In my dreams I am whole, I am complete, and I run.
I run down unknown streets, feeling the cobbles on my feet. Feeling every touch of glorious pressure as my toes hit the ground. Feeling alive, feeling happy, feeling free.
But even in my dreams, I can’t forget. It sits in the back of my mind – waiting for that perfect moment to strike. Waiting –
Running down those streets. Those silent, empty streets. Passing by the same grey houses, like a washed out cartoon background, always repeating. No people, no cats, no cars,
no destination. Nothing. Just me.
And I run.
I run forever. Barely needing to breath, heart barely beating. I run. On and on, I run.
And although I am dreaming. Although part of me knows it’s not real – I taste the cool air as it rushes into me. Feeling alive, feeling happy, feeling free.
(Alive? Happy? Free?)
But even in dreams, I can’t forget. It claws inside my memory, like a lost word on the tip of my tongue – waiting for that perfect moment to strike. Waiting.
Running down those streets, those endless blurry streets, fading off long into the distance, no corners to break the flow, no stumbles to stop my movement. Nothing. Just me, the air, my legs,
my freedom. No sweat on my brow, no tears in my eyes, no pain.
Alive. Happy. Free.
Never forgetting, trying to forget. Haunted, hunted.
Running. The joy within me building slowly, a stir in the stomach. Flowing through my body. Along my arms, up my throat into my head, down my legs
into my feet. I feel so alive, so happy, so free.
And just when it feels that joy will overtake me, when it all seems to finally be forgotten, when I almost, finally, thankfully, lose myself. I look up. I see it. Unexpected but at the same time so utterly obvious – the turn in the street.
Immediately the joy escapes me, the stir in my stomach turned to dread. I sense the power around the corner. Always there, always in my dreams.
Every part of me begs that I stop. Now I sweat, now I cry, now I feel the pain. I try to turn, try to escape. But still I run, as I did, as I always will. As it waits for me.
It growls. A pneumatic drill forced into my brain. The sound of a beast.
My eyes wont close, locked open. My legs wont stop, they drag me forward.
Turning the corner – I only have a brief moment to glimpse.
In that moment, if I’m lucky – I awake. My heart racing in sweat covered sheets. That slight glimpse stamped onto the back of my mind. Two giant, dead white eyes in the darkness, bearing down on me, coming to get me, coming to hit me.
Too often I’m not lucky – I continue to dream.
Those eyes. Rushing toward me, pouncing upon me. My heart explodes in my chest, but I am stuck. Paralysed by fear.
I know it will get me, I know it will take me. I know it will hit me.
Then it does.
The world is silent but for the snap of my bones. My body is smashed to the ground like a porcelain figurine.
My legs explode beneath me, no longer legs but a mass of pink flesh and rags.
The Beast’s growl disappears into the distance and soon enough is gone. I am left, on the ground, my body broken, a heap of blood and bone. My legs battered and bloodied, no longer legs but snapped twigs.
I cry. Tears fall down my cheeks. I beg. Nobody helps, nobody hears.
I am alone. In the street. In my dreams. Dying. Slowly fading. Never again to fly down those streets. Never again to enjoy my dreams.
Finally I fade back to reality, lying on my bed, no longer on the road, tears on my cheeks.
I can’t bring myself to look. I have not forgotten. I can never forget. Even in my dreams.
Where for a moment, I feel alive. Happy. Free.
Illustration by Agnieszka Wielgorecka of Abnormal Newspaper