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    Things to Run Away From Really Fast

    Warnings: violence, problems with authority, and links to TV Tropes.

    But in all seriousness, this journal legitimately contains the kind of graphic and disturbing content that gives people nightmares, so either that's a selling point or a reason not to read on. Just a heads up.

    As of 2015, dreams are ranked according to three categories:

    Adventure: How much fun and excitement can I fit into one dream?
    Control: How much control do I have over the narrative, environment, and dream powers?
    Fear: How scared and out of control do I feel? (Has very little to do with how Silent Hill the monsters get.)

    Regular dreams are in black (along with notes).
    Semi-lucid dreams are green.
    Lucid dreams are blue.

    1. #12. Homicidal Robots

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:42 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      I'm at school in Halifax. Now I'm going to school in a mall in Halifax. I have some studio space near the entrance of the mall. It's like a stand at a farmer's market, all open. As usual, I work by spreading all of my stuff over every surface, even infringing on the space of other vendors. Temporarily, I promise.

      Now I'm going to class in the mall, but I need a specific kind of button for a project, and I can't find them. Big buttons that you'd find on a velvet jacket? Someone mentioned I should try Buttons R' Us or something, on the second floor. I think I have a vague idea of where it should be, so I'll try it out. I take the stairs, but it's all confusing and I don't know where everything is.

      And then I spot the robots. At first, I think they're statues, but they're moving around, each of them patrolling a little corner of their own. They seem to be placed at major exits and intersections in the mall. This... could be a problem.

      I'm young, maybe ten years old. I'm in a church, sitting in the back row and threading a leather string through the covers of the bibles/hymn books stacked in piles beside me. The other people are being led in the lord's prayer, but I can always say I didn't know it. I'm so engrossed in my work that I don't notice that the service is over and the priest is standing nearby. My friend who dragged me here is sitting beside me, and her mother is in one of the aisles, looking on disapprovingly. And this feels like deja-vu.

      It's a surprise when I realize that the priest isn't mad. He's curious, more like, wondering what I've been doing. At one point, I show him that I can lift the books without touching them. Up, up, up, and they fall to the floor. He isn't angry. He tells me that I'm having trouble holding them steady, right? To hold them in one place, I need to harness the potential energy that they have while being held up. They're at rest; they just need to stay that way. I try again, this time doing as he says, and it works beautifully.

      I'm somewhat aware that I look like Jubilee. I'm back in the mall, surrounded by Sentinels. I still need to get to class, but somehow that seems like less of a priority at the moment.

      At one point, the sentinels are on high alert, and I hear a transmission over the radio, telling all mutants to either get out of the mall, or find refuge in one of the stores (apparently a safe-zone). Not everyone can hear the announcement, I realize. I've been using the stairways that don't seem to be guarded. I spot a Subway nearby.

      On the way, I notice that a bunch of the buttons I've been looking for have spilled across the hallway. I decide that picking them up would attract attention, because this is somehow a trap. I discretely pull several buttons from the floor and place them in the pocket of my long jacket, before realizing that this could have been a trap as well, and I probably won't be able to use the buttons for my project.

      I make my way to the Subway, even if I'm not hungry, and realize that I don't have enough cash (only change from the last dream), and I'll have to use my debit card. (Wait, I might have a ten.) I stay in the Subway after ordering, until I get bored and annoyed and decide to take out one of the Sentinels on my own.

      I manage to separate and corner one away from the rest, outside. It tells me it has a picture of me in its memory, and I'll be hunted now anyway. I realize that's true, so I tell it that I've been wearing a mask the whole time. And now I have been.

      Fire's supposed to work well against them for some reason, but my pyrokinesis is on the fritz (read: weak). I'm joined by a boy of about ten who fancies himself a superhero, and helps me cause damage to the thing. It's not fighting back much. I lift the Sentinel about ten meters into the air and let it crash back to the ground. The boy and I then use our limited fire-powers to melt the Sentinel's internal systems and then go investigate it's car.

      We find something surprising, and decide it would be a great idea to go back into the mall and pretend to be a part of an anti-mutant demonstration UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT TO STRIKE!

      Homicidal Robots, Mutant-icidal Robots? Scare Factor: 2.

