Edgar Allan Poe

Today, 208 years ago, Edgar Allan Poe was born. In his honor, I want to post one of his poems that I recently used part of in my own story.

Dream-Land
by Edgar Allan Poe
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule—
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
       Out of SPACE—Out of TIME.
Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters—lone and dead,—
Their still waters—still and chilly

With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,—
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,—
By the mountains—near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,—
By the grey woods,—by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp,—
By the dismal tarns and pools
   Where dwell the Ghouls,—
By each spot the most unholy—
In each nook most melancholy,—
There the traveler meets, aghast,
Sheeted Memories of the Past—
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by—
White-robed forms of friends long given,

In agony, to the Earth—and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
’T is a peaceful, soothing region—
For the spirit that walks in shadow
’T is—oh, ’t is an Eldorado!
But the traveler, traveling through it,
May not—dare not openly view it;
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fring’d lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

Survival of the Coyote

Writing has always been a way for me to organize my thoughts. However, for the past couple years it has been a luxury I simply couldn’t afford. Yet here I sit, alone, far from home and all I want to do is write about what has happened to my life because I fear this may be the very last chance I will ever get to tell my story. My name is John Lawrence. As of writing this I just recently turned twenty years old. I have been homeless now for four years now.

When I was seventeen my parents kicked me out of my home and onto the streets. They could not understand me, they called me “sinful” and disowned me. I would later learn that they told others I ran away from home so they could avoid any consequences of their abandonment. In a way I did, I left town on a bus with what little money I had on me. That first night I slept at a bus station for what could only be a few hours. My mind and body racing from the confrontation.

My life slowly became one of survival. I used to think about the future, but now it is only a matter of making it one day at a time. I had no phone, no contacts. I was on my own. Shelters helped at first. I met people there, people who showed me how to survive. Where to find food and when, where to find shelter, how to beg. There was no longer any room for pride. I saw the best and worst of people. I met men that would give all they have, or give away as much food as they could spare. I’ve seen people who would attack other homeless while filming it on a phone, laughing. I saw a man give up and take his own life. I do not have enough paper to write everything I saw from the outside of humanity’s society. To many, I became invisible.

After I turned eighteen things only became harder for me. I was no longer a priority for shelters and I slept on the streets more than ever before. Begging became harder as well. The more I withered and became dirty the less people would spare anything to me, despite the even greater need. That is when I met Frank. Frank was “Frank,” no last name, claiming he had no family that would share one with him. He taught me the art of train hopping. The east was too cold, but he claimed the west was more welcoming, warmer, and easier to survive all around. While he was certainly exaggerating I agreed to travel with him.

Frank was an interesting man. He spoke of the great American tradition of train hopping like a Knight speaking of his family’s deeds. He taught “Never say you don’t want to die, but rather say you want to live.” However he never lived the words himself. He had done things to survive that he was not proud of and you could see the toll that it had taken on the man. He drank himself stupid when he could find alcohol. As such, we were not always together, but we always agreed to meet up before hopping a train to the next town.

Life seemed to move on the same way for some time. We would hop on a train and split up at the next town. We looked for food, shelter, money and Frank looked for his “medication.” Frank was not entirely wrong, things were a little more easy going out west. We never stayed in one place for too long, a week or so at most. We arranged places and times to meet ahead of time in case we were chased off or ran into trouble. I felt like I was some sort of secret agent. Infiltrating each town undercover. It was exciting in a way, it at least kept my mind off other troubles.

In small towns and good weather it was safer to sleep in wooded areas away from people. We were in a small wooded area just outside town that night. Frank had already set up a makeshift campsite by the time I arrived. The sun was already down and I was afraid I would have to find a place to sleep without him until I nearly tripped over his camp. The camp was nothing but a small clearing on flat ground. A fire was a bad idea but a couple of old worn sleeping bags on top of some cardboard felt like heaven. Frank used an old metal flashlight when needed. I set down my worn old backpack and we talked for a while and shared a bit of food, until a stray dog startled us. A mutt with a bit of pit bull in him. Begging for food, I threw a bit of old jerky his way and he just grabbed it and ran off. Frank shook his head but did not say anything.

