I entered the tall high rise residential building by way of the front revolving door. Walking past the front desk, I made my way to the double elevators located next to the mail room and pressed the arrow indicating the direction of up. The circular plastic disk lit up to confirm the request was being processed and I stared at my feet on the floor while I waited. Something seems off, I felt the all of the concrete in the building at once like a some high prime number; clearly announcing its name to me; the building, the structure. Everything within the walls are subject to the laws that apply to the space defined by it. Am I dreaming?
The doors opened suddenly after waiting for me to complete my thought. I took a deep breath and stepped inside. The panel of choices presented an array of circular plastic disks similar to the one I just saw, but this time adorned by numbers. I touched them as I searched for the one that had a 35 on it. I chose and the machine complied. A brief moment passed and then I ascended right away to the level where the management office was. It seemed like I was stuck in my moving chamber for years before a subdued tone was sounded to alert me I had arrived. The doors opened again and released me to a 4 inch thick floor 35, and I turned to the right and read the placard on the wall that read “Management Office” before I pressed through.
“Hi, it’s Chris from Imperial Contracting, I’m here to look at a unit for you.” I said to the air that connected the individual working cells together with hopes that I could discover who was responsible for getting me to my final destination in an efficient way addressing all at once.
“Oh, yes. Hello. Hold on I’ll pull the keys for you, do you have your I.D?” one of the ladies replied to me while getting up to resolve my occasion as she had many pressing matters to attend to that day, and every day for that matter.
I reached into my back pocket and retrieved my wallet and took out my drivers license and held it in my hand. I looked down at the picture on it. Seconds passed that felt like hours and I felt something cold on my shoulder. Just then my card began to slowly melt away right there in my hands. This can’t be happening I thought. It bent and warped until it became a molten substance that fell through my fingers and onto the floor, which swallowed the card right up. It disappeared! I looked up from what just happened and instead of the bustling office, there was darkness in every direction. I felt that it went on for a great distance well beyond the confines of the building. Am I dreaming?
“I’m afraid that we don’t have a key for that unit on file. I will have to go up with you and let you in with my master key.”
I gazed into her face, but it was badly distorted and blurred so that I could not make out any distinctions that resembled the office worker I was just interfacing with just a moment ago. I know that indeed I do dream, even this very instant I thought to myself. I submitted to the unconscious state of my mind and went forward with the plan of whoever is in control of human dreams.
“Follow me.” she said.
I followed behind her in a direction that was arbitrary to me as no points of reference could be made out in the darkness except for her and I, that somehow managed to reflect light that came from an unknown source. I heard her footsteps now clicking on what sounded like a grand floor made of marble. My heart began to fret as I felt more and more of the rules being thrown out the window. Soon I will not be able to explain why any of this is happening and it will become a nightmare. We kept going.
The whole thing seemed surreal as I thought about why I had come in the first place which was to do work for the building on an electric panel for one of its residents. When I held that notion up next to the notion of the lunacy that was running amok right now with the fuzzy lady in the dark, the thought of a beautiful red apple popped into my mind whose skin was painted in blood which was why it was a red. Sanity wrapped in horror. I have to get out of here. Will I wake up soon?
All of a sudden the clicking came to a stop and the outline of a door appeared that was traced in light because she was opening it and the light escaped all around its boarders. She walked through and so did I. I was now in a perfectly normal stairwell, and the ladies face returned back to the way it was before.
“We have to take the stairs, the elevators are out of order.” she said.
“Whats your name?” I asked.
“You know who I am already.” she replied coldly lucid.
I didn’t ask again because I had absolutely no idea who she was, and I felt if I pressed something terrible would happen.
We ascended the metal stair way for such time that I knew my legs would fail soon. Although we went up, I distinctly feel like we are going down; like there was an inverse relationship concerning everything in the stair well. On and on we step, endless stairs. The light began to grow more dim the higher we go, and the echo of our feet striking the steps resonated more fully and ever became more broad and carried I’m sure all the way to the chambers of hell. We alerted them to our presence.
