When I sleep, it’s either dreamless or pulsing with nightmares. There’s no in-between. (“But Mallory! Everyone dreams, you just don’t always remem–” HUSH NOW.) The odds of a nightmare seem to increase if I take a late-afternoon nap or fall back asleep after waking up too early in the morning, but it’s random enough that I generally have to pray to myself before losing consciousness that I won’t serve myself anything horrifying while I’m sleeping. (It doesn’t help.)
No advice on how to avoid dreaming or how to start lucid dreaming either, please. Horror stories only. In no particular order:
- I’m imprisoned inside of a tree floating slowly down a river to a factory where my soul will be removed from my body and given to my father (not my IRL father, my dream father, who has a beard) in order to extend his lifespan/consume my life whole
- I am being chased by a sinister man through an old movie theater. I am eight months pregnant. At some point I look down to find that I have gnawed through the top of my own pregnant belly and eaten the head of my fetus clean off. (SORRY)
- I wake up internally but not externally; I am imprisoned in my own body and I can neither move nor breathe for about 15-30 seconds (this one happens in real life! It’s sleep paralysis and it’s the worst!). It feels like dying, every time.
Okay, your turn. Make these stories count; I had terrible nightmares last night and I want company.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.