Thank you, Trazodone, for these surprisingly vivid dreams!
A few months ago, before I was on my new sleeping medication, I had a dream that I had been sent to an alternate universe where I had never grown up in a broken home. I started writing a story based on it, but I haven’t been working on it. It actually kind of saddened me…
But this one was a whole different story. I had gone to sleep, and then woke up in a different place. It was still an apartment, but it wasn’t my apartment. A man was sitting next to me, and I freaked out because I didn’t recognize him. I don’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Miguel (because he looked Latino). I demanded where I was, and he looked very shocked, saying I was home, of course. I asked him who he was, and he said he was my roommate and my intern.
“Intern for what?” I asked. He showed me a lanyard around my neck with a laminated card that read, “Dr. Kara Reynolds, medical professional.” I was a doctor. WHAT?! Miguel seemed very hurt that I didn’t remember him for some reason, so he started cutting into his upper arm with a blade, which I thought was a little over the top, and he had to apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Apparently we had another roommate, and I’ll call her Casey. She was a surgeon. Our apartment was small, kind of messy, and pretty empty. There were these huge beetles everywhere, and they didn’t look like any beetle I’ve ever seen. I was scared of them for some reason, even though I don’t have a fear of most bugs. Casey was concerned that I didn’t remember anything from my life before waking up that morning, so she decided to stick by me for the day.
We left the apartment, seeing that we were in a hotel-like hallway. We went downstairs and left the building. IT WAS CRAZY. The sky was the clearest blue, but all of the buildings were tall, close together, and shiny. There were many neon lights of different colors, and the cliché flying cars. There were still streets, but it seemed that they were for walking only.
Casey and I walked down a road under some kind of high tech overpass that led into an industrial tunnel, and as people entered it, a female voice would say things like, “administering penicillin,” “administering aspirin,” “administering floexetine,” et cetera. One girl rushed by me and said, “move! I feel sick!” She ran under the overpass, and the voice said, “administering promethazine.” Then the girl sighed in relief and carried on down the tunnel. When I passed under, the voice said, “administering bupropion, venlafaxine, and lamotrigine.” I was a little confused, for those were the medications I had to take, so I asked Casey about it.
“Medication to cure all illnesses are given by transmitting them to the person who needs it,” she explained. “All of those machines are able to detect if you’re sick, and they give you what you need to cure or treat it. Sometimes people don’t even know they were sick until they walk under one. This keeps diseases from spreading. Mental illnesses are no exception.”
“Where are we going?” I asked her.
“To the hospital where we work. But today, you won’t be doing your job, we need to see what’s causing your amnesia. The treatment machines can’t do anything about that,” Casey replied. So we went to the hospital, which looked very strange. Instead of it being brightly lit and white all over, it was dim, industrial, and lit with more neon lights. It looked like a space themed rave, just without music and dancers. Doctors and nurses all wore long white trench coats, but they had different symbols on them to identify their job position.
Casey explained my predicament to a nurse, who didn’t seem to like me much, so she put me in the physical therapy room until she could find someone to care for me. Casey had to go perform a surgery. Afraid of all of the strange patients, I sort of kept to myself as I watched them use the exercise equipment. I had no idea what world I had woken up in, but I wanted to find a way to get back to mine. I went through another door to explore the hospital.
I found myself in a hallway with doors to patients’ rooms. I looked into some of them, seeing they were small, but customized to suit the person living in them. As I went through a few halls, I found myself in a grassy area, and the grass was so thick and plush, it felt like a big cushion. I couldn’t even walk on it without falling, so I had to crawl. I came across a large, bright green lizard that had been sleeping, but when I tried to get a better look at it, it woke up. It bared its fangs at me, which were thin and sharp like needles. I thought it might be poisonous, so I tried to back away, but it was extremely fast. It came up and started biting my hand, but the fangs weren’t penetrating my skin. Instead, a water-like substance started coming from the fangs and dripping down my hand, and I realized it was milking its venom on me. I didn’t want to take the chance of the venom doing something to my skin, or wait to see if the fangs would eventually puncture me, so I went back the way I had come. The lizard chased me until I was off of the grass.
