. People queued, fucking queued up in lines on the edges of buildings and bridges like they were waiting for a bus to come and take them away. Instead they jumped, the roads and canals were full of red-black carnage every morning.
So we don't dream. We wake each other up, or we take turns, we drink coffee like it was water, we inject, we pop pills, anything to stop us from dreaming.
But it hasn't worked, I can feel my mind unraveling like so many others before me. I need to get some natural sleep. I need to dream. But I don't dare. I'd gladly give up food and water if I could dream and give my brain what it needs. Instead I stare into my computer screen trying to remember what I was trying to do. I don't trust myself behind the wheel of my car. I walk everywhere now, a stumbling, mindless walk like everyone else.
We look like a zombie apocalypse shuffling from place to place.
People have started to hallucinate. Not so much from sleep deprivation but dream deprivation, and some people just...snap. Some old lady in town just went for it out of the blue, no one was shocked. We watched her run into the street screaming, desperately trying to get hit by a car. She'd managed to gouge out one of her eyes before she was hit. Fuck knows what she was seeing. I helped drag her out of the road, her mashed up eye in one clawed hand. We said nothing.
The hallucinations are bad but what's worse is...I think They can...I think They're starting to come through now into the real world. I guess any dream is enough for them, even a hallucination.
I saw the first two this morning. Behind me in the bathroom mirror while I was brushing my teeth, two long-limbed pale faced...things. Watching me with those holes instead of eyes. Yawning mouths full of needle thin teeth.
Four months to get to this point. And I just can't let them take me. But I can't go on.
The line is efficient. We shuffle forwards. Some people scream on the way down, most don't. I think it's because they're happy. Happy to finally sleep without dreams.