As we advanced, time itself raced paced our position in the river and left us behind. The enclosure became aged. By force in relation to our pace, time was out of control. I saw all around me what would be in 100 years. It was all worn down and falling apart, clearly abandoned and left by a people outside of the building obviously in turmoil to leave such a trophy of progress to its demise. Why do I continue to follow this devil still?
Back in my bed by body convulses in a quiet tumultuous protest, yearning to wake up. This is a night terror! I’ve had them before as a kid. This isn’t going to be good. Sweat saturates the linen and my temperature rises. Something is wrong.
“Can you smell it?” The lady asked in front and above me as she continues to climb.
At once I became aware of a putrid odor I can only compare to a dead rotting animal, well like 1,000 dead rotting animals on the hottest day in the Amazon. I nearly vomited.
“It’s the slime.” She answered herself.
The slime? I thought. What is she talking about. Then I saw it. An ocean of horrifying slime oozing down all of the walls. I could not tell where it was coming from or what caused it. I stayed in the center of the well daring not to touch it. It flowed downward and as I peered below, somehow I could see the ground which was not there but instead there was an opening to a sewer that was below the building. Almost as if the meaning of the slime, the building, the lady, and the darkness became known to me all at once being part of the fabric for which it was woven; my eyes were opened. I am aware of all of it, and what they are saying to me in this concert of abstract lunacy.
As I pondered, we arrived at the floor we journeyed for. Being so high from the ground, I couldn’t help feeling as though we were in some subterranean abyss. The door she opened led to a hall way lined with doors on the left and the right. All of the doors were shut and could not be opened by us right now save one door. We floated in silence to that door. Pausing outside of it I could hear something like a torrent of storms times storms on the other side; violent wind and shaking and screams. I do not want to go inside.
“I don’t want to go in there.” I said.
“You know that you are going in there already, you will see what is on the other side.” The woman stated.
She did not knock, but instead inserted the key into the tumbler and disarmed the mechanical guards preventing passage. She turned the door knob… and slowly pushed open the door, and it stopped with a thud as it hit the wall opposite and rested. My eyes hungrily but fearfully feasted on the sight that was now before me.
What should have been an apartment was not. It was a place far away. There were stones everywhere as though it were some kind of ancient ruin, but at the same time it was mixed together with the things that were or should have been expected inside a lonely apartment. I saw a television, a radio, a stove, and a great stone alter. On this alter I saw a man who was bear except for a wrapping around his loins, laying upon the alter on his back. His body was dirty and there were cuts all over him. His age was well advanced, and he did not seem to notice anything that was happening around him because he was in some sort of trance. With his head lying flat and looking into the ceiling, his arm extended beside him to a set of papers that were flailing in the wind that was now picking up to match what I heard before we entered the apartment. He was writing fervently words I could not make out, not even looking down at them but staring off else where. Writing and writing did he. There was no pause or delay. upon his chest I saw a deep cut that was in the shape of a number. I moved slowly closer to discover what it was. Carved in his chest was the number “666”, and carved upon his forehead was the symbol of a pentagram.
Not so, this isn’t happening! I thought in my mind that was now filled with terror and bewilderment. Seeing these two marks were purposefully cliche, someone wanted me to be clearly aware of something. In a trance he did write.
“Who is this man?” I now yelled loudly as the wind and the torrent was in the transformed room all about.
“He is writing your death.” She replied simply.
At once I awoke and sat vertical in my bed. Sweat was abounding all over my body and my heart raced without restraint. The dream was slipping away, I was immediately beginning to forget it as the awake usually does upon completion of the night. Desperately I held on to it until I found its meaning. Its meaning was this:
The building was full of people. The people were not aware of the special room inside of them. It influenced them and led them into the darkness. The people followed by their own free will. Their ways were as foul as the slime that went down and gathered below. The man in the room was recording their actions to bring accusation against them to gain more legal access to tormenting them and taking them. The people did not believe this was happening, it could not be seen with their eyes of flesh.
I gasped. I lay my head back down and fell asleep.