Something to Swallow Us Whole

There’s a television inside my head; I see it every day as I fall into sleep. It’s not a fancy TV, nor is it crummy. But it happens to be sitting curiously inside my head, in the middle of a room. This room I am quite familiar with when asleep, though I seldom recall its existence in reality. This room is a waiting room, when dreams are not yet available, and as I often dream it seems I am seldom in this room to begin with. However, the television is what catches my attention every time I’m there; it is never on, it just sits there with no apparent purpose.

On one particular night, when dreams were scarce, I decided to find out what type of things this television showed, figuring it would not be anything too normal now that I was asleep. Sitting up from the comfortably soft couch I had been lying upon I searched the untidy coffee table for a remote. I found only a few magazines with scramble worded headings upon them and pictures of monsters falling through cloudless skies. With no remote in site I decided to turn the TV on by hand, and did so by turning the volume dial up. Suddenly a map filled my vision. This was a map of the western United States, with lines dividing each state from the other.

Looking down at the great state of California I saw there was a large city standing right about the middle. Up from the city came laughter and smoke, and smiles of various kinds. I saw myself there, and I was happy and content with life. There were many people with me, all my friends, and we were singing and dancing and drinking and laughing. I wanted to tell them all how much they meant to me, how they made my life so grand, but before I could say anything I noticed that maggots were eating their hearts and were coming from their eyes and mouths. The little beasts came towards me and I reached out to them, longing for the death they offered but a shadow fell across me and drew me away.

The map was in my vision again and looking upward I noticed there was a white daisy growing in the state of Washington. Looking closer I saw myself walk towards the daisy and I gave it water and cared for it. Soon it grew into a beautiful woman, and she hugged me and cared for me and kissed me a thousand times over. I found that I had to keep watering her so she wouldn’t dry up and crumble away but the more I watered her the more she grew, and soon she was no longer a woman but a giant black weed. The weed reached out towards me with its razor tentacles and wrapped itself around me tightly, cutting deeply within my flesh. I cried out with pain as tears flowed into blood and ran along the tentacles towards the weed’s mouth. Consuming my tears this monster became enraged with a lust for my taste, and it started to suck at me and suck at me, draining me of all I was. And I was dead.

Again the map was in my vision, but now it was showing the whole United States, and the entire west was drowned in a pool of blood. Looking away from that sight I noticed a small cottage sitting in the Midwest, right where Kansas would be. Looking closer I saw myself knocking at the door, tired but grown, a man at what should have been the height of his life. I saw someone I knew only too well open the door with a warm smile and bid me enter. The cottage was small, warm, and inviting, and as I looked into her eyes tears filled my own. I fell to my knees and began to cry so many tears, of joy and of sorrow. And as I cried she took me in her warm embrace and her hair was fragrant and I was alive.

The TV shut off immediately, and I blinked several times before I noticed that a dream had become available and had already started to be off with me.