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The Nightmare
This is not your typical short story. This is a crazy nightmare that I had four years ago that impressed me with its horror. I was so entertained that I posted it on one of my social media accounts, though it took a few sittings as I was in and out of the house that day. It popped up on my "Memories" today.

I am just going to copy and paste it here, typos and all. I did my best to describe it though no re-telling can match the actual dream. Get ready to enjoy some serious Stephen King/ Dean Koontz style horror!

Edit: Finally finished the whole thing before it's forgotten!

Strange dreams lately. A bit from last night:

There was far, far too much rain that year. The saturated ground slushed and mushed even when treading lightly through the pine needle covered forest floor, and the spiderweb of tree roots were beginning to push upwards through the forest floor. The emergency rooms and urgent care clinics were inundated with sprained ankles and wrists, along with bruised ribs and the like, from the many falls of children at play and hunters scouting game trails in the wet woods. And then the disappearances began.

Two young boys never returned from a day of adventure in the woods and a search party was formed to comb the nooks and crannies there. Police, fire and rescue, local hunters and regular town folk moved in a solid wall so as not to miss any clues. There were yells as a trail was found, the mushy ground easily giving up the tracks of the two boys. The tracks ended in what I can only describe as a large bog of mud, pine straw and tangled roots pushing up through the ground. The tracks just abruptly disappeared.

Dogs were let loose to follow their scent and they ran forward into the tangle of roots and mud, their barks heard after they were out of sight. The dogs began a slow, mournful howl as if in performance together, and then one by one the howls turned to whimpers and yelps, then silence. The whistle to recall the hounds was blown and yet none returned.  As darkness had almost completely overtaken the light the search was called of until morning, though two officers stayed at the edge of the bog in case the boys wandered up in the night.

The search party regathered at dawn and began the trek through the thick wood toward where they had left off the night before. The two officers were nowhere to be found. Only a handful of cigarette butts, a flashlight and spent shell casings were found. Whatever happened had left no other signs but it was obvious that both officers had unloaded on whatever they had encountered. Whispers traveled among the search party participants of possible bear attack, however there were no signs of bear in the vicinity.

Some sort of movement was seen toward the middle of the boggy area and a small party of rescuers gathered to move forward as the rest watched from the edge. It was difficult due to the muck and protruding root system and there were falls at nearly every step. Most of the party were hopelessly stuck before making it halfway to the movement but a few agile men pushed forward. What they found was disturbing. A large patch of the muck was rising and falling as if the ground were breathing, and intertwined with the pine straw and muddy roots were flashes of a pale greyish white- the color and consistency of flesh long dead.

The remainder of the search team watching from afar gasped helplessly as first the heard the gunshots which were quickly followed by yells and screams and ended with the men being dragged down into the root system by "something" they could not see. Those who were stuck in the mud and roots closer to the edge began to panic and scream for help as members of the party scrambled to try to get them out but were frozen in horror as they witnessed the spindly arms reach up from the earth and drag them down into the muck.

The remaining members of the search party stood as statues with wide open mouths as they witnessed the first of the creatures arise from the bog. Rising ever so slowly, almost gracefully it arose. Imagine if you will a long misshapen, twisted blob of a body with long, slender to the point of being spindly limbs shaped like ancient roots of trees, and a horrible and grotesque mutated head with eyeless sockets and a mouth formed in a permanent silent scream that rather than ending at the crest in hair instead had what appeared to be more spindley tree roots- if those roots were soft and moved like tentacles. It was fleshed with what appeared to be pale ashen skin taken from a rotting human corpse- and the smell that permeated the air was as such. Once it had completely emerged the size of it was huge. It started to move forward toward the shocked crowd in what can only be described as a slow, slithery crawl and made a horrible schlupping sound as it moved. The forest floor exploded with movement as more of the creatures began to push up from the muck.

Gunfire broke the shocked silence as members of the search team began to fire at the creatures but no effect was seen as the creatures just seemed to absorb the bullets into their already dead flesh, and the schlupping forward crawl continued to bring them closer and closer. Most of the party dispersed and ran screaming for their lives but a few remained, continuing to fire at the creatures up until they were dragged screaming down into the mud to become absorbed by the root system and flesh the hideous beasts...

There was much more to the dream (it was a long one) but you get the gist. Stuff to do today, maybe more later. Have a great day y'all! [Image: 1f642.png]

Okay, so back to the dream.

Cut away from where I have been a disembodied observer to actively participating in the dream. Kevin and I have taken a weekend vacation to a small tourist town. We have the grandgirl with us, and my sister has joined us as she has come to meet a friend. We are staying in adjacent rooms in a quaint but surprisingly modern hotel and she has joined us in our room for morning coffee and a light breakfast before doing a little shopping. Plans for later include Kev and the grandgirl and I taking in the local attractions while my sister goes to meet her friend after which we will all meet for a late lunch at a local diner.

