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When Earthlings Weep
Michael Barnett
Mickey Thorn has horribly frightening and realistic dreams, almost nightly. When he awakes, the nightmare's grip still affects him to such a point, he can't tell the difference between the dream he was just having, and reality. Mickey knows every detail of his nightmare when he first awakes, but as time passes, and his heart and breathing slow, he has already forgotten most of the details. The overwhelming emotions he goes through from first awakening until he is fully awake is; terror, fear, confusion, then helplessness. What Mickey has just gone through is very rare, and still largely misunderstood. Mickey is suffering from "Night Terrors". A symptom of the "Terrors" is a continued, long-term memory of impossible danger, terrifying monsters, and strange situations, that seem so real, Mickey can swear that they aren't dreams. Mickey has been through three sleep studies to see if anything can be done to eliminate the terrors, or at least slow them down. What his body goes through---both physically and emotionally---is taking a toll. The doctors have a real fear that Mickey will suffer a heart attack, or stroke, or embolism during one of the more intense episodes. None of the suggestions the doctors have previously given him have worked; exercise, eliminating caffeine, taking medication, and even yoga, have helped. Lately, Mickey has begun to think of his dreams in an entirely new way. What if, instead of bad dreams, this is real? In his frazzled mind, this bizarre notion actually makes sense to him. What if he really is being attacked by monsters from other worlds and dimensions? Oddly, compared to what he is already going through, this new idea doesn't scare him. In fact, a part of his mind welcomes this possibility, and now he realizes that maybe he isn't the same person he once all.
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