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Nightmare Diaries: Oubliette

I wake up fighting. My body is completely still, but I fight with consciousness the same way I do every night and every morning. I want to stay immersed in oblivion, but the gremlins in my head won’t allow that. They love running the dark mazes in my mind, and they can’t do that as effectively while I sleep.

Finally I give up and admit that, yet again, consciousness has won. Suddenly I’m aware of cold and pain – a thousand little stings, burns, aches, and cuts that alone would be small things, but together form a web of pain that covers me. I open my eyes and think maybe I really am dreaming. It’s dark around me, but there is light filtering over me from above. Faint light, but enough for me to see.

I look down at my arms, and the skin is perfect: pale, smooth, and unblemished. But as I continue to stare, I can see a network of cuts, scars, and bruises just under the skin – invisible except under this strange filtered light. Then I become more aware of my surroundings: the smooth stones underneath my naked body stealing all my warmth, the chilled air, the walls close around me, the soft indirect light coming from above, the only sound is that of my breath. It seems I’ve found myself in an oubliette, but the question is – am I here to forget or to be forgotten? And does it really matter one way or the other?

I close my eyes, trying to will myself back into sleep. I don’t want to be left alone here with nothing but the cold, the pain, and worst of all, my own thoughts. Then I hear footsteps and a voice coming from above. I could cry out for help; it would be the smart thing to do, but instead I lie very still and listen, afraid. I recognize the voice, someone I was once foolish enough to love. A shadow moves over me, and I curl up in a tight ball, hoping that there isn’t enough light for him to see me, or at least not recognize me if he can see. Finally the shadow moves away.

Then I hear more hushed, murmured voices, all those that I recognize. All people I once cared for, some that I still do love, all oblivious to me lying there listening. Shadows move over me now and then, and I keep my eyes closed. I don’t want to be able to see them looking down at me. I sing loudly in my head, trying to drown out their soft voices. I don’t want to hear the morbid curiosity of conversations overheard at funerals, and I certainly don’t want to hear the one or two voices that hold what sounds like real affection or love.

One by one, the voices fade away…they’re leaving. I can still feel one or two presences above me, lingering for whatever reason, but it’s quiet again. Is this what it’s like to be an observer at your own funeral?

I could always speak to whomever is left…I know my voice is still there. But maybe it is just better to let them consider me dead than to know that I’m here – alive, awake, and aware but trapped in the black.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2020 tooshy678. Use of this material or any portion thereof without the express written consent of the author is strictly prohibited.

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