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Sleep of Reason Pt. 1

·552 words·3 mins
Articles Personal Religion Dream
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

When I was in high school I used to have a recurring nightmare once every month or so. It was part of the most important spiritual developments in my life.

I am running. I am always running. But I know no matter how far I run he will find me. He loves me too much. In caverns beneath the ground I run as hard as I can, not paying attention to whether I go left or right so long as I go up, up, up. I hear the growls behind me and each sound flashes images of blood-stained claws on black paws digging into loose earth and scraping on stone outcroppings on the tunnel floors.

I can hear my pursuers growing closer, and the path before me looks dark. I always fall here. Sometimes I twist my ankle, sometimes the world just turns and I tumble though black velvet.

When my vision stops spinning I realize I am pulling free of the soil as I crawl out of the mound I was trapped beneath. I can barely hear the frustrated yowls beneath me. I climb free and look up to the moon, barely visible through the clouds of a night sky.

I am wearing a pale chalky uniform and it is too tight. I tear free of it and stand naked in the chill of an autumn night. Slowly it begins to rain and I realize that he is here.

I turn and he stands there a mass of gray sinewy flesh. Tall, lanky and with black eyes he stares at me. He has no mouth, and his fingers are jointed razor blades. I try to back away but before I can move, he glides forward and wraps his arms around me, digging his fingers beneath my shoulder blades for sure purchase. Blood runs down my back and in my dream I vividly feel my life flow down my legs to drip upon the ground.

The pain is so great that I am unable to form a scream, and lights begin to dance in my vision as he slowly tears me apart. I begin to see my pain as a swelling of dark light in my body until finally I can hold it in no more and I explode.

There is a moment of white blankness then, and the distant sound of raindrops on grass. When the light fades I am in bed with a woman and we are making love. I have seen this woman before in my dreams, and I recognize her chestnut hair, her laughs and her moans, but every time I try to focus on her face or other features, she seems to blur as if disappearing into fog.

In the sweaty afterglow, I realize that she is fading into a fine mist and drifting away. I feel cold steel knot in my guts, and hear a growl in the distance. It is time to start running again.

I think this dream recurred so often because it was the archetypal performance of the spiritual questions I was dealing with in that time of my life, specifically how to attempt to approach understanding this world that we share. In fact, it was not until I began to understand and accept this that the nightmare finally ceased.

To be continued...


Sleep of Reason Pt. 3
·463 words·3 mins
Articles Personal Religion
Link to Part 1 Link to Part 2 Terrified of a world I could not mentally grasp, I attempted to exert control over my reality in lieu of understanding. This led me to paganism and the occult, and the attraction that magic could somehow give me the ability to influence the world around me.
Sleep of Reason Pt. 2
·570 words·3 mins
Articles Personal Religion
Link to Part 1 In my nightmares I had come to associate logical reasoning with a monstrous figure that would tear me apart even as it embraced me. Intuitive and experiential knowledge I began to associate with a mystery woman and the intensely spiritual lovemaking of my dreams.
·385 words·2 mins
Articles Dream Personal
I came home from a trip. I can’t even remember where I had been. It must have seemed important at the time. As I climbed the steps outside of my apartment complex, I saw a small figure dash into my apartment.