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03 June 2013 @ 06:51 pm
therealljidol week 3, topic: "I wake up strange."  
This is an intersection with ellakite.

"Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?" - Morpheus. (The Matrix)

Gasping for air, I open my eyes to find myself in my bedroom. I push the comforter off of me impatiently. I am drenched in sweat and my body temperature is so warm my skin feels like it is burned to the touch. Taking slow deep breaths, I collect myself and try to make some sense out of what has happened. It takes me less than a minute to figure it out - after all, this has happened before.

Some people have said that they find that place between being asleep and awake; between a dream and reality as a wonderful place. Those first few seconds of each day when you are blissfully unaware of any of your problems as your mind shifts into focus and then it all comes rushing back. I remember the days where I enjoyed waking up too. As a child, I even loved waking up in the middle of the night, so comfortable in my bed, and glancing at my clock to realize that I still had hours until I had to wake up - few moments felt as good as that. But, I no longer feel that way about the place in between being asleep and awake.

I sigh as I reach down to the carpet next to my bed and grab my laptop that I'd left there the day before. My stomach has that queasy feeling that I always get when I haven't had enough sleep... but it also has that newer feeling of anxiety that I now get... well... it feels like every morning. I haven't experienced immediate panic like that since I was 16 years old and having separation anxiety at summer camp. I would wake up in my cabin to feelings of panic before I even remembered that I was at camp. My body, for whatever reason, registered what was going on before my mind did. It's like that now too.

I pull up Google on my laptop and stare at the blinking screen. It is waiting for me to type in what I want to search for...what I need more information on. I'm not sure how to phrase it. I'm not sure Google can even help me.

After a few moments of staring, I finally type "extremely vivid dreams" into the search bar.

Suddenly, there's a knock at my door. "Hmm?" I say. My door is pushed open and my sister walks into the room.

Without warning, my stomach clenches in reaction to seeing her. I hate it, but this is how I react every time I see her lately. It is unfortunate, because we used to be so close. We still are, I suppose... but it is not the same anymore. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get my body or my mind to react to her the same way anymore. It is that and that alone that I find so disturbing.

I am a rational person. I live in the real world, not in a fantasy movie. I know that nobody actually has 'magic powers'.

And yet, every night, for months now, it is the same. My little sister, my best friend in the world, having these strange abilities to manipulate reality - to get away with creating or destroying anything she wants without fear - to do anything she wants. It's like my normal rational self transforms into some kind of horror movie every night. Ridiculous...

Nightmares, I can handle. But, this is something new.

She leaves after a minute or two of smalltalk and a lot of acting on my part and I turn back to the screen. I scroll down through the millions of results that have come up. Wikipedia, random blog entries...nothing that's going to help. I sigh with frustration and am about to close the laptop when I see something that looks interesting.

"Old Legends - dreams versus reality."

I am actually not entirely certain what inspires me to click on that but I am now used to my body and my mind doing things that I don't understand, so I go with it.

Settling back more comfortably, I begin to read...

There is a legend, it says of a Zen master who would experience extremely vivid dreams where he was a butterfly. The dreams were so frequent and so vivid that he would actually ask himself - "am I a man who dreamed he was a butterfly and then awoke...or am I a butterfly that fell asleep and now dreams it is a man?

I get a new feeling in my stomach - I am not sure how to place it. In the three months since the recurring dreams began, this is the closest I have come to finding anything that resonates with what I've been experiencing.

You see.... it is easy to write off dreams as being weird or silly when they occur once... or even twice. But, what does it mean when your subconscious stubbornly makes you dream vivid variations on the same theme? Something so disturbing and frightening that you would try anything to make it stop. Sleeping pills, sleeping with the TV on, setting my alarm to wake me up in the middle of the night... I've tried everything. But, the dreams continue on an almost nightly basis.

And I find myself, the rational person I am, truly wondering which of my two "realities" is actually... reality. I haven't admitted it until now that I have actually allowed myself to wonder...

I read a little bit more about this man who truly is not completely certain that he is a man and not a butterfly and I begin to understand why, even in the bright light of day, I cannot be around my sister without my stomach tensing up...

I make it through the day. At midnight, I find myself in bed desperately praying to not fall asleep again. I need a break. It is too much. I will stay awake tonight, I decide.

I grab the nearest novel and begin reading...

Suddenly, there is another knock at my door. I glance curiously at the clock - 2 am - and wonder why my sister or our cousin who also lives with us would even be awake at this time. "Um. Come in." I say nervously, placing the novel next to me. My sister pushes open the door and smiles. "Hey." she said. "I couldn't sleep."

"Oh.." I reply. "But, why did you knock on my door? I mean... how'd you know I was awake?"

My sister smiles at me, a frightening look in her eyes. "Frankly," she says quietly, "it didn't matter too much to me. This has been going on long enough, hasn't it? I can sense your anxiety when you're around me. I feel your uncertainty as you struggle to differentiate between fantasy and reality. I figured it was time to put you out of your misery."

I say nothing, my eyes wide. I had no idea that she knew. How did she know? I never told a soul what I'd been experiencing.

"I don't know how you knew," she whispers. "I didn't want to do anything to hurt you, but there is nothing I can do anymore. Do you have any idea how rare this gift is? Think about it... the ability to transform yourself into another human being - one with magic powers and the ability to do anything without fear of being caught or harmed by anyone else? This is no Harry Potter novel. This is reality. This IS reality. I cannot snap my fingers and zap things and make them happen... what I can do is manipulate what is already here. I am only sorry that you have to get caught up in it... Things are going to have to change now."

She raises her hands to her temples and immediately, the room gets hot and pitch black. I am now in an utterly unbelievable situation - something that no rational person would ever even allow themselves to think about.

And then..

Gasping for air, I open my eyes to find myself in my bedroom.
Desireex_disturbed_x on June 4th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I really hope it was all just a dream. Her sister sounds terrifying.
Myrnamyrna_bird on June 4th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
Wow! I just don't know what to think. This was fascinating, yet scary. Good work!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 4th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I hope this was a dream too, because I'd hate to be in that reality!

But I do love that question of which is the true reality. How would you know?
MamaCheshirecheshire23 on June 5th, 2013 04:02 am (UTC)
Brrrrr. Scary. I want to know what happens after she wakes up, though.
Ellakiteellakite on June 5th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
Nicely done!
An unnerving tale that perfectly fits the prompt. A very entertaining read.

If I may say, however, I'm sorry you agreed to team up with such a substandard partner for this Intersection. The quality of that bozo's work is always mediocre at best, and he put in a particularly poor performance this round. The only good thing I can say about the low quality of his writing this week is that it makes your tale stand out even more in comparison!
Jemima Paulerjem0000000 on June 5th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: Writingjoyfulfeather on June 6th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Oh, that's chilling! Really well done.
Laura, aka "Ro Arwen": Mostly Harmlessroina_arwen on June 6th, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
Very intriguing premise!
tatdatcmtatdatcm on June 6th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
Eerie and chilling. Takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level.
Your Facekandigurl on June 6th, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
This was very spooky, I enjoyed it a lot!
whipchickwhipchick on June 6th, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
Wow - the looping around on the plot here was really chilling!