Abandoned Houses Alisa Bernard

I've always dreamt of houses. Sprawling heaps of architecture litter my dreamscape. They vary in nature, shape, size and purpose but are consistent in one singular feature: they are all abandoned. They stand alone as if the world around them forgot they existed and the earth they stood on crumbled long ago leaving only these structures floating on islands in space. Each house is unique; one a roman villa, one a dilapidated desert shack, another a converted tree house complete with elevators run by pulleys and levers.

Though abandoned these houses all have a presence, a residue of the former occupant. Perhaps a previous dreamer's spirit still dwells where I now stand. Rarely do I feel these spirits are happy, but rather I feel the weight of their being pushing down on my shoulders. This weight intrigues me at first but inevitably it will cripple me into terror. I always flee. Frantically I run down hallways, corridors and aisles attempting to escape the oppression of solitude, yet not quite solitude, I feel slowly crushing the breath from my lungs. I can never seem to conjure the scream begging to escape my throat but rather a gargled whisper is all I have strength left to utter. Forever in these dreams I run or sometimes swim or climb trying to escape the confines of these pillar strewn cages. In my mind the house is itself a trap with many entrances but only one exit, and that exit is long since wiped from my memory. Every turn is new to me and every room is different. But always that presence, that spirit that stirs when it feels my fear is always there.

Sometimes I find a place to hide, behind a door or under a chair but always that fear finds me. In the form of rushing water it sweeps me away or sometimes it will take the guise of crumbling floor boards beneath my feet… but it always finds me.

Waking from these dreams is a form of fear itself which I avoid at all costs because the terror of laying in my own bed not sure if the dream is over or not is just as paralyzing as the solitude that threatened to engulf my soul within the dream.

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