When I awoke in the middle of the night my entire world changed. A large black coyote had wandered into camp. I tried to jump out of my sleeping bag to scare it off but the moment I started to move it locked eyes with me. I was paralyzed. No noise would escape my mouth while Frank slept on the ground unaware of the danger. Then the animal started to change right before me. It began to walk on two legs as it took the shape of a man. He/it wore a mask made out of the tanned face of a coyote, not unlike the coyote he just changed shape from. The mask was missing the coyote’s lower jaw and exposed his emotionless mouth. He looked out the eyes of the coyote skin scanning the surroundings.

It stalked closer to Frank, slowly, like an animal closing in for the kill. I tried to jump to my feet but the moment I started to move it locked eyes with me again. All strength suddenly left me and I was paralyzed. Helpless only to watch what came next. With one swift motion he put his hand over Frank’s eyes. I watched in morbid anticipation for what would happen. After long seconds of nothing Frank started to convulse in pain. Blood dripped out of his nose before all movement stopped. The Coyote man then removed his hand to reveal Frank’s lifeless eyes. His body laid still on the ground.

I was his next target. My heart raced, my face turned white in terror. He stalked towards me with a grin. His eyes seemed to glow inside the mask. I struggled in vain as he put a hand over my eyes like he did with Frank. My world turned black. I could feel my mind, my consciousness being pulled away. It felt as if I was falling into a void of blackness. Then I saw something, a face in the darkness. A mass of blackness that I struggle to describe. It seemed to grin as I was pulled towards in.

Suddenly I was snapped back to reality with the sounds of barking. The dog from before. It came back and was barking and growling fiercely, surprising both me and my attacker. With the sudden realization I could move, I slapped my attacker’s hand away and threw my weight on him as I got to my feet. As he fell backwards I ran. I turned my mind off and let instinct take over running faster than I ever had before. I collapsed under a bridge some distance away, completely exhausted.

I dreamed of dark things that night. Looking out the eyes of a wolf mask I saw human bones harvested out of red flesh. Then I saw a scene that seemed ages ago of a native American dancing and singing to something in a fire. The scene transformed into another setting of an old stone room filled with markings made with blood as a European man spoke Latin. Again I saw the same blackness as before. I saw the face again, made of black smoke and clearly grinning. The scene changed once again. This time I was standing in front of a fireplace in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. Across from the fire sat the man with a coyote face. However this time it was no mask, but a part of his body. He spoke to me in a deep voice, his words echoing as he did. “You have been traveling a place you have not been meant to visit,” he said as he motioned for me to take a seat. I stood and asked back “What are you?” He smiled, “I am many things: Mage, Warlock, Alchemist, Witch, Skinwalker. I appropriate spells of power from many cultures as it matters not the origin of the spell but rather if my master will empower it. Many such cultures have reached him before, intentional or not.”

I was a bit shocked at his honesty before he told me, “A better question is who are you?” Before I could reply he answered his own question. “A blundered sacrifice, whose soul has been stretched between another world and the world you consider your own. Your soul will rip if such a situation remains.” With a grand wave of his hand I was flung backwards, falling until I awoke in a shock under the bridge I spent the night.

I was cold, wet, and dirty. Everything I owned was back where it all happened. I decided to go back, not just for the supplies but also for my own sanity. What I found shocked me. The dog, the one that saved my own life, was chewing on the corpse of my old friend. He growled at me as I approached, but after a loud scream from me he relented his meal. Only a bloody mess lay where my friend once did. I grabbed my belongings and Frank’s flashlight. I wanted to call the police or anyone and tell them what happened and where the Frank’s remains were. I searched for a payphone before I had to give up. I threw up in an alleyway. I felt weak and tired. The world was spinning.