As we sip coffee and finalize our plans for the day the morning news on the television is reporting something about some strange disappearances in a small local suburb and how the FBI is sending in agents along with the National Guard sending troops to search the woods for the missing people. We all make passing comments of how we hope the missing people are found but otherwise don't give it any thought as we are all excited about starting our day and the grandgirl is getting antsy to leave.

The town is beautiful and extremely pedestrian friendly with most streets blocked to automobile traffic. There are rows upon  rows of interesting shops along the cobblestone streets and there are old time awnings covering the sidewalks which prevent us from getting wet due to the fine misting rain. It is overcast and just a little chilly but the ambiance of the shopping district is so charming the weather doesn't phase us. Kevin and the grandgirl spot a hobby and toy shop and head off in one direction while my sister and I aim straight for a nearby designer boutique that boasts "clearance prices".

While we browse the racks of clothing we hear a rumble and look toward the front windows where we notice the sky becoming darker and the rain begin to fall in earnest. The nearby sales clerk gives a nervous smile before saying something about there being an unusual amount of rainfall this year before going about her business. As we continue browsing I look to the front windows and notice it is raining hard and fast enough that water is starting to stand in the grassy areas and I tell my sister that maybe we should go meet Kev and the grandgirl, so we head out the front door to the sidewalk.

As we pass the grassy areas scattered here and there between the boutique and the hobby shop we notice they are becoming muddy and that what looks like tree roots are beginning to push up from the ground. There is another rumble and this time we not only hear it but feel it. It is not the sky but the ground that rumbles. In the closest grassy area the protruding roots are now pushing further and further upward, and there is something pushing up from within the roots. Whatever it is it resembles the roots but just barely as it is an ashen pale color and seems fleshy. A horrible odor begins to permeate the air and we walk faster and faster. As we get closer to the hobby shop more and more patches of earth are erupting and then the cobblestones begin to move. We hurry past a couple who have stopped to watch what is occurring and run into the shop as fast as we can and start frantically searching for Kevin and Renee, yelling their names until we finally hear "We're back here."

More to come...

And I'm back!  

 Kev and Renee were near the back of the store admiring the model trains running through a miniature countryside and town. Kevin looks at me and my sister and asks what is wrong, and I reply that I don't know but we need to get the hell back to the hotel immediately. He swings Renee around and up onto his back and tells her to hang on for a piggy back ride and we all head for the front of the store. We can see through the large plate glass window that it has become dark and that the rain is now coming down hard and fast. Going first I open the front door and I pause in shock as I witness one of the couple we had rushed past being dragged down into the ground by one of the hideous ashen creatures. I turn to Kev and my sister and ask "Did you see that? What the fuck was that?" to which my sister replies "Whatever it is it is weird and pissed off!" I'd have laughed at the obvious reference to that movie "The Thing" if not for the sick fear creeping upward from the pit of my stomach. I tell everyone to stick together and move fast before bolting out of the door,
Kevin, Renee and Stephanie hot on my tail. The ground is shaking and it's slippery. Now the cobblestones are being pushed upward as tangles of intertwined roots and ghastly limbs emerge grabbing at our ankles. We are getting closer to our hotel when a huge eruption of the ground beneath us occurs, knocking us all off of our feet, my sister and I thrown off to one side, Kev and Renee off to the other. As the gruesome, putrid smelling beast rises from the ground I yell to Kevin to get Renee to the hotel and we will find them there. I grab my sister by the shirt and yank her to her feet and scream for her to run. We take off as the creature slowly follows grabbing at our legs until we are safely out of reach and we keep running, slipping in the rainwater but gradually increasing the distance between us and that thing.

Our sides burning from the run we turn down an alley between a shop and a bank and lean against the wall to catch our breath. Once I get my bearings I see a firebox on the wall further down the alleyway. In the box is a hose with a valve, a fire extinguisher and an ax. Steph grabs the extinguisher and I grab the ax. We look at each other and I tell her that we have to get to Kevin and Renee. She nods her head and says "Let's go!" Before we get to the end of the alley one of the creatures blocks our way, slithery crawling toward up, root tentacles reaching toward us and slapping the cobblestones with that awful schlupping sound. Without a word my sister sprays it with the fire extinguisher and as it pauses stunned I begin hacking first it's limbs, then body, then head with the ax. A putrid black ooze flows from the wounds and the hacked off limbs immediately start to shrivel even in the pouring rain. We watch in horror as the creature flops in its death throes, shriveling and shrinking until what was once flesh deteriorates into chopped up pieces of tree roots covered in clumps of pine straw and mud.

