Red Rum

Last night, I had a nightmare. I was on a steel platform moving quickly along a rail through darkness towards some distant red light. In front of me was a large bucket of coal and there was just enough light for me to see other platforms on other rails moving in both the same and opposite direction as mine but always at different speeds. As the platform moved closer and closer to the light, I developed a growing sense of dread about whatever lay at the end, whatever was producing the light. I started trying to get the platform to stop by shaking it and otherwise attempting to disturb its movement along the rail. I got no results until one particularly violent shake cause the platform to lurch forward and race even faster to the light, sending me tumbling until I ended up in a mostly upright position, facing backwards into the darkness. As the platform hurtled along, I sensed a vast and terrible presence in the darkness coming towards me. I didn’t then and still don’t know what it was. All I know is that the thought of seeing it filled me with a deep and primal fear.

Then I woke up to screaming. It was coming from somewhere upstairs and at first, for some reason, I assumed it was Hannah, but then I woke up a bit more and got up to check. After following the sounds, I arrived at Elaine’s room. I unlocked it with my skeleton key and ran inside, expecting either the Tree Walker himself or some minion of his brandishing a knife. Instead, I found Elaine, kicking and trashing in her bed. I ran over to her and shook her awake. For a moment, I swear there was wounds all over her skin but I blinked and they were gone, so it must have been a trick of the light. She kept trashing until she fell out of the bed and hit her head off the ground, at which point I decided to tastefully avert my eyes. As it turns out, Elaine does not wear pyjamas.

She leapt to her feet and went to grab something hidden under her pillow (presumably a weapon of some sort) before realiising it was me. She asked if she’d been screaming again, then seemed to realise she was unclothed and covered herself up with a blanket. After I made sure she was okay, she asked why I was up and I explained that she was not the only one having nightmares. She sympathetically offered some rum and I obliged, though not too much, since alcohol and brain disease rarely mesh well together. After some light conversation, we just drank in silence for a while, then I returned to my room to try and sleep again. Sleep managed to come undisturbed this time, thankfully. I can’t say how long that’s going to be a possibility though. Huntington’s is an unpredictable beast at times.


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