I dreamed again of the man in the coyote face. He sat again at a campfire, chewing on raw meat. He looked at me, the meat vanishing. “The laws of this world are different from the one you’re used too. You have two fates ahead of you boy. You do nothing and let your soul be ripped apart, you will find your body will quickly follow; or you let me complete my spell and give your soul to my master. I assure you this fate will be less painful. If you wish to give yourself up, or perhaps simply seek revenge before you die, find me in the center of the fire break in the very woods we first met at the witching hour.”

I awoke weak and groggy. I could feel something was wrong with me. My instincts told me that the Coyote Man was telling me the truth. I would die soon if nothing was changed. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a wad of dollar bills and some change. All the money I had, gained from begging. I found a pharmacy/convenience type store. I bought a handful of candy, a pen and a notepad. While sucking on sugary sweets I started to write this journal. Like a warrior of old meditating before battle, this was my way to mentally prepare. I had to face him again.

I made my way to the firebreak early, while the sun was still up. I did not know what to expect, would he kill me without saying a word? Or would he sit and talk to me like in my dreams? I felt a strong pull on my mind and my eyes began to haze before I was forced to take a seat on the ground. Once again I saw old worshipers of the face in the dark. A man in primitive clothing yelled at the darkness before being swallowed by it. Then I saw another world, a world full of sand and a dark blue sky that kept the land in an eternal twilight. It felt alien and cold. Was this where the face lives? Where my soul is being forced?

I awoke to see the tanned coyote mask staring down on me. He was already over top of me bending down to meet my face near his, stars rested in the sky. I was out for some time. I could not move, all I could do was look into the eyes of my foe standing over me. His brown eyes looking out of the mask reminded me that he was human. In my dreams he seemed more than a man, but in reality he was just that, powerful but human. I summoned all my will to move, I tried to will every cell in my body to fight and win. I did not want to die, I wanted to live. As if to answer my will to fight I saw in my mind the dark figure grinning at me. With that I was free. What I could see of the face under the coyote skin changed to shock. Before he could understand why I could move I felt around the ground for a weapon finding the heavy metal flashlight I swung it like a club at my would be hunter. With a thud I hit him aside the head and he fell sideways. My hands stung with the impact and my blood rushed with adrenaline. I did not hesitate and found my way to my feet and hit him again. This time, knocking off his mask, I could see the face of a man. He screamed at me angrily as he tried to attack back. One last time, I hit him in the head with the flashlight. This time he went limp.

He lay dead on the ground, blood pooling under his head. I had won, but not wholly by my own power. That thing he called master let me win. I watched as the puddle of blood grew. I could feel myself getting weaker once again. At first I felt content to die having defeated the one that started all this. However my mind turned to panic. I did not want to die. Once again I started to lose consciousness. I was afraid I would not wake back up this time. Before my eyes closed I frantically looked around for something, anything to aid me but it was pointless.

For a moment everything was black but then knowledge filled my head. I saw visions of a spell. A magic to reunite my body and soul. My eyes opened with a jolt of new energy and I started working. Taking the blood of the man who tried to destroy my soul I created symbols in the dirt. Old symbols, of which I did not know the true meaning of. I only needed to add my own blood and the spell was complete. As soon as I finished my vision faded once more but only for a moment. In that moment the world around me had changed. I was in the land of sand and a dark blue sky just like my visions. However this was far more real. There was a lack of wind that gave the world an odd sensation. In my immediate position I saw my belongings, this journal, and the corpse of the man I killed. My spell had worked, my soul and body were reunited, however it seems my body traveled to where my soul was being pulled and not the other way around.

I sat for a long time in this world. There are no stars or sun to mark the time. Soon I will travel on and look for a way to survive. This may be the world where the master whose magic allowed all of this lives, but I’ve run out of fear and am still pushed to live. I still remember the words of my friend. “Never say you don’t want to die, but rather say you want to live.” Am leaving these last few pages of the journal here. Perhaps as a message for any who enters this world in the same place I did, or perhaps I just feel the need to move on. They may even find a way back before I do.