We make it to the end of the alley and peek around the corner of the building. There are more of these creatures dragging people down into the ground all over the place. There have also appeared what seems to be an entire herd of extremely mutated small animals which are biting and attacking people, distracting them until the creatures from beneath the earth grab them and drag them under. As we watch in horror we see a single elderly man through the rain, swinging a large flathead shovel like a Samurai warrior killing the creatures left and right. My sister whispers into my ear "It's Rambo time." We make a beeline for the area where the old man is leading the battle and commence fighting. By now I am hacking anything that moves with the ax, my sister sprays them with the extinguisher until it's empty and then reverts to using it as a club to beat them and the old man hasn't missed a lick swinging his shovel like a sword. Apparently others were watching and started grabbing anything that they could use as a weapon and joining the fray: a young man chopping with a machete, a middle aged woman swinging and stabbing at them with a piece of galvanized fence rail, an old homeless woman running over their limbs with her shopping cart. Slowly but surely we were taking them down, and fortunately a pack of stray dogs were making quick work of the smaller mutated animals.

As the rains began to abate and the sun started peeking through the clouds the creatures started to retreat, and by the time the rain had slowed to a drip one by one the remaining creatures slithered back down into the mud and earth they had come from. When they were all gone we all breathed sighs of relief and fell to the ground exhausted. One of the stray dogs came up to me wagging his tail carrying the carcass of a mutated beaver in his mouth. When we rose up to walk the final distance to the hotel to make sure Kev and the grandgirl were okay the dog followed along. Nobody at the hotel desk said a word as he trailed behind us up the stairs to my room.

When I opened the hotel room door there was Kev to throw his arms around me, he even hugged my sister he was so relieved .Renee was asleep on the bed, muddy clothes and shoes disregarded. The dog jumped up on the bed and curled up beside her and went to sleep. Kevin made a pot of coffee and we all sat at the table in the room as the sunlight began to shine brightly through the window as we listened to the last drip, drip, drips of the rain...

And then I woke up to the drip, drip, drips of the rain that had been falling as I lay dreaming came slowly to an end. I don't know what happened after that as the dream was over and the real world beckoned, but I would like to think that we brought the stray dog home with us and gave him a happy life!

Hope you enjoyed! 
"As an American it's your responsibility to have your own strategic duck stockpile. You can't expect the government to do it for you." - the dork I call one of my mom's other kids
[Image: Tiny-Ducks.jpg]
Weird...! In the nicest possible way of saying it!

Great story, whatever you're eating before sleep, keep doing it, it brings out the best of yarns!
minusculethumbsup minusculethumbsup
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"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"
Whoa! What a dream!   tinywhat

Can't say I remember ever dreaming a dream like a full movie; that was wild! 
Thanks for sharing with us.
I think I've been to that town...

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...

I have unusually vivid dreams about once per month, the rest of the time just fragmented stuff. I've had some really cool "End of Days" sorts of dreams complete with earthquakes and tsunamis as well as crazy dreams of animals going berserk and attacking cities, etc.   I simply adore nightmares of all sorts as they are the most memorable and entertaining! 
"As an American it's your responsibility to have your own strategic duck stockpile. You can't expect the government to do it for you." - the dork I call one of my mom's other kids
[Image: Tiny-Ducks.jpg]
I loved this story!!

I always wished my dreams were this vivid. I was once prescribed medication that had a side effect of vivid dreams. I was so excited but it never caused them for me.

I hope you share more in the future.
(04-28-2021, 12:25 AM)VioletDove Wrote: I loved this story!!

I always wished my dreams were this vivid. I was once prescribed medication that had a side effect of vivid dreams. I was so excited but it never caused them for me.

I hope you share more in the future.

Once my best friend was prescribed Trazadone and it gave her really vivid dreams. In one of them she dreamt we were cartoon characters- Wilma and Betty from The Flintstones! I thought that was awesome! 

Only when I have these really vivid dreams do I experience them in an almost movie-like way. Sometimes I am just an observer but at other times I am in the middle of the action. They started when I was a child but when I got pregnant with my oldest daughter is when they started becoming really, really cool.

If I could record my nightmares on video somehow I would be an extremely rich woman, but the very best of them are too difficult to even put into words
"As an American it's your responsibility to have your own strategic duck stockpile. You can't expect the government to do it for you." - the dork I call one of my mom's other kids
[Image: Tiny-Ducks.jpg]
Holy smokes!

Probably all my dreams added up together do not have that much content.

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