This is an actual sleep paralysis episode I had one night a few years ago, sleep hallucinations (hypnopompic) and all. I wrote it down upon waking up and have remembered it ever since, as I do many of my experiences.
I blinked hard and tried to shake my body, but nothing changed. Somehow my mom had entered my apartment without my knowledge, and grandma was there too. They eyed me curiously as if I had something on my face, and neither seemed to be concerned about the muddy sky outside. It was a dark brown and the setting sun’s rays were masked behind the smog, and nothing out there looked as it should have. My home had also grown in size — the floor had more than doubled what it was.
My breath hitched. “I’m dreaming.” I stared up at my grandma from where I knelt on the floor, whose expression had turned to one of sympathy. “I’m — I’m sleeping. I know I’m sleeping.” My body refused to move. I was a statue.
“Then you need to wake yourself up, angel,” my grandma said with a gentle warning.
I managed to sit back on my legs. I rolled my neck and flexed my fingers. “Wake up.” My tone held a firmness I hadn’t anticipated, and it was clear a subconscious part of my mind knew the dangers. Breath shuddered from my lungs as I tensed and jerked my body to the side. “Wake up! You know what will happen if you don’t!”
Each blink brought with it one of two realities, the one with my grandma and mom staring in dead silence at me, and the one where I was frozen in a dark room on my back. My eyes were forced shut as I fought between the two worlds, and that subconscious voice became angry — self-preservation kicking into gear to gain momentum over the anxiety that surfaced.
A sleep coma. I’d feared them before. My pulse raced. This would be the time. This exact moment was my last chance to wake up!
The dark room flashed before I found myself lying on a red carpet. My body was weak as it ached, and I lifted myself into a sitting position. The red room stretched as far as my eyes could make out, and my grandma and mom were still present. I couldn’t bear to look at them. I had no idea why they were there staring at me as if they felt sorry for me. They were powerless and could do nothing but haunt me between worlds.
The dull sound of heavy heels on carpet met my ears and I looked to my right. The ethereal weight pressing down on my head allowed me just enough perception to see a long set of legs clad in thigh high leather stilettos. I traced them to the hem and watched as they sauntered by, but no body came with them. I fought with gravity and lifted my head to see another set of leather-clad legs, buckles adorning the black wrapped around them. They were bodiless as well, and they passed on by as if strolling through a piece of time that had become dislodged.
I was alone before a rattling metal cart met my ears. That same set of legs was strapped down on its flat surface, a large handle jutting up where it had been pushed by an unseen force. The thighs quivered and writhed as if tossing and turning — or in great pleasure.
Words spilled from my mouth like a warped record as I tried to yell out again. Wake up. Wake up!
My hand squeezed into a fist as another cart rolled out before me. Several kittens were secured to it, and they danced and wiggled beneath the black tape holding them down. Their expressions were peaceful and happy, and a few rested without worry as the others rocked their heads. I wanted to save them — to remove them from this purgatory that refused to let me go.
Something lurked the perimeter and I couldn’t see or hear it, but I knew it was there and I fought harder to be free of it. I knew it wanted me. It wanted to keep me there so badly it would fight me until I was a dead weight on the floor.
The dark room where I lied frozen flashed once more, and with my last ounce of strength, I threw my arm out and punched my jaw as hard as I was able, and my fist dropped like lead across my body. Something held my eyes shut until I lurched to the side, and with a racing pulse and burning lungs, I opened my eyes fully to stare into the darkness. The wall beside me held claw marks as if a wild animal had been trapped against it.
No! You’re not awake! A distressed moan left my lips and I lurched to the side once more. My body grew numb with a powerful tingling, and I remained still in a heap of tangled blankets between my twisted limbs. My eyes had finally opened wide.
The tingling faded as I stared out into the expanse of darkness. An aching in my chest and sweat on my back coaxed me into a supine position, and I waited. Nothing changed. With each blink, the moonlight remained slitted against the wall through my blinds, and all was silent and still. I slowed my breathing.
I’d escaped. I hadn’t fallen into the sleep coma.
I rolled my stiff body to the side to reach for my medication, but I paused as I felt a presence. Goosebumps crawled up and down my flesh as I scoped the room. I heard nothing and saw nothing, but it was at the perimeter again. It had come back with me. I continued deep breathing cycles to assure myself it was just an illusion. I’d escaped and it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Glancing at the wall again, I saw the scratches were gone.
One last deep breath was enough to relax me, and I curled into a comforting position beneath the blanket. Morning would come soon and I would be safe. Nothing was there, anyway.
“Hello,” it whispered.
©2020 Shane Blackheart