Who Decided that this was a good idea: Put your earbuds in and snooze part 2

I screamed again and saw that the car door on my right was open and on every side of me, my friends were trying to get me to wake up. Jen and Sandra were on my right, Joey and Nick were on my left, and Jeff was right behind me, getting ready to pour water from an unopened plastic water bottle onto my face. I was wide awake, hyperventilating, and absolutely drenched in sweat. All of my friends, one after another said “Mike, mike are you okay?” and “We’re home now, its okay.” and “It’s over Mike, just calm down.” To my relief… they were all normal. No weird faces, black liquid, or ghoulish screams. My chest and breathing loosened up a bit as I put part of my face in my right hand and cried softly. I couldn’t help it, the dream just felt so real. I find myself to be a generally average person when it comes to being emotional, so this all just hit me by surprise.

“Babe, what happened?” Jen anxiously asked

“It’s all over Mike, you’re home now bud.” Joey said to me in a calming, ASMR like voice.

“Shhhh sweetie, it’s okay now, it’s okay.” Sandra cooed in my ear as she stroked my thick and unkempt black hair.

“Wh-….” I murmured. I sat up and took a few moments to regain a clear state of mind. “What happened? Was I dreaming guys?”

“Not just dreaming man, but a full blown nightmare! You started going absolutely wild when we finally reached the parking lot. Screaming, shouting, crying, the works.” Nick said.

“It must’ve been a nightmare of massive proportions to put you in such a state of panic my dear friend.” Jeff said, trying to sound smart but was in reality being extremely facetious. I knew he meant well though.

“Do you remember what you dreamed about hon?” Jen asked with her lips quivering like jello. I could hear fear and uncertainty in her voice. Like I’ve said before, for as long as I’ve known Jen, she’s always been easily startled and grossed out by the littlest of things. This time however, I had a hard time understanding what it was she could be afraid of. Was it because I was thrashing about? Was it because I was screaming? What is it that made this situation scare her so much?

“Yes… in fact I do and I-” I paused for a moment to try to gather my thoughts. I was so drained from thrashing about in my sleep and drenched from my own sweat and tears. I needed to just get inside and rest for a bit. I was just so done with tonight and everything that happened. I tried to stand up and get out of the car and as soon as I tried to stand up, I felt myself fall forward then pitch blackness embraced me.

The next thing I knew, I woke up in my own bed the next morning. I could feel the gentle morning sunlight peering through the blinds on my window next to my bed. I could hear the cheerful chirping of birds and the gentle autumn breeze blowing loose leaves around. I was in one of my plain white tees as well as in pair of red plaid boxers, but how did I end up in my usual pj gear? I sat up from my bed and saw that my arms were bandaged up to my wrists. The creases underneath my fingernails was caked in blood and weird brownish-black gunk. My head and whole body was hurting like a motherfucker. It felt like as if I got ran over by an army tank or something. I groaned in pain and pulled the covers off my legs and saw my legs were bandaged as well. I looked to my left and picked my phone up off the oak finished end table. It said it was 9:31 am. I was about to jump out of bed when I saw yellow sticky note sitting on the base of my table lamp. It read “Good morning Mike! I hope you’re feeling ok. You had a bit of a tumble last night while trying to get up the stairs. We took you to the ER and the doctor said you’d be fine and that it was best to take you home and let you rest. Don’t worry about your classes Mike, we made sure that the doctor would fax a medical note to your teachers. Please give me a call or text as soon as you see this note. I’ll talk to you later buddy! -Joey and friends”. I was just so confused at this point. What happened last night? How did I fall and get hurt? How in the world did I get back here in my bed?

Now what?

Call Joey immediately

or

Wait for Joey to come home from school/work

or

Go back to part 1 of put your earbuds in and snooze

or

Go back to the beginning


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Wooded Path: Taking the Railroad

6slzbey

Maybe there is some hope and light beyond the safety of your own backyard.

The decision of going for help and answers rather than staying put made more sense than anything else.

The feeling of dread and anticipation for the worst wavers on and off as you step onto the ash covered ground.

You grab a backpack with basic supplies for the outdoors, thankfully you were a very outdoorsy person.

At first there was nothing but ash, black sticky mud, and loose parts from fences, windows, and cars scattered all over the place.

The fog and ash dissipates as you walk deeper through the trees.

There’s still clear signs of life here.

Gentle sounds of wildlife and the partially intact trees gives you a tiny glimmer of hope.

The occasional loud SNAP from twigs breaking around you makes it quite clear that you’re not alone.

Your left foot slips to the left and you fall down a small bump of land onto the side of a railroad. 

You’ve seldom gone this way before.

You wonder if it’s safe to go any further.

There’s only one way to find out.

Follow the railroad

more coming soon…

-Alex

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