I was in bed with my eyes closed but not asleep. I was not entirely sure how long I had been awake or if I had even been asleep at all. The only thing I knew for sure is that I did not want to look at the clock, because if I did I feared it would say what it has said for as long as I can remember... 3:44 AM. I did not think anything of it when I first began to notice that every time I would wake up in the middle of the night, it seemed as if by coincidence it would always be 3:44 AM, not 3:43 or 3:45 but 3:44 every...single...time.
I can't pinpoint exactly when this started as I have always woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, or get a drink and I didn't always notice the time, or in some cases I am sure I did not even look at the clock. What I do know for sure is it keeps happening and I can't quite pinpoint when it started and it's beginning to fill me with an uncontrollable sense of dread. It happens the same every night, I wake up suddenly look at the clock, see it's 3:44 and I am filled with an overwhelming sense that something is wrong but can't place it or understand why I feel this way. I dismissed this as me just being a creep the first few consecutive nights but as it continued each day I started to feel as if this was not simply a coincidence.
Tonight was the first night that I felt afraid to go to sleep, not afraid of sleeping but fear of waking up and seeing it was 3:44 again. I told myself that if I woke up I would simply not look at the clock, if I don't look at the clock I could tell myself it's not 3:44 it could be 2:30 or maybe even closer to my alarm going off, either time would be just fine as far as I was concerned. As I lay there with the thoughts of not looking at the clock I had the feeling of dread come over me but this time it was different than before. The feeling was a strong sense that somebody was looking at me, no not just looking at me, waiting for me, specifically waiting for me to do something and I felt that something was to look at the clock. I did my best to hold off my paranoia and kept my eyes closed for what seemed like hours, there was no way it was going to be 3:44 when I opened my eyes I was sure of it. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the clock...it was 3:44 AM.
Then there was the dream, is it really reoccurring or do I just think it is? It's like that feeling you get when you experience déjà vu and you are not completely sure if you have actually been there before or maybe you saw it on tv. I feel like I am having the same dream every night before I suddenly wake up, but I can't be positive in the same way I can't be positive how long I have been waking up at 3:44 AM.
It starts the same every time...
I am laying flat on a gurney of some sort.
I am moving through hallways (I think) but I can't see who is pushing or pulling me.
I know somebody is there as I can feel their presence, like when you feel someone watching you. I can almost make out silhouettes or shadows but nothing solid.
I stop moving and I can here muffled whispers which begin to change this dream into a full blown nightmare.
For some reason the whispers sound angry or sad, I am not entirely sure why but this is unsettling to me as I can't determine which it is...either one seems to fill me with dread.
A bright light suddenly is in my face blinding me temporarily until my eyes are able to adjust. The light is so bright that even after my eyes adjust I have trouble making out my surroundings.
The whispers stop and then I notice the cold. I am able to lift my head and look down and can now see I am completely naked and the cold I am feeling is my bare back against what I assume is stainless steel.
I am unable to move as if I am strapped to the gurney but I can't see any straps holding me down. I can move my head around but not my arms or legs. This adds to my panic as I call out and ask to be released.
Nobody ever answers my cries for help but somehow I know that I am being watched, or perhaps observed is a better word.
A shadow enters the room and I can hear the whispers again, something is put in my nose or throat, maybe both I can't tell for sure as fear consumes me.
I am surrounded by shadows and whispers that seem to be closing in and getting louder and louder.
When my fear reaches it peak I suddenly wake up....it's always 3:44 AM.
I was exhausted, I could not even think straight. I started to feel my self unravel from lack of sleep mixed with this overwhelming fear of that number...or is it the time? Either way I was rattled and could feel myself slipping into craziness. Why am I so afraid? What am I thinking it could be? Why the overwhelming dread? Was I simply having panic attacks induced by my own wild imagination? I never wanted to admit or think about what the fear may be coming from but I feel it is time to come to terms with these thoughts and face these fears head on. I am fairly certain I am being watched for potential abduction or perhaps I am in fact being abducted by aliens. It sounds crazy even to think this is happening but deep inside I know this is why I feel the overwhelming sense of dread. I can't quite figure out what 3:44 AM has to do with this but it means something...and I plan to find out.
I have tried previously to stay awake and wait for 3:44 but to no avail. For reasons I can't quite explain I always fall asleep or have no memory of actually falling asleep but every night I have the dream and I wake up at the same time.
Tonight that changes.
I am going to stay awake no matter what happens tonight, come hell or high water.
I set at the edge of my bed for hours looking at the clock, hypnotized by its glowing red digital numbers that changed every 60 seconds, trying to remember how long this has been actually going on. I am fairly certain it has been at least several days or maybe weeks, but who knows for sure, time seems to be blending together. For the life of me I can't remember anything I have done recently except the waking up.
I look at the clock and it's 3:34 AM...almost there, won't be long now.
I can't remember going to work...or eating...or daytime....what the fuck is happening to me? Is this what going crazy feels like? I tell myself it's simply lack of sleep but struggle to grasp my sanity and/or grip on reality. Why can't I remember anything other than waking up? What did I do today? After I woke up at 3:44AM did I go back to sleep? I can't remember.
The clock is now at 3:39 AM.
Every time the minute changes it's like a hammer being slammed into metal. Every minute closer to 3:44 I feel the dread creeping up on me like the tide coming in at the beach. If these aliens want me they are going to have to come get me wide awake and crazy, ready to fight for my sanity. Think, what is the last non-sleep thing I can remember.
I feel them watching me, closing in...."What do you want!" I scream. No answer but I could feel several eyes on me.
Remember...why can't I remember....wait I remember driving...yes I was driving to drop off a package at the post office.
The fear was stronger than ever as the time approached the witching hour, this is the moment of truth. I could almost see someone or something closing in on me...I could hear voices but could not make out what was being said. What happened after the post office, what was it!? And then it all came to me....I never made it to the post office...there was an accident. And then I was blinded by a bright light and a sound that sounded like electric current....the fear peaked and when it was almost to much to bear it was gone.
It was 3:44 AM.
"How is he? Is he going to be alright?" The woman asked.
"I am sorry we did everything we could," the doctor said solemnly as he motioned for a nurse to come help console the family. "He went into cardiac arrest and we did everything we could to revive him, I am truly sorry."
The woman collapsed to her knees with her face in her hands...several family members rushed to comfort her.
"That's the part of the job I hate the most. It's a damn shame really. By all practical medicine standards he should not have been alive after that accident. The EMT said he was shocked anyone was alive in the wreckage he saw at the scene. He was a fighter,"whispered the doctor.
"What happened exactly?" Asked the intern.
"Sounds like a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel. 18 wheeler versus a Honda Accord typically does not end well for the Honda driver. This was no different." said the doctor softly.
"It sounded like he asked us what we wanted...what was that all about?" Asked the intern curiously.
"Not sure, but he sure sounded pissed," cracked the doctor.
"Uh doctor...I seem to have missed the time of death on my report...do you have it?"
"Sure...time of death, 3:44 AM."