The Nightmare

It’s 4:15 am and I’m sweating. Awoke from a night terror a few minutes ago and my hands are still trembling. The dream was a manifold compression of nightmare images and situations that would not release it’s hold; dragging and pulling as some subliminal part of my consciousness kept interjecting that fail-safe mechanism that told me it was a dream…only that…wake up.

No good. Every meager and flaccid rationalization failed me as the horror escalated. One cannot feel, taste or smell in a dream I am told. I’d like to know what self professed quasi-pundit put forth that dictum.

In my throes I would awaken, seemingly, to be thrown mercilessly into another tableau manifested by and populated with demons of such horrific countenance and habit as to threaten any semblance of sanity that remained to me.

Half corrupted clutching talons of the dead would tear at me. Guilts of my past that I’d thought long laid to rest would smite me anew.

And then I’d awaken. Or so I thought. Get up, stumble to my bedroom door, step out and tumble again into a pit of endless torment. That shock alone of thinking that I’d encountered the hell that I’d always rationalized did not exist was anathema from which I cringed and fled inward. The shock awakened me again.

Now, at last awake and free of that endlessly cloying and reopening miasma, I find my hands steadying enough to relate this in writing. Certain at last that I am awake an…


It’s 4:15 am and I’m sweating…

Currently unavailable for purchase

The quintessential Twilight Zone scenario of a nightmare one cannot awaken from.


bored, dream, fiction, horror, nightmare, terror


  • deliriousgirl
    deliriousgirlabout 6 years ago

    Half corrupted clutching talons of the dead would tear at me. Guilts of my past that I’d thought long laid to rest would smite me anew.

    JFC!!!!!!! I love this!!!! You have now exquisitely proven genuine wordsmith skills!!!!

  • George Yesthal
    George Yesthalabout 6 years ago

    Wow! Sweetheart, you have made my day. Coming from you, this is a cherished compliment. Thank you soooo much.

  • Nancy Ames
    Nancy Amesabout 6 years ago

    Well done, George. You have given a highly literate expression to those subconscious sensations that constantly take us back to the cave and the predators waiting in the night outside. (I get up and worship fire when that happens.)

  • George Yesthal
    George Yesthalabout 6 years ago

    Me too. I light a cigarette, puff and tremble. Thanx so much for your great comment.

  • DBALehane
    DBALehaneabout 6 years ago

    Beautifully written and intense. I can see a lot of people referring to Poe or Lovecraft when reading this, but I can see lots of M.R. James in this too. Thanks for sharing this with us in Twisted Tales

  • George Yesthal
    George Yesthalabout 6 years ago

    Yes, very insightful. Poe and especially Lovecraft have always been favorites. Dark and intense. Thank you for accepting this.

  • Matthew Dalton
    Matthew Daltonalmost 6 years ago

    I’ve heard it said that there is no greater hell than being trapped in ones own mind. You certainly draw the reader (or me at least) in to the characters feeling of being trapped and desperate to escape.

    Very nicely crafted work.

  • Thanx, Matt. I actually had one of those dreams where you awaken to another dream and while it wasn’t as terrifying as this it was a disconcerting thing for sure. I can’t imagine being trapped forever with no hope of waking. This type of psychosis must be, as you say, pure hell.
    Thanx for the read and great comment.

    – George Yesthal

  • Damian
    Damianalmost 6 years ago

    Nice work with the looping nightmare George. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience, but it’s very interesting.

  • Jim Hall
    Jim Hallabout 5 years ago

    Yup, Poe and Lovecraft are in my past too! Funny how you run into the same kinds of things when you dip into the world of fantasy, George. And what makes you think we did wake up? And how can we be sure? Sorry. I need a beer but it’s too early. JH

  • G .
    G .almost 4 years ago

    Wow, nicely done George… enjoyed the whole piece

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