I haven’t been able to sleep much the past month and a half or so now. Whenever I’m able to, I wake up multiple times during the night in cold sweats. If I drink enough it will usually help me pass out, then I don’t remember my dreams. I can’t remember my dreams for the most part as it is, and when I can they’re always nightmares. One of them in particular is this weird re-occurring one, its happened nearly a dozen times now.
The dream always starts off in my room – sometimes I’m sitting on the floor, sometimes I’m standing. Wherever I start out, I’m looking out the windows over the horizon. The lighting makes it seem like it’s almost sunset, but it’s still very clearly daytime outside. The sky is hazy and overcast, no one is visibly walking around or in their rooms in the building across the courtyard from mine. Not a single sign of life. I feel like I’m looking for something, but I can’t figure out or remember what it is. My eyes are scanning the fields in the distance beyond the trees bordering campus when the door opens behind me and this girl walks in.
I’ve never seen her before, but they say every face you see in a dream is one you’ve seen in real life, so maybe I have. She’s pretty, around my age and has bright blue eyes and dark black hair. She’s dressed in dark jeans and a white blouse. She walks in and looks kind of alarmed, and stops and just looks at me biting her lip. There’s a moment where we both stand looking at each other, and then she looks sad. She shakes her head and asks me “What are you going to do?”
I start to laugh and I’m like “What do you mean?” and turn back to look out the windows. It’s night now and I can’t see anything, but my dream logic doesn’t find the drastic shift in lighting that strange. I’m just annoyed it’ll be harder to find whatever I was looking for. She grabs my shoulder and I turn again, and this time when I turn and see her she’s wearing a formal dress, silky material that’s a deep purple-mauve color. When I look down, I’m wearing a slate grey suit and polished leather dress shoes. The gleam of the shoes grabs my attention for a second, maybe because I wasn’t wearing any when she walked in, and the girl shakes me to get my attention. When I raise my head to meet her eyes again we’re standing in the middle of a giant cathedral – it actually looks and feels a ton like St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. The rows are packed with people and it looks like there’s no open seats left – everyone shoulder to shoulder
It’s a wedding that feels like it’s just about to begin – there’s a lot of energy in the room. All the groomsmen and bridesmaids are lined up on the altar in two lines, one on the left and one on the right. The groomsmen are all in white shirts with orange vests, and the bridesmaids all in bright purple dresses with orange accents. Purple and orange flowers are overwhelming the altar, as well as in little bunches positioned at the end of each pew. Decorative cloth banners of matching coloration are wrapped around the columns lining the aisle. We’re literally in the middle of the aisle in a crossroad between a gap in the seats that separates the cathedral into a front and back section. I feel like it’s not a good place to be standing, but no one seems to acknowledge us standing there. No one notices us.
“What are you going to do?” the girl asks me again, this time with greater urgency. Her grip around my arm tightens, I can feel her nails through the suit. I turn to look back at her, and she looks terrified. She’s facing the front of the church and I’m looking toward the back. The doors of the cathedral are slowly closing, and I assume it means things are about to begin. Then the girl has tears in her eyes and I ask her whats wrong. She’s still looking past me and starts shaking her head, so I turn to see what she sees.
There are flames everywhere. The altar is on fire, the pulpit entirely engulfed in flames. The flowers that had been decorating the altar are now destroying it, acting as the fuel for a blaze that’s going out of control. For a few moments it’s silent – no screams, no sound of the inferno, no chatter among guests who still haven’t realized it. Just silence and fire. The banners around the columns start catching and people run screaming as they swing down toward them. A cacophony of screams and roar of flames cut in sharply, shattering the silence. That’s all you can hear now.
I try to run out as the smoke starts to turn black and obscure everything. It gets harder and harder to see, flaming chunks of building come crashing down like little makeshift comets with sparks trailing off behind them as they fall. Honestly I think it’d be beautiful if it weren’t so terrifying.
That girl is running in front of me and then in a flash she’s falling, heels tumbling over her head as she somersaults onto the floor. Her head is bleeding badly and it smells like singed hair and metal. She got hit. I start to pick her up to carry her but I can’t. The smoke and heat are too intense, and I’m coughing and only make it ten or eleven feet before I collapse with the girl. And I don’t know who she is and it’s just a dream, but whenever I’m in it I don’t know it. So it seems twisted to say “fuck it” and leave when she’s out cold and can’t save herself. I can’t just abandon her, so I sit down on the floor next to her while the cathedral burns.
Then I think some more stuff happens each time, but I can’t remember it. Up until that point it’s pretty shot-for-shot and then there’s something else. Then I wake up covered in cold sweat and my muscles all tensed up, and I don’t know what happens at the end. I feel like it’s terrible, but I never get to see it. Or if I do, my memory can’t keep it intact enough to recall it once I jump up awake in bed.