      Updated 06-14-2010 at 06:20 AM by 31096

    2. #11. Family Vacations

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:40 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      Alone. Bus trip. Ferry ride.

      I've found myself on a road trip with my brother, mom, and dad, in our old Ford Truck. It's rather cramped. I have my laptop-sized bookbag with me, and it's stuffed in with me in the back seat.

      I hassle my dad to stop at the Husky/Tim Horton's along the road, and am surprised when he relents. I go inside and say "Hi" to the person at the counter. For some reason, I'm surprised I don't recognize her. I have to step in behind the counter a bit to get a look at the donuts and bagels, and I happily choose one with purple icing and rainbow sprinkles. I count through my pocket chane; I've already used my debit card (and I recall swiping an identical one before realizing it wasn't mine). I ask what my total comes to. I have to ask a few times, because I can't understand her and the number above the register keeps changing. Also, I only have about 75 cents.

      Finally, she tells me that the price is 9 cents plus tax, so I should just give her a dime. I thank her and take my brown paper bag, heading to the car.

      "Sorry I took so long," I say, knowing full well we won't be stopping for a while now. I open my bag to find three donuts and a pack of gushers. Weird. I start in on the gushers, deciding that junk food is the point of a road trip anyway and it's hard to find vegetarian stuff at all fast food restaurants.

      We're trying to figure out how to get out of town, because one of the main roads switches over regularly and we seem to be cut off at the moment. Several-point turn to get out of a dead-end. People playing in the water in the ditch ("A good way to get hepatitis," my dad notes). Asking for directions at some kind of a hunting lodge.

      We drive out of town, but the road seems less like a road and more something you'd do to wreck vehicles on GTA. Driving through parkades or something. Graffiti. Stairs.

      Family Vacations. Scare Meter: 2. Boring as long as you skip the horror movie casting.
    3. #10. Pissed Off Teachers

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:37 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)

      People to Deliberately Annoy Even More than You Already Have Just By Existing

      I'm taking a course that requires all the participants to stay together in a hotel room for some reason. We pool all our food together to come up with a really weird breakfast. A can of brown beans are involved. Which are vegetarian.


      I'm staying in a hotel in a city where one of my friends from high school - Miranda - lives. I spot her, and we hang out for a while. One of those drivable carts and a supermarket are involved.


      This is a duel between an approximately 20-year-old Harry Potter and one Professor Severus Snape. I smirk. This is going to be fun. I'm approaching the tournament as if it's a video game, wearing down my opponents with a barrage of spells, exhausting them. Then I'll disarm them with an expelliarmus.

      "Expelliarmus!" I shout, aiming at Snape.

      He shields easily, smirking at my incompetence. There's going to be a lot of smirking going on in this match.

      "Sectumsempra!" I call out before he has a chance to get a spell off. A scythe of dark energy slices toward him. There, that one wasn't so easy to block.

      I'm going to have trouble remembering spells for this dream, I realize.

      We circle each other, I mostly dodging the spells that he sends at me. Until he's standing with his back to a seemingly bottomless pit, facing me warily.

      Bad, bad move.

      I shout two random words to cover what I'm doing, forcing a wave of kinetic energy towards Snape, who is pushed off the edge, and if that's from the wrong movie, I'm sure no one will ever notice. The boundary spells will catch him. Probably.

      (I'm proven right when he's yelling, a few minutes later, that he will triumph in the end, and will beat me in one of the upper levels of the tournament. At least he's confident that I'll get that far.)

      New match.

      A kid - a young Crabbe from the movies, I think - is attempting to creep silently through a poorly-lit arena, stirring up dust as he goes. I think he has an allergy, because suddenly he has to sneeze, and he can't help it - he sneezes, the sound echoing loudly through the darkness. My third person POV catches the horrified look on his face as it zooms back to another room, where Snape is creeping along more successfully. Snape hears the sneeze, turns quickly to where the sound is coming from and moves hurriedly toward the other room, ready to sneak up behind Crabbe and take him by surprise -


      Snape's wand is sent flying out of his hand by my spell, and I catch it out of the air. I smile brightly and wave, and Snape is positively fuming while he's pulled out of the game.

      Crabbe is expecting me, though, and our disarming spells are shouted at exactly the same time, resulting in a brief wave of energy that has both of us stumbling back. I recover first, and launch myself at him, scrambling for the wand. I catch it by the tip, and pull it with me as I roll past him, but the wand is about as strong as tumbleweed, and doesn't even make a decent snap as it breaks cleanly in half.