-John Lawrence

///Check out this story and others at http://more-creepypastas.wikia.com/wiki/Not_Your_Average_Creepypastas_Wikia

Sloth

black-mold4

Gregg lived the life of a shut in. A recent college dropout something inside his mind had cracked from the social pressure. He convinced himself he only needed some time, time enough to sort out his life and get back on track. However as he waited his little apartment filled with trash, and the stink of unfinished delivery food. His savings dwindled by the day. The longer he stayed in the hole he dug, the harder it would be to climb out.

As he lay in his bed he stared at the ceiling. Contemplating his life and fate. A small black mark had caught his attention, a bit of dark mold in the shape of a circle. Gregg watched it, just one more problem in his life that needed to be fixed. Soon the young man dozed to sleep. A monotonous dripping sound becoming white noise. Drip, drip, drip…

That night dreams haunted the young man. Gregg found himself walking up an endless set of stairs. He did not know why he was climbing, but felt he needed to reach the top, such vagueness often being the nature of dreams. However no matter long it seemed he climbed he could never make any progress. Stopping or resting seemed to only cause him the sensation of falling further down the endless staircase.

Gregg awoke to a mild burning sensation on his leg. It was still night, darkness filled the room. Silence was only broken by the occasional passing car. Attempting to reach down and rub the area of discomfort he found that he could not move, his body was paralyzed. This realization fully awoke him. He felt groggy and sick. Fear growing in his mind as he tried but his efforts proved futile. The burning grow on his leg as a black ooze dripped one droplet at a time onto his bed.

The black mass grow on his lower body. Slowly seeping through bed sheets and onto flesh its acidic nature burning. Sheets, bed, and flesh all burned together sealing Gregg in. he could not scream nor move. He fell in and out of consciousness unsure of how much time had passed between each moment. His agony was slow and painful, made worse by the knowledge that there was no one who stop by any time soon enough to save him.
His landlord was the first to find the organic black mass on top of the bed. Worried parents had contacted him when they could not reach their son for days. He did not suspect it was once human at first, just a mass of black mold. The smell was rancid and the man felt the urge to vomit an urge he succumbed to when he saw what remained of a skull with bits of flesh still hanging to it. It seemed to stare at him, pleading for help.

Dreams

mirror

I dreamed that I was in a room. I saw myself standing next to me over and over. They were all me, and I was them. All parts of a greater whole. I could feel what each of them felt, and think what each thought. Then suddenly one such copy of me was stabbed repeatedly with a long needle the size of a javelin. I could feel each blow as I watched myself die. Something I could not describe took his corpse and stood it back in place with a grin. I awoke feeling as if a part of me had died. That a parasite had latched itself to part of my soul, hiding within disguised as just another part of me.

–Inspired by a real dream.

Dead and Buried

I buried my grandfather last week. A deplorable man who made the lives of everyone around him miserable. He left me with nothing but bad memories and debt. I wished him dead every day till he passed away at the overdue age of ninety one. I was the one that cared for him, and I was the one that found him in his bed. He was sitting up, back against the headboard. His heart had given out on the spot, killing him before he even went to sleep. His eyes just seemed to stare at me, an angry stare he often gave in life. I was left with his estate, and I made sure that his funeral be as cheap and short as possible so that it cause little intrusion to the lives that were obliged to  attend.

In ages past my name meant something. That name died with time, however nothing damaged the family name more than my grandfather. Spending the dwindling family coffers on occult artifacts and our reputation on the eccentric. With my parents untimely death when I was young, I am the last of my line. Yet because of my grandfather, all am left with is a decaying estate and  near empty coffers. Yet even after I left him rotting in the ground of a cheap grave I could not get him out of my mind. My dreams kept bringing his memory back. I dreamed of darkness, I was laying down on my back my arms folded on my chest. I tried to move but found walls on either side of me, and another not six inches from my face. I still remember the smell of fresh earth and rot. I could feel my arms as they rubbed together, dry sagging and wrinkled. I tried to scream but my mouth was dry and my lungs refused to take in air. I tried to strike out with all my limbs but I found hard wood encompass me.

