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Escape

by on September 19, 2010

(STOP)  The voice seems to reverberate around my head, joining my own tortured and ragged breaths. It’s strange how loud I sound from the inside; in that intimate place inside my own skull. A place that this voice now penetrates. The shock of violation is sudden and disorienting. I almost do stop from the surprise of it, but I can’t afford to, not now when I’m almost there. It feels like I’ve been running away from him forever. Somehow I have found the strength to go on, even though my feet are bleeding and my lungs feel like they are being gouged with a hot poker.

(JUST STOP) Damn! I can’t believe I almost forgot about the voice. The violation of my internal sanctuary is not so horrible now. It has already been sullied; everything changed after the first time. As I ponder this, a black-on-black shape comes fast at me out of the night. I duck, but not quickly enough and its edges catch me across the temple, leaving broken skin and welling blood. Sweat immediately pools into the cuts, making them sting and burn. I cry out, involuntarily and glance behind me before I can stop myself. He’s just there, a shadowy shape heart-stoppingly close behind me. How did he catch up so fast! I can never get away.

(STOP NOW) No, I can’t. He’ll catch me and that will be the end. But the voice is compelling. It even feels a little friendly now, like it belongs in my sanctuary. So I stop.

And wake up, safe in my bed.

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5 Comments
  1. Ah, I know that feeling, talking to yourself in a dream but you continue to dream. The only way to end it is to wake up, you just have to convince yourself to wake up 😀

  2. Excellent idea. I think the twist at the end works really well and speaks nicely of the ambiguity of inner voices.

    I think the style and flow of the first paragraphs gives the dreamy impression well. The imagery is great (like lungs + poker thing) and conveys the spirit of nightmares.

  3. parfles permalink

    Ah! And then she woke up. 🙂

    The dreamlike logic, the intense irrational fear, is very real, and after the first reading – once you know it is a dream – it is a fitting voice.

    I wished there was a little more setting in the first paragraph, as I felt the sentences all gave me emotion but too little context. Once I knew it was a dream this was understandable, but I still wonder if it would have been possible to make the dream slightly more real (where am I running through, who is chasing me, what is it like?) without losing the dream. It would have made my first read through more tangible.

    Now off to bed for some proper nightmares!

  4. I liked this. I think that bits of it captures very nicely what it’s like to have a dream like this: never being able to get away from the chaser-person, who always appears behind you. Sometimes forgetting what it was that you were doing just moments before.

    I also enjoyed the writing style: simple and descriptive.

    Also, this piece made me think of Scar 🙂

    I did feel a bit cheated at the end when this all turned out to be a dream, but a part of that is a hold up from when I was a kid and teachers kept telling me not to have everything be a dream. I do think, in retrospect, that the story hangs together well with the dreaminess of it.

  5. Very scary, me like!

    The can’t-get-away dream logic comes across really well and strong fear.
    I didn’t have too much trouble with the lack of details on the who / what / where. For me, it worked as part of the dream world. You know you have to run, evne if you don’t quite know why!

    I raised an eyebrow at the double use of violation, but it was only a little raise.

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