At the start of my nightmare, I'm asleep in my room back in my house in Ireland. I'm not in my bed, but on the spare mattress on the floor where my cousin Derek usually sleeps when he's staying, for some reason. All of a sudden, I hear him whispering in my ear and it's right in my ear, not in my head like it normally is. When I heard him, I jumped as fast as I can off the mattress and ran out to the landing and started trying to get downstairs but for some reason, my eyes weren't seeing properly, they were seeing as if I was running out of my parents' room into the hall. So, panicked and functionally blind, I tried to flee from Slender Man and ended up falling down the stairs.
Downstairs, I kept trying to flee as my vision worsened; now I was seeing multiple rooms blending together, creating impossible shapes and angles. Eventually, I fell just outside what I was somehow aware was the door to my kitchen and got wrapped/trapped in what felt like a blanket but, rather than being comforting, it felt really constricting. Then I heard the sound of chainsaws and started screaming "Help! I can't see! I can't see anything!"
After a few seconds, the chainsaws stopped and I heard my mother's voice asking me what was wrong but I just kept screaming that I couldn't see. I vaguely remember her telling me that the chainsaw noise was actually the shower not working and then her grabbing me by the hand.
When her hand closed around mine, I could see again, but I couldn't see her anywhere. The whole expanse around me was scorched red earth; nothing but wasteland for miles and miles. No life. No civilisation.
Until I turned around.
Like a scab on the red flesh of the wasteland, the burnt husk of my house stood, rotting in place. The pebbledash facade was crumbling to nothing and the roof had come away completely. I just stared at it for a few minutes, when suddenly a movement in the shell of the first floor caught my eye.
She turned and waved, "Ray, I found you! Oh Ray, I finally found you!", she called out to me. She stepped forward as if she thought she could just walk off the roof and down through the air to me, but a plank snapped and she barely caught herself before she plummeted to the ground. When she had regained her balance, she looked up at me and smiled. "It's okay, Ray, I know how to escape. Watch!" She snapped her fingers. There was a spark.
Fire consumed the house again and it didn't take long for the flames to lick their way up through the building and wrap my mother in their blistering embrace. Even as she melted and burned before my eyes, she reached out to me, calling my name, telling me to escape with her, to be free. I watched in paralysed horror as the fire consumed my home and my mother, until only ash was left. The wind picked it up unceremoniously and wove it into a thick carbon cloud. The paralysis didn't end, even as the remains of the ruins began to coat my lips. It didn't end until I saw a figure approaching in the distance.
At first, I thought it was Slender Man, but as the figure got closer, I could see the approacher was too short and too wide to be any sort of slender man. As he got closer and the dust obscured him less, I began to make out some small details but only when he had pierced the ash cloud, did I behold the figure of the Hanging Man.
He was about, I would guess, 30 and dressed in a trenchcoat and jeans. But the odd dress wasn't what caught my eye. No, that would have to be one of the following;
- His head, which had been scalped and was still bleeding.
- His neck, which bore a hangman's noose, taut around his neck and sticking up vertically, as if he was still hanging.
- His bleeding wrists, which had clearly been slashed with a knife.
- His completely black eyes, which were oozing thick, red blood.
- His chest, which had what appeared to be a bullet wound and was bleeding quite profusely.
- The empty, rotting space where his nose should have been.
The Hanging Man held out a dirty, blood-caked hand for me to shake. I didn't take it. After a few seconds, he let it drop and just stared at me. Then he opened his mouth, which was pitch-black due to all the coagulated blood inside, and spoke.
"Disce aut discede."
I just stared back. I had no idea what he was saying.
"Disce aut discede."
I was starting to get nervous. He didn't look like someone you ever wanted to get on the wrong side of.
"Disce aut discede."
Finally, some neurons managed to get a spark and vague recollections of some Latin came rushing back.
"Nunc discere volo."
He seemed happy with my answer but did not smile.
I don't know how I understood him or how I knew what to say in response but...well, I did.
The Hanging Man looked at me grimly, then raised a bleeding arm and pointed over my shoulder.
Of course, I turned to see what all the fuss was about. Slender Man was walking towards me from beyond the horizon. I turned to ask the Hanging Man more questions but he had disappeared in the few brief seconds had turned to see Slender Man. Slender Man. I looked over my shoulder and saw how much closer he had gotten. Out of instinct, I started running. It was just like what happened at the racing track; I was pushing myself so hard to run that the whole world was blurring around me and I was digging so deep for energy that I was pulling up every bit of life that was left in me, and yet, no matter how many times I looked over my shoulder after running what felt like a mile, he was only getting closer and closer. But I kept running. I was never going to stop running in that dream. Running forever was better than sitting around doing sweet fuck all.
Finally, one time, I turned around to see where he was and his face was pressed right against mine.
That's when I was awoken by the sound of my phone ringing. I think it was Zero but I didn't have my iPod to record the conversation with. I remember something to do with faith and purity, but that's about it.
The dream worries me. Allow me a moment to go ask Thage if she has a book on dream interpretation...
...okay. I went to Thage's room and found her jumping up and down on her bed, playing air guitar to an Iron Maiden song using a competition foil. Suffice to say, I backed out of the room slowly. I'll ask her at a more convenient time for her.