When I awoke from my nightmare I found myself on the floor of my bedroom. I felt my night terrors must of moved me out of my bed, but I could not get the dream out of my mind. I was resolved to rid myself of my grandfather once and for all. I sold every last item the man had owned. All the artifacts, all the books, and every bit of occult nonsense that he wasted his time and money on. I took any price I was given for I did not wish to spare another thought for him. The dreams did not stop, but grow worse. I was visiting an old school friend when another dream, or vision happened. Again I was in the darkness, the smell and feel of the cage I found myself in felt more real than ever. I could feel myself, every inch felt different. I could feel the age on me, and know this was the body of my Grandfather. In desperation I clawed at the wood in front of me, I could feel shocks of pain as my fingernails tore off my hands. When I awoke from this dream I saw the concern on my old friends face. He told me that in the middle of our conversation my personality changed. That I grow agitated and tried to leave in a hurry.  He said it was like I forgotten where I was. It was only with his skill in diplomacy that he managed to get me to sit back down for a few moments more till I came out of whatever possessed me. I bid my friend an apology and left his company not a few moments after I assured him am myself again.

By the time I made it home I felt a weight on my mind. I felt I understood what was befalling me. Even after death my grandfather seeks to take what is mine. The horrors of my fate were not lost on me. His grave will be my grave, his rotting corpse will be the new home of my soul. Again that night I experienced the vision, I refused to sleep till it came. I could feel it coming, as if something was pulling my head, and my sight away. The Silence I felt that night drove me to madness, kicking and hitting as if having a tantrum.Yet it was all for naught as I could not escape.  When I awoke after, I know my time was growing shorter. It was coming soon, the final switch. I refused to let that be the end, my Grandfather will not have his victory.

The Switch would be soon, I have little time to prepare. This letter will be my final testimony. By the time I finish writing I will have taken a number of medications that will put me in a deep sleep. I arranged with the last of the money in my name to be buried in the woods. I will not give the names of who I conspire with for such a task, but I know them to be trusted as long as the money is correct. When I awake, or when Grandfather awakes he will find that his cage is complete. I won’t let him win, he will share my fate and be trapped under the earth till our corpses rot!

 

Charon

Alexander dreamed. The 22 year old stood in front of a bus that has pulled up next to him. The doors opened towards him and he stepped into the steel opening. A handful of tokens drop from his hand into a cone shaped hole designed to take change. The driver turns in his seat and stares at Alex. The driver had no eyes, instead were hollow black holes. Alex stood in the bus staring deeply into the dark holes as the bus doors closed behind him.

He awoke startled by the dream. It was rare for the young man to have nightmares. Before falling back asleep Alex caught a glimpse of his clock, only fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off. With a groan he closed his eyes and waited for the annoying sound to wake him for work. Alex followed his normal ritual then made his way to work. He only needed to walk a few blocks to get to his retail job that gave him just enough money not to starve while in college. Everyday he took the same route, walking a few blocks to his job. As he walked over the bridge on the way their he watched the busy street below, as cars passed with a roar under him, he thought again of the dream. Unsure of its meaning, he had only taken the bus a couple of times, and the driver’s eyes still chilled him.

It was not long before Alexander dreamed again. This time he sat at the back of the bus, only the blue suit of the drivers back was seen. Looking around he noticed the windows that only showed the blackness, no outside world in sight. The scrolling lights that showed a destination where only a random assortment of corrupted characters that did not seem to say anything. The vibrations from the engine felt all too real but overall it was the silence that bothered Alex the most. He could feel the vehicle moving forward but could not hear the engine. It was only when a pair of hands came out of the darkness to slam on the windows did Alex wake from his dream.

