Stranger than Fiction

I had a scary dream. It was extremely vivid & intense. I felt as though I were fighting for my very survival! I awoke in a drenched t-shirt & bed sheets, gasping for air. And once I regained my composure, something became unquestionably clear to me.

The dream occurred in a high-rise building that felt like St. Mary’s hospital (the biggest hospital in my small hometown) & the elementary school lobby area that often appears in my dreams combined into a single structure. In practice, the hospital was a lot larger than either & resembled the size & layout of Meadowview in TN (the hospital that my small town would send you to for serious emergencies). You could easily get lost inside.

There was some crisis. Me and a companion were hurriedly making our way down the hallway. There was a stir of anxious activity everywhere as everyone was making an attempt to respond to the crisis, which at first was not paranormal in nature. My companion in tow was a female romantic interest of mine. Of course, she was similar in height & build to the (censored for privacy) girls, perhaps just a tad shorter & less athletic though. She was concerned & obviously deferent to my ability to handle the current danger. Like a scene out of the first Resident Evil movie (2002), an agitated patient accosted us. Unable to talk him down, we engaged in a brief struggle. I rather easily gained control & shoved the patient to the ground. But triumph quickly evaporated into shock as the patient instantly got back up to pursue further aggression. This time, I struggled to keep the patient’s face, which now featured a fierce scowl & sharp teeth, inches from my own with the palm of my right hand while my left arm fought to push his torso backwards . Instead of just trying to wrestle me, as he had done before, this idiot was trying to bite a big chunk out of my neck! A shoved the fiend down again & took a couple of steps backwards, pulling out my pepper spray canister. I fired a few bursts into the creature’s face. It paused & then laughed as it realized the liquid had little effect. Recognizing the creature to be diabolic in nature, the tenor of the dream shifted into a scene straight out of Constantine. Instinctively, I pulled out a flask of holy water & splashed it onto the creature’s face. Steam rose from the fiend’s burning flesh as it shrieked under the pain from the divine power. I splashed more holy water onto the creature, including it’s torso this time. Simultaneously, I forced it to the ground with my own muscular physique. While I stood over the creature writhing around in a puddle of melting acid with various undissolved limbs still moving around in the cesspool, I stomped onto its limbs to guarantee its total demise. The creature’s jaws were still a threat, even as its body had devolved into an immobile steaming puddle. I remembered a scene I saw from another movie starring Matthew McConaughey. A young woman working as a live-in nanny in a haunted mansion used salt at the threshold of her bedroom door to prevent an evil spirit from entering. Suddenly armed with two full sized canisters for Morton salt–the kind in the blue package with the sketch of the woman holding an umbrella–I showered what was left of the enemy in two waterfalls of salt until there was nothing left but a puddle of dark liquid. My love interest screamed as several other patients in a similar frenzied state now began surrounding us. Having been so absorbed in my solo combat, I had failed to notice the gathering of similar zombie-like creatures. I knew that just up the hallway I could take a quick right down another hallway. About three doors down on the right there would a chapel, a la that chapel in the lobby of St. Mary’s hospital. I belted out my plan to my beautiful female companion in a single word: “Chapel!” Then, “Follow me!”

I grabbed her hand after shoving one zombie down & grabbing another by the neck & then thrashing it into the wall. Taking her hand in mine, we ran, dodging zombies as though I were a kick returner in football breaking loose for a big return. We navigated the maze of antagonists until we crossed the threshold of the small chapel. There were a few other survivors huddled inside. The creatures seemed to linger in the hallway, hesitant to enter the sanctuary even when the door was opened. Still, I wanted to fortify this stronghold as a last stand if need be. I didn’t think there was another way out, which meant that I could have just backed myself & girlfriend into a corner! I sprinkled the threshold with salt & the nearest beast shrieked with fear, taking two steps backwards. “Now I’ve got you,” I thought as I took a handful of salt & slung it into the creature’s face. It cried out & pain, its head thrashing skyward as it fell to its knees. Then, just like a scene from a movie, I suddenly saw myself lining the entire rectangular perimeter of our sanctuary with salt. As it I did this, the chapel became my parent’s three story great house in the valley. My vision panned back as though I were watching the whole scene unfold for afar, revealing my parents house on the hill protected by an outline of salt while surrounded my swarms of zombies. It was a scene reminiscent of the last scene of Season 2: “Walking Dead” after Rick gave his “Ricktatorship” speech. Cue the theme music.

When I awoke, a clear message had sunk in.

I watch waaaaaaay too many scary movies & TV shows!

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