Sleep Paralysis

I wasn’t asleep. Nor awake.
That’s how I knew it was coming.
I did not try to shake it off. I was expecting it: lying in bed, facing the ceiling. I was still.
I was still until I was unable to move.
Then all the symptoms crawled onto me like a swarm of ants, and soon I disappeared in that dark,
fluttering cloud.
A swirling numbness echoed through my frozen body.
Electric tingles nibbled at me.
Stinging vibrations pervaded the flesh, burned a fizzling path to the core of my brain.
There they colonised my mind, took over my perceptions.

Noise flooded my head: static, whispers, roars.
I wasn’t awake. Nor asleep. I was aware, though.
This is what it feels like to be insane, I thought.
A ceaseless bombing of hysterical noises, ear splitting, heating the brain ‘til it smokes.
The room was silent. But my head was loud, strident.

I couldn’t stop it.
The slightest movement would have been sufficient to break the shivering wires that chained me to my bed.
I couldn’t lift a finger. I couldn’t blink an eye.
I could only lay back and enjoy the horror show, watching the torment reach its climax.

A figure sneaked into my room through the window.
Terror creeped into my mind through a shaky path of burning stings.

Now the figure was standing beside my bed with her back towards me.
She was stunning.
Fungus and moss grew all over her back.
Here and there her skin looked like rock.
Here and there it looked rotten.
Her bottom was on the same height as my face.
The curves were charmingly feminine.

She turned around in a flash.
I saw she was holding a radio, the static got deafening.
Above the radio were her breasts, gently rounded and firm, cluttered with sparks of perished granules.
I saw her face. She looked young and putrid.
I wanted to touch her.
I couldn’t lift a finger. I couldn’t blink an eye.

(Don’t) make it stop.
I looked at her.
With my eyes closed.
And I fell asleep.

_ Joelle Galloni_