dVerse — prosery 13 — Chuang Tzu’s Butterfly Nightmare

Sleep paralysis
Still from “Devil in the Room,” by Carla MacKinnon

“Argh…. unh….”

He groans as the corkscrews are twisted, their points aiming for his liver and kidneys. In a nightmare, it is the awareness of what is happening rather than the act itself that brings agony.

Paralyzed, nonetheless Mo is able to wake up – to pitch black. Was there a power outage?

Bathed in sweat, Mo feels for the bedside flashlight and places his hand on a cold slimy tongue.

His shadow says, “Dinner isn’t served just yet.”

Mo rolls away from the raspy voice and finds he’s not on his bed as he falls and clunks hard on what feels like wet, smooth stone. He begins to crawl away to his shadow’s laughter.

“Fear tenderizes the meat!”

He will die – or worse – here.

 

F*ck that, he decides. Bright light floods down.

His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream.

[144 words]

Bjorn Rudberg is today’s host of dVerse.  Bjorn says:
Your piece of prose can be fiction or autobiographic, but you are only allowed to use 144 words (which means that you need to add maximum137 words that are your own, using the following line from Ms. Maya Angelou’s poem, “Caged Bird:”

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

36 Comments Add yours

  1. kim881 says:

    A nightmarish story, Lisa, and so enjoyable! The corkscrew action was a terrifying opening, and the cold slimy tongue was a shock. The prompt line works well as the ending too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha…isn’t it great to wake up from a nightmare in the end. love that he finds the lightswitch before he’s eaten alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes! What’s bad is when you are dreaming within a dream like Mo was.

      Like

  3. Mo’s revenge of light, casting those nightmarish shadows aside. Not only was Mo to be eaten, but driven to intensive fear to tenderize his flesh, the nightmare had it all its own way. Great imagination as always, JadeLi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Len!

      Like

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I adore where we all went with this prompt, all Poe and Lovecraft time. Your nightmare scenario, creating a cannibalistic shadow monster, is very intriguing. But Mo awakes to light and shortness of breath–hurrah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, there’s a lot of nightmaring going on with the prompt! I’ll go see what you cooked up right now.

      Like

  5. Beverly Crawford says:

    I’m not sure any of us will sleep well tonight, given these wonderful nightmare tales! Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      lol I hear you! Thanks, Beverly.

      Like

  6. What a marvelously dark turn of events!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Linda.

      Like

  7. gillena cox says:

    OMG he is dynamite. He wouldn’t cower to his nightmare…
    Be safe

    Much💟love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Exactly, Gillena! Thanks for reading and your well-wishing ❤

      Like

  8. calmkate says:

    ouch nightmare terrors … this prompt has opened pandora’s box!

    Good one Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Shawna says:

    Oh my gosh, this is crazy creepy! Those corkscrews, my goodness …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s all Bjorn’s fault!

      Like

  10. memadtwo says:

    Revenge! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oy, Well, here’s to light!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rothpoetry says:

    Wow! Nightmare for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That opening was pretty horrifying, Lisa. I’m glad he found the light switch – I’m not sure I could have managed much more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      He was actually still dreaming and decided within the dream enough was enough so “turned the light on” to get rid of the bogey.

      Like

  14. badfinger20 says:

    That is a great nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Max. A PSA for anyone in a nightmare, that they have control of it if they choose to.

      Like

  15. maria says:

    I wouldn’t want to have such images in my sleep. Haha. But glad he wakes up in the end

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I wouldn’t either! He’s actually still within the dream when “the light comes on.”

      Like

  16. waah. I am running fast for him! such a vivid opening, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m reading Chuck Palahniuk’s new book, full of writing tips, and I decided to try out a couple of them in this story. Thanks Chuck!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh wow! that’s great. what’s the book’s title?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          “Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything was Different”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. yay! will take note of this. thank you!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              You are very welcome.

              Liked by 1 person

  17. merrildsmith says:

    What a nightmare! I’m glad he found the light!

    Liked by 1 person

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