      The kid is staring at his remaining half in horrified fascination.

      "Ouch," I wince sympathetically, "And this is the world where no other wand is going to work for you as well as the first one." Crabbe looks crestfallen. "Oh well. I win, right?"

      I guess the answer is yes, because the next thing I'm aware of is stumbling through a bar after a round of celebratory shots. I sit down at a table.

      "May we join you?"

      I'm reintroduced to Fleur Delacour, who I met a few years ago, as well as a pretty brunette with curly hair whose name I don't remember. I flirt shamelessly with both of them, and we have what I'm sure is an incredibly deep and nuanced conversation.

      I'm still in the bar when I realize, abruptly, that I'm dreaming, for no real reason whatsoever. It's not so much that everything comes into focus, but that my awareness expands exponentially, and for those few seconds, I feel fucking awesome. I'm exploring the boundaries of the dream, looking for possibilities.

      Then the brunette invites me to dinner, and I decide that here is fine.

      We're sitting together on a couch, eating what I'm certain are some very expensive appetizers. She mentions that they'll be leaving to China shortly, for a business meeting, but we'll have to meet up again.


      I'm in a theatre, watching a movie along with, I think, my family. Water is pouring from a shower-head on the ceiling for some reason. I'm sure there was a very good reason for that, having to do with the toddler who has latched onto me as a babysitter.


      I'm in Halifax. Yay, I love Halifax! I'm along with my younger-than-they-are-in-real-life cousins and my brother. We decide that the most efficient way to get back to our hotel with all our luggage is to take a kayak back there.


      So we rent a kayak from MEC, and paddle across the harbour with it. The geography has changed immensely, and I don't seem to be deathly afraid of the water.

      Seriously, you don't want to go anywhere near the Halifax harbour water.

      But I am concerned when it splashes all over my backpack, which holds my laptop, which is still on. I open it up, pop the battery out, and don't bother to wonder where all of my cousins are.

      We get back to the hotel, where everything gets a little fuzzy. I think I'm either Sam or Dean Winchester at one point, having an argument with whichever one of the brothers I'm not.

      But I have to return the kayak, so I bring it back to the dock, and then I'm at the hotel, but I realize I have to bring it to the store, so I convince someone who looks a lot like Alan Rickman into bringing it back to the store for us, please.

      And then I spend the rest of the dream wandering around Halifax and making up parks that don't exist.

      Pissed Off Teachers. Scare Factor: 2/10, but only for the first two dreams that were really feverish and hallucinatory.
    4. #9. Allegiant Little Kids

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:33 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      Things to Run Away From Really Fast #7: Allegiant Little Kids
      I'm browsing the forums here, thinking about dreams. Then there's something about the library here. Which reminds me, I need to return an overdue book.

      I walk into a bar, where, apparently, Lindsay is bartending. I order a drink, and end up sitting down with her and a few friends while they eat supper. We talk about the Charlie Brown Christmas special, and discuss parts of it that probably didn't exist in real life. You know that one girl, who really didn't want to go to the Brown's house for Christmas Dinner but would rather have gone to New York for a Broadway show? Yeah? Why couldn't she have done that? That would have been cool.

      There's four or five of us, and we start walking. Shift. We're in a playground. I look around, trying to place it.

      "Aw, man." I say, "We're in Ixburg! Quick, someone think of somewhere nicer."

      A couple people glance back at me, bemused. I give up and strike up a conversation with one of the girls, who has red-brown hair, a ponytail, and glasses. I try to ask her name, but she says it so fast I can't understand it. I ask again and try to repeat it back to her. One of the other girls laughs and tells her to stop teasing me.

      We're still standing outside the school at this oint, and a teacher comes out to yell at hus. "Ixburg sucks!" I shout, assuming there's a game going on right now.

      Little kids come out and throw rocks at us. We take shelter in a non-existant frame of a shed just outside school grounds.

      "So," I say to Lindsay, "Next time, you pick the setting."

