Beyond the Western
Oswald Cleaver woke up in a cold sweat. He was dripping wet, breathing heavy and shaking with fear.
He did his best not to move a muscle. As he caught his breath, he scanned the dark room as best he could. Nothing moved. Listening intently, he heard no sound above his own breathing.
It must have been a dream, he thought. It seemed so lucid.
Oswald continued to be on high alert as he pulled back the covers and crawled out of bed. The sheets were soaking wet. He stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the light, looked in the mirror and screamed.
He was covered in blood.
He immediately started to wash himself off looking for the source of the bleeding. He couldn’t find it.
Feeling sick to his stomach, he sat on the toilet and relieved himself, then threw up in the sink.
He turned on the shower and stepped in, letting the tepid water beat down on him as he sat on the floor trying to recall the nightmare.
Was it a dream or was it real? Oswald was confused. He wanted to believe it was a dream, but where did all the blood come from?
The shower stall seemed smaller than he remembered, and the design on the colored tile didn’t seem quite right. He dismissed it figuring he wasn’t quite awake and continued trying to recall the dream.
He remembered walking alone down a dark street in an unfamiliar town. He was lost and needed some direction. Whenever he tried to speak, nothing coherent would come out of his mouth. Just a bunch of garbled nonsense, like he had a mouth full of marbles.
Typical dream stuff. He thought. It helped to reinforce his belief that he had been dreaming.
He recalled having his cell phone on him but he couldn’t make it work. Every time he tried to punch in a number he would hit the wrong one. Then the thing just went dead altogether.
He kept walking and soon found himself in a bad part of town. No matter which way he went, it only got worse. Soon people were giving him dirty looks and yelling at him, demanding to know what he was doing in their part of town.
He was beginning to get nervous.
As he began to recall the nightmare in more detail he began to realize it was indeed a dream.
He further recalled the people were beginning to look rather pale and moving slow and zombie-like, as if they were the living dead.
Soon they started to crowd in on him. Pushing, reaching out. He tried to run but couldn’t get his feet to move fast. They began to tear at his clothes.
He tried to call out for help, but still no sound would come out of his mouth. He was mute.
Fighting back seemed to be his best option, but his punches were like slow motion and had little affect. For some reason he found he suddenly had a knife in his hand. He didn’t know how that happened. At this point he didn’t care. He lashed out with it as he tried to defend himself.
Several people were bleeding but it didn’t stop them. They kept coming.
He kept thrashing and slashing and soon found an opening where he managed to somehow crawl through the crowd.
He moved as fast as he could. They were behind him now but not far enough. He was still moving too slow. They were catching up to him.
Suddenly he was in front of his house. He ran inside and locked the door.
Then he woke up.
Oswald, still sitting on the shower floor, decided once and for all it was a dream. It had to be. The running too slow. Not being able to call out. The cell phone not working. That’s not real life. It was all those things that happen to people in their dreams.
But what about the blood. There was still no explanation for it.
Suddenly he heard loud banging at the front door. It was more than a knock. It was a definite banging sound. He jumped up from the shower floor and ran to the window. He was shocked at what he saw. They had found him and they wanted in.
Seems Oswald was still dreaming after all.
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.