I went down some stairs and came to an underground passageway. It was really dark, the only source of light being candles on the walls. Yes, candles, not torches. I was suddenly surprised by this parade of creatures with different noise makers as noses, and they started honking and whistling obnoxiously. A young girl with dark grey hair grabbed my hand and led me into a room. Twas no room, my friends, but an entire town. Things were floating, or upside down, or both, people were dressed extremely unorthodox, the sky was a deep purple, and the air itself seemed to be tinted a bluish color. There were a lot of weird plants around, things that didn’t even look like plants.
A girl with pink hair came up to us, and she reminded me of Pinkie Pie with the way she spoke and behaved. In fact, because I don’t know her name, I’ll call her Pinkie, and the grey haired girl will be Elise. Elise introduced Pinkie as her sister, and Pinkie reached down to a patch of fluffy white stuff and shoved it in my mouth. It was sweet and yummy, like soft meringue. As we stood there conversing, two more girls came up, one being a goth girl with bobbed black hair, and the other having long silver blonde hair, dressed like a cyber raver. We’ll call the goth Emma, and the blonde Suzette.
“Emma! You always pop up like candy clouds on a sweet and sunny day!” said Pinkie happily. Emma laughed, but Suzette furrowed her brow.
“That made no sense,” she said.
“It did to me,” said Emma. “I’ve known Pinkie since we were kids. Her way of speaking really only makes sense to Elise and I. What she just said was, ‘Emma! Great timing!’ If she were to say, ‘bubbles never pop in silky string things,’ that would mean ‘your hair looks nice.'” The girls all demanded I introduce myself, and I told them that I didn’t know where I was, that I had somehow been transferred from my old world into an alternate universe.
“This has happened before,” said Emma, “but the government tries to hush it up. They take people from other universes and make up lives for them here, but the problem they have is everyone always retains their previous memories. They take these people to a room and erase their old memories, replacing them with the ones they want you to have. The only people who know about this are government officials, but everyone in this underground have found out at some point, and that’s why we’re here. We’re the banished ones, and we’re not allowed to go above ground.”
“Why did those noisy things freak out when I came here?” I asked.
“Those are the alarms,” said Elise. “They make noise if anyone from the outside comes down here, or if any of the banished try to leave. You’re lucky I found you, or you would’ve been hauled away.”
“And what’s that?” I continued, pointing at the white puffy stuff Pinkie had fed me.
“That’s grass,” said Elise. I must’ve looked extremely confused, for Suzette started to explain.
“Banishment isn’t so bad because every plant or animal here is some sort of candy or pastry. The trees are made of chocolate, and their leaves are fruit leather.” I was suddenly overjoyed, and Pinkie grabbed mine and Elise’s hands, shoving us into a cart attached to the back of a bike, and she hopped on to ride it through the town. Emma and Suzette waved goodbye to us as we went.
Pinkie started singing loudly, and many people we passed by joined in. Elise leaned over the edge of the cart, grabbing at different plants and handing them to me. We both happily ate so many sweet things, and I listened to the singing, watched the cartoonish buildings, the floating objects, and enjoyed looking at the quirky people. It made me so happy.
“This is the kind of world I could live in forever!” I told Elise, who smiled and clapped energetically.
“Let’s go into the spooooooky forest!” said Pinkie, and she went down a road. It got progressively darker as we drew nearer to a thick forest.
“It’s not actually spooky,” Elise told me. “It’s just dark.”
“There are things about the forest you don’t know, little sister!” sang Pinkie. As we traveled along the leafy path, Pinkie would start grabbing things and giving it to us to eat. She gave us these large, shiny, perfectly spherical watermelons. The “skin” was thick candy coating, and the inside was pink gummy. Pinkie shook a tree, and sparkly white specks rained down on the candy. “Add sour sprinkles to your sweet treats!” she said.