      Allegiant Little Kids. Scare Factor: 1 for banality.
    5. #8. Mental Institutions With Lax Security

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:31 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      Bare feet touch to the cold linoleum one after the other, as I creep up the back stairs to the second floor. Everything is white and open and contained, but the dark creeps along with me, and the world is cast in a cold, blue pallor.

      The door opens before me, my feet touch scratchy carpet as I step into the bedroom. My nightgown whispers faintly in an absent breeze as I twist, taking in the contents of the room. It seems almost normal, a bed to the left of the door, foot facing me. There are stuffed animals everywhere, strewn across the room like they've been played with. They haven't been.

      There's a window above the bed, and I can see the balconies a floor above the lobby.

      I hear water running.

      A half-open door lets light stream into the rest of the room, and I open it, squinting against the harsh yellow of the light, of the tiles, of the linoleum.

      The tap is running cold water into the bathtub, and I can see my brother there, hands curled around his knees -

      There have been rumours, faked suicides and murder

      - the first thing I do is turn his wrists over to look for injuries. I sigh in relief when I see that he's fine, and I move to turn off the water.

      I freeze. I can feel something, in the walls.

      "Boom." I whisper. The boy looks up at me for the first time. I pull him up from the tub, grab a towel from above the toilet, wrap it around his shoulders.

      "Go to bed." I say. "Stay there."

      He walks toward his bed without another look back.

      I press one hand to the ceramic tile in the shower (shh, calm), use the other hand to turn off the water and remove the drain from the tub, drenching my sleeves as I do. Tick, tick, tick but it won't hurt him if he stays in bed, and I need to make my escape.

      I leave the room, taking stairs directly from the bathroom to the basement, to my own room, trekking barefoot over thin blue carpet to a room that resembles an office. I see my bed, empty, though the covers are strewn about.

      "Hey," says a voice from behind me. I turn around, look up, hope that he won't notice the fact that my clothes are drenched from the water. He doesn't. "We were wondering where you've been all night."

      I smile, and the guard moves on to continue his rounds, completely unconcerned about the little girl who was committed here long before he ever got the job.

      After all, I never did mention who the murderer was.

      Well meaning though I might have been.

      Mental Institutions With Lax Security. Scare Factor: 2/10 for worrying over the girl's brother. I was never concerned for my own safety.

      I wonder when that bomb is set to explode?
    6. #7. Bad Fanfiction

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:28 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      March 13, 2010

      Um, spoilers for Supernatural 5x08.

      I think I can state at this point that I am having a bad day. My brother, Sam, has a tendency to randomly disappear and come home possessed, but usually these trips don't involve extra-dimensional portals. Goddamnit.

      Also, I can't find my jacket.

      "So, you're absolutely sure we'll be able to get back."

      "For the last time, boy," Bobby says, glaring at me for asking the same question several times, "This plan is foolproof."

      "Right. Foolproof." I look from the frayed rope looped around my waist, tied to a wooden post on Bobby's porch, to the bright and swirly portal leading to God knows where. "Bobby, I don't doubt your excellent research capabilities, but is this really going to work?"

      "Do you want to find Sam or not?"

      This pretty much ends all discussion on the matter, and I find myself stepping through the ominous swirly lights...

      ...and into a bar.

      The first thing I notice is that guy from the fan convention drinking at the bar. The second thing I notice: he's wearing my jacket. One bar fight later -

      (and I have to figure out how to steal a jacket off of someone who's wearing it. In the chaos, I figure it'll be easy enough just to will it into my hands rather than work on the physical mechanics of how you would get a jacket off of someone in a fight)

      - I have my jacket back. Oddly, it seems a little big for me.

      Sam's on the other side of the room, talking to someone who I don't actually pay any attention to. I march over there, "Excuse us," and drag Sam a few feet away.

      "Okay, we have got to get out of here."

      Sam just looks amused.

      We continue walking over to where the portal is - I can see it, swirly pink and blue lights and all - and I walk through it. Ow. I walk straight into the wall behind it.

      "Oh," says Sam, looking thoughtful, "Looks like you can't get me through this way."

      I'm out of time; if I don't leave now I'll be trapped in this dimension as well. Away from the apocalypse and all, but still.

      A flicker. Sam's face seems overlaid by something. Another face, one that I recognize.

      I rush at him, stopped after a couple of feet, held fast to the portal.

      "Where's Sam?" I growl.

      The fake Sam just smiles and walks away, waving.

