(Male, 40′s) I was cleaning in the basement of my house… which is what I actually have been doing the past few nights. I swept the floor and there was a lot of dark dirt on the beige tile. Then I looked up and noticed, for the first time, that there was an immense hole in the basement wall. It was probably 7′ by 7′ and appeared to go through the cinderblock foundation. I wondered “How long has that been there?” and “Why didn’t I ever notice that before?” The hole had beed patched and filled in with many different kinds of brick and concrete and rubble. There was an iron pipe protruding from the patched area right around my head height “How come I never hit my head on that?” There was a central area that was rectangular, roughly the size and shape of a window. It too had been bricked in but at the very bottom, where the sill would have been, there appeared to be two extremely small hands. It looked almost as if a child had tried to crawl out of the hole and instead was bricked inside… inside whatever that hole in the foundation was. I tried not to think about them being actual hands. I swept a bit more and then tried to go upstairs.
As I got to the stairs, a flood of brick dust, dirt the color of dried blood, poured down the stairs. The landslide trapped my feet. I tried to get on top of the flow of red brick dust but another torrent poured down and knocked me back into the basement. I was getting buried and crushed to death but the most important thing I was thinking was that I’d never be able to sweep up all that dirt.
(Male, 30′s) This wasn’t really a nightmare that is it wasn’t a scary dream, that is, I wasn’t scared so much when I was actually IN the dream but once I woke up and started to think about it, it started to creep me out more and more.
I was on a farm, a very familiar place, a farm my aunt and uncle own. And I was gathering firewood. Twigs and large branches, just everything I could find. There didn’t seem to be anyone else around or at least if there were, no one else seemed interested in the bonfire I was going to start and that was fine. I had acquired a pretty impressive stack of fuel, almost as tall as I am and easily 10 or 15 feet in diameter. It was going to be a righteous blaze.
I was getting ready to light the fire when I saw someone I grew up with. She was a friend of the family someone I’ve only partially kept in touch with over the years. She mentioned in passing that she’d had a seance recently and called up the spirits of her mother and my long dead father. I was struck by a wave of what I can only call jealousy. I’ve been going through some rather hard times recently and even at my worst I didn’t think about troubling my dead father for advice or companionship. It seemed offensive that she’d just summon up my dead relatives, basically for fun.
And then it got weird. Or maybe I should say, weirder. Around that time, I realized that I wasn’t speaking with this friend of the family anymore. Maybe I never had been. I was speaking with my mother who also is dead. It wasn’t clear if she had been summoned in the seance, that is, that I had gotten it mixed up who the friend of the family had called up, or whether Mom had just come along on her own or whether I had been speaking to my mother all along. She seemed so distant and mournfull I got really cold and wished I’d started the fire but it seemed so far away. I still had matches in my hands but I forgot how to use them to make fire.
I woke up thinking about what it would be like for someone who was dead to have a seance to summon someone else who was dead. I got creeped out by the thought that maybe in death we’re all separate, alone and that for some folks that would be incredibly difficult.
(Male, 30′s) I haven’t had a scary dream in ages but this one really shook me up. I was alone in my house and I knew I wasn’t alone. I could hear someone upstairs, probably several people. They made the sound of Lincoln Logs being thrown together. Lincoln Logs were a toy I had as a kid, basically notched wooden sticks that you could build log cabins. I don’t know where I got them because they were a lot older than I was. But they had this really distinctive “tonk” sound, like tiny wooden logs, a little bit like a wind chime. Did I mention that I knew the people upstairs were here to kill me?
I tried calling the police but only got an answering machine. Then I realized I could just run out the front door. A strange thing happened then because I was outside the house where I grew up, not the one where I live now. And I was still carrying the phone, or at least the receiver of the phone. It didn’t matter how far down the street I ran, I could still hear the sound of those Lincoln Logs rattling around.
Then I was back in the house. I tried calling again and I just hit the answering machine. I had a message from my wife and daughter who for some reason were out of the country at a LAN party. And there was a message from the police saying they’d caught the people who’d stolen my bike (or was it my motorcycle?) they were only able to identify it from the serial number. They couldn’t give it back because they were still identifying the fingerprints and body parts (!!) they’d found with it but they listed out the names of the four people they’d apprehended. I then realized that there must be four people upstairs coming to kill me since they were mad I went to the police about the stolen motorcycle. Or something like that. I tried to escape the house again…
And I woke up terrified and for the first couple seconds even after I was awake I still heard those Lincoln Logs rattling.
Though I have no enduring love for the undead, I basically adore the iOS App “Zombies, Run” a fitness game that fuel-injects a bit of narrative into the brain-eating monotony that aerobic exercise so easily becomes. The premise is simple: you are the sole survivor of a helicopter crash after the zombipocalypse and your objective is to run — literally, run — around picking up supplies that are needed at your home base. Game play is a series of audio tracks that are interspersed among the tracks of your standard workout mix but once back at the base, you can assign the assets you’ve picked up.
TIP: Make a workout mix rich in creepy, high energy tracks. The first time I was warned of an imminent zombie attack and counseled to sprint, serendipitously the track “Be My Frankenstein” by Otis Taylor came on. It’s refrain is “Just wann live another day” and the icy guitar work was a perfect motivator to avoid the imaginary menace. My existing workout mix is fine but a good playlist would really augment this game. I’m going to have to listen to those good ol’ Rue Morgue Radio broadcasts to come up with more tunes for future “missions.”
The app struck me as a bit pricey, $7.99 but then again, I’m a cheapskate. However, I bought it without a second thought because I have the body of a middle-aged geek and I needed something to ressurect my fitness regimine after a long winter nap. “Zombies, Run” is very likely going to do that. I wasn’t ready to strap on running shoes today — my excuse was the spring rain plus my fear that I’d injure myself early in process and have to sit out while I healed — so I played the game while on my stationary bike. Some features weren’t accessible like the ones that are based on the accelerometer — presumably when the radio operator exhorts a boost of speed to escape an unexpected pocket of undead, the iPhone actually senses that effort. Cool beans, eh? Even without the machine keeping watch, I still cranked it during those close scrapes. I was just going to kick the tires with an easy spin but I found myself completing the whole first mission, a good half hour of workout. I’m dripping in sweat… and ready to play another round.
My suspicion is that if you are reading The Daily Nightmare, you need this app.