Alex’s life had become a pattern of this. Work, school, and dream’s. The more he dreamed, the more he felt trapped in both sleep and waking. He wondered if he was the hollowed eyed drivers prisoner and if the bus had a destination at all. His rest suffered greatly, growing too tired to focus on work and school, his grades were suffering. It was on one such night that he was walking home. His body slumped and felt like it weighed far more than it should yet he walked forward weakly. As he was crossing the bridge home he felt his head go dizzy, he reached for the waist high rail for balance before he realized he was falling. Things seemed to move slowly as the railing and the bridge moved away from him, his feet were the last things over the railing. His eyes looked to the sky below him when he heard a sickening slump sound like a heavy wet bag hitting the floor and a crunching noise like twigs cracking.

Alexander didn’t feel pain as he laid in the street below the bridge. He couldn’t feel much of anything, his eyes and ears still worked but he could not move his body. His head sat at an awkward angle from his body staring down the road. He watched as two bright lights seemed to slowly move towards him. Soon he saw the lights attached to a large object, moving at great haste towards him. He tried to move off the road, but his body would not respond. Alex tried to scream for help, he wanted to yell “Am down here, please see me!” but his mouth would not respond. He saw a large bus moving towards him, alex could do nothing to get the drivers attention as it moved closer to him. The last thing he heard was the screeching of brakes but it was far too late as the world went black.  Alex opened his eyes to find he was on the bus once again. He could feel the bus slowing as the driver turned around, alex saw his eyes once more. They seemed to stare deeply into him as the driver spoke for the first time. “Your toll has been paid, your stop is ahead.”

Ink filled Dream

“Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.” -Edgar Allan Poe

In a dream Joseph saw himself sleeping. His twelve-year-old body tucked in a thick comforter, on top of his old hand me down mattress. Even as he stood by his bedside, looking at himself, he could feel the warmth of the comforter. “Curious” he thought to himself, he decided to explore this dream. He looked out his window, the moon still bright, and with a bit of concentration he passed through the window, like a ghost in a movie. Gently floating to the ground from his second floor room, in the way gravity’s laws hold no sway over a dreamer. He explored the empty streets as snow started to fall. With great leaps he could almost fly, floating as he ignored gravity and the rules of the wakening world.

The streets were dark and only the sound of an occasional car could be heard in the distance, Joseph did not feel the night chill he should have. After a little time of playing and exploring he saw something. Down the darkly lit street was a figure, a silhouette of a child no older than him; the figure had no facial features and appeared to be a black mass only in the shape of a boy. It turned; even without eyes Joseph could tell it was staring at him. Unnerved by the figure Joseph ran home. Moving faster than his wakening legs would manage. He never looked back to see if he was followed.

Stopping when he reached the front of his house, standing on the front steps was his mother. The tall, blue-eyedwoman was smoking a cigarette in her pajamas, breaking another promise to quit. As she dropped the ashes into the flower-pot next to her Joseph wanted to yell at her. However he quickly found he had no voice, as he tried to gain his mother’s attention he found she did not notice him at all. She tossed the last of her cigarette into the flower-pot before going back inside, Joseph followed inside as well, and walking back to his room was the last thing he remembered before being awakened by the sun in his eyes.

As he walked out the door the next morning, he nearly forgot his dream. In the flower-pot by the door there as a cigarette bud. “She really is smoking again” he thought to himself with a sigh as he made his way to the bus stop. It wasn’t till lunch that he noticed how tired he was, unable to keep his eyes open any longer he fell asleep right in the cafeteria, once again he dreamed. He saw himself face down in his chair, and the spit balls on his back from the kids at the table behind him. He watched the room at bit before moving out of the cafeteria. Unsure where to go, he moved to his next class. There he saw Miss Frances, teaching the class on the schedule ahead of him. They looked to be taking a pop quiz, Joseph felt dread at the thought.

Once again none of the kids or the teacher noticed him as he moved between desks, looking over each of his peers shoulders. Bored of school, he decided to move outside. He put his hands to the window ready to float out them like he had done before, however he noticed a dark figure just below. It was the faceless child again, crawling up the wall as it were the floor. It was on all fours now, looking even less human with extended arms and fingers that ended in points like one large claw.