As we carried on, we ate nuts that were covered in chocolate, and had some squishy maple flavored taffy that we dipped in a caramel filled stream. After picking up a “rock” that turned out to be some kind of pastry, Elise looked closely at it. She took it from me and bit into it.
“Doesn’t this taste a little odd to you?” she whispered, handing it back. I took a bite. The texture was much different than I expected, but it was still good.
“Sort of, but not in a bad way,” I said. “Why?” Elise picked up another pastry rock and started inspecting it. With a look of horror, she leaned in to me to whisper again.
“I think this is made out of meat!” I was a vegetarian, so this was a problem for me, but I wasn’t sure why she was worried. When I asked her why it mattered, she said, “all of our animals are sweets, the only meat we have is… the people!” I laughed nervously, looking at the pastry again.
“There’s no way,” I told her. “People would know, right?”
“Everyone stopped coming to the forest after a bunch of people disappeared here last Halloween,” said Elise, still speaking quietly so that Pinkie, who was picking candy mushrooms, couldn’t hear. “The only person that comes here is my sister. I haven’t even come here since Halloween. And you know, she’s been acting a little strange… almost too happy, even for her. And some people have been going missing, but everyone thinks it’s because they’ve tried going above ground, and they got caught.”
“You sound like you think Pinkie is behind this,” I said with another laugh.
“Hey, watcha guys talkin about?” asked Pinkie as she brought us an armful of mushrooms. I laughed, taking one.
“Elise thinks you’re feeding us people,” I said jokingly. Pinkie’s smile fell instantly, and Elise noticed this. Before I could take a bite of the mushroom, Elise knocked it out of my hand and said, “don’t eat that!” Then there was a horrific scream, and we looked over to see a naked man with slightly cooked skin stumble out of a cave, and he was bound in some kind of black netting.
“HELP ME!!” he cried, but a couple of shadow-like demons grabbed him and dragged him back into the cave. Pinkie’s eyes had turned red, and she screeched at us. Elise and I hopped out of the wagon and ran for our lives, not stopping until we went through the door that led outside of the town.
“That’s not my sister!” Elise whimpered as we crept around the shadows to avoid the alarm creatures. We came to a room that was as dark as everywhere else, but the walls, floor, and ceiling glittered intensely. “The alarms can’t go in here, it’s the safe room.” There were a few people sitting around, but one stood up and walked toward us, taking off a shawl that hid her face and hair. We both gasped, seeing it was Pinkie, but she looked different. Her skin was pale and waxy, her eyes were tired and sunken in, and her pink hair was messy, dry, and brittle.
“Pinkie?” I asked in bewilderment. She nodded, then looked at Elise.
“I’ve been waiting for you to find me,” she said hoarsely, and in an emotionless tone. “I’ve been in this room since last Halloween, hoping you’d come in here for some reason. But you haven’t.”
“What’s going on? I just saw you in town!” cried Elise.
“I have to stay in here because the alarms see me as an outsider, and not one of the banished,” she explained. “Elise, that Pinkie in the town is not me, she is a demon that appeared in the forest. She’s behind all of the people disappearing, making them into sweets to plant in the forest. There are some natural sweets in there, but you can tell what is hers because of its texture. I was the only survivor last Halloween that saw her, everyone else got killed. She took away my happiness so that she’d appear to be me to everyone else. Now I can’t feel happiness at all, just all of the negative emotions.” Then she looked at me. “Who are you?”
“I’ve been transferred here from another universe, and I’m trying to get home,” I replied.
“I know how to get you home,” said Pinkie. “The people in this safe room are mostly government workers that want to rebel against this transferring thing. You need to find your way to the government building, go to the lab where they develop this technology, and have the professor hook you up to one of the chairs. They use the chairs to visit these other universes so that they can pick which people to bring to this universe. I don’t know where you came from, so this is sort of a gamble. You might get back to yours, or end up somewhere else, but it’s worth a shot.”
“So how am I going to get into this lab?” I inquired.
“Do what they do in the movies. Go in disguise, assume someone else’s identity, and just walk on through.”
