Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having some weird dreams. And when I say weird, I really mean more like fucked up, in the sense that in these dreams, there’s killing going on. Someone is out to kill me. So I feel the need to kill them first. People getting killed. Animals getting killed. Guns. Strangulation.
And with each time that a dream like these occur, I wake up feeling relieved that they were just dreams, and I don’t even try to rationalize the notion that dreams are our brains trying to tell us things, because in no world do I want dreams about killing things to have any modicum of involvement in how I operate my life.
But the last dream I had, was also the most vivid one, the one that stood out the most, and the one that prompted actual writing to occur.
I’m in a zombie game. Basically I’m in Left 4 Dead’s interface, but in this particular zombie universe, the rules are slightly different. Mainly, those who become infected, do not immediately have a fairly uniform amount of time before they inevitably turn into zombies themselves. Not all of them.
In this dream, for those who become infected, there is no uniform amount of time left before someone becomes a zombie themselves. For some people, it might be fairly instantaneous, but for some, it could be a few hours, the following morning, even a week, or even a month. Maybe longer.
Regardless, I imagine anyone could see the complications in such a mechanism there, because in all other forms of zombie literature and media, infection usually has a pretty predictable mortality clock on it, ranging from a few hours to several days, depending on the number of bites they’ve incurred. So corresponding characters typically know that their time with the condemned is limited, and to start making peace with them while they’re still with the living, before having to make the most difficult act ever.
But what if that predictable timeline didn’t exist? What if when someone was infected, nobody had any idea of when they were going to turn? Could those bitten, simply continue to live their lives among the living until they would spontaneously expire? Could those around the bitten cope with living among bitten people, knowing that they could spontaneously drop and return as zombies and threaten their lives?
And that’s where this dream had me placed. In a zombie-infested world, among the living, several of whom were bitten, and were, at least in this particular shelter, being allowed to live out. Me wrestling with my own thoughts and concerns over personal safety and the safety of others. Struggling to accept the fact that there were people who were on death’s door, among us, still lucid, still alive, and still helping as best as they could.
I don’t recall in the dream having to murder a living person, which I suppose is something to be relieved about, but it also didn’t end without me having to pull the trigger a few times either. Someone had dropped and was convulsing, and in a zombie world, decisions need to be made quick, so I brought up my shotgun, and it was the hardest decision in the world I’d ever made. The game itself seemed to have a last second are you sure function that effectively stopped my first trigger pull, forcing me to put something over the person’s head before making a kill shot.
But because of the way things were, I’m left wondering if I made the right choice. What if they were an epileptic and were just having a seizure or something? What if they weren’t actually turning right then and there? Why the fuck am I having so many dreams lately of killings going on?
My alarm goes off, and it’s time to let the dog out. Unlike most mornings, I’m not happy to be woken up, but I am relieved to get out of yet another fucking weird killing dream, and hope this doesn’t mean anything in the grand spectrum of things.