Joseph almost fell out of his chair as the loud ringing noise of the bell went off. Once he stood up, he noticed the spit balls falling off his back, with a quick rub he wiped the rest off angrily and moved to the next period. There Miss Frances announced a pop quiz. The Quiz read the same as it did before. Suddenly remembering the window he ran over and looked down…yet there was nothing there. The rest of the class stared at him. Mumbling “Thought I saw something” he sat back down and took the quiz. Joseph however could barely write, he was starting to understand his dreams were more tied to reality then he thought.

Over the next few days Joseph went to bed earlier and earlier, looking forward to his dream like playground. It was clear now that no one could see him in this state. He started with spying on his older sister as she spent time in her room, wakening and sneaking in the room later to confirm what he saw in his sleep. He did not see the dark figure for a few nights, and slowly stopped thinking about it, enjoying his new found powers too much. However each time he waked the less sleep he felt like he had gotten. His mother noticed her sleepy child and decided to keep him home from school in fear of illness.

Before today most of his trips into the dream world had been at night. So Joseph did not put up a fuss when his mother put him back to bed, his body quickly dazed to sleep while his mind his spirit like form awoke. He only took one glance at his sleeping body before running off to the school. This time he was free with no time limit to spy on his peers. He moved faster than he even realized, surprised when he was already looking at the front gates of the school. Looking up at his classroom on the second floor his smile quickly turned to a frown as the creature was standing on the other side. Joseph turned around to run away but stopped when he heard a loud “Smash!” as the sound of glass landed on the ground. He turned around and saw his peers looking out of a broken window confused, an angry teacher beyond them. Joseph was shocked  at the realization this creature could affect the real world.

As the weekend started Joseph had doubts if he should still be exploring this dream world. Despite his fears however he was enthralled. At this point he slept more than he was awake. He saw his monsters more than once, but managed to avoid it each time. This thing scared him, but it too was part of this dream world that fascinated him. He found it could change its shape, sometimes looking more human, more like a child. Other times it looked completely inhuman, like a dark beast. He always watched from a distance, and ran away when it noticed him. If he was cornered Joseph found he could force himself awake. He was addicted to the dream world. His overworked mother failed to notice, and his teenage sister was too wrapped up in her own life to notice her over sleeping little brother.

It was a cold night; Joseph was busy playing in the snowy streets when he noticed the creature once again. This time it was looking right at him, standing in front of his house. It turned and walked through his front door. Panicked, Joseph thought it was going after his mother or sister and ran after it. He quickly checked his mother’s room, but no sign of it. Then he looked in on his sister, but still not there. Joseph felt relived for a moment before remembering that he still had his own body, sleeping soundly in his bed. Rushing into his own room he saw the creature  sitting on the floor, looking like a human child without a face. A soft glow was next to him on the corner of Joseph’s bed. A smile formed on the creature were there was no mouth before, on the floor next to his hand was Joseph’s mother’s lighter. Joseph could feel warmth in his feet, and saw the glow for what it was, fire. He immediately tried to wake up, but he couldn’t. The oil like child got up off the floor, and walking right though the wall. Joseph could not see it, but the newly formed mouth never left the shape of a smile. In a matter of moments the fire spread over the old mattress. Joseph could feel the flames. He felt the burns and he screams in agony, but makes no sound. He ran to his mother’s side trying desperately to wake her. All of his words were without sound, and she slept soundly as her son burned to death.

The neighborhood was awake that night, watching firemen come into and out of there neighbor’s house. A teenager and middle-aged woman were saved thanks to smoke detectors, but the firefighters could do little for the boy whose room the fire started in. The firefighters had seen this sort of thing before, an unwatched child playing with fire and an old mattress. Yes, this was likely another case of the same. Unknown to everyone else however, there was someone else watching. Joseph watched as he saw his mother and sister crying, begging for them to notice him.