THE NIGHTMARE EFFECT
Dreamed 2006/12/14 by Emily Joy
I'm running in an unfamiliar neighborhood, pursued by teenage boys with guns. I don't know why they're after me. My mind is a frenzy of fear and my bare feet hurt, as I run down one street, then another. I lose them briefly, see a narrow alley off to the side and cut down it. I come out at the foot of a steep driveway leading into woods. If I can get up there, I can hide among the trees. So I start up the driveway, and find...
I've slowed to a walk. I try to run, and I slow down more. It's like moving in water, but I feel heavy, too--no buoyancy. On the other side of the alley, I hear the boys call to each other--I think they've found my tracks. I try harder to run, but the feeling gets worse. Dropping to my hands and knees, I pull myself along with my arms. Even my breaths are coming slower now; I'm afraid I'll black out.
In a flash of lucidity, I realize what's happening: it's the Nightmare Effect. Soon I won't be able to move at all. I can't escape--have to fight somehow. I scoop up some big rocks and pieces of asphalt, stand slowly as the boys burst out of the alley below me. I hear shots, and freeze as something small and blurry ploughs into my arm. A bullet! But all it did is break the skin and give me a welt! It slowed down, like me. I look down at the boys, charging at me in normal speed. Every bullet they fire slows down before it gets to me.
I get an idea: if entering my nightmare field slows things down, maybe leaving it speeds things up. I draw back my arm and hurl a rock in slow motion, pressing with all of my willpower. I manage a weak throw--but not too bad, given the field's resistance. As it swims away from me, it speeds up. Suddenly it leaves the field of the Nightmare Effect and zings out as though released from a slingshot! CRACK! A boy falls. Knocked out cold.
I throw more rocks; they speed up too. CRACK! Broken leg. CRACK! Broken gun. CRACK! Oops, there go some teeth… My hunch was right! It's like throwing something off a moving train—the force is increased dramatically from what you can do on your own.
The boys scatter. The heavy feeling dissipates too. As the Nightmare Effect fades, so does the dream, and I wake.
It's not going to kill you—it'll make you stronger. Once you figure out how to use it.
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