An ethereal hue shown over everything, like a fog. There was no sky, there was no ground, just a shade of gray. It was murky, cold, endless in its presence. The grayness was thick, just like fog, but wasn't. It was just....
You didn't seem to walk through it as much as you glided, as if your feet were not touching the ground. If you even had feet. You couldn't see them, even if they were there.
All you had was vision, limited by the surrounding grayness. There was no up or down, no horizontal or vertical, no behind or front. You could spin around and not even be sure if you actually completed a circle.
This had to be a dream, didn't it? Where else would you experience an out of body experience without being out of your body?
But what does this mean? Are you just empty? Are you really blind, believing you can see? Are you lost? Or are you...
What is that?
What is that over there?
There's a faint object in the distance. It seems to be approaching you. It's taking more shape. You can see shoulders. You can see the shape of a head. Arms even. Still no legs or feet, but for some reason you just know they are there.
Whatever it is, it's picking up it's pace. You can hear what sound like footsteps approaching. Faster, and faster, and faster. It's practically running toward you now.
You try to turn away, in the other direction, but where is the other direction? Everywhere you turn, it's still coming toward you...faster, and faster, and faster.
It's right on top of you!
You feel something reach out and....
Jay awoke calmly, quietly in his bed. His wife was laying beside him, sleeping away with a slight snore with each breath. Jay blinked his eyes and finally wiped them with his fingers. The "sleep" in the corners of his eyes had accumulated for several hours now, piling up in a manner that, at least to Jay, seemed as large as a peanut.
Relative imagery, even in real life, can be skewed.
Speaking of imagery, thought Jay, what was with that dream?
This was the first dream Jay could remember in a long time. He didn't dreamed much lately, and not because his dreams had been dashed. He had a good career, a wife that loved him, that he loved in return. He had two beautiful children, a lovely home to call his own, and his health. He wouldn't have had it any other way, life was a dream for him.
But this dream stood out, for some reason. Jay lurched himself up to the side of the bed, sitting there for a second or two to get his bearings. He hoisted himself up and began hobbling over to the bathroom. Jay was only in his mid-thirties, but his knees felt like jello. Early morning jaunts to the bathroom were anything but routine anymore. Especially this early.
Jay peered across the room at the alarm clock on the night stand next to his wife's side of the bed. It was four o'clock in the morning.
Jay thought, Ah yes! two more good hours of sleep...so long as the kids don't wake up.
After relieving himself in the bathroom, Jay came back to the sink at the counter and washed his hands. Still half awake, he didn't pay much attention to his surroundings, just that the lights were quite bright. With the bathroom being white as well, that only increased the illumination in the room, prompting his wife to roll over on her side away from the brightly lit bathroom.
Jay looked at himself in the mirror. He had tired eyes. Work had been harder of late. Life with a one and a two-year-old didn't make it any easier. Even the dogs were cumbersome to deal with these days.
These were hard days, for everyone. Only a few years ago it seemed like the world nearly hit rock bottom, with the collapse of the stock market. But since that time, it's been a slow, trickling death. It could be felt in every aspect of life now. No matter the happiness or jubilation, there was always a numb feeling in the back of everyones' minds. As if they were collectively thinking, What's going to happen next?
Maybe that's what the dream was about?, thought Jay.
That made sense to him. The color gray is very dull, and life in general since the world was turned on it's head on those October days had seemed dull.
There was just one thing Jay didn't understand.
Who was the person chasing me? And why did they reach out for me?
That thought gave Jay chills a bit, as a horror movie was playing on the television that had been on all night. Not exactly what you want to see or think about at four o'clock when no one else is awake.
Jay flipped off the bathroom light and strolled back to the bed, his knees not quite so achy now.
He layed down, pulled the sheets back up, changed the channel to an infomercial, turned over on his stomach, and got cozy in the bed once again.
This time he hoped he might dream of something more interesting. After all, aren't dreams supposed to be fun?
The next morning, Jay and his wife were awake with their daughter. Jay and his wife were standing in the kitchen as Jay continued to get dressed and Linda took a moment for herself.
"So did something wake you up last night?", asked Jay's wife.
"What?", he replied.
"You popped up out of bed and made straight for the bathroom."
"First of all, I don't pop up. Second of all, I was savoring my extra sleep I was about to get. I love it when that happens."
Jay downed his vitamins with some water, while a smirk came across his wife's face.
"Yeah, what was I thinking about that pop up thing?"
Linda was as sarcastic as they come. That's what made her even more interesting to Jay. He loved her sense of humor, her passion, her beauty, and her love. He couldn't get enough of it. For ten years, it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
"I don't know what you're implying, but...", Jay said as he leaned down towards her standing at the kitchen sink, "I don't like it."
Linda laughed a little as they gave each other a warm kiss on the lips. That slight moment of love, perhaps passion, was interrupted by the piercing shriek of their daughter Allison who was expecting more attention.
"Ah, Allie's still here", Jay said.
"Don't worry, I've got it", replied Linda.
Jay glared at Linda as she progressed toward the living room to tend to their screaming daughter. He came walking around the corner into the room behind her and Allie.
"I did have a dream though", said Jay.
"You and Martin Luther King, Jr.", replied Linda.
"Cute. No, it was weird. It was like I was nowhere and somewhere all at once. Just surrounded by grayness, dullness. You ever had something like that happen to you?"
Linda looked up at him from their daughter, smiling, "Only every day."
Jay faked laughed at her.
"But then something really weird happened. I thought I saw a person in my dream..."
Linda listened while tending to Allie. She was a good multitasker, although she expected any minute Jay would want her undivided attention about his "weird" dream.
"...they started chasing me and I couldn't get away. No matter where I turned, they were just there. It was weird."
Linda put Allie down from the high chair she had just destroyed with bananas, and let her run free through the house now. She acknowledged Jay's story saying, "Yeah, that's something."
"Ah, you don't care."
Linda turned around and looked at him thinking, Of course, undivided attention time.
"I do care."
"Well, that wasn't even the strangest part."
"What was the strangest part?"
"Whoever that person was, they reached for me right before I woke up. I think they touched me."
"They touched you? Inappropriately?"
Jay looked up at her from finishing buttoning his shirt, an annoyed look on his face.
"No! They grabbed my arm."
Jay rolled up the sleeve on his right arm right quick to adjust it. Linda took notice of this. The sleeve was already up on his left arm.
"I know how to roll it up, you don't have to do it, I'm not one you know?"
"Which arm did that person touch in your dream?"
Jay stopped with his cuff rolling and looked at Linda.
"Which arm?", Linda asked again.
"My left arm, I think. Yeah, it was my left."
Linda approached him and ran her fingers along the lateral surface of Jay's left forearm, displacing some of the hair.
"What? What are you doing?", asked Jay.
Linda looked up at him from looking at his arm.
"Jay, you have finger prints on your left arm."
Jay looked at his left arm and Linda was right. Midway up his left forearm were four bruises as if the fingertips of another person's hand had dug into those spots. The skin wasn't broken, just bruised. As if someone had left their mark on Jay.
"Well that's weird", said Jay.
Linda curled up her lip and felt the spot again on Jay's arm.
"Maybe I grabbed you in the middle of the night and forgot?", asked Linda.
"Or maybe it was the monster in my dream," Jay said, bulging out his eyes and wiggling his fingers with his hands up.
"Watch out for karma, buddy. It might be a bite next time."