      "Gabriel!" I shout after him, "GABRIEL!" Everything fades out, and suddenly I'm standing back on Bobby's porch.

      "So, how did that go?" asks Bobby.

      He gets no response.

      "Oh well, we'll try again later."

      I stand dumbly on the porch as he walks away for a few moments, before -

      That's not Bobby.

      Son of a bitch.
      Where the hell is a wooden stake angel-killing knife archangel's sword when you need one?

      Bad Fanfiction. Scare Factor: 2/10. Fun for the writer, torture for the reader. And the Trickster's not too bad... as long as he's not killing you several dozen times over.
    7. #6. The Narrator

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:24 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      March 12, 2010

      Damian is a semi-immortal thief from the "real world". While evading his current batch of pursuers, he is granted a wish from the devil, who introduces herself as Sam. After sending Damian home, for a price, She proceeds to wreak havoc at the christening of the princess, by giving her the gift of infinite will. This backfires spectacularly, when Sam (the devil) is drawn into the plight of a teenaged runaway several years later.

      I think it could make a very interesting series of short stories.

      Also, I was three separate characters during the course of this dream. I've been Damian, Sam, and The Reader of the story at various points, while reading emotions off of everyone else present. It was all very third person omniscient. Also, not the first time I've been the devil.

      Can you tell that I'm not religious at all? Protip: Satan is the good guy.

      The Narrator. Scare Factor: 2. Omniscience is so much fun.
    8. #5. High School Classmates

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:21 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      March 2010

      I'm one person in a large group of people who have collectively decided to go swimming. When we appear at the swimming hole [that never really existed] outside of my hometown, most people stand around, looking suspiciously at the water. A guy who I remember being a grade younger than I was [whose name I saw in a journal entry yesterday] jumps straight in to the south side of the pool.

      I'm wearing a red lifeguard t-shirt, and one other lifeguard and myself are inspecting the north side of the pool. Some days you can swim in it, other days it's really just a puddle of stinking mud. Like today. I lose my balance when the edge of the crowd jostles me. A few titters, and I exchange words with one of the bystanders.

      Obviously, I'll be swimming in the clean side of the pool then, if only to clean off.

      The clean side has Jay using the natural rock formations on the other side as diving boards and such. I don't pay mutch attention to him. Rolling my eyes at the group that collectively won't even get in the pool, I jump into the clean water and eye the rock formations on the other side. From where I was standing, there was no way to walk across like Jay did, so I need to do some rock climbing to get to the impromptu diving board.

      I'm in my element when I get to the other side and pull myself out of the water. It's been a while since I got to do this [because it's very flat and boring where I'm living now]. There are plenty of easy handholds in the rock, and I work my way to the left, where I'll be able to climb up to the ledge.

      High School Classmates Near Water. Scare Factor: 7 because I hated high school 2 for normality, with a point for the fun of rock climbing and annoyance of public humiliation.
    9. #4. Doomed Underwater Research Stations

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:18 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      March 2010

      The underwater station might as well be in the vacuum of space. Our oxygen generators are broken, environmental systems are failing, and lights are flickering their hearts out. At least nothing's sprung a leak. Yet.

      Lassiter and I are running at a full sprint down the narrow hallway, but our progress comes to a grinding halt when we reach a fork in the tunnel. Left or right? A flash of an image: I recall the unofficial layout of the station from a map I may or may not have wrangled from a drunk first mate.

      "I'm sensing left!" I shout over the ambient noise of the dying station.

      "How would you know that?"

      "Really, Lassie, after all this time, don't ya trust me?"

      A beat.

      "If you're leading us the wrong way, Spencer, I will kill you myself."

      When we get to the escape pods - because of course we're going the right way, don't insult me - there's a woman near us, kneeling over an unconscious woman with long, curly blonde hair. I don't recognize either of them, but I get the feeling that the unconscious woman might die if we don't get her out of here soon.

      The woman - the conscious one, we'll call her Joy - spots us and points at me, "You, in the t-shirt, I need some help here. Help me lift her into the escape pod."

      I hurry over to their side, and pull the unconscious blonde's left arm over my shoulders. Joy takes the right side and three - two - one - lift! Lassiter hovers over Joy's shoulder (not literally, I feel compelled to point out) in case we need help. More help.

