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London Underground - canon  550d London

I can’t remember anything before a party I think I was hosting, though I couldn’t have been hosting it because I’ve never hosted a party in my life, and after a while I think I realised I wasn’t, the host that is, I was just acting like I was, walking around directing the waiters with silver trays of hors d’oeuvres and champagne and chocolate here and there, though none of them seemed to being paying attention to my instructions, either because I wasn’t the host or was, but was a really horrible or incompetent one that none of them liked.

I think I was wearing a tux, and there was a huge staircase that curved around the ballroom we were in, if it was a ballroom, it could’ve been a church or a hall or one of those huge houses in some lavish soap opera, a place for rich people anyway, where glasses tinkle and people drift around like extras in a film with no instructions apart from walk.

The whole thing was kind of fluid and blurry anyway, until two people appeared who I think were my friends but might not have been. They were dressed like me, I think, and I remember one of them saying that we’d run out of something, beer or wine or snacks or something like that, and that we had to go get some to keep the party going, the party then turning into a party I’d actually been to in a tower block in Prague.

I agreed and the three of us left, me being me, I think, and them being one friend then another then no one at all then my wife then someone I hadn’t seen in years then me or someone resembling my Hollywood me or how I’d look if I were played by an actor.

Outside I found the hall wasn’t a hall or a church or a house, but some kind of vast warehouse or barn or aircraft hanger, with a roof that curved from the ground to a point fifty metres up in the sky then down again back to the ground. It was made of metal and glass and reminded me of a Bond movie, and all around was desert like Mars or the Atacama, and in the distance mountains and another arched warehouse/aircraft hanger that looked exactly the same as the one we’d just come out of.

One of the people I was with then said that that was where we had to go, though I could be making that up, and we could’ve just started walking across the desert, the sun high and glaring and reflecting off the glass in both warehouses. In any case, we walked and then we were there and inside and, I think, going down because suddenly we were in a place that felt like it was underground, though I don’t remember any stairs or escalators or lifts taking us there.

The walls around us were made of white tiles with mucky grouting , the floor too, and there wasn’t just three of us, there were hundreds, thousands, of people walking in a tunnel which reminded me of the London Underground but couldn’t have been, because there were digital TVs on the walls angled at forty-five degrees so we could see what was on the screens, which for some reason really mattered, because what was on them was more important than adverts or a newsflash or a sports broadcast.

I think, though I could be wrong, the TVs were showing CCTV footage of other people in other tunnels who were watching us watch them and we were all walking (there was no underground platform or destination), walking and that was all, because by now the snacks and wine and beer had been forgotten, not that we knew we’d forgotten them, and we were worried, maybe because we’d forgotten what we’d come here for, maybe because we began to feel, collectively I think, that someone or thing or presence was following us.

We began to walk quicker and quicker until we were running through the tunnels with what felt like cameras on our backs recording our movements for people to see on the digital TVs. We ran and ran feeling increasingly desperate, until I stopped by one of the TV screens and looked at what looked like a blurry grey image, though this image could’ve come later.

My two friends were still with me and we decided that one of them should keep going or that we should split up to get away from whatever was chasing us, though instead of splitting up, one of them who looked like Fraser, a friend of mine from when I was a kid, ran off on his own and me and the other friend, whoever he was, stayed looking at the screen, transfixed because now Fraser was on it, and we were watching him run through the winding tunnels, that thing chasing us, that presence or shadow or group now past us and following him alone.

He ran and ran until the TV screen went grey again or went grey for the first time and we saw it was some kind of yard or car park beside a canal or river, a dead end anyway which Fraser then ran into, though whether it was Fraser anymore I don’t know.

He was just a friend and I was terrified as I watched him stop and turn and recoil at a shadow that began to slowly darken the yard, like an unknown threat in a silent horror movie, inching towards him, until it turned into a pack of growling dogs, though I couldn’t hear them as the footage had no soundtrack.

They circled him, but he couldn’t leap into the river or canal, he couldn’t swim, or there was some invisible wall trapping him, or maybe he just gave up. In any case, the dogs attacked, tearing at his arms and legs and pulling him apart while he screamed silently, until suddenly it all stopped and two or three or four of the dogs went up to his head and bit into it around the edges and slowly peeled his face off like it was a sticker or a mask of rubber or something, with the eye sockets and mouth empty and gaping.

I didn’t move. My friend didn’t move. Then one of the dogs put the face on its own and flung its head back and roared or barked, made a dog like noise anyway, though still I couldn’t hear it.

It flung its head up and down and left and right. And then we began to run again.

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19 thoughts on “This Is Why I Don’t Tell Anyone My Dreams

  1. If this is to go on, we want to hear all of your dreams. Fantastic! Simply terrific! I laughed from top to bottom.

  2. Man, this is creepy and horrifying. But compelling — you grabbed me in, and I rushed forward in reading to find out what was going to happen next. I agree with Rene: Keep on writing.

  3. This is a phenomenally written piece. You create just a unique voice, I am honestly impressed. I love how you enter the dreamlike state even in the retelling of your story. The backtracking and “maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t” portions really add to your characterization and create this loopy three-dimensional world. Overall, awesome story.

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