Read Part 1 here.
At some, point everybody falls asleep. And when that happens, I am right there. Most days feel too long for me. People are awake, less likely to get some dreams. Some hosts stay awake very long and wake up in the early morning. That is no easy life for me. Sometimes I starve; I try everything to make them fall asleep. Nothing helps. Some hosts sleep for ages, and then I have a buffet full of the most adventurous stories. Once I have been in the mind of a coma patient…that was the best time of my life, I was never hungry. It was sad when he finally died, and I had to jump into the head of the doctor. He was working the whole time, and even after work he was not falling asleep for long… Horrible! I will not even think about it anymore…I was so happy when I changed the host again.
After the doctor, I was in a good one. I found him at university, I jumped from a man who was staying awake all night long on a random guy. I just wanted to get rid of these unfulfilling dreams. At first, I thought it was getting bored again, but then I found out how much of a good catch he was. It was so much fun. My host was continuously fighting sleep. He tried to stay awake as long as he could, but sleep overcame him. And once he fell asleep, I was right there to haunt him in his dreams. I fed myself with his sweet dreams and brought him nightmares. In the morning he would wake up sweating like a pig and I was full! Did I mention that he was also a daydreamer? The best thing about daydreaming is that it brings fruit from both the waking world and mine, the world of dreams.
Because of the nightmares he was fully exhausted the whole day and could not concentrate. Heh. Some hosts stay awake the whole day and I get so bored living in their heads. They stay concentrated and do not care that they are tired. Some hosts do not even care about having nightmares. But this one was great! He was dreaming – or daydreaming for all I care – a lot during the day. During the lectures, he was just sitting there, not really listening to the professors. He was in his own thoughts. It was a snack for me. I could not haunt him too obviously at this point, because he would find the way out of the dream too easily. He was not sleeping deep enough, just distracted. But it was fun anyway. I brought him thoughts about the upcoming exams that he was failing, worse yet, embarrassing moments that made him look like a fool at university.
In the evening, he tried everything to stay awake. Listening to music, sports, studying, painting, calling friends, watching TV…everything. When he got too tired, I screamed in his head or told him sweet little words. He should turn the lights off or should relax for a moment on the couch… It drove him crazy. He knew he couldn’t sleep; he knew I would haunt him in his dreams, but he needed to sleep. I could have lived in his head forever.
Once he closed his eyes it was too late. I held him in his horrible nightmares. I was chasing him, jumping around him, and yelling at him. I let him fall down cliffs endlessly or sink down breathlessly underwater. Just as long as he stayed asleep. I was always catching him at the last moment. And when he felt safe again, I started anew. One day, I made him feel like a hero first. He was a detective, solving a case, but then I was shooting him. Not in his heart or head, but in his legs and arms. Oh, how joyful were his cries and moans, and how jolly was his desperation. His eyes were moving like a bouncy ball in a cube, he was soaked in sweat. My best night since long – his worst.
I would stay there awhile. To see how long it would take him to break. I wouldn’t let him off the hook just then, I needed some more fun. I think he still needed some time to get used to the nightmares…or he needed some professional help. Until then I would just enjoy haunting him. And when the time came…I would find a new victim! Maybe an overtired mother and her baby. I could switch heads easily whenever I got bored in one or the other. Making the mother think she was failing in raising her child. And scare the baby with some evil thoughts.
That would be exciting!
Read Part 3 Act I here.
Part 2 of Awake/Asleep was written by Nora Naeve.
Cover picture by Amr Abbas.