      The "escape pods" are basically miniature submarines scattered throughout the station, designed for a one-way trip to the surface. They're also very small.

      Sparks are shooting everywhere, but I'm focused on the escape pod. "Hang on a minute," I say to Joy.

      The door to the pod is open, possibly jammed that way. And there's something wrong with the controls. The autopilot, maybe?

      "There's no way we're going to make it to the surface in that." I say.

      "Are there any escape pods left?" asks Lassiter.

      Flash. Two escape pods to the northwest, through a section that would be venting poison gas into the hallway right about now. That's the quickest route. I shake my head. "We can't make it."

      Joy looks at me, considering. "Not with the two of us, you mean," she nods at her friend.

      Lassiter and I, and Joy, even, could make it to the remaining shuttles. There's no way we could make it while dragging an unconscious woman with us. And we're not leaving her behind; we're the heroes in this story!

      "We're going to have to make it work."

      Somehow, we do.

      When we surface in the pod, and climb out, we're not greeted by sunlight, but what looks like a conference room with a pool. Several men in suits are staring at us expectantly. From my position, balanced on top of the pod, I hone in on the man who's in charge of this whole fiasco. He's smiling. I sigh.

      "I have to go down there again, don't I?"

      This time, it has sprung a leak.

      Doomed Research Stations. Scare Factor: 3.
    10. #3. The Other Mother

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:13 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      February, 2010

      It's been a long night. I'm standing in a creepy, unfinished basement and a group of college student survivalists have been spouting horror movie cliches at every opportunity.

      "You can't touch the jelly sandwich," the de-facto leader explains. "It keeps all the other food good. Do you understand?"

      "Perfectly," I say cheerily. I'm stealing from Spongebob Squarepants' logic. "Makes sense."

      "No," he says, with a long-suffering sigh, "It really, really doesn't." He wanders away, morosely, muttering about crazy people. I briefly consider being a character that this guy is dreaming.

      I go looking for food. I sit in the kitchen with my mom, even if she is upset about the potted plant sitting in the corner that looks like a tiger lily and is apparently called a "papyrus". At this point, I begin to tell her about the metaphors and symbolism in our current environment.

      "The jellybean sandwich in the storage room is, apparently, there to keep all the other food from going bad, and the 'papyrus' is there because... you have really bad taste in fonts in real life."

      "In real life?"

      "Well, obviously this is a dream."

      "You think so?"

      "If it's not, tell me where these objects," I gesture at the flower, "Are located in your real house. Everything keeps shifting here."

      The woman sitting across the table from me looks down, fighting to keep a grin off her face. She starts to laugh, and then to cackle madly. Shift. I'm standing near the door and she faces me from a few feet away. Her empty eye sockets are stuffed with bandages.

      "Let me guess," I say, "You're my Other Mother."

      She doesn't reply, but steps toward me. I wind back my left hand for a punch, but I'm moving
      so slowly.

      The woman is moving in real time, and she takes another step, relaxed and confident. The punch doesn't connect. As she reaches for my throat, I desperately dig my fingers into her eye-sockets. There are teeth.

      Everything is going black, facial features are twisting, and the only thing I can distinguish anymore is pain.


      I'm sitting on a deck, petting a stray cat that's wandered into the yard. Can I wake up now?


      "That rice is leftover from last night. And it's in front," Oma says helpfully, as I rummage through her fridge. I blink.

      "Really?" I say, holding the plastic container. "You want me to eat this? Specifically?" I poke at the overabundance of soy sauce with a spoon. "I'm still dreaming, aren't I?"
    11. #2. Bureaucratic Hell

      by , 06-14-2010 at 03:05 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      March 9, 2010

      My name is Lucifer, and I'm busy.

      "But you have to stay here! You're the Lord of Hell!" says the ex-cherub, who seems to have been recast as my secretary.

      "I don't, actually. I've left this job once, and I'll leave again once I have this place reorganized." I'm standing up at a desk, looking at blueprints.

      I turn toward the ominous wooden door at the other end of the (hellish) office-space. The door leads to a dimension where damned souls are trapped. As they make their way to the door, they inch closer to the end of their torment. At which point, welcome to bureaucratic hell.

      He continues to pester me, "But God wants you to-"

      "Okay, look," I interrupt, "I don't care what God wants. In the actual comic book, Lucifer didn't care what God wanted. Every version of the devil, ever, actively resisted doing anything that God wanted him to do. So what makes you think that I care?"

      I realize that I've broken out of character at this point, but the demon seems to actively resist the idea that this is a dream and I'm not really Lucifer. I decide to be amused instead of summoning up a gale of fire with which to burn him alive. Because, as the devil, I could totally do that.

      Instead, I throw my hands up in the air, metaphorically, and walk through the now-open doorway to the realm of the damned. The door swings shut behind me, cutting off the shrill ranting of my unfortunate secretary.

      I take the form of a woman with short, blonde hair as I take the first steps into the realm usually thought of as Hell. This area is closest to the exit, and as such, is actually fairly pleasant in comparison to the rest of hell. This, of course, means that it's a boring approximation of a cave that slopes slowly downward. The cave curves away in the distance, and I know that it's an infinite spiral to the bottom.

      The soul nearest the door looks like a boy in his young teens, although he probably lived to be older than that. The boy is building a fence up the sloping ground, not noticing as it collapses into inexistance behind him. He is intensely focused on the task, trapped, as all the damned are, in a nightmare of his own creation. I approach, and as I do, I hear deep, threatening barking. The boy reacts in a panic, looking about wildly for the source of the noise, not seeing me.

      Part of the fence has been shaped into a basket-like form, with half-rotten plywood as the bottom. A rottweiler puppy comes into existence as I look at the space, and it barks at the boy. When the boy sees it, he starts to back away from the puppy, and away from the door.

      I'm standing directly beside the puppy, so I pick it up. The dog starts barking and the noise in the boy's nightmare lessens. I look at him, and he sees me for the first time. Finally, his eyes land on the door behind me...


      Bureaucratic Hell. Scare Factor: 3.
    12. #1. First Appearances

      by , 06-14-2010 at 02:57 AM (Things to Run Away From Really Fast)
      Spring 2008

      I'm in my grandmother's old office. Shift. It's dark, and I'm surrounded by beautiful, frightening living statues made of shadow... twisted, slender, lethal. I want to remember them when I wake up, because they're mine.

      The office space gives way, and I'm in the basement of my old house. I'm waking up, still surrounded by the last traces of my shadow-creatures. I'm trying to remember them, listing their traits aloud. Onyx. Jet. Shadow. Cat-like, bat-like, tribal, sharp, angular. They wouldn't have been out of place on a tattoo, if they weren't so real, so dynamic.

      I hear a scream.

      From upstairs. My mother? Why am I in the basement? Everything is hazy and dream, and my reactions are sluggish. I stumble through the basement and away from my dream-room. I reach the base of the stairs, which, oddly, are not located where they should be. The only light is coming from upstairs. I look up. There is a man standing there.

      He's old, unremarkable. I wouldn't recognize his features if I saw him now. He's small, but not in any particular way. Not overly short, not overly skinny.

      There was a scream from upstairs, but now, it's all about me. Because the man is stepping down stairs toward me, and I'm just standing there. There's no screaming - it's so quiet - and I couldn't move if I wanted to. And I want to move.

      I'm rooted to the spot, affixed by an unbreakable bond to the dreamscape. I can't flex my muscles or flail, because it's not about my feet. I am stuck, immobile, immovable.

      And the old man is walking down the stairs, unremarkably. Not sinister or threatening, but I need to get away. Because something horrible is about to happen.

      And he reaches the base of the stairs and I haven't moved because I can't, although this is my last chance to rush him, to push past him onto the bare wooden steps.

      He's standing in front of me, and of all my will, the only thing I can do is push two words past my lips, "No, please" and it's barely more than a whisper, because nothing's moving, and I haven't thought about drawing breath.

      And the old man looks at me, his expression unremarkably pleasant. He places his hand on my forearm -


      First Appearances. Scare Factor: 9.

      I'm not sure what it was about the dream that freaked me out so much. But I couldn't be alone in my apartment once I woke up. Not in the dark. It was something like five in the morning, and the Tim Hortons beside the building was open. I threw on clothes and nearly flew down the stairs. I ordered a hot chocolate, and a bagel, and sat with my back to a wall where I could see every exit, I and waited for the sun to come up.
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