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October 1, 2007


You wake up screaming.

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David: Another Lazy Sunday

I woke up screaming. Again. I was starting to worry that I would never get used to weightlessness. Something instinctive kept panicking at unguarded moments, thinking I was falling.

I ripped the Velcro and floated out of bed, pausing on the way to the water reclamation unit to look out a viewport. Blackness of the purest and deepest sort surrounded the ship. Stupid unconscious. Even if I were falling, there’s nothing out here to hit.

Breakfast was a tube of sausage and eggs.

I checked the alert board. All clear.

I tried the radio again. Still no response from Earth.

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Sealyon: Another Sisyphus

Just as it's about to devour me, I wake up to someone gently shaking me. "Honey," she murmurs, "Wake up. You're yelling again."

I breathe heavily with the leftovers of the dream. It's always the same: I stumble upon it in the darkness, it pursues me, it catches me, and --

"Honey. Wake up. It's a dream."

She rubs my back as I try to sleep again. Try not to think about it. It is just a dream…

I wake myself up, screaming. She's not here: I knew that. I can hear it chuckling outside. It never lets me sleep long.

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Jim: A Dream Of Vengeance

On his bunk within the cavernous rock-hound dormitory carved deep within Asteroid Georgia, Jack Carr burrowed under his blanket to seal away the smells of unwashed men snoring all around him.

Drifting to sleep, Jack suddenly sensed an enormous claw reaching toward the asteroid. He gripped his bunk while the claw dug through reinforced walls and ripped the dormitory apart, exposing the unprotected men to the awful cold vacuum of space.

Jack was not the only man who woke up screaming. But he might have been the only one to see a tiny, purple globe float off into the darkness.

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Tanya: Untitled

My wife holds me tightly in the darkness as my shaking slows, the visions of breaking glass and slumping bodies still burning in my mind.

The first gunman came into the office quietly, unnoticed. The other started yelling just seconds before the first began firing, startling us into looking the wrong way. Running the wrong way. Then nothing but filing cabinets blowing apart, phones disintegrating. Blood splattering in slow motion across a photo of someone’s daughter, dressed as a clown.

Twenty-eight years ago, and now I only wake myself screaming about twice a month. I’m sure my wife appreciates that.

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Ted: Semi True Story

When I was a kid, a skeleton would come out from under my bed and grab my legs every night. I would scream at the skeleton and the pain. Dad and Mom finally figured out that I was 'jimmy legging' and told me the skeleton wasn't real. Eventually, the weird pains stopped and I stopped being afraid of ghostly skeletons.

Last month, the damn skeleton came back. He grabs my legs gives me horrible screaming cramps in both calves.

Every morning. For a month. Better than any alarm clock ever.

But you'd think my grown-up me wouldn't still see him.

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