“That won’t work,” said a man from the corner. “They’ve upped the security. Now there are doors that detect your DNA and match you with personnel that are permitted to be in the building. She won’t get further than the front desk… unless you cause a distraction.”
“How am I going to do that?” I asked incredulously.
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out, you’re a young adult, you still have some of that teenage obnoxiousness in you,” said the man. “You had better go quickly before the alarms come back this way.”
“Pinkie, what are we going to do about the demon?” said Elise sadly.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “But now that you know where I am, we can try and figure it out.”
“Elise, Pinkie, and… sir over there… I can’t thank you enough for helping me. Good luck with the demon,” I said, and the girls waved to me as I ran out of the safe room and back to the stairs. I was up in the hospital again, but decided to try and find a back door to sneak out of. Once I did, I started to ask around to get directions to the government building.
The information I needed came from a larger group of teens and adults younger than myself that were all dressed rather punky. They didn’t seem to take kindly to me because I had the lanyard that said I was a doctor around my neck, but I told them my situation. They were horrified to learn about the transferring of people from different universes, and immediately pulled out their cell phones to call all of their friends. We were quickly joined by ravers, goths, more punks, skaters, and general rebellious teenagers. Then we marched to the government building and entered.
The woman at the front desk nervously asked us what we were doing here, and a boy with a blue Mohawk told her, “we’re here to party.” Quite a few guards showed up, but the boy had been carrying a stereo, which he set on the floor and started blasting hard rock. The rest of the kids began breaking things, throwing smoke bombs, and hitting people with glow sticks. I threw a computer monitor and shattered a glass door. A man tried to apprehend me, but a skater boy shoved his skateboard into his stomach, and he fell to the floor in pain. I leaned over him and smiled.
“You’ll be fine. Trust me, I’m a doctor!” Then I took off my lanyard and dropped it on his chest, and I took his, which had a barcode on it. The skater dude ran with me further into the building as the huge group of hooligans caused massive chaos, but we were still being pursued. There were female officials riding on these weird hover disks, zooming toward us. The dude knocked one off and threw the disk to me, but a second woman managed to apprehend him. I got on the disk and flew off, being chased by women who knew how to control the things way better than I did; I was trying hard not to fall off, and I couldn’t figure out how to steer.
I somehow managed to outrun them briefly, and found my way to the lab. I went in and showed the professor the card I had, and he scanned it, then led me over to a large chair that looked like the NEMO chair from Saints Row the Third. I sat in it, and he said, “now, the key is to relax, and we’ll see you back here in a few weeks.” He stuck little electro pads to my skin, plugging the other end into ports on the chair, and stuck a pair of headphones on my head, playing some binaural beats. I drifted to sleep almost instantly.
I woke up for real, in my real bed, in my real apartment, no longer dreaming. It was really weird. I was still sleepy though, so I fell asleep again.
I was back in that same universe, but it was different. Now the government had been overruled, and people could travel between universes at will. I was just hanging out, telling the locals that this was my second time here, but then someone ran up to the group I was talking to.
“Guys! Justin Bieber is here!” he said excitedly. I narrowed my eyes.
“This universe has a Justin Bieber…?” I asked slowly.
“Oh my god, he’s only the top scholar in the entire world!” said one of the girls in the group. “He’s so intelligent, he’s made thousands of discoveries, inventions that have revolutionized the way we live, and he’s won so many Nobel prizes! He invented the treatment machines!” This was too good to be true, so when Justin Bieber himself came walking down the hall, I had to keep from laughing.
His hair was properly groomed, he wore thick, horn rimmed glasses, a sweater vest, tie, white undershirt, khaki pants, and black dress shoes. I’m sure my face was red now from holding back the urge to laugh. Since I was still known as a doctor in this universe, I shook his hand and spluttered out, “it’s nice to meet you…” We had a short conversation, and he spoke very intellectually, but I was crying from restraining myself so hard. Finally, when he walked away, I burst out in hysterical laughter. I didn’t get a chance to explain what was so funny to everyone else because Michael woke me up for my doctor’s appointment.
I uh… I don’t think this dream means anything. It was fun, though!