I’m still shaking – it’s what, almost four AM? I’m trying to get this posted now – I’m not going to be able to get back to sleep anyway. Where do I start?
The dreams have been irregular lately. I almost thought I was over them after I drew those sketches; things had calmed down since then and I thought maybe getting the images out of my head and onto paper might have exorcised some demons. Apparently not.
I went to bed at normal time, read a little bit, and fell asleep around 11pm. I know I started seeing the soldier, and Wendy says I was making some ‘unhappy’ noises in my sleep when she went to bed some time after me. I don’t usually talk or make noise in my sleep, so she shook me awake to make sure everything was OK – which was sweet of her. When I woke up I definitely remembered seeing, possibly interacting with that shadowy soldier. I had a drink of water and tucked back in, tired and needing sleep. I believe this was around midnight.
The next thing I recall – not clearly mind you, but in that muddled haze of recalled dreams – was the gateway, that twisted, malevolent threshold. It had a terrifying form and even in a dream, it had weight and felt like it had some sort of cruel density. There was movement then, something I don’t really remember from other dreams, and I think the soldier was there. I don’t know if he’s trying to coax me away from the gateway or trying to push me towards it, but both figures there simultaneously was more than I think my dreaming mind could handle as I twisted and turned in my sleep. My frantic flailing was apparently enough to pull the fitted bedsheets off on my side of the bed.
While the dreams have been disturbing and frightening, what happened next has terrified me to my core. It seems a simple thing and, for most people, there would be a simple, logical explanation – even Wendy, who witnessed the event, tells me that I need to calm down, that it was nothing, just a freak breeze. I know that it was more, though…
I was in the depths of dream, the presence of both the shadowy soldier and the cursed portal in the middle of that blasted, burning landscape steadily increasing my fear and distress, when I heard something, a voice barely recognizable as such, more of a cross between a hiss and a growl. The horrible voice said my name – said my last name, ‘Martens’ – with a slow, guttural menace that I can hardly describe, and the soldier turned to me. I thought I would finally see his face, but then I was awakened by the heavy, solid wooden door to our bedroom slamming shut with such force that it knocked several items off the nearby dresser.
Wendy and I both awoke instantly, I believe I even screamed a bit. I was shaking terribly – I still cannot settle my hands – and Wendy and I held each other to try and calm down from our early morning fright. I told her it had something to do with the dreams, the visions, that infernal steamer trunk – she humors me in the kindest way, but she still doesn’t believe a word of it. She insists that it was a freak breeze of some sort, somehow blowing THROUGH the air conditioner to swirl the air currents in the room with such force they could slam a heavy wooden door. I nodded and smiled and told her of course she must be right, it has to be the obvious answer. She fell back asleep easily. I do not think I’ll be falling back asleep any time soon this evening.