Waking Dream

Written by Patrick J Turner Jr

Published on July 3rd, 2023

Wherein I encounter the most horrifying thing in the world.

I have this one recurring dream. Well, actually I have many recurring dreams but this one often seems to follow me after I wake. I suppose you would call that a daydream? I would not. I’m not sure what I would call it. I don't think I would call it a nightmare. I might call it a ghost. We will come back to this.

I will tell you about the dream now.


Usually the dream takes place on the long yard of my college campus. Sometimes the dream takes place in my middle school cafeteria. Once it was in the forest behind my house. Another time I was in someone else's home. It always takes place in some familiar, yet twisted location. It is always a place integral to my soul; essential to my growth. Regardless of the background, the details therein are static:


In the dream I am walking around with no destination. I am alone. Everything is normal, and then nothing is normal. I can feel a thick fog descend upon the ridges of my brain. My vision blurs. Upon close inspection every surface looks like a slow, flowing stream. I bend down. I pull a rock up to my eyes and can pick out little tiny fish. They swim around their little globe in the palm of my hand. Their fins brush my skin. The water is cool like lettuce and clear as glass. I count the fish one by one. There are only a few on this rock, but there are so many rocks. So many fish. So much stuff.

Realizing this quietens my mind. I am standing still. I am lost in the streams all around me. I am staring aimlessly into forever. In this fractal I see a pattern. I notice I am staring intently into someone’s face. I do not know how long they have been standing there. Whoops. I quickly look down at my feet. They stare at me as they walk their predetermined path. I do not make eye contact with them. I do not want to know what kind of face they made as they passed me. I try not to think about what face I was making at them.

I continue walking. I am trying hard to pretend I do not notice the fish swimming and leaping all around me. I feel the stares of others. I try to keep my head down. Stray stems of hair poke up from the mop of hair on my head. I have always had thick hair. I have gotten the same haircut and kept my hair the same style since I was young. I like my hair. Some days I even love my hair. My hair stands on it's own quite often. I feel very conscious of the fact that my hair is stood up yet drooping down like an unwatered house plant. I pick up and rock and spill some water on my head. Beads of blue hang from the ends of my hair. As they twirled they cast caustics on the ground. I became a watery discoball.

Well, let's boogie baby.

I hear voices. I cannot hear what they are saying. They are quiet. They are around a corner just ahead. I round

Whisper Whisper

Whisper Whisper

The voices are audible now. I hear them between my ears. They are within my head.

Whisper Whisper

Whisper Whisper

Yet, I cannot grasp the meaning of the words. I cannot comprehend a meaning behind the noise I hear. Somehow it feels like I am missing something. The sounds float past my ears, my mind does not catch them. There is not a clear source of the voices. If ears could focus like eyes can, maybe I could have heard the waterfalls.