I had a dream yesterday morning that woke me up in fear of my life and unable to open my eyes.

It was 3:30 in the morning when the phone rang. I immediately woke up and answered it. The voice on the other end was my old boss. I said: “John, 1) why the hell are you calling me? and 2) why the hell are you calling me at 3:30 in the morning?”

He was speaking incoherently. I never made out a single word that he spoke. That was the end of the conversation. I don’t remember if the conversation just ended or if one of us hung up on the other.

The next thing I remember, I was driving to work.

I get to work and there are tons of people about – some walking around the warehouse, others were standing in a long line waiting to consult with my boss, the pharmacist. It was a very stressful, hectic and what seemed as if a time-sensitive scenario.

After putting my things away, I attempted to assess what was going on. I walked alongside the long line that lead to my boss. He was wearing his white lab coat, sitting in a small chair and consulting ‘patients’ on an individual basis. I walked up to him and said “Kevin, what do you need for me to do?” Without looking up or diverting his attention from the current ‘patient’, he stressfully responded: “Do something… do anything!”

I walked back up the line to find someone that I might possibly help. Almost all of the ‘patients’ were staring blankly ahead with no expressions on their faces. I walked to what seemed close to the middle of the long line where I found a young woman who was intently reading a piece of paper.

“Excuse me. My name is Josh. I am Kevin’s assistant. Is there something that I can help you with?”

She looked up at me like I had been sent to save her life. Her name was Maria. She pointed to a line on her piece of paper. She said: “My doctor gave this to me but I don’t understand. I don’t understand what ‘dithering’ is and I need to find out before I go any further.”

“Come with me – maybe I can help you with this.”

We walked over to a small desk near the bay door of the warehouse. Maria took a seat. Before I sat down I told her: “Maria, I’m not well versed in these clinical trials. I know what dithering is as far as graphic design and photo manipulation…”

My first inclination was to use the computer at my desk to query ‘dithering’. Before that thought process was complete, there was a loud crash.

The lights went out.

There was a brief moment of silence.

Before I could make sense of what had just happened, someone screamed: “It’s happening!”

I heard a few people scream: “Oh my God, please, someone help her!”

I heard another voice yell: “She’s coding!”

“Help!” – “This can’t be happening!” – “Someone help her!” – “Do something!” – “Make it stop!” – “Help her!”

‘Her’ wasn’t Maria as I could tell she was still sitting at my desk.

I assertively yelled: “Jerry, get me a crash cart.” (yes, Jerry from ER – I don’t know why I pulled him into my dream)

Jerry didn’t move.

The warehouse was still pitch black. All anyone could use was the sense of sound. Nobody was moving except for the commotion that was coming from off to the side where the screams had come from earlier.

“Jerry, get me a crash cart!!”

Still no movement exept for the screams and the unnatural sounds of motion coming from directly across the warehouse floor.

I stood up and hastily began flanking my way toward where the sound was coming from.

I had no idea why all of these ‘patients’ had been in the office today. I wasn’t aware of any sort of epidemic. Something in the world had obviously changed and I was about to find out what it was.

Before I could make it toward where the screams and shrieks were coming from, I heard a very unnatural sound. Something had seen me and had made its way to its feet. It sounded like bones clanking on the cement floor.

It was still dark but I could see something in my mind’s eye. I could make out what was about to come after me. It was, in fact, a woman, but she was grossly disfigured. This epidemic had completely deteriorated her body to the point where she was a nightmarish inhuman skeleton. She was more ghastly disfigured than Stephen King’s Zelda from Pet Sematary.

She made it to her feet and quickly wobbled her way toward me. Clank. Clank. Clank. All of this happened in a split second. I had no time to react.

Before I knew it, she was on top of me. The screaming stopped. My eyes clenched shut. All I could hear where bones, loosely covered with decaying flesh clanging against one another as this figure enveloped me.

I woke myself up but couldn’t open my eyes. I could feel the cadence in the mattress all the way down to my feet as my heart pounded.

My mouth was frozen open because it was so dry. Who knows how long I could have been uncomfortably asleep with my mouth wide open. I couldn’t breathe. I was afraid to open my eyes because I didn’t know if the nightmare was over. Without motion I laid there for five minutes. I finally pried my eyes open. My heart started to slow down.

I saw frost on the window. With my eyes still open, I didn’t move for half an hour or so. I opened and closed my mouth to sum up enough saliva so I could comfortably breathe again.

Cautiously I got out of bed and went to the bathroom for a drink of water. I went back to bed. Elise stirred and asked if I was alright. I told her I had just had the worst nightmare. She fell back to sleep before I finished my sentence. I stared at the ceiling for what seemed like forever before I fell back to sleep.


n. A state of indecisive agitation.

intr.v. dith·ered, dith·er·ing, dith·ers

To be nervously irresolute in acting or doing.

[Alteration of didder, from Middle English didderen, to tremble.]

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