I decided to go to see a GP after school today. There was a doctor on site so I thought ‘Eh, why not?’. I called and set up an appointment on Monday. I came in on Friday around 3 pm and saw Dr Crowley. He was really nice, despite his dry humor and terrible bedside manner. The appointment was quick, painless, and first time visits are free, so it didn’t cost me a dime. The conversation at the doctor’s office keeps running through my mind. I’m not entirely sure why though.
“Ah! Alex! It’s good to see you, how are you doing today?” In came a middle-aged man, light blue eyes, dark brown hair with a receding hairline. He was about average height of a man his age, wore goofy, thick rimmed glasses, and fashioned light blue scrubs.
“I’m doing good! How are you?”
“I’m doing alright, thank you. My name is Doctor Crowley. I’m the practitioner on site today. How can I help you today?”
“Let’s see, I have been having some trouble sleeping for the past couple weeks. There’s this nightmare that I’ve been having that just won’t go away.”
“I can see in your file which was transferred by a Doctor Daniels that you have a history of having trouble sleeping and insomnia. Is this correct?”
“Yes this is correct.”
“From what I can also see is you have a history of trauma and family crises in the past as well as-?”
I cleared my throat and coughed out,”Yes.”
“I won’t go into any further details about those past events if you wish.”
“I say just do whatever feels right to you Doc. I just want to be able to get some sleep again.”
“I’ll tell you what” He sat on a stool with wheels and sat a few feet in front of me. “This is a common thing for a lot of people, especially college students to go through whenever they are dealing with big changes in their life such as moving, starting a new job, etc. Lack of sleep and new stressors can really have an impact on the human body and psyche believe it or not. Stress can manifest itself in different ways whether it be wanting to stress eat, have trouble sleeping, increased anxiety, you name it.”
“You don’t think I’m crazy?”
“Absolutely not!” He laughed. “Here’s what we’re going to do: first off I am going to refer you to a local psychiatrist, Doctor Shirley! He is also a dear family friend of mine and great doctor as well. He works a couple streets down from the campus. So you can just take this slip into the office and set yourself up with him.” He quickly wrote out a slip of paper and handed it to me.
“Doctor Shirley is much more experienced with psychopharmacology than I am. I’m just a General Practitioner and I want to make sure that you can get the best treatment you can get. I can help you with the other shit. Oh excuse my language!”
I chuckled a little bit and felt a sense of relief. “What should I do in the meantime until I set up an appointment?”
“In the meantime, I recommend using over the counter supplements. Have you tried Melatonin, Valerian Root, or Chamomile?”
“Melatonin, yes. The others, no.”
“You should be able to find them at any local market like Walmart, Target-“
“I work at Target so I can just get some from there.”
“Excellent!” He grabbed another piece of paper and wrote down some more scribbles and then handed it over to me. “Here is a list of supplements that I recommend for anyone with sleeping problems to use. And none of these would interfere with your current medications. Is there anything that I can do for you today?”
“No, I think that’s it! Thank you so much for your help Doctor Crowley.”
“It was good seeing you Alex! Here is a slip to give to the receptionist at the front desk. I would like to see you come back in a month just to see how you’re doing.”
“Oh okay! Thank you! Have a great day.”
“You too. Take care.”
I thought it was quite odd that he wanted to see me again in a month, but then again I’m no doctor. I stepped out the door and walked down the light green and brightly lit hallway, took a right, then found myself back at the receptionist’s desk. I gave her the paperwork, she set me up for an appointment next month, and I was about to walk out the glass door when I heard something.
“Allleeexxx….. Al—- ex… the soil- oil-“
“Huh, what?” I turned around and didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything after that, thankfully. I thought that maybe I overheard a conversation about something in the hallway. Soil? Where did that come from? Maybe I passed by some Botany students…
I shrugged it off and got into my car. As I pulled out of the spacious parking lot, I saw a dark gray cat run right behind my car. I jolted to a stop, looked in the rearview mirror, then saw the cat scurry off to a pine tree that was adjacent from my left bumper. The cat stared at me with dilated pupils engulfed in reflective light. It was absolutely terrifying! It made me jump for a second, then I regained my focus, pulled out of the parking lot, then drove to work. Everything from there was same old same old at la Target.
That night I got back home and one of my roommates was studying on the couch. Jeff, Danielle, and I ordered pizza and coke, stayed home, and watched Netflix until about 3 am. We watched The Office and Breaking Bad intermittently. It was a very good day! I completely forgot about what happened that day. And oh my god, that night was the best night of sleep I had in a long time. No bad dreams! It was like this for a week and then that damn dream started to come back. And when it came back, it was full force and then some. I will never forget how vile the dream was. It just felt so real! I don’t understand why I kept seeing this damn wooden cross over and over again. The thing is I could see everything like as if I was awake. I was kneeling down at this decrepid old cross. I was wearing black dress pants and black loafers, but the thing is I was honestly surprised I could tell what I was wearing because I was soaked with thick gray sludge and mud. There was a shovel off to the side laying in the grass. It was completely drenched in blood, handle to spade. I looked down and my hands, which were all scratched up and covered in dirt. Hearing the voices had to have been the worst part of it all. Majority of the voices that I heard in the dream still seemed to be inaudible, except for this one statement that I can’t get out of my head. It was a deep guttural voice that growled,”The s-soil-oil of a man’s heart-t is s-st-st-stonier”… goddammit!!! Every time I hear that saying in the dream, I scream myself awake and find myself completely drenched in sweat. It’s just so fucking creepy and I don’t know what the fuck it means! I still can’t get the scent of old and wet rotting mud out of my nostrils.
The timing of the bad dreams was impeccable because I had an appointment set to see the new shrink that Friday. Whenever I scream from a nightmare, it wakes up my roommates. Jeff and Danielle bust into my room every night to make sure I’m okay. I feel so bad for waking them up! They tell me not to feel bad, but I do. I’m really really hoping I can get some answers soon. This is absolutely ridiculous. I will share whatever answers I get from the doctor as soon as I get them.
(All rights of original story belong to Stephen King. This is a fan fiction based off the original stories of Pet Sematary and Pet Sematary 2.)