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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Microstory 853: Sleeping Gods Lie

I am a dreamwalker, which not only means that I can enter other people’s dreams, but also exercise full control of my faculties while I’m traveling. Most people believe that dreams are just the mind’s way of understanding their past experiences, and consolidating new information. Though this is indeed true of sleep’s biological necessity, it is not the full story. The unconscious mind is capable of entering independent parallel universes, called branes. These worlds are inhabited by free-thinking individuals who generally aren’t aware that you don’t really belong. They also don’t last very long after you wake up, because you were the only thing keeping their world alive. There are some worlds, however, that are created by someone else, but which you can enter while asleep. Dreamers can’t usually tell the difference, but since I have such acute control over where my mind goes, I can actually do this on purpose. I don’t do it for fun, though. Many years ago, I started noticing some odd behavior from the “locals”. They expressed an awareness that they lived in a simulated reality, even though that description does not really do them justice. They are real, just short-lived, except these people weren’t even that, because they lived in dreamworlds that should have long ago collapsed. I started tracking these strange occurrences, hoping it would lead me to the source of the problems. It took me weeks of real time, but I finally figured out where the culprit lived. At first, I thought I had just met another dreamwalker; one using his power to harm others. I even entertained the possibility that he had learned how to deliberately stabilize dreamworlds, and perhaps didn’t realize that he was harming them. But the truth was far more sinister than I could have imagined...and I have a pretty good imagination. I found myself face to face with a god-monster that had started out merely as a non-playable character in someone’s dream, but had spontaneously become self-aware, and was now spreading his evil influence to others.

Despite his hideous appearance, and clear disdain for me, I attempted to reason with the monster, hoping to show him that he didn’t have to be like this. “The point of becoming self-aware is that you now get to choose how you live your life,” I tried to tell him, but he refused to listen. I was forced to fight him, but he was much more powerful than he seemed. He was able to wake my mind up in my own world, but keep my body from knowing it. People experience sleep paralysis all the time, and as an expert, I know how to free myself, but this time was different. I was stuck there for an entire day, missing out on work, but unable to notify my boss. To this day, I’m not sure if I got myself out of it, or if the monster eventually just let me go. The next day, I confronted him again, armed with more determination, and a few dream weapons I didn’t think to bring last time. In the end, I was forced to kill him, which I didn’t want to do, since he was technically a new lifeform, but he did not give me a choice. I stopped walking through dreams for years as a result of what I had to do. As soon as I felt safe and comfortable enough, though, I went back out there, and learned that I had been terribly wrong. The god-monster was not dead, but instead had continued his wicked ways starting about a year ago. I sought him out once more, which was considerably more difficult than last time, because now he knew someone like me might come after him. It was worse than before, with entire worlds being turned apocalyptic. I had to stop him, even though I was afraid, so I figured my best bet would be to contact what few other dreamwalkers I knew. We pooled our resources, and shared information. A week later, they called me to a meeting in a neutral location, claiming to have found the monster. When I arrived, they tied me down with ropes, and started interrogating me. I had no idea what they wanted from me, or what they thought I knew, but after hours of torture, he showed up; the god-monster. In the mirror. I had not killed him at all, but had somehow absorbed him into my own mind. He cackled and freed us from the ropes, then he killed every single one of my friends. I tried to tear him out of my mind, but I was powerless against him. He forced me out instead, but now I wish he had killed me. I’ve broken the record for the longest time in sleep